Your #1 source for kayaking and canoeing information.               FREE Newsletter!
my Profile
Product Reviews > Kayaks > Ocean Kayak > Cabo Add Your Review Now!

Reviews for Cabo Kayak by Ocean Kayak


Rated: 8.56/10 Based On: 18 Reviews

Kayaks Image Kayaks Image Kayaks Image Kayaks Image Kayaks Image Kayaks Image Kayaks Image
Select Kayak to View in Buyers' Guide



10-07-2011
Submitted by: DMSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I just bought a used Cabo in August and have been getting out every chance I get. I bought the Cabo because I like to fish but the family doesn't so it works as a single for me for fishing and a tandem or even a triple with our little guy in the middle for just funning around. It is very fast compared to anything else I have paddled. I regularly launch it in 0-2' surf without any problem but am careful not to get sideways and I paddle out past the surf line as fast as I can to keep the bow perpendicular to the incoming waves. As for stability, it's like riding a bike, once your used to the way it handles you don't even notice it. When I'm looking down rigging lines and am not paying attention to the water and wind conditions I just hang my feet over the side, its stable as can be. I sometimes sit sidesaddle when fighting fish…I'm comfortable. My biggest complaint is as a single it takes a country mile to turn and two if you're turning into the wind. Paddling across a strong wind can be tough. The wind pushes the boat around a lot. As a tandem, it not such a big deal. Mine is going in for a rudder next week. Ocean Kayak discontinued this boat and they no longer make a rudder kit for it. There are after-market kits available. The other con is that if you're fishing single, the storage areas and rod holders can be a long way from your seat. You have to be part gymnast to move forward and rear to reach storage, fishing rods, fish bag, cooler etc. I would rather have the size and speed and learn to move around on it. It is also a beast to get on top of our van by myself but after some practice I can do it pretty easily now. Bottom line, this is a big boat and if you need a big boat or one that can do double duty as a single or a tandem this is a very good choice. Just be prepared to deal with the challenges of 17' and 70+ pounds.
Submit your own review!

01-25-2011
Submitted by: theluckypigSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My girl and I just bought a used Cabo and have converted it into a fishing kayak. We've had a Perception Synchro and Hobie Odyssey both modified and used for fishing, and the Cabo is by far our favorite. It tracks very well, has plenty of storage, and is an excellent fishing platform. I had 6 flush-mount rodholders, fishfinder, and live bait tank installed. So far we have taken it out in the bays and breakwall for halibut and bass. No surf-launches yet, but I'm sure it will perform well... it is a bit heavy to load and unload, but worth the troubles. I highly recommend this kayak.
Submit your own review!

04-22-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     PROS
Fast! Narrow width and long length make it quick for a tandem sit-on-top
Tracks well in light conditions, even without a rudder
Storage capacity: large forward hatch space and rear tank well.
Weight carrying capacity (perhaps the best of any kayak!)
Outstanding paddling and dry ride when configured as a single; With three seating areas, excellent boat for two adults and a small child
Never tap paddles with your partner due to length of boat
Rugged construction…it’s tough to hurt this boat
Very good family boat
Excellent kayak for large paddler

CONS
Seats are somewhat narrow
Difficult to turn due to length
Wet seats when configured as a double (get scupper plugs)
Heavy dry weight (70+ lbs) and awkward to move by yourself
Easily pushed around by moderate-to-strong winds
Unstable in moderate chop and strong cross currents (due to narrow width)
Stability reduced when carrying near maximum capacity weight load

I have owned my Ocean Kayak Cabo for several years. It is my favorite kayak. Its long length and narrow beam make it especially fast, fun and easy to paddle for a sit-on-top. We use our kayaks for recreational family outings. The Cabo easily accommodates dad, mom and a child in the middle seat, along with chairs, toys and a cooler for the day’s outings. I especially appreciate the Cabo when set up as a single. I am a large size paddler. The Cabo effortlessly handles my big size (6’1’ 250lbs) and the middle (single) seat stays completely dry. As a single the Cabo tracks very well, rides high out of the water and is very fast. It’s a real pleasure.

