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This is a great beginners kayak. It offers the basics so that if you feel discouraged or if something should go wrong, it's not a total loss, you paid little for it comparatively. No one wants to drop over $2,000 on their first kayak ...
It's simple, predictable, and worst case scenario, it'll yard sale for close to what you pay for it so that you can put your hard earned money towards an upgrade should you feel that kayaking is for you.
In short, this kayak is a great start for new folks to the kayaking world.
However, as far as traveling, it's like dragging a chain link fence through a swamp, very stable, VERY slow. My girlfriend always left me in the dust in her Old Town Loon. Especially when we were out for three to four hours on the lake.
Cheaply made with cheap materials, I could easily bend and flex every part of this boat, and had it buckle when I sat behind the edge of the cockpit for a few seconds(I weigh 180#) even felt the whole boat flexing under strong waves. Makes me think of a whiffle ball bat. Parts fell off a footbrace, extra half drilled holes (looks like they missed a few times) and no type of flotation.
But for two hundred and fifty bucks, it was a great investment, and worth the money, this low price made it possible for me to fall in love with kayaking, and I will be thankful to my former (sold and replaced) Future Beach for that.
Loved it, but hated a lot about it. The seat! Cheap, flimsy, little padding and little support, but was always comfortable, even for three to four hours at a time! Go figure. Had this out two dozen times from July to November before finding it a new owner, it was real fun, definitely worth the money, but you will soon outgrow it.
Overall this is one of the best all around beginner kayaks to buy.
Overall, I highly recommend this kayak I bought one on a great sale with a competitors coupon at Dick's over 4th of July and loved it so much we went back the next day to get another for my husband.
These are great for the beginner and if you want to get into the sport or just fun. I picked them up at Dick's and went straight to the lake. What a fun time: BBQ and Kayaks.
I have run the kayak aground and over logs and rocks with minimal scratching and have been impressed by the durability of the kayak. The main reason I have given it an 8 vs a 9 is because I am very concerned should I get reckless and tip the kayak to far, or get a high speed boat on Texhoma swamp the kayak. There is 0.0 floatant and will create a very volatile situation in a short order.
As advertised, it is very stable even when getting in and out. The seat at least has a bit of padding and a bit of adjustability for the back, and the cup holder is a nice touch. The kayak is just a little too wide (I'm a 5'9" male) and you'll find yourself scraping the edge of it with your paddle from time to time. Same with the cockpit opening; too large. Water will drip and splash onto your legs unless you get a half-skirt. The rim of the cockpit is plain hard plastic with no padding. This next flaw may just be my kayak, but when I stop paddling the kayak will always start trending to the left, even if my last stroke was on the left. This is a little noticeable during constant paddling as well. The storage hatch in the rear is fairly watertight but it is just a tiny pocket - the area behind the seat is not accessible. There are no bulkheads so if you swamp this kayak it will be extremely heavy.
Overall the kayak is great for tooling around lakes and streams, but it is dumpy and wide, so you'll find yourself struggling to keep up if you're out on the lake with a buddy who has a slim, streamlined kayak. If you're just going to paddle 10 times per year or so on lakes and mild streams/creeks and want a cheap, stable kayak, this is it. Be prepared to spend about $40 on extras like a half-skirt and some padding for the rim (visit the weatherstripping area of Lowe's, etc). In some situations you'll laugh at your buddies who got upsold to a $1800 kayak, but in other situations you'll wish you had a faster/slimmer kayak.
So far I have been very happy with this boat but wish now that I had purchased a "touring" model. Intend to use this boat until I wear it out.
We plan on trying some fast moving rivers (no rapids) and will definitely take the advice on either expanding foam or airbags to help prevent swamping during a possible (but seemingly unlikely) capsize.
I cannot compare it to another kayak because I've never been in a kayak other than an inflatable at a local river company. It was a very good experience. NOW... the only reason I did not give it a 10 is because the seat back was not comfy at all. However I had planned ahead and had a REI trail chair with me. PERFECT FIX!
I am very pleased with this purchase. I would easily recommend it to anyone.
The only cons: It doesn't have a front storage and the rear storage isn't a deep storage. I don't see a reason why it is so shallow either. I will say the boat as a whole has a very low profile, which makes it lighter and faster in the water, but makes any waves or water to go over the hull a little. You still stay dry though. Also, the cup holder is quite small in diameter. Those are very trivial concerns.
I bought this after not finding another Equinox at Costco, but this one has the same bottom dihedral design, which is what I was looking for. You lose some storage and height, but quite cheap!
