I bought my 120HV about 9 months ago and absolutely love it. This is my second yak. My first was a Victory Blast, now donít laugh I thoroughly enjoyed that boat (see my review 2 years ago). Iím a large paddler, 265lb under 6ft, and spend a lot of time in tight areas so I was concerned initially about the extra 3 feet, but my fears were never realized.
The 120 is very maneuverable and light enough to push over partially submerged branches without getting out of it. It does ride low, I thought it was because of my girth, but it seems that others have the same observation. If there is any wind I use a skirt to keep water out. Iíve not experienced any problems with water leaking around the hatch, but I always keep accessories in a dry bag just in case. I did notice that this years model has an adjustable backrest, I will buy one soon.
This boat is an excellent choice for anyone that wants to have fun out on the water and see nature as youíll never see it from standing on the bank.We'll this being my first kayak, I love it! I had tried a few different boats. This one to me seems the most stable for a first time yaker. I am 6'1" and weigh in at roughly 210lbs. When I went to purchase a boat, the store owner told me this boat was stronger and not so easy to "oil can"; meaning it can take a good beating off rocks (and other boats they seem to find them self parked on top of yours).
Now for my review after owning it for a couple of months.
From what I can tell seems to be pretty good. It stays pretty much on course even into a head wind on open flat water. Easy to turn with some good paddle strokes.
I have taken it down some swift water rivers and rides nicely thru the choppy stuff.
The buckle that adjusts the seat back loosens up after a while. A little modification needs to be done by you to keep it from slipping through the buckle. As for the seat pad, while there is one there, they should design one with a little more padding, but all in all it is comfortable during a 3 hour trip.
Also a spray skirts is a must! The cockpit rim sits pretty closed to the water line when up on edge and without a skirt you will be bailing.
Not good! the seal around the top rim (where it meets the boat surface) is poorly sealed. I ended up taking it off and resealing the rim. The bulkhead wall is also poorly sealed. Needed to reseal it better with more caulking.
Nice amount of bungee rigging to secure your "stuff" to the front deck. More bungee rigging behind the cockpit. All the outside rigging has the reflective cord, nice touch!
It can take a beating! Going over rocks there is not much flex.
So for my first boat review, I give the Current Design Kestrel 120 HV a 8 out of 10. An 8 due to the small bulkhead problem which is an easy fix and the seat buckle designs.