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Only rented so I can't really speak to the longevity of the boats though when I asked the guy at the shop about it he said they swap out their boats about ever 3 years... For rental boats that see a lot of time on shallow waters that doesn't seem too bad. Can't really speak to how long they last after the shop sells them on the second hand market though.
Maneuverability: They turned well and handled the mild white water we used them on (Upper Verde river, AZ) maybe class II is places. A lot of tight channels on that section of the river and the boats handled it nicely.
Pretty comfortable to sit in. Though we were only in the kayak for about three hours my back and buttocks were happy enough with the ride. At least in the boats we had you did sit on the floor of the boat so your going to get a little wet.
Handles shallow water pretty well. I did get stuck on one sand bar, but that was entirely my fault I was too busy looking at the scenery to pay attention to where I was going. Other than that, I'm a fairly big guy, about 250, 6'6" and had no problem gliding over section of water that were as shallow as about 8 inches. Based on that and the maneuverability these should be pretty good 'creak boats' for the price.
Speaking of price, these are pretty good boats for the money going to be tough to find a better IF Kayak for the same price point.
Depending on what you want to use this boat for these negatives could be significant on not matter much at all, but here they are.
Wind: Ugg, even for an IF kayak these things do not handle wind well. If you are looking to get in shape by way of paddling, then get one of these, turn it into the wind and go to town. After 3 hours of hard paddling you should still be close enough to the launch point to here the lunch call...
Tracking: All IF Kayaks have sub par tracking by comparison to their hard shell or skin on frame counter parts, that is a fact of life however, while I found these boats to be a lot of fun on the narrow, shallow river we were on I would not want to paddle this thing across a lake, even on a calm day. Tracking is poor, even for an IF kayak. (It was amusing watching a few member of our group turn circles for the first 5 or 10 minutes of the trip though...)
It isn't the stiffest IF kayak I have ever paddled. That didn't really both me on the mellow river we were on but I'm not sure how I would feel about this boat on a class III or IV... Could taco on you in big water. To be fare this was in no way an issue for our trip though.
In all this was a nice boat for working class I, II, or III rivers and creaks where your not going to encounter a lot of wind. If you are okay with the limitations and are comfortable with the size of the boat from a cargo stand point (again 6 1/2 feet tall and I was quite comfortable in the boat with a day trip cargo load) you are going to have a difficult time finding a better boat for the money. It is fun to paddle and very responsive. Arie did a nice job with this one.
Submitted by: - Rating: 8 of 10
|This review courtesy of www.altrec.com|
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