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The Sun Flight is a remarkably convenient kayak designed with the lighter paddler in mind. I am 5ft 10, 13 stone and it is really too small for me. My size 10 feet are squashed unless I turn them at an angle and reach the last peg on the adjustable footrests.However,if I sit in it like a whitewater kayak it is great fun to paddle and fast. Easy to roll and edge!
First impression & handling: This odd-looking shallow arch hull (referred to by some as a "hybrid" or "crossover" style) pushes you upward, and causes you to sit somewhat high. It feels tippy at first. It moves through the water fast. I took it about 4 miles along Morecambe Bay and was surprised by the speed I could gain quite easily. Its unique chanelled hull shape ensures straight tracking regardless of wind or waves in a wide variety of conditions.Therefore, I took the detachable skeg of it.
Overall, the Sun flight is a kayak suitable for novice that provides room for skill improvement. Its light weight and short length allow for easy transportation.
The good: Xytec Rules! Stiff, durable, light. I’ve run it over rocks that would put nasty gouges in most plastic boats, but barely show on this. The boat has only fair initial stability, but is rock solid on edge. I can edge it 75 degrees without a brace. It is comfortable in most conditions for my size (5’6”, 160 lbs.), but may feel tight for larger paddlers. It tracks like it is on rails, and is fast for it’s length. It turns very well on edge, and even maneuvers fairly well on whitewater, provided you lean it enough and economize your paddle strokes. I’d take this boat almost anywhere. The drainplugs make unplanned swims much easier to deal with…such a simple idea, but you never see these on anything but whitewater boats…why?
The bad: The hatch and bulkhead (in the rear only on my model) is only fair as far as outfitting goes, not watertight at all, just water resistant. Also, the boat drafts pretty deep due to the shape of its hulls…I would hit subsurface rocks in this boat that I would float over in most other boats. The foam center pillar is not well-secured…and it gets in the way anyway, so I ripped it out. The footpegs are merely adequate. The seat is OK for day trips, but gets uncomfortable over long hours.
Overall, one of the most versatile kayaks on the market, perhaps the most versatile in this price range. Of course, the price is somewhat reflective of the outfitting, I think.
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