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Submitted: 09-10-2005 by mrb

I'm a beginning paddler, this my first kayak.

My wife and I tried out the Perception Sundance 9.5, Sundance 12.0, Carolina 14.5 at a Perception Demo days. The Sundance's were a little too wide in both our opinions and the Carolina was a little more than I wanted to spend for a first Kayak.

We stopped at a dealer on the way home and based on our comments for the Perception kayaks, he suggested the Manitou Sport. We sat in the kayaks and the fit was excellent (I'm 5'4" and 160 pounds, my wife is 5'3" and considerably less pounds). We bought two Manitou Sports and took them home with us.

Since then, we've had them in the water every weekend. We live in the California Sierras near lots of alpine lakes, ranging from a few acres to 600+ acres.

Observations:

  • These are great for a person my size.
  • They're really stable.
  • It definitely "weathercocks" in a cross-wind. I'm getting better at keeping it straight.
  • At first I had the seat back ratcheted forward quite a lot. Since I started using my torso more, I moved the seat back all the way back so I wouldn’t chafe. So the fancy ratchet system doesn't do me much good.
  • According to my GPS, I can comfortably paddle around 3-3.5 knots, but can't get past 4.2 knots.

    Overall, for flatwater alpine lakes, I'm really happy with the kayak

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