Under certain conditions, stability can be a concern with the Cabo. Compared with our other tandem (an Ocean Kayak Aegean), the Cabo is noticeably less stable when heavily loaded and used as a tandem. The Cabo is especially unstable when heavily loaded and you paddle into significant chop and cross currents. The boat seems to modulate and become unnervingly “tipsy” under these conditions. This is my only real concern about the Cabo. We address this by loading the boat lighter when we anticipate significant cross currents or chop.

At about 17’ and 75 lbs. dry weight, this can be a difficult kayak to handle by yourself. I solved this by carrying it on a small trailer and launching it from boat ramps. When I have someone with me, the boat can be reasonably carried short distances by two people.

COMPARISONS: Compared to the Ocean Kayak Malibu Two, the Cabo is a much longer and more comfortable boat. It’s easy to bang paddle when two people are in a Malibu Two, something that is pleasantly impossible with the Cabo. The Malibu Two turns more easily. The Cabo rides higher, travel faster and paddles easier than the Malibu Two.

Compared to the Ocean Kayak Aegean, the Cabo is faster and tracks better. The Cabo can carry significantly more gear. The Aegean is wider and significantly more stable when two people are using as a tandem.

GEOGRAPHY: I have spent many hours paddling the Cabo in Florida and Washington State. It was excellent on calm waters in all locations. It paddles well against upstream river currents (because of its narrow beam). It doesn’t like the surf (because of its length). The scuppers let water onto the seats (in warm Florida water was not a problem, cold Puget Sound water sometimes it was.) If you are planning to paddle in the Seattle area, check out Seattle Kayak & Canoe Guide http://www.geocities.com/palmbeachboating/washington-kayak-canoe-information.html .
In South Florida see Palm Beach Kayaking and Canoeing Guide http://kayaking.fateback.com/

BOTTOM LINE: The Ocean Kayak Cabo gets a 9 out of 10 for its on-water performance, outstanding hauling capacity and excellence when configured as a single kayak. Its only flaws are stability (under a limited number of conditions) and handling when dry.

CARE: As with any plastic kayak, avoid storing the boat in direct sunlight. Plastic kayaks will last decades if protected from UV damage. Store indoors, in full shade or cover with a tarp. Hose down the boat and all equipment after each use (especially in a saltwater environment). 1-2 times each year wipe down the entire boat with ArmorAll Protectant (especially if preparing the kayak for winter storage).

Submit your own review!

04-03-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I am going to give the Cabo a 10 with the only caveat being that you bought this boat because you need unsurpassed cargo and tandem paddler capacity, speed, and durability, and great stability to boot. If you are looking for manueverability, solo paddling, or ease of handling and transporting out of the water, you'll want a smaller boat. My friend and I loaded a Cabo up with over 150 pounds of caping gear and food, and paddled it 9 miles up the Colorado river for two full days of adventure. We did half the trip at 5 miles an hour, while fully loaded! The entire 9 mile trip up, against the current, took us 2.5 hours.
Submit your own review!

06-21-2004
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Just picked up my new 2004 Cabo today. First impressions: big improvement in speed and overall performance over the tandem I just sold to get this boat. The boat looks to be able to carry a lot of gear, which was one of the main points I was looking for. It handled wind chop and stiff tradewinds. I'm thinking of adding a rudder to help in the strong cross currents. All in all a nice boat, even when paddled solo, she's not as fast as my Prowler, as a touring tandem, I'm sure glad a got it. The only drawback IMHO, she is a bear to load up by oneself, on the heavy side. 9-10
Submit your own review!

10-15-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 7 of 10

     Been paddling my trusty Cabo solo for more than 5 years now and am now looking for a faster boat that is a little easier to get up on the truck after an all-day paddle.

~Heavy--pretty tough to load by yourself when you've just finished a good stiff paddle. ~Solid--after five years and much surfing and mis-handling, only minor scratches on hull, hatch gasket seal is torn in a small place and the front handle was yanked out. ~Slow?--I'm not sure. My first boat. I've done the Bay2Bay race in San Diego and have never placed (best was 4th), despite being in great shape (smoked past two guys paddling another Cabo). Many of the competitors are cutting the course, but there were several boats that beat me fair-n-square.

Also got stuck in 35-40-knot winds on my Catalina Crossing and nearly died. That big boat was like an albatross around my neck in cross-wind and 6-foot whitecaps. Not a bad boat for casual paddling, just bring someone to help you carry it.

