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Reviews for Pro Explorer Kayak by Malibu Kayaks


Rated: 9.09/10 Based On: 11 Reviews

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07-17-2013
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I got a sweet deal on one from a forum bud. First time out was on the GSB off LI. This was one of if not the most comfortable kayak's I've ever owned. Really don't even need to add a seat. The boat is very stable but on the slow side. Especially so heading into chop/waves.

Like all Malibu's it has that huge bow hatch that can swallow anything you want to bring. It's a wet ride unless you plug the seat scuppers. Tracks well but there's a fair amount of hull slap. For fishing small to medium lakes it's a good choice. If you don't have to paddle far it's pretty good for salt use to.

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01-08-2009
Submitted by: RM
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have had my Pro-Explorer for 3 months and have used it exclusively on slow moving river. The boat tracks well, but is more difficult to turn. Storage is abundant, but I do get about a cup of water in the hatch after each use. Definitely needed to add the high back seat as you tend to want to lay down in this seat design. Looking forward to taking it on a day long paddle soon and due a little fishing. Price was good and I am happy with the overall use of the boat.
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06-06-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     A dealer for Malibu recently opened near Aberavon Beach, just a few miles from my home in South Wales. I've kayaked extensively in traditional sit-inside designs but this is my first sit-on-top. I wanted a kayak that would be stable enough to encourage my family to try paddling on the sea and build up confidence. So far I'm very pleased - the Pro-Explorer is small enough to fit over the roof of a smaller European automobile, yet is long enough to not be a complete slug in the water. It isn't fast (hence the 8) but it tracks very well, can cope with 1 metre choppy waves and has enough carrying capacity for my kids to ride on the bow and stern towing their bodyboards to a nice distance out where they can bail out and ride a wave back to the shore - great fun and wish I'd bought one years ago. Lots of space inside to stow all your gear, dry seat if only one on board, paddles as well facing backwards as it does forwards. Hope to get a second one next season.
Steve from South Wales

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05-30-2008
Submitted by: JBL
Rating: 7 of 10

     The storage on this yak is great. You can hold anything you want in this thing. It tracks great. You just point it in a direction paddle. However, that is also its shortcoming. This thing does not like to turn. I guess you can't really ask for both a great tracking boat and a nimble one, but this one goes too far on the tracking side for me. The other reason why I give it a 7 is because it is pretty slow. You have to work to stay up with others in your group. All that being said, I like it. You just have to understand what you are getting.
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05-21-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought my Malibu Kayaks Pro Explorer in 2004 and it is remarkably versatile craft. I am 6'1" / 250lbs and the kayak handles my weight plus gear with no problem. The Pro Ex has a capacity of 450lbs and I believe it.

I lived in NJ when I first got the kayak and paddled frequently in Great Bay which has its share of current and wind. At 12.5' and no rudder the Pro Explorer paddled well. It's not a speed demon, but it's not a barge either and keeps up a good pace even in strong headwinds and tracks well in other winds. It's small enough though that maneuvering is good too. Again, the trade-off is speed, but not too bad.

The Pro Ex is extremely stable as you might imagine with a width of 31" and it makes a great fishing kayak. I had a ram mount installed on the center column when I purchased it (at KFS) and use it for a tube for my fishing pole. The kayak also comes from the factory with two flush mount rear rod holders which make trolling easy.

The storage capacity is really phenomenal. I have the classic hatch with a compass mounted, rather than the famous Gator hatch. I also had a 4" hatch with a cat bag mounted directly behind the seat to take advantage of the considerable storage available in the rear of the kayak. The cat bag under this hatch also makes a convenient place for wallet, money, watch, etc.

The center hatch is great for easy access and there's quite a bit of space down there. I typically keep a soft cooler, dry bag with alternate clothing and anything else I want quick access to under here. Ironically I have yet to camp with this kayak, though I am busting at the seems to give it a try.

The tank well is not the biggest, but it's big nonetheless. I have mine restrung with cross hatched shock cord. A tackle box rides well there, (or under the center hatch), It has the standard impression for a five-gallon bait bucket and is an otherwise convenient place to stash and lash things.

I live in the Midwest now and recently put-in on the Des Plaines river in northern Illinois. The water level was a bit low and I had a very challenging time with submerged trees, branches, beaver dams and generally shallow water.

In all the time on the back bays of NJ I had never put the Pro Ex through so much abuse than I did on this trip. At one point I even got out of the kayak onto a half submerged tree. Perched up there I dragged the kayak over the tree but realized the only way to get back in because of other obstructions was while the kayak was still partially on the log. So, with the kayak straddling the log I got back in and shimmied the rest of the way over the log. I had one of those moments where I thought it would flip, (you know that feeling). But the Pro Ex got me the rest of the way over and stayed steady. Aside from a few scrapes and some mud the Pro Ex endured.

