01-23-2013Submitted by: NewbTastic
Reviews for Kodiak Kayak by Prijon
Based On: 46 Reviews
- Rating: 5 of 10 Had to spend the day in this boat (rental) and as you can guess from my rating, I didn't exactly dig it. It gets a '5' (which is average in my book, not a slam) only because it probably works fine in its niche.
Here are positives and negatives, with what I didn't like first:
– Pretty low initial stability.
By no means the worst I've encountered (something like the Current Designs Scirocco is considerably worse on this), but low enough to be very annoying. Nor is it a case of 'yeah, it's twitchy, but you'll get used to it in no time'... more like, you'll put up with it and it'll feel a little bit less twitchy after awhile, but still pretty darn twitchy. This was surprising to me considering the Kodiak's width, which is a reasonable 23". My guess is that the hull is pretty rounded, a la something like the Nordkapp. Whatever they did, the boat doesn't let you fully relax, ever, which is a bummer. Not confidence-inspiring.
Uhh... there is none. The Kodiak turns like a tank, especially without rudder, and even the rudder is a bit undersized/not up to the task. I went mostly w/out rudder because I wanted a challenge, and boy oh boy, did I ever get one. Only way to turn this beast was with front and rear sweep strokes, and a whole lotta brute muscle... and even then, the turns were wide. Maybe if I edged hard it'd be a bit better, but the low stability makes you not want to try that too much.
- Main hatches.
These are fussy affairs with dual belts and buckles and a sprayskirt-like liner underneath. Quite cumbersome and slow, you really wish they'd gone for KayakSport or Valley-type 'tupperware' hatches instead.
- Deck hatch.
This is a small screw-top hatch placed right in front of the cockpit. You think it's convenient and neat, until you realize that it isn't waterproof.
- Deck rigging.
Would rather have deck lines than the front and rear nets... they just feel more secure.
At this point, I almost have to wonder if Prijon is being 'different just to be different' in order to differentiate itself from other kayak manufacturers.
- It does fit large paddlers pretty well.
I'm a fairly big boy and it felt plenty roomy to me, and had enough room for my feet (size 10s) which, shockingly, even some fairly big boats don't always (the Etain RM 17-5 for example).
- TONS of cargo room. It is an expedition boat, for sure.
- Handles small waves well.
This is the plus side of the poor initial stability... the rounded hull shrugs off small waves pretty well. However, I wouldn't want to deal with large waves in this thing, because I prefer a more stable platform to brace from than the Kodiak provides. With the Kodiak, you're not sure where the tipping point is, so you don't feel confident leaning hard into a wave and bracing.
The Kodiak has above average speed (probably due to its length and low rocker). It's no super-speedster, but it'll get up and go.
Overall, I'd say the Kodiak might make a decent loaded expedition boat (it's probably more stable with a bunch of ballast weight sitting down low) for large paddlers who are of the mindset that they're willing to learn the boat's quirks and put up with them.
But as a day boat (i.e. 'get in and go'), it would be pretty unwieldy/sub-par for most anybody, and I do think it suffers from a big dose of 'being different just to be different' syndrome.
I hear that Prijon doesn't make this boat anymore, and it's probably just as well as even large paddlers who are expedition-focused can likely find better options out there. But to those out there who might buy one used or rent one, well, you've been warned.
07-19-2012Submitted by: CO
- Rating: 7 of 10 This kayak is great in initial stability, good speed, and very easy to use all around.
The time in which this kayak was made (about 10 yrs ago) makes it a little on the aged side. The most notable flaw I noticed in the design of this kayak has to do with the seat. The seat is installed into the kayak using a set of runners and a adjustable shim-clamp. It may be hard to visualize, but the clamp is very prone to slippage when using cross-extensor paddling techniques causing the seat to become misaligned. This combined with the flimsy-possibly-aftermarket rudder system made it a frustrating kayak to use for a while.
After I fixed the seat issue this kayak was a charm to ride.
03-10-2011Submitted by: EvenKeel
- Rating: 8 of 10 I have had my Kodiak for 6 months and have paddle it under a variety of mostly calm conditions. I'm 6'3" and 200 lbs, with size 12 feet, and the Kodiak fits me like a glove.
Overall, I like this boat and it works well for someone my size (or larger!) in open water where a lot of maneuvering is not required. It should make a great expedition boat and has been use as such in some publicized trips. If you are of average or smaller size and don't need to carry weeks of supplies, or if you favor small rivers and creeks, you could make a better choice.
