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Submitted: 09-27-2005 by rivercat

We are new to Kayaking. I did some extensive research and a little shopping and found the SVX200. I didn't want to invest a lot in our first boat in case we didn't take to kayaking. I wanted an inflatable because I didn't want to mess with roof racks etc. and tying the boat to the roof on trips. The beauty of this boat is it inflates and deflates quickly and can be folded up and thrown in the trunk of a sedan (using a 12 volt high speed electric pump and topping off with a foot pump). You don't need an SUV or Truck to haul this. This weekend we pulled out of the water at the same time as a guy in a hard shell. We passed him on the way out and he was still tying the boat to his roof.

We took it out on our maiden voyage and learned to use it very quickly. We took it out on the lower American river in Northern California. As others have indicated, it is very stable and even made a couple of nervous beginners feel safe right away. We went over some small rapids and hardly even noticed them. We have already run over some rocks and grounded ourselves on sand with absolutely no damage to the boat. This thing is very tough. We got it at a close out price for $540 at a retail store. For that price I don't think you can buy a better boat.

I am thrilled with this boat. We have already used it twice and the fact that you can roll it up and throw it in a closet when your done is much more appealing to me than wrestling a hard shell into overhead storage in my garage, or wrestling a hard shell to a roof rack. The other concern I had is if we went on vacation and stayed at a hotel I wouldn't want to leave a hard shell on a roof rack for someone to steal. With this boat you can store it in your trunk out of sight or even in your hotel room.

To me the only real disadvantage is that it is heavy to carry even from a parking lot to the water. What we are going to try next is carrying the boat to the water without the seats, lifejackets, water bottles etc. and then make a second trip for the rest of the stuff. I thought it handled well although probably slower than a hard shell.

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