Submit your own review!

07-07-2003
Submitted by: CDBSend Email
Rating: 3 of 10

     This is a slow, clumsy boat. I felt like we were paddling a barge. If you're looking for stability, this boat will work, but it cannot compare to a faster, more nimble boat.
Submit your own review!

07-07-2003
Submitted by: JCSSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Not a great boat to paddle alone or without a rudder although it can be done. It will track well in flat water but with wind and chop a rudder is helpful. With a able partner the boat cruises at 3.5 to 4 miles per hour (gps) and is very stable has lots of storage. It is not a light weight so if you are car topping its a bear to take home at the end of a day. I got this boat to take my seven year old out kayaking and she has enjoyed it and it has been very functional.
Submit your own review!

09-04-2002
Submitted by: TedSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I rented this boat for a day of fishing in Newport beach, CA with my 8 year old son. Since I already own a wider shorter tandem the comparison was very noticable. I originally had this boat on my short list before I purchased my tandem, but eliminated it because of it size and hull access. With the large hatch all the way up front I would have to rely on my 8 year old to move up and manage our equipment (poles, reels, tackle boxes, drybags, etc.). Luckily were were in the bay and not surf launching, so storing equipment in the hull was not an issue that day.

My concerns about the size were correct as we had to caddy it down to the beach to launch. I put my kayak on my RV and could imagine the difficulty I would have trying to hoist a Cabo 10 feet in the air. At the beach launch I strapped my milkcrate on the back put my son in the front and pushed off. The first thing I noticed was the stability. This was much more tipy than my barge of a kayak. The stabiblity did not bother me as I ski, snow board, (at 39) still go to the skate park with my son; I just noticed the difference. Next, I notice the typical Ocean Kayak wet rear end syndrome that haunts most of their kayaks. I was surprise that at 6'-0" 185 lbs and my 55lb son in the front seat that I would get wet in the back. On my tandem it takes a good breaking wind wave or high boat swell to break over the back before my seat gets wet and the Cabo being a much bigger boat should be drier. I wore my wetsuit so it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

Paddling was fun as this boat is fast and moves very well. The tracking was excellent and I really appreciated the improved performance of a touring style kayak. We paddled and fished a little over 2.5 miles and the paddle back was straight into and good head wind. The course deviation I experience from the head wind was not bad and control on the paddle back was manageable. I did not have time to test the boat as a solo and was not interested as it did not suit my needs in a tandem format. It would a fun boat for camping/touring as the hull can store all the stuff your wife brings on a three day hotel trip (lol).

Overall the layout of the boat was not for me, there are newer designs on other tandems that are better suited for fishing (which is my main use for kayaks) and better suited for transportation. It's a rugged, high quality touring style kayak and if you don't mind having a wet seat all day, you'll definately have fun.

Submit your own review!

07-22-2002
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Great boat. Tracks well, can handle alot of weight and has loads of storage room. It is a big boat and as others have said it is a bear out of the water.
Submit your own review!

01-22-2001
Submitted by: Greg SmithSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     As others have said, its a handful out of the water but that aside, it is a versatile and fun boat. Stable, quite quick with a co-ordinated team. We always have had a blast when we've taken it out -maybe because we tend to choose sunny days. Swell- no worries; surf- not fully tested; snorkeling- ace!;25 kilometre day trips- perfect. Also perfect for taking out mates who have had little experience on the big blue. I'm really glad I got it especially since I saw it panned in a couple of reviews.
Submit your own review!

10-17-2000
Submitted by: CiaranSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     For the type of boat, the Cabo is great. It is perfect for river tripping with the wife or two dogs! We take it to class 3 rapids and have lots of fun. However, be advised in low water the plastic around the scupper holes will rub and create a hole. Easily repaired when you learn how, with the right tools, but that doesn't help when in the middle of a trip. Be prepared for temporary repairs or don't go in low water. Fantastic ocean boat. STABLE!
Submit your own review!