The Pro Explorer is an extremely versatile kayak and it is built to last. It performs well on open salt water, lakes and slow, (but challenging) rivers. It is a good fishing kayak, good for gear storage and good for general paddling.

In 2004, I could only afford one kayak and I wanted one that could do many things well, if not great. Now in 2008 I have no regrets about my choice. I am extremely pleased with the overall performance of the Pro Explorer.

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08-21-2007
Submitted by: DanSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I wanted a kayak I could use for fishing or touring. I bought my Pro Explorer used, without trying it out, from a guy that liked it so much he bought a new one. I took it out yesterday for the first time on Kings Bay at Crystal River. This was just a pleasure trip but I was very happy with the stability of the yak. I did not find it hard to paddle and it was a dry ride without scupper plugs. I am anxious to try it out on a fishing expedition. There is more than ample room to store all my fishing gear. So far, I have to give this a 10!
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03-15-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've now had my ProExplorer for almost two years. I've used in mild whitewater conditions on some Texas rivers, also on numerous lakes (large & small)and on the Texas coast.

It exceptionally watertight with wonderful storage capacity. The initial and secondary stability are great and really proved out during a recent fishing tournament in Galveston bay when a front exceeded forecast and I was caught in 25 mph winds and chop of 2 - 2-1/2 ft. on the beam. I initially tried to get to the nearest shore,150 yards away without any luck as I was constantly having to brace. I had no option but to run downwind to the nearest shore, about 600 yards and virtually flew downwind staying reasonably dry and feeling very safe.

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04-19-2005
Submitted by: GCSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Great boat and great service. As a beginning paddler I was looking for a stable platform that I could take into the open ocean and feel comfortable casting and reeling in from, hopefully with a yellowtail on. I tried a few and it came down between the Wilderness Systems 160 and the Explorer.

Customer service at Malibu's Sunset Beach location (Corey) sold the deal without regrets. Sure, the Explorer is a slower boat but primary stability is amazing (my main purpose). Corey took care of me and then some during the purchase and upgraded me after HE found a flaw in the used boat I was to purchase. Cool cat and he drinks Sierra Nevada, bring him some.

In the water the boat handles chop and wakes at angles I would normally be uncomfortable with. I'm able to jungle gym the boat on the water without issue. It won't beat my friend's flat bottom by any stretch, but it goes fast enough for me to enjoy the day and get plenty of miles in.

As I was launching yesterday I ran into a nice couple who had two X-Factors and they had exactly the same story about Malibu and Corey. Quality stuff and people.

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07-28-2003
Submitted by: CoreySend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This kayak is solid. I've paddled alone, with two small kids (on in the front well, one in the back well), and even been towed behind a slow moving motorboat (just to see if it worked) and its just plain stable. My fishing poles fit without a hitch and there's enough room in the MONSTER front hatch for an army of goodies. I've also got the Malibu Kayaks soft rack roof system that is great for those of us who don't want a permanent rack mounted to their vehicle. For $50 the soft rack system was a no brainer for me. The folks at Malibu Kayaks will treat you right too. Go buy one!
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01-20-2003
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I heard about Competition Kayaks (now Malibu Kayas) from a friend and decided to check them out. I went on their website and saw the great deal they were having on the Pro Explorer so I went down and rented one for an hour to see if I liked it. The minute I sat on it I was sold!!!!!!!!! It is the THE MOST STABLE KAYAK I have ever paddled. When my hour was up I paddled back in and bought one. You can store way more stuff than you will ever need inside the huge front hatch and the rear tankwell is perfect for all my fishing gear. Go out and buy one of these yaks, you won't be sorry.
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11-19-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I tested the Malibu Pro Explorer in Sunset Beach California. I am looking to buy a kayak for fishing. I am 6'2" 250 lbs. I tried several kayaks and decided to go for one of the shorter more stable ones. I tried the Drifter and liked it. Then I heard about the Pro explorer and decided to give it a try. The kayak is rock stable. I could climb all over it on the water with out any fear of flipping it over. The kayak has the largest front hatch that I have ever seen. It also is available with a smaller rectangle hatch between your legs. this is nice as you don't have to go up to the bow hatch to get your lunch or a camera. The boat tracked beautifuly. It was very easy to paddle. If you are looking for a boat to paddle long distances, then this is not the yak for you. If you want a good stable fishing platform with gobs of storage then you might want to concider this one. You can easily store 3 7' rods and all your gear in the front hatch before entering and exiting the surf. Although not the fastest yak I would have to say it is the most practical one. The ride is very dry and comfortable. It also comes with a lifetime warranty. I am going to get one very soon.
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