04-22-2010Submitted by: tridebi
Reviews for Nomad Kayak by Feelfree Kayak, USA
Based On: 25 Reviews
- Rating: 8 of 10 I must have loved my Nomad... I wore the bottom out, did a lot of 2-3 rapids in it, I could charge through the wave and let the wave wash over me, fun on a hot day. I could take my beagle with me, he would stand on the front until he saw the rapids and then sit behind me in the well, he learned this after many swims. I have bought 3 more kayaks all sit-inside but with summer coming I think I need another Nomad.
03-30-2010Submitted by: kaulua
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is the 6th kayak I have bought. I have owned several SOT's, a surfski, and a couple touring kayaks. I still have my very first kayak, a Seda Swift, and while I remain most smitten with my "Cadillac", I am very happy to have this new edition.
After knowing the constant worry that comes with paddling and transporting a large glass boat, you just can't beat (literally) a plastic boat. I got into plastic SOT's with an 14' Ocean Kayak Scupper. The Scupper did a good job at keeping up with other touring boats but it is so heavy (a 2 person job to lift and carry) and I also thought it would be nice to have something that I could just pop in the back of my truck.
So along came an add for a 10'ish Nomad with a "wheel in the keel". What the hey is that I wondered? So I checked it out and was convinced on the spot. Along with the molded-in bow and side handles, the wheel makes this the most easily transported kayak ever! Seriously, someone who has been kayaking for a long time must have designed this boat. My fellow kayakers always gawk at me when they see how easily I can lift her out of the back of my truck by MYSELF, grab the handle and roll her where ever I need to go again by MYSELF. No messing around with a wheel cart or other such nonsense, this boat is ready to go anywhere anytime, land or sea. Total independence if your aim is to paddle solo.
Granted, if I'm going the distance I want my Seda, but I've done some 6+ mile paddles in my Nomad no sweat. If you are a decent paddler, you can even keep up with the sleek boats. I don't find tracking to be a problem either--it's what you would expect of a kayak this size. On the contrary, this boat is so easy to maneuver in the mangrove mazes of the Everglades.
Some other features of note, instead of having pad-eyes bolted to the hull, there are sturdy brass bars inlayed into the mold that the seat and other things attach to. I've had pad-eyes rip out before, but this design is rock-solid. Also, there is a watertight hatch right between your legs in the cockpit...easy access to you camera, lunch and such. Ingenious again. The open hatch in the back is perfect for a drybag or cooler. And the deluxe seat that it came with is the best I have ever seen in a SOT.
This kayak is so stable that I routinely stand up and paddle like it's a paddleboard. I guess the only downside is that like all other SOT's, the scupper drains often let the water in too, leaving you sitting in a puddle much of the time. But I bought some Ocean Kayak brand medium size scupper plugs and solved that problem. This kayak is the perfect fit to my needs when it comes to day-trips, local transports, and introducing friends to kayaking. Now I just have it and my Seda...quite a combo.
09-09-2009Submitted by: Bruce Ashford
- Rating: 9 of 10 I own 2 nomads and a tri yak. I can't say enough good about these boats. I paddle every day on Lake Havasu without any troubles. I have never had a problem with leaks. Boats have always been water tight. I like these boats so much I am considering a dealership here in Havasu.
07-06-2009Submitted by: jh
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have recently purchased the Feelfree Nomad in the comfort specification. I want to clear some things up about it. It is a very stable and quick kayak which is very well built. these are the positives. the only negative is that when you get in a bit of water comes in and goes in a small area under the seat and in the feet holes. fortunately this is a very small amount but can be annoying if you are wearing normal clothes. there are rumors that the dry hatches are not dry. from my experience, if they are screwed up probably they are 100% dry. I have done several tests and the remained dry in all of these. some people also say it does not track well. If you are a skillful paddler with good technique it tracks fine. It is easy to control and good fun for kayakers of all skill levels. Unsinkable. I have not tried it in the ruff sea yet but other reviews say that it takes the choppy waters well. From its maneuverability and stability capabilities I would have to issue agreement
06-15-2009Submitted by: dondioni
- Rating: 9 of 10 Bought a Nomad 2 years ago, use it on Essex Coast of England, dealer recommended a canvas seat, this together with home made thigh straps can use in 12 ft waves.
