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The Easky 13 moved quite well for such a short boat, but I have the impression that in shortening the Easky design, the designer kept too much volume in the back, as opposed to the front. Maybe this works well with a big load in the back, but unloaded, I drove it fast into a couple of 2-3 foot high boat wakes, and they came right over the bow and straight into the cockpit.
I think this is a good casual, recreational boat so I gave it an 8. It was comfortable to sit in, fit well (snugly) and turned pretty well, but don't mistake it for a kayak designed for handling waves. I did the same thing with the larger Easky boats, and they cut the wakes with no excitement at all.
One more note on this boat's ability to lean over on edge. I had it so far over today that water started pouring in the cockpit before I righted it. Unbelievable. I have done that in certain canoes before, such as the Nova Craft Bob Special, but I didn't think you could do it in a kayak. This boat has astounding edging ability. It obviously lies in the hull design, though I can't figure out how they do it. It is one unique boat.
The hatch covers have been water tight so far, though stretching them to close takes some effort. The skeg does a very nice job of helping the boat to track straight in wind and waves and I wouldn't want to give it up. This boat has sold me on the advantages of a skeg system.
My only complaint is the seat. While not terrible it does pinch my buttocks across the back after about an hour. I attribute this to the bench seat which evidently was designed for someone with an unusually large derriere. That leaves me out. My wife has the 2007 version with the bucket seat and I have no problem with that, it is very comfortable for me. I wish they had left it as it was - although the thoracic extension is a nice touch.
Other than that though, it's an excellent boat for the price with very high quality plastic and construction. It does a good job of housing larger paddlers and providing a reassuring sense of overall stability while offering a high degree of maneuverability and seaworthiness. It is definitely a quality water craft. I recommend it to anyone searching for a kayak in the light touring class who does not have a skinny butt.
The storage is excellent, and watertight completely so far. The XL bigdeck is reassuring for a novice(-exiting and re-entering)- and that extra overall width of the kayak(67cm) means that after a wet exit I can easily get back in by mounting from the rear, keeping low and pulling myself along the yak til I can drop my behind in then my legs. handy as I do tend to paddle alone frequently- the peace is part of the attraction! Overall I'm very pleased with it, a solid bit of kit for £400 that I will keep for accessing the more remote Munros of Scotland (Lochs and Sea Lochs- such as Loch Ericht and Knoydart) that can't be accessed by any roads and normally involve a long walk in. I can get plenty of stuff for a 3 day expedition in it. I will(hopefully) learn to roll a kayak in a pool and will eventually try to roll the Easky, though experienced paddler friends of friends have said the width and initial stability may make it difficult...though not impossible!
Oh- and like the previous reviewer, I am about 100kg fully kitted up and the kayak will take a good bit more than that, be it kit, muscle or flab!
Unfortunately, I soon found out that being 5"11 and 250 lbs made the search very challenging. When I stumbled on the Easky 13, I was ecstatic! It is weight rated by the manufacturer very conservatively. The helpful folks at my St. Pete kayak shop encouraged me to demo this model. It was amazing how stable, quick and light the Easky is. A much wider and heavier kayak like the OK Drifter was the best alternative until I found the Easky.
The Easky fits like a glove with the thigh pads providing appreciated control. The multi-chined hull and the recessed keel I think are the keys to allowing a 27" wide kayak to show a high level of stability and track extremely well. If you can find a dealer that carries this import from England, check it out!
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