These kayaks are almost impossible to tip over, I can even stand up in mine and paddle (as long as it is a straight of way)!! Our Friends recently got Dagger kayaks, and paid about twice as much as us, and they do not have the cup holder, nor are they as stable as ours. If you wanted to go do some "extreme" kayaking, then maybe opt for a more expensive kayak, but for recreation...which is what this is made for...it is perfect.
Yes, the foot pedals are a little cheap, and the seats are a little uncomfortable for a six plus hour ride (we plan on getting new seats), and there is no place to put my 112 lb lab (need to make some modifications for him), but all in all we love our kayaks!!!
Another complaint that I have seen is when they tip over...which it is hard to tip over, they will fill completely up with water... this is true, but our friends Dagger he recently purchased is the exact same way...he did tip over, and had to haul his to shore, and empty it...and it was a struggle!! Point being the more expensive "recreational" Kayak was designed the exact same way as these!!! I also notice that the worst review on this page is from someone who only looked at the kayak, and did not personally try it out!!!
We love them... and I think we made a great decision in purchasing them for "recreation"!!
I did make a few modifications to them to make them more usable. I added an anchor cleat to the bow area and an anchor. DO NOT add the anchor cleat to the side or the wind/waves will force the kayak sideways to the waves. The cleat in the front allows the kayak to take waves bow first. I added paddle clips to the sides for while I'm fishing. I cut out the bottom of the back recessed storage area so that I now have access to the entire back half of the kayak. I added a recessed fishing pole holder to the back. The key thing I did was to add 2 part polyethelene floatation foam. I poured 2 cubic feet in the nose and two cubic feet under/around the seat area. For the seat area I duck taped around the edge of the seat and sides and poured the foam in from the hole I cut out in back. This gives 240lbs of floatation at the cost of adding 8lbs to the overall weight and effectively seals the back half of the kayak from the front half providing even more floatation in case it swamps. The best deal on this stuff is at US Composites www.uscomposites.com. You can get 2 cubic feet worth for $20.
Overall I would give two thumbs up for these kayaks to anyone who is just getting started. I would spend the extra money to add some of the niceities that makes the kayak that much more usable for something like fishing.
I've paddled it twice, and actually like it.
Comfortable to sit in, room for my size 11 1/2 feet and 180 lb self (and I can put the footpegs beyond the reach of my feet), very stable, and tracks surprisingly well for such a short boat. Definitely not an open water boat, or one you'd want to spend the day in. It's not fast, either, but performs as well as any short boat I've paddled. I'm definitely keeping it, and buying a skirt to fit it, too. The same hull with slightly different deck designs is sold by Dick's, EMS, and REI. Costco's deal is by far the best.
Probably the biggest praise for the Fusion 124 came when we ( myself and 2 of my daughters ) entered the Great Race in Auburn NY. My 29 year old daughter did the canoeing portion of race in the Fusion 124 and beat over 50% of the field. It was her second time in the kayak, and the field consisted of over 700 teams. The course was shortened to 2 miles for the entire field due to the windy conditions.
I would recommend this kayak to anyone looking for a recreational kayak to have a lot of fun with.
I paddle a lot. I go at least once every weekend, starting in March and going into November, and my average trip length is 10 -12 miles. I have no complaints about comfort now, nor speed. My average paddling speed is 3.5 mph with no problems maintaining 4-5 mph for extended periods (GPS confirmed). Stability is also not a problem. The Fusion is a great platform for photography.
I have found a couple of down sides though.
I have been hit with breakers, and the kayak did not swamp. One day, I traveled from Cornwall-on-Hudson to Constitution Island and West Point, to Bannerman's Island, and back to Cornwall Landing. Another day, I paddled from the Landing to the Newburgh/Beacon Bridge and back. Anywhere I want to go I have gone with this 10'4" kayak, and I do not fear for my life. If you know the Hudson, you know World's End can get dicey, and I've had no problems.
Future Beach has made a good starter boat that is stable and roomy. However, after 3 or 4 hours, one becomes painfully aware of the poor seat design. Fortunately, the wide cockpit allows for both sitting Indian Style and stretching one's legs over the sides.
Future Beach ought to consider developing a 14' kayak to compete with the Wilderness Systems Pungo 140 and the Perception Tribute 14. If the company builds such a recreational kayak, I would buy one.
The sea kayak folk mean well, but after hearing "you can't take that boat on the Hudson" time and again, I would like to say "I already have, and will do it again".