I have been on the water 40 years, and rate this a better than usual buy
08-14-2007Submitted by: wlinkovi
- Rating: 9 of 10 I own two Hobie Mirage (pedal kayaks) and bought the Nomad to play in the surf on the east coast of Florida. The Nomad is by far a lot more fun than either of the Hobies and considerably faster.
06-25-2007Submitted by: stanleytx
- Rating: 6 of 10 I bought a Nomad because I absolutely adore the Tri-Yak. The Nomad, however, is not all around what I was hoping for: a stable and dependable one person SOT.
Starting with the positives, the Nomad is super fast and fun. Tracking would of course be improved with the skeg, but with a boat of this size, it turns easily and quick. Paddle response is super fast and this might cause frustration to those who want to relax. The Boat is light and carries my weight well (260lbs), but admittedly a bit small for my stature 6'1 large build. All in all I will enjoy this boat on the inland rivers and flat water I cruise.
Negatives are serious, but require some knowledge and adaptation. The dry wells, aren't dry. This is where the water is coming in, not the molded grommets on the side of the boat. I too had water in on the first outing and took it home and filled the boat with water and watched for where it spills out. Read hatch was the culprit and one of the fasteners for the cargo straps. I silicone Gooped the strap fastener and the rear and front hatch. I believe the problem is that the frame for the hatch was poorly sealed. After removing it, the factory silicone was not properly and insufficiently applied. I corrected this and screwed it all back together. If this is not the fix, I will simply seal the hatch entirely, but it would be nice to be able to use it. Getting in the boat in water is tricky and took me about three tries, but the boat had taken on some water and made it even more squirrelly, stay low and slide.
I had hoped this would be my 2 day tripping boat, but it clearly will not be. I will take the Tri-Yak solo and have plenty of room for luxury gear that I would otherwise do with out.
In hindsight, I would pass on this boat for the trouble I have had to fix myself, but after the fix, it really is a nice designed hull and so very easy to load on top of rack and generally portable. I am still looking for my "right" boat, any suggestions would be appreciated. It is hard to find the boat to accommodate my size and over all function. I may have to settle for a 12 foot canoe in the end, or a small and skinny Jon Boat/pontoon to paddle.
05-03-2007Submitted by: Shampoo
- Rating: 4 of 10 I own one Gemini Tandem and have ridden others and these things leak all day. The problem is the in-laid eyelets that hold the rope along the rails: great idea but the eyelets are molded and have holes in the molding that go all the way through to the inside of the craft. Water gets in very easily. I still use mine but when it's worn out I'll get a real kayak.
09-13-2006Submitted by: Alvin Bustamante
- Rating: 8 of 10 Iíve had the Feelfree Nomad for a little over two months now and used it about 21 times now. The first time I took it out at Bass Lake in Central California. The kayak was very ziggy and I did not enjoy it too much. When I stopped paddling the kayak would turn immediately to one side. After a few more frustrating outings at Newport Harbor I decided to order the skeg from Feelfree. I installed the skeg and took it out at Newport Harbor again, what a big difference the skeg makes; now it tracks more truer and the ziggyness of it was greatly decreased. One note about the skeg it will snag kelp (seaweed) so bring a knife just in case. I enjoy the Nomad a lot more now and frequently take it out Dana Point, CA and go out about 1 to 2 miles out of the Harbor entrance. My average speed with this kayak is around 3mph (GPS). I give it an 8 because they should have included the skeg which cost $47.00 on eBay.
09-08-2006Submitted by: kabjkm
- Rating: 9 of 10 This is my second review of the Feelfree Nomad. I took it out to the Ocean and visited a line of keys near Honeymoon Island off the coast of West Florida. It was a slow go for the ten mile circular route but not unexpected for a ten foot kayak. It took on very little water, stored everything I took along, and I had a great time. The rear straps can hold a medium sized cooler and the waterproof baskets under the hatches keep things dry.
