Research Kayaks in the Buyers' Guide!
Select Kayak to View in Buyers' Guide
Build quality is excellent as you would expect - the boat is born of both Pyranha ww and P&H seakayaking design.The HTPE plastic is lighter than rotomould, boat shoulders easily, but takes a knocking. It has never flexed or deformed on a rack or on the water. Seat position is adjustable on the fly thanks to ratchets. I like the performance seating as it's firmer and all of it stays under the coaming unlike some competitors.
The stern hatch is solidly watertight. I had no trouble opening and sealing the hatch cover. For some reason the stern hatch on the S is smaller than the one on the regular (now M) version so take that into account w. your gear. I also deducted a point for the skeg system since the pull cord looks a little light for a lot of use, and it is a little too far back for my liking.
The optional 1L pod is brilliant. Handy space for small stuff (not 100% waterproof tho). Detaches in seconds and goes on land w. you. Innovative and useful - again a perk over pure ww boats.
The Fusions as noted are narrower in beam that their XP cousins and felt quicker and a little more agile. The FusionS was a much better fit for me (5'3" 125 lbs, 30" inseam) and could easily fit a lean someone up to 5'9" and 175 lbs.
This boat is pretty swift on the flats w. the skeg down. I was easily keeping up w. rec boats 10-12 feet, and not even beginning to work hard. Skeg up and it's a pivoting joy to maneuver in Class 1-3 (can do higher, but I can't) Slips over obstacles nicely due to hull config. Very responsive, quick and easy to enter and exit cockpit. Rolls well.
This is a crossover to look at among the few good ones out there. As for me, it's looking like the final answer anytime I want a versatile boat for the river.
The Connect 30 seating system is outstanding, people that are not used to a back band may take a while getting used to it but it is a great intro into back band seating. I am 5'11" 175 lbs so I am at the high end of the boats rec. usage but I found the cockpit to be very comfortable and needed very little padding to get the fit snug.
For a boat that is designed to track well on flat water it does turn even with the skeg down. After a little getting used to it the skeg may not need to be used at all. With the skeg up it does turn on a dime nearly as quickly as a pure WW or play boat. The high rounded nose does not want to dig into waves, it rides up and over most everything I have gone into so far. It has good primary stability, secondary stability is a little non predicable, as I cannot feel the "edge" when the tipping point is reached. The boat rolls easily and the large large cockpit makes wet re-entry very easy.
When alone on flat water the boat seems fast as it does create a lot of wake and bow waves, but if you are with anybody in a 12' boat the illusion is gone. For a boat this short it is fast for a WW boat.
The light weight, and versatile nature of the Fusion make it a great boat for general use or a quick paddle. It is a lot of fun, and will see a lot of use in my "fleet".
100,000+ people can't be wrong!
The Paddling.net Newsletter is a must if you like to canoe or kayak! Each week it is packed with great articles, photos, product reviews, and special features. Better yet, we promise not to sell your email address to anyone; that's right ZERO spam! Sign up today and find out what you've been missing!