05-18-2010Submitted by: PW
- I think it is well laid out. I've come to really like the day hatch ahead of the cockpit, but as others have mentioned, it is not waterproof. Unlike one other commenter, I have no trouble reaching the cargo netting that's forward of the day hatch.
- The storage space really is cavernous, and this is one of the reasons I chose the Kodiak. However, someone that doesn't over-pack would not need this kind of space unless out for more than a week.
- The hatch covers, though somewhat unwieldy, are very dry and secure.
- I like the fairly stiff plastic. It will dent if you crank down on the car-top carrier straps, but less so that most other boats.
- If you want a rudder, and I do, then the pivoting pedals are the only way to go. They give you the support of fixed pegs. I don't find the hardware arrangement to be a problem.
- This boat is a beast to maneuver. With little rake in the bow and zero rocker, you will not finesse it through turns, by edging or otherwise. Time and/or brute strength is required.
- Given the difficulty in maneuvering, the balanced rudder that is often sold for this boat does not have enough surface area. It's OK for counteracting weathercocking- which is all I really use it for, but it quickly stalls if turned more than a few degrees.
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have been paddling my Kodiak for 2 years. I really like this boat. I can adjust the seat and thigh braces to fit me well and it handles my 250 pounds with out flinching. Prijon out fitting is superb: adjustable metal seat braces, lots of padding in the seat, adjustable thigh braces, huge storage capacity with dry hatch covers. The little day hatch is handy but not water proof. The deck rigging, painter lines, cargo nets and straps for paddle/float re-entry are all great features. This is the second of the four Prijons I have purchased. The boat is super stable and I have had no problems keeping it upright on the open waters of Lake Erie. It is fast for a wide plastic boat and is easy to paddle. It does weather cock and I am considering having the rudder installed. This boat is great for open water if you want a stable boat that can cover a lot of miles with a load. I do find it some what clumsy in smaller creeks and small lakes that I paddle with my grand children. This one is a keeper.
12-21-2009Submitted by: Acadia
- Rating: 10 of 10 Ignore the 10 at the bottom of this review - it doesn't mean much. Here are some numbers that might be more useful: I am 6'1", 165 lbs, shoe size 10, 12 years paddling experience on Georgia Strait, BC. I've had the Kodiak for a year and put a couple hundred nautical miles on it, mostly day trips but also a 9 day trip.
The Kodiak is a big, fast gear hauler, suitable for going from point A to B. It is not playful, but it handles loads and rough water well. It is rudder dependent in wind. The rudder pegs are the gas-pedal type and work well. The neo + plastic hatch covers are very water-tight and absolutely cavernous: lots of room to swallow gear. The boat rolls fine if you pad out the cockpit with foam.
Conclusion: if you are looking for a big tripping boat to cover long distances under load, the Kodiak should be on your list. If you want such a boat in quality plastic, then the Kodiak should be near the top of your list.
12-02-2009Submitted by: mcd
- Rating: 8 of 10 I just bought a new Prijon Kodiak with rudder, and although I have not paddled it yet, I already have some gripes. On a positive note, it is a beauty, nice lines and shape, the mango is.....yellow, looks to have plenty of cargo space, and the hatches are HUGE. The Prijon plastic is all it is touted to be. I am sure there will be more positives after I paddle.
So, now the seemingly not so good. I will start with the mini hatch in front of the cockpit, which by the way, according to Prijon, is not water tight. Why? Who Knows. Yeah, why would you put a hatch in a spot that potentially gets mass water, and not make it water tight? The positioning of the mini hatch is ridiculous. It is placed out in front of you about as far as the average human can reach, right where your deck bag SHOULD go, if you carry one. Because of this hatch, your deck bag/boat tie down connections don't even start till forward of this hatch, which is, as stated, now beyond normal reach. As if the hatch takes the place of a watertight deck bag. I suppose I can add some worm gear aft of the hatch on the sides, but then my deck bag will sit on top of the hatch cover, which is bulky and raises off of the deck. Just not smart.