The tracking was somewhat zigzaggy but corrects with paddling and will improve with the skeg. I've always been a glutton for punishment going 10 miles in a rec boat but usually leave the 12-14 footers behind squeemishly hugging the shorelines (why do they do that?).
I'm very satisfied with this kayak and recommend it for ocean, surf, or flatwater uses.
08-24-2006Submitted by: kabjkm
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought this kayak to compliment my sit in side kayak and give me a little more freedom to venture further out to the ocean and to swim. First off the Nomad is just as fast as my Mainstram Streak. I think the raised bow out of the water helps some. The tracking is poorer but can be compensated by varying the paddling. One thing of note: The Nomad is not easy to re-enter due to it's tippiness. It requires some practice. I made a mistake of trying it first in too deep water and had to side stroke back in to shallower water with the kayak in tow.
All in all I am impressed with the abilities and quality of this kayak and I recommend it. I'll probably purchase the skeg for better flatwater tracking.
07-07-2006Submitted by: travelyn
- Rating: 8 of 10 I purchased the Nomad and have enjoyed it so far. I took it out for the first time on the 4th of July weekend in Newport Beach Bay. The boat did not track very well under strong winds, a swift current, and tons of boaters on the water. I'll consider buying the skeg. Water - yes you do get wet but not that much. In winter use the plugs. My only complaint, I'm 5'9" and the foot rests require that your legs be bent the whole time. This might not be the right boat for someone who is 5'll" or taller. Made well. I did run into a gentleman that had the 2 seater and his boat kept taking on water. He couldn't figure out why.
12-13-2005Submitted by: rr1chard
- Rating: 9 of 10 Great boat! I've paddled it about 20 times in 2005. It's very at home in surf and moderately moving rivers, but I've played a lot with it on lakes and even done weekends on it. The skeg helps tracking on flat water, but don't use it in surf. The Nomad's tough - I've taken it over rocks in whitewater and even done dry dock starts-using the thigh straps to ooch it off the dock. It's really stable but if I really try I can flip it, and I can even do T-rescues in it-if I'm upside down and someone comes over I can flip it right side up using the thigh straps. Don't expect to sit dry unless you get the scupper plugs...you can plug the water coming in under your butt...
04-12-2005Submitted by: b
- Rating: 9 of 10 I just bought the Nomad today so Iíve only took it out once. I liked it. You sit in a puddle of water the whole time but Iím new to the sport so it may be the same with any kayak. Iím 5'8 170lbs and it seemed to work well for me. I took it out in a lagoon and it was nice. I will however buy the $30 skeg so I can track straighter. It wasnít a big problem but it would be nice to be able to go straight without trying. So overall I think this kayak will serve its purpose. I just want to paddle around and fish.
03-27-2005Submitted by: salty
- Rating: 10 of 10 I am 50yrs old, 5'10" 250lbs. I paddle this boat with the greatest of ease. It's easily driven, turns on a dime. Seems to paddle a lot like slalom kayaks I had in my 20's. I paddle it offshore at La Jolla and Coronado, and in Mission and San Diego bay. Works good in the surf, and handles great in the chop. I don't have the rudder attachment, but I don't feel like I have needed it. The boat tracks fine with normal steering strokes. It's also comfortable to sit or lay on if you want to just drift and take a break. You can scrunch down with your feet on the bow and your head on the seatback and float comfortably even in choppy water, and I weigh 250! Everybody who paddles mine wants to get one.
03-22-2005Submitted by: glissade
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought 2 of these nomads, and feel that this is the best boat for a first time paddler. I also have a few other kayaks, but when someone wants to try kayaking, I put them in a nomad and know that they will love kayaking and have a real good experience with this boat. Good in the surf, good in big waves and rivers too. Good and stable, easy to transport and use. For sure get the 30 dollar skeg, it will track straighter. The nomad has a hot, modern design, it sort of makes you feel like a nomad on the water, you'll have a hard time staying off the water!