08-02-2000
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     Since I came to this site when I was looking for a kayak and thought it was really helpful, I'd thought I'd leave a review for someone else to use. I've had my Cabo for about 4 months and generally like it. I got rid of a Folbot Greenland to get this one. I had looked for a Cobra Triple in this area but could not find one (although a dealer would gladly sell me one sight-unseen). Plus, Cobras are more expensive and they charge for items I think should be standard (hatch covers & deck bungees). I needed a kayak for myself and my 10 & 3 year old kids. The Wild. Sys. Pairadise was too small so leg room was at a premium (I'm 6'1", 180lb.). I had my local shop let me try a Cabo and found it to have plenty of leg room as well as plenty of room for my 3 year old to sit in the middle. You can carry a decent amount of gear for a day on the water in the front hatch as well as the rear cooler area. Being 16' long it is a little heavy so a cart is a must unless you have two adults to carry it around (I also got a trailer, try lifting this thing onto a high SUV). I'm not to impressed with the rope (actually heavy string) around the deck. I wish they would put heavier duty rope on as well as handles on the side hull for lifting (Perception has good ones). As far as paddling goes...this is a really nice paddling kayak. I am very much in love with the glide that this thing has. It is really nice and allows you to pick up some speed when trying to get back in before it rains. I tried paddling alone in the center seat position but didn't like the way the kayak performed. The glide was gone plus the boat handled differently. I quickly moved to the rear seating position and was again pleased with the performance. I've paddled in some windy conditions and in the rear seat the bow was catching some serious wind and made turning into the wind difficult. Overall, I would recommend the Cabo to anyone who is looking for this type of kayak. It appears to be fairly durable and should provide years of fun.
Submit your own review!

01-12-2000
Submitted by: TomSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     This boat was the only practical kayak for my brother and I as we weigh a combined 500#s. Because of its size, it is harder to handle on land. In the water it is quiet, fast and stable.
Submit your own review!

12-31-1999
Submitted by: GlenSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     The Cabo is my first kayak and I've had it for about 3 months now. So far, I'm very happy with the speed and stability. I have lived in the area of Tomales Bay (north of San Francisco) for 9 years, but now have a new appreciation for the beauty of the area. I'm now "friends" with the seals/sea lions, sea birds, an occasional whale, and the elk. No big sharks yet!

I bought this large boat so that I could go solo or take my family. So far, I've used it mostly solo and have little trouble moving along and staying straight. Although I'm a big boy (6'1" and 260lbs), I feel very comfortable in this boat.

I made my own cart out of PVC pipe and some small wheels for about $25. Even though I live very close to the water, it is a "must" when trying to carry solo (especially at the END of the day).

Submit your own review!

11-12-1999
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have been out in our Cabo four times so far.....and every trip was great! It has incredible stability, maneuvers well, is fast with two paddlers, and has ample room for two paddlers to paddle in or out of sync with each other. It sits higher in the water than my single boat, so I stay dryer. We have been out on the Gulf of Mexico in it, and it handles waves easily and well. We have been down the Apalachicola River and even encountered a gator close up in our Cabo........it was a breeze! The front seat is wider than the back and I prefered sitting in the front, although the steering seems to be more front seat generated.

It is a large boat so transporting it is an issue. A Primex skate works nicely.........but you almost need a trailer or roof rack other than that. It tracks well, and even was reviewed in the December issue of Sea Kayaker Magazine. They give it all positive comments, including excellent stability. To me, it rode like a Cadillac boat! We usually go out in single kayaks, but occasionally it is fun to go out tandem. A great boat at a great price!

Submit your own review!

08-31-1999
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     Possibly the most fishable tandem for two paddlers available today. The single seat makes the Cabo a great craft for very big people who want to appreciate paddling and thought they couldn't. A little more use and I might rate it a 10!
Submit your own review!

07-21-1999
Submitted by: Sleeper
Rating: 9 of 10

     Tracks well, stable, holds lots of gear, able to crunch large surf.
Submit your own review!

Don't Miss the Paddling.net Weekly Newsletter!
Free Newsletter120,000+ 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!








Shop Online
Austin Canoe & Kayak
Over 80 models to choose from! 15% off ALL accessories with any boat purchase.
Shop these fine Retailers





Kayak & Bicycle Trips
Food Wine Kayak
2-6 DAY TOURS
www.crystalseas.com/Orcas

Follow us on:
Free Newsletter | About Us | Site Map | Advertising Info | Contact Us

Sweepstakes

©2014 Paddling.net Inc.