Submitted: 04-12-2005 by kvnlutz
I have owned my Kodiak for five seasons and have paddled it off the Oregon Coast, Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands, and the Columbia River. It is the fourth kayak I have owned. I should start by saying that my feelings about this boat are very complicated, and only now, as I have only just purchased a Valley Pintail for my primary boat, do I feel that I can give it a fair evaluation.
As others have noted the Kodiak is a fast kayak with a great deal of storage that really loves rough water. I've had my boat in 5-6 foot surf and it broached only slightly. It weathercocks slightly, but only in the heaviest winds. With the rudder down, it is unmovable. It slides effortlessly over the face of almost any wave. In confused water, when other boats tend to bob, the Kodiak cuts right through, as if it is unconcerned with either chop or current.
While it is a bit on the heavy side, the boat has been very durable and has been used two to three times a week for over four years, and even more often in the summer. The hatches are cavernous almost 10000 cubes and the boat gains a great deal of initial and final stability as the weight sinks it into the water. The boat is easy to maneuver for a boat its length, and can be held on edge, while standing still, quite easily.
On the down side- I have had trouble with the thigh braces and after trying to fabricate my own, eventually ordered a set of customized replacements from Prijion (this has only become available this year, at a low cost). I have talked to many other Prijion owners who have had problems with the hard, brick-like braces. I also replaced the backband, as the original was little more than a piece of Styrofoam covered in fabric. I have resealed the bulkheads and they stay relatively dry save a few tablespoons of water but the old-style plastic hatch covers have both been replaced as they broke quite easily. The new ones are much better.
The buckles have also been replaced several times. I have also had to replace the deck nets every other season as they loose their elasticity.
One benefit I was especially interested in was the ability to repair the plastic. This promise, however, has proved to be disappointing. After purchasing half a dozen different consumer and commercial glue guns, and two soldering irons, I can safely say that using the repair sticks is minimally effective and does actually bond with the plastic to make one cohesive piece. The repairs fall out quite readily and are difficult to shape. The rudder lines also cut your legs if you are not careful, although it does not require the rudder very frequently.
Prijion customer service has been excellent. I can say they have been more prompt and courteous than any other customer service department, regardless of product or field, than any other I have ever dealt with. Ever problem I have encountered has been quickly responded to and successfully addressed. For this alone, I will probably purchase additional Prijion boats in the future.
Overall, while not a novice’s boat, this boat is comfortable.