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I am planning on attempting the "MR340" this year in my RUSH - that is the worlds longest non-stop river race ... 340 miles from Kansas City Kansas to St. Charles MO. It'll be a RUSH!
I'm 6' 210lbs getting in made me a little shaky at first (I haven't been in a kayak in 25 years). Once in, I found the seat to be very comfortable with plenty of back support. Trying to reach in and adjust the foot rests was nerve racking until I realized I could press and adjust the slide with my foot. Although I liked the 1/2 spray skirt (especially the built in Beer holder :-) ) It made me feel claustrophobic so I removed it and stuck it behind the seat. We paddled a small lake next to our house for about 4 hours.
The Rush tracks perfectly straight, is simple to maneuver and light enough to paddle all day I do feel like it plows through the water and the bow dips easily when paddling hard/fast. I don't feel as if it sits low in the water (i.e. too small for me)just that the bow sits lower than the stern. Wife says it doesn't appear that way so it may just be me. We'll see if this presents a problem on the Cape next week and in currents.
There is PLENTY of room to store gear behind the seat so I may pack all the gear next trip to see if this raises the bow some. The weight of this kayak makes it a breeze putting on and taking it off of the SUV. My wife is 5'4" and considerably lighter than I and didn't have a single complaint about the kayak, only compliments.
Overall if you are looking for an inexpensive way to get into Kayaking I would recommend the RUSH to start with.
Now I just have to figure out how to get 4 Kayaks on top of the SUV...
I had packed: Hennessy Hammock ("tent hammock"), sleeping bag (down), extra clothes (3 complete changes), extra footwear, rain gear (top & bottom), spray skirt (stored), hack saw, 12 meals + snacks, 2 starter logs, can of bug juice, stove, pot, frying pan, bowl, cup, utensils, 2 cans of fuel, water filtration system & water bottle, first aid kit, 30' rope, duct tape, shower, lots of TP, knife, PFD, dry box (lighters, camera, ipod, cigs)... oh, and a case (24) of beer kept ice cold for two days with just 5lbs of ice. Only used the rear bungee for my PFD with everything else packed in the stern cavity, except the cooler which was COMFORTABLY nestled between my legs when I wasn't resting my feet on the deck. This was all packed for a 4 day solo excursion (first time doing anything like this). Only restocking was from a conveniently located bar midway for a fresh case and ice.
Do some planning and research, but it is very possible, with little hassle and room to spare, to get this Rush packed and ready to go... did I already say it still performs just as well under all this "pressure"? Happy voyaging!
We are able to pack light and stay on the river for over night trips without a lot of discomfort, takes a little pre-planning and spreading the load between boats. My only complaint is the hull of the boat makes it almost impossible to surf a good wave, the V shape nose catches the upstream current and almost immediately puts you upside down. with a little practice and, given the nylon skirt doesn't pull off the lip of the cockpit, rolling the boat back up is not too difficult with some practice in a pool. We also have thought about glueing some foam in the knee spaces to give a little comfort when you have to grip the boat for balance.
I have been paddling with my friends which have play boats, and have been able to go everywhere the went with no problem. I can't roll this boat but a friend can. I seen it! So for the money if you don't want to spend $600 on a play boat,but want to play where the playboats go then this boat will do it. I did do some small mods to my boat. I got rid of the bungees going thru the hull and added some plastic eyes to run the bungee thru. This keeps water from leaking thru the bungee holes and wetting my legs, silicone sealed the holes.
This kayak is very stable. I paddle it on slow moving rivers and small lakes. It felt very stable from the first time I got in it. There is plenty of room to throw a dry bag (or two) behind the seat, strap a bag on the back, and put a small deck bag on the front. The seat is plenty comfortable for a couple of hours on the water, but you do get a little sore after being in it for 9 hours.
To sum it up, if you are looking for an inexpensive kayak with a few upgrades to get out on the water, you can't go wrong with this one!
The only alterations I have made is the addition of foam in the kneewells for more control and the removal of the paddle holder which is really painful when you hit it with your. Overall it's a great boat for a great price.
Our biggest concern was size because we live in a small apartment. From what we could tell, anything much shorter than the Rush was basically a whitewater kayak, and we were told that taking one of those on a lake would be like paddling a snowplow. Our only experience so far has been leisurely days on the lake (no rivers), and we've been pleased. So, we bought two Rush kayaks, and with all the related expenditures (tax/shipping, life jackets, paddles, and wall-hanging straps for storage) I think we spent a little over $1000 for a pair of kayaks - not bad at all if you're going to use them a lot.
As far as use goes, the seat is quite comfortable, but the leg room is probably insufficient for anyone much over 6' tall. I do manage to use the foot pegs if I'm trying to cover some ground(?) pretty quickly, but they make my legs a little uncomfortable after a while. Otherwise I just leave my legs stretched out inside the cockpit without using the pegs, which is good for comfort but less-good for fast paddling.
All in all, I doubt that you can get a 'yak that's this good all the way around, especially for the price. Tracking is good, speed is good, utility/storage is good, carry-ability is good (awkward-but-doable for single-person transportation), etc. The boat is pretty comfortable for fishing, but I'm having trouble trying to figure out how to paddle and have a line in the water at the same time. I do recommend that you go spend the $20 on a dry-bag though, because burritos just aren't as good after they've been in the lake.
This boat is no greyhound but it moves well, tracking is a good two to three inches sway with each paddle but a lot of that might be my inexperience. This boat has a small cockpit compared to some and I got the half spray skirt and upgraded seat on sale (never felt a drop on my legs yet and I have been in some rough wind driven water). You feel very secure in this boat and as another reviewer mentioned, it might tilt a bit but it does not go over easily at all and believe me I have tried trying to learn how to roll.
Essentially this boat has replaced the gym as it accomplishes a very solid aerobic workout (use the foot pegs and brace etc) and it provides that wonderful peace of mind being out where no one can bother you (assuming you are smart enough to leave your cell phone in the car…or at least off).
Arrive home from work, and the boat is on the car within five minutes and within 15 minutes I am lowering the boat into the water...best sleep in years and no need to kick the dog anymore. Great beginner or intermediary boat, highly recommended. Obvious difference in tracking (better), and accessories over the otter which is still a great beginner boat but about $100 less.
I found the stability to be very good. The kayak is not fast, but it is good enough. I found it was not too hard going against a 1-3 MPH current.
Overall, I think this is a better kayak than the Otter, certainly a better value since the difference was only $50 (got it on sale). I can learn the sport and keep this boat for graceful river cruises.
Its features are front and rear bungees, foot rests (adjustable), NICE padded seat (adjustable), paddle holder, semi-skirt with pockets, foam end flotation installed, and handles.
Its strait line tracking is ok. Handled great on rapids. Turns very fast. Tilts easy but won’t flip easily.
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