12-02-2004Submitted by: Henry
- Rating: 8 of 10 Greetings from South Africa! I bought this kayak after a lot of research, it seemed the first boat with all the right requirements for me. I needed a small and light(ish) boat for general exploration and some surfing. Please keep in mind I am a complete novice. The boat is great but as for build quality - I've had a few problems. Generally everything is OK except mine leaked through a tiny hole on the side of one of the drain holes (on the seam). I thought I had just bought a dud, but after getting a new one from the dealer (who switched it with NO hassles), it had a hole in exactly the same place. Both times I got the Lava colour. My friend also bought one - the lime/yellow one and he's got no leaks. So maybe it's a faulty mold on the Lava assembly line? The extra fin or skeg makes the tracking a lot better, but I don't think it's bad at all without it. Once again the hole to fit the skeg on mine was too small to get it in, but after drilling it open with an 18mm spade bit it fits like a glove. Oh ja! I've filled the tiny (2mm) hole with epoxy so now all is OK, seeing as the closest dealer to me is 450km (280miles) away I couldn't be bothered not to fix it myself this time. It still gets a tiny little bit wet inside, I suspect the hatch mounts might be leaking - it will take 5 minutes, a screwdriver and some silicone to seal that up. All and all not that serious, but when you buy something new you want it to be right. As I've said the dealer is far away so in this instance it's less hassle for me to fix it myself.
That said - I LOVE IT! My wife and I are on the water almost every morning for a pre-work paddle. I could lift it on to the roof of my car on my own (with a grunt or two), but with my wife helping it's a quick and easy lift.
As for surfing, I am new so have been dunked a few times, but the other few times I've managed to catch a swell, it's been fabulous.
Easy to paddle, comfortable to sit in and loads of storage space! Plus here in South Africa it is very well priced compared to other kayaks.
10-14-2004Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 My second review:
OK. Picked up the little fin they sell for the rear of these boats. Wow, what a change. Best $30 you can spend on these little boats. Now she tracks great. Easy to turn still, yet will go exactly where you want to. No more fighting to go straight. Best of all it is a simply screw on unit that is easy to remove when you want to go play around.
To test it out I took her out in some big wind and pretty good sized swells. I felt like I was paddling a 16 foot boat. Even with the swells, I could quarter all day long.
Another nice feature is that I can now stop paddling, and the boat will keep going straight until it runs out of energy. No more 90 degree turns. This has really made this boat shine for my uses.
As far as the water drain, it was pointed out that we are only talking about a small amount of water that will not drain out. This is true, and a sponge makes quick work of that water. The funny thing is that the boat does not leak at all; I think I simply failed to tighten one of the hatches.
This is a pretty nice little boat. I feel very comfortable letting just about anyone go out in it. It's a very good recreational SOT, and the price is great.
09-27-2004Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 7 of 10 Where to start with this review? Well, I bought the Nomad on Ebay for a very fair price of a bit over $300. Quality and finish are very good. I knew I was buying a short and fun little boat, and that it is. They also claimed it was a fast boat for its class, and that it is not. It might be faster then a couple of other SOTs, but not many. That is the price you pay for a fun little boat.
I'm 6'4" and 220 lbs, and my butt sits in a puddle of water all day long. My feet sit in about 2 inches of water if I keep my feet in the footwell that is a bit too short for my long legs. Using the footwells means my paddle hits my knees. No worries, I have adjusted, and sometimes just put my feet on the bow deck. The day hatches seem to be updated on mine compared to some older Nomads I have seen, but mine tend to leak a bit. Worse off is that the drain is not in a position to get out the last bit of water from inside the hull.
