I love it! I researched heaps of kayaks, but then just ended up buying one that was best priced. But luckily the Charger is great. It was a bit wobbly getting in the first couple of times, but after a little bit of practice it's fine.
I find it very stable and it feels nimble over waves and chop. It even goes along OK with one of my children perched on the bow while I paddle.
Even my seven year old daughter can paddle it with no problems.
The whole family loves it, and so far it's given hours of fun at the beach. Also the size and weight are about the upper limit of what I would be wanting to lift off the car and carry across the sand. For the money (about $700 AUD) I think it's great and am very happy with my purchase.I bought this boat as a beginner's boat to let my friends use when I went paddling. Unfortunately it is tippy in the extreme, so it really doesn't make a good beginner's boat.
Other than that, it is OK. It isn't a dog in the water and there is very little hull slap, which is nice. It tracks pretty well. But, don't consider it a beginner's boat. A Islander or one of the short Ocean Kayaks would be better and more forgiving.I just bought one. Pretty good boat. I was impressed with it considering how small it is. I just went from a 17 foot fiberglass boat to this. It's not fast but is great for a short boat. This is my first SOT so I don't have anything to compare it to. I got it because I just had knee surgery and needed something small and easy to deal with. It will go straight with ease and with just a slight lean, it will carve a real crisp turn. It's kind of like a Jeep. It doesn't do anything well but it does everything well enough. And, it'll fit on a Jeep!
For boarding in deep water, it's actually pretty good. Primary stability is great and secondary is OK. For surf, you do need to shift your weight forward and back quite a bit but since it's so short, it responds quickly to minor changes in loading. For what it is, it's great. For what it isn't, it isn't bad.
I'm 5'10" at 180 so I give it a pretty low cg. I guess that works to my advantage. The folks complaining of tippiness seem to be pretty tall. When you've got a boat this small, leverage plays a big part.The Charger was my first Yak purchase. So far I've really enjoyed it! Although, the learning curve to keep it from tipping takes a while. My first time taking it out was in the bay with my family watching as I tipped over about 10 times. I think they about wet themselves they were laughing so hard.. So yeah, it takes a bit to master.
I have to say that the thigh straps are a MUST! They really help balance you in the boat in any kind of rapid/wake.
I fit in the yak just fine and I'm slightly larger than the average bear @ 6'2" and just a chocolate bar below 200lbs.
Definitely a good beginner boat. Not the fastest boat, but I don't plan on racing anybody, but I DO plan on surfing it in a few weeks down the OBX. We'll see how that turns out..
My advice to you is to PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.. Learn your "leaning limitations."
New to SOTs but not new to boats. Typically paddle a mowhawk probe on ww, and a necky zoar sport on rivers and ocean. Bought this boat for hot weather and versatility. Love this boat! Keeps up easily with my friend paddling a wilderness systems alto against the wind and tracks great.
Only one problem I have seen -the shape of the hull is not great when in shallow water rivers with shoals and ledges and submerged trees (often found in the rivers of the southeast-you can get caught easily and if the submerged tree is pointing downstream and you are right on it-takes some balance to avoid tipping.
I would feel very comfortable in this boat in class II ww as long as there are not shallow shoals. It handles well.
Have to say, this boat is not all that tippy to one who has been paddling for a while except in the condition I listed above. And for the price-beats the more popular ocean kayak venus of similar size and weight though different hull shape.Got my Charger today, and for a fun boat this one is hard to beat. I am new to the sport, but I have always wanted to get into kayaking because of the exercise benefits. So my primary criterion was a kayak that can keep me going for at least a couple of hours after work. Over the past couple of weeks I have been through one Perception Sundance - which I traded in because I wanted something that tracked better - one Perception Carolina 14.5 - a great boat, but a little too much hassle if you just want to get out for a quick workout in the evening - and now the Charger.
I do most of my paddling near a major sea lane, and there is also a lot of smaller craft carving up the sea around me. In the Sundance and the Carolina, this got to be slightly unnerving once the primary stability was used up and I had to struggle to stay on an even keel. Not so the Charger, with a lot more secondary stability to its hull shape, it handles the surf and the waves with perfect agility. In fact, you only want more of it.
For a boat this size, tracking is great, and despite some sideways motion, you can put as much power into your strokes as you wish.
I have also tried the Emotion Edge, and while I liked it, there was no doubt that for me the Charger was the better choice. Although the Charger is wider, because you sit higher, your paddling position is better - a wide sit-inside kayak requires you to keep your arms and shoulders higher, which is tiring, the Chargers affords a very efficient paddling technique.
Finally, being only 282 cm long, the Charger fits inside my station wagon, an added boon when you want to shed your office rags for tank top and shorts and get on the water as quickly as possible.