Submitted: 09-08-2005 by Mayberry
I've owned a Dagger Element for the past year and have paddled it twenty-five times. I think it was a perfect boat to start paddling with and plan to keep it, even as I buy boats with more specific designs. The stability is superb thanks to the mammoth 28inch width. I only managed to flip it once in Class III whitewater.
The boat is fast and I think it tracks better than some have reviewed, thanks to the hard chimes. Exactly half my trips have been on flat water and half on rivers ranging from very slow to Class III. I've taken the Element through three Class III rapids multiple times and think it handles great to be 11 feet long. I recently bought a Dagger GT so that I could take the white water to the next level, but I will always keep the Element around to use on those slow moving rivers with Class II rapids.
I love the long day trips on the river in the Element with a lunch packed in the hatch. I am also a fan of the high backrest on the seat, but I had to make sure my pfd had a mesh lower back so that the seat and pfd wouldn't be against each other. The only kayak I have seen that I feel is better as an all around rec boat is the Dagger Blackwater, simply because it is a little faster, although not as stable.