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Submitted: 11-14-2004 by 1951henryb

Skerray RMX: Iím 6í0Ē and 185 lb. Size 12.5 feet, which always matters in kayak reviews. After discovering that I just didn't have enough fun in my fabulous Kajak Sport Millennium (18'3", glass) or my soft-riding QCC 500, I sold the Millennium (worth more than the QCC) and embarked on a search for the kayak that would be the most fun in the most conditions. The Skerray RMX is the end of that search. It has terrific initial stability, lots of room for my big feet, turns on a dime despite its 17' length with the skeg up, tracks well with the skeg down, handles close swells, chop, waves, control in caves, and is just fun.

As I began my search, which I did by paddling every likely boat my favorite local outfitter, Aqua Adventures in San Diego, has. I loved the way the Romany and Avocet handled for others but didn't fit in them. Valley Canoe is bringing out a larger version of the Avocet, but while I was waiting for that I tried the Skerray and loved it. I put side views of the Skerray and the new Aquanaut on top of one another in Photoshop, and the Skerray's bow clearly stood out with a higher sweep and more rocker. I didn't bother waiting for the Aquanaut. I bought a used Skerray from Aqua Adventure's fleet this fall and am delighted with it.

Pros are fun and handling. Comfort is also a pro once you toss the foot pegs, which are too close anyway - I am just now putting some foam against the bulkhead on a slant, and change the uncomfortable back band. The only significant con is that it's not very fast or quick. I'm outfitting it now so that it fits me like a glove, but I'm noticing that when I get the foam knee bracing in, a thigh support, and the bulkhead foot bracing, it's wonderfully comfortable but won't allow for easy exits. The slightly keyholed cockpit won't let me get my knees up, and my feet won't shoot past the braces, since thatís now the bulkhead, to let me release quickly. Oh well; just have to expect to roll quickly or hold my breath.

I've been in surf with it, caves in smallish swells, and the open water off La Jolla, albeit in marginal seas. But I'm actually excited at the thought of messing around in some storm water. It's a fun boat.

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