Now for the bad. Future Beach no longer makes this model of kayak, and Dick's Sporting Goods is selling their old stock. This does not fill me with confidence when looking for either accessories or parts. I have bought two of these kayaks in one week. The first Fusion 124 was a disappointment; the third time out, in the middle of a stroke, the right foot pad snapped. I returned it to Dick's, and got an orange Fusion to replace the blue one (good idea, given the copious amounts of PWC and motor boats on the Hudson River). The second kayak has the seat screws falling out, and there is no way to tighten them; the rubber covered brass fittings are stripped after one outing. Every stroke results in me getting drenched, so I bought a spray skirt; now water pools where the zipper pouch is. Adding insult to injury, I'm reading in the reviews that people have purchased the same Future Beach kayak for less at Dick's than I paid. Grrr!
I LOVE MY FUSION 124!!!
It is stable enough for me- I was worried it wouldn't be stable- I HATE spiders- What was in my cockpit when I put out? A BIG BIG SPIDER! I tried to stomp it but it got too close so i actually had to smash it with my hand YUCK! The point of this story is, through all my thrashing & aerobics in the cockpit - I never once felt close to tipping over.
It may not be "high end", it might be cheaply made, but it IS stable for the newbie. Very easy to maneuver, access & egress (when you know how). I plan on taking my camera with me next trip- the wildlife seem to consider you a just another water creature!
Do not take it on any whitewater without float bags AND a skirt. This kayak is a terror when it fills up. The seat is uncomfortable in the back for taller people (over 6'), but I solved that with a stadium seat from Big Lots that gives it more back support.
I bought two at Dick's for $200 each and I'm loving it this summer.
My only real complaint about the boat is the seat. not the comfort, the design. Right off the bat I noticed the potential room for whatever (tent,small cooler, etc) but the shell mold of the seat is pointlessly in the way. There is arm access on the sides to get behind it, and the backrest itself is not even connected to it. I will soon be cutting the hole out.
when I bought it I questioned myself if I should have gotten a more expensive one. After a lake test, I have no regrets what so ever with it. exactly what I wanted, and it will do exactly what I expect it to do.
I am kayak instructor in the Great Lakes region. A client recently showed up with one of these boats for a full day course, so I had a chance to inspect it up close and personal. It's a thin rotomolded boat with a rotomolded seat that essentially consists of a backrest screwed to the seat stansions which are part of the mold of the boat. Because the mold is thin, the bolts holding the seat in were already stressing the plastic. I recommended that the owner put in larger stainless washers to back up the screw holes and hopefully prevent a crack.
The kayak itself is a pretty run of the mill design. The hatches are flimsy and leak, although it's kind of irrelevant because there is no rear bulkhead. The boat needs to be equipped with airbags in the front and rear or it will **entirely** swamp with water during a capsize.
There are no perimeter safety lines, simply a set of bungees on the front deck that are attached with plastic eyelets screwed right through the deck. The handles on the bow & stern are also screwed in. As long as the boat is dry, I suppose it's not an issue, but if you were attempting to haul a swamped boat (keeping in mind that the entire boat would fill with water) out of the water, then I wouldn't trust the grab handles to not pull through. The boat itself is a pretty run of the mill hull design. It's short, stable, and tracks moderately well.
The most distressing thing about this boat (besides the thinness of the construction) was the fact that the client called the manufacturer to ask if it had a rear bulkhead and was told it did. These aren't kayak designers. They make plastic things. Maybe at $200 (like the schillers for Dicks are promoting) the boat is worth it. But if the retail on this thing is really $400, I'd save up the extra $200 bucks and buy look at a boat like the Dagger Blackwater or Venture Flex.
Initially I was having a problem with the bow moving side to side, but the problem turned out to be with my paddling skills. After an adjustment to my forward stroke, it tracked well. At 5'10" and 205 lbs., I'm very comfortable in the cockpit and have no trouble getting in and out. My only complaints are with the foot room at the pedals, and the seat. With my size 10-1/2 water shoes on, I have to angle my feet to fit. The seat gets uncomfortable after a couple of hours of paddling. I plan to remedy the seat problem over the winter by buying the optional Easy Rider II seat. The seat was advertised in the brochure that came the the kayaks, but I couldn't find it on the website. I called Future Beach and they gave me the telephone number for their parts warehouse. The gentleman at parts was very helpful and told me that the seat and the optional thigh supports could be found on the Equinox Kayaks website.
Overall, I think this is a great first kayak for someone wanting to get started without spending a lot of money. I only gave it a 9 because of the seat.
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