While turns are a breeze in this boat, it takes a bit of practice to keep this one straight. It will teach you to control your strokes. On the plus, this poor tracking pays off in the surf zone. This is a fun little boat for mild waves. I currently use the boat in the ocean and on occasion a wave will completely fill the seat, footwells and tank. Even so, this boat is still rather stable, and a few strokes of the paddle will have most of that water drained out of the 6 drain holes. I have had the Nomad out in some pretty big swells and cross winds. While on the top of a swell, the boat likes to spin around, but is quick to turn back onto course with some quick paddle action. Steep swells will keep you wet though as the built in handle seems to provide a nice splashing. But this is not what this boat is really intended for is it? I'm already looking for another boat, but plan to keep the little Nomad in the collection. It is very friendly boat, and do not think twice about letting the kids take it out. A good recreational boat if you are looking for something small, plays in the surf, stable. Also a great first boat. After paddling for 2-3 miles I'm pretty much wiped out. Just depends on how fast you try to push it. Doubling the work load will result in only a very slight speed increase. Also, they make a big deal about it being a New Zealand product. As far as I can tell, it is 100% Tiawanesse. Not that it matters much, but let's be honest. Construction quality does seem high for a plastic boat.
08-10-2004Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 Can't say enough good things about the nomad. Know I already turned in a review. But I am getting e-mails asking where to buy them. Address on my first review. My girl friend tired mine and bought her own this morning. These Nomads are so much fun out in the ocean. She went with the lime green, the color fades into a yellow. So many colors to choose from...
08-05-2004Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 Bought a ocean kayak for my son for his birthday, the place that I got the kayak at didn't have any leashes so stopped at UPS sports on P.C.H. Dana Point Ca. and knew my son would like the FeelFree Nomad style a lot better. Not knowing anything about kayaks the owner asured me that for children the other kayak (which has been returned) was fine but for a grown man the Feel Free would better suit him. Guess the owner of UPS Sports was glad the day I walked in cause now we are a family of three Nomads and just love them. My son got the cammie colored one and his girlfriend and I got the purple ones... There is a fin that for $30.00 helps with the handling (but handles nice without it too). We just love our Nomads. Now just need to find other fun places to go kayaking...
08-03-2004Submitted by: bruce_jones
- Rating: 10 of 10 The weather in west Florida is generally warm, so most of the year SOTs are a comfortable ride. I like flat water rivers, often narrow and winding, with obstacles like fallen trees. So, I want maneuverability, comfort, and reasonable tracking. I looked at Wilderness Systems and Ocean Kayak, but when I found the Feelfree I knew that it was the one. I've played with it on the upper Hillsborough River and the Withlacoochee River, and have not been disappointed. It's well made, surprisingly dry, and easy to paddle - you don't have to expend alot of effort to have the kayak go and do what you want it to do. Consider it a well-made tool for traveling on water. I'm 5'11' and 180 lbs, and it fits me well. And, my wife feels the same and she's shorter and significantly lighter than me. Its a kayak we both can enjoy. I will not hesitate to recommend Feelfree Kayak, price, quality, features, it has it all.
08-03-2004Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 Excellent recreational boat. Also great white water and surfing machine.A+++++++++++++
07-30-2004Submitted by: gary21cp
- Rating: 9 of 10 A pretty fun little sit-on-top kayak with some cool features. I'm not small -- 6'2" and 190 lbs, and this little kayak works fine for me. It's got some good storage space and some interesting features like safety lines and a recessed rear deck with straps. I took it on the Guadalupe River in the Texas Hill Country and it was great on both mild rapids and straight, flat water. It doesn't track really well, but there's a skeg available as a $30 option and I want to try that. All in all, I'm happy I got this and I'm telling my friends, and some of them want one already.
05-19-2004Submitted by: khardin880
- Rating: 10 of 10 What a spectacular ride!!!! I purchased my Nomad on a whim, and am absolutely delighted with it. I've spent most of my time in an Ocean Kayak Venus, which I thought was great until I stuck my butt in the Nomad. To me, the Nomad has all the best features of the sit-on tops I've tried.(Scrambler, Frenzy, Venus, Yak Board) I'm small (5ft 115lbs) and I am going over and through surf that would have had me catapulted in the Venus. I thought I wasn't going to like the molded handle, but it makes life easier in the surf. The performance is amazing, fast great for cruising with the dolphins and fun for riding waves.....It is 6lbs heavier than the Venus and 2 inches wider which makes it a bit more difficult for me to get on my car, but the performance outweighs the inconvenience.
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