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Submitted: 07-04-2005 by Saad
My wife and I took out two 16' Zoars out for the day on a demo trip. This was the first time either of us has done any significant paddling, so we have little to which we can compare the experience. We took it out on the inlet end of a large lake and ended up paddling upstream about four miles. In all, we paddled roughly 10 miles in gorgeous weather. My wife and I were both pleasantly surprised by the stability of the kayaks, neither of us ending up in the water despite several loading/unloadings at the docks.
The cockpit seemed VERY roomy and the amount of storage was unbelievable. I am 6'1" and 170 lbs. and found the boat size to be just right and easy to paddle. We even clipped the two kayaks together and I was still able to make good headway when I was in the lead. We reversed the order and my wife (5'5" and substantially lighter than myself) was able to give me a rest (albeit brief). I also found that the kayaks were not awfully heavy for their size and the rudders were nice, although not necessary at most times.
There were, however, some issues that prevented the perfect 10. The seat sat a couple inches too low, especially for my wife who kept dinging her elbows on the edge of the cockpit. The seats were also very uncomfortable, hitting sharply just below the PFDs, but this is something that a good seat pad could correct. We would seriously consider these kayaks (especially for myself) if we hadn't found a couple 14' kayaks for less than half the price.