Submitted: 12-02-2004 by Henry
Greetings from South Africa! I bought this kayak after a lot of research, it seemed the first boat with all the right requirements for me. I needed a small and light(ish) boat for general exploration and some surfing. Please keep in mind I am a complete novice. The boat is great but as for build quality - I've had a few problems. Generally everything is OK except mine leaked through a tiny hole on the side of one of the drain holes (on the seam). I thought I had just bought a dud, but after getting a new one from the dealer (who switched it with NO hassles), it had a hole in exactly the same place. Both times I got the Lava colour. My friend also bought one - the lime/yellow one and he's got no leaks. So maybe it's a faulty mold on the Lava assembly line? The extra fin or skeg makes the tracking a lot better, but I don't think it's bad at all without it. Once again the hole to fit the skeg on mine was too small to get it in, but after drilling it open with an 18mm spade bit it fits like a glove. Oh ja! I've filled the tiny (2mm) hole with epoxy so now all is OK, seeing as the closest dealer to me is 450km (280miles) away I couldn't be bothered not to fix it myself this time. It still gets a tiny little bit wet inside, I suspect the hatch mounts might be leaking - it will take 5 minutes, a screwdriver and some silicone to seal that up. All and all not that serious, but when you buy something new you want it to be right. As I've said the dealer is far away so in this instance it's less hassle for me to fix it myself.
That said - I LOVE IT! My wife and I are on the water almost every morning for a pre-work paddle. I could lift it on to the roof of my car on my own (with a grunt or two), but with my wife helping it's a quick and easy lift.
As for surfing, I am new so have been dunked a few times, but the other few times I've managed to catch a swell, it's been fabulous.
Easy to paddle, comfortable to sit in and loads of storage space! Plus here in South Africa it is very well priced compared to other kayaks.