People have seemed to like the "gas pedal" style rudder pedals. I think they are a poor design. I like the KISS principle, pedal, cable, rudder. The Prijon design has too many moving parts and adds strap and cable situated around your feet where it is already busy. When my feet are situated where I want them, heels on the floor of the cockpit, the fulcrum point for the pedal is above the ball of my feet, and I wear a size 11. This means you have to actually lift your foot a bit to push and activate the rudder. Not a huge deal, but not to ergo either. Also, with this design you almost have to push the pedal straight on, like the gas pedal in your car. This is difficult because of the angle that your feet meet the pedal, coming from the thigh braces. I adjusted till I was blue and still could not get it comfortable. You have to pull a knob to adjust the pedal position, then pull a strap to adjust the pedal angle. The strap is attached to the upper outside of the pedal, which as stated, makes it too busy by the feet. Why so many moving parts just to steer a kayak? Who knows.
The seat is ok. I don't care for how it adjusts, if it slips off its track, it can be cumbersome to re-attach. Again, not huge, but a little tic that in my humble opinion, does not need to be. The hatch covers seem sturdy and well made. They fit tight and conform well to the shape of the boat once tightened. Prijon uses a plastic clip to restrain the excess strap after tightening. This clip is poorly designed and has no place on a expedition sea kayak. The clip actually falls off the strap when moved aggressively and it WILL break or be lost your first trip out. I know I know, not huge, but why even put it there?!
I returned a new Necky Looksha 17 before buying this boat. It was more comfortable in the cockpit, but the design flaws were so glaring that I could not imagine keeping it. That might be another review. Living in Las Vegas does not make it easy to buy a kayak. I just go off of reviews and others experiences and hope for the best. I am hoping the paddling experience in this boat is so good that it trumps the bad...I'll let ya know.
07-20-2009Submitted by: dregsfan
- Rating: 9 of 10 I picked up a Kodiak a couple months ago. I had previously owned a Dagger Magellan 16.5, but found it a little too confining for my feet when using the rudder pedals. I have no such problem with the Kodiak. It's larger, but doesn't feel or handle like a big boat. It's stable, but not a barge. The gas-pedal type foot braces are amazing. All boats should adopt them. The bungee nets on the decks are handier than I thought they would be. With only two 1/4" neo pads (one for each butt cheek), the stock seat bottom is very comfy. I didn't care for the Prijon seat back and that's the only reason I didn't give the Kodiak a 10 rating. I replaced it with the best back band around, an IR Reggie.
One of my kayaking buddies calls it the Hummer of kayaks. It's big, it's tough, it's not as elegant looking as a composite sea kayak and it can carry a ton. The plastic Prijon uses is incredible. It can take any abuse a paddler could dish out. The plastic has a matte finish that takes some getting used to. I had intended to upgrade to a glass or kevlar boat, but my finances didn't allow it. I am glad I decided on the Prijon. The composite boats may be cooler looking and lighter, but when the going gets tough (and rocky), they can't compete.
I would recommend the Kodiak to any skill level paddler and whatever you do, get the rudder.
07-02-2009Submitted by: TexasSea
- Rating: 9 of 10 I purchased a Kodiak in February 09. My wife and I rented and paddled several recreational boats and really enjoyed the sport. We wanted to move up to true sea kayaks, but were (and are) novices. It's a little hard to try a dozen different boats here in the middle of Texas. It's also difficult to rent anything over 14'. I originally wanted the "do everything" boat...Rivers, Ocean, Lakes, mild rapids, fishing... I finally narrowed it down to somewhere between 15-17 feet in length. I tried a Current Designs Gulfstream, An Eddyline Equinox (very early on because someone recommended it), a Necky Chatham 16 (Poly)and a Valley (Poly). My wife also tried a few (She ended up with a used, glass Wilderness Systems Tempest and loves it!)
After tons of research I decided on the Prijon Kodiak and the Necky Chathem 17. I am 6'0 and 220 lbs. Size 11 feet. I am hard on gear and usually test the limits as far as durability. My requirement's were...
e) Price (we had to buy 2 boats)
I bought the Prijon over the Necky simply because I hadn't had the opportunity to sit in, touch or feel a new Chatham 17 and the 16 didn't fit well. The Prijon also seemed significantly more rugged.
I couldn't be happier with my choice. Every time I paddle I think that I have the perfect boat. It was a little "tippy" at first but that was gone in about the first 20 minutes of the first 3 trips. I played in our pool with it and it's much more stable that it seems. I highly recommend testing the limits early on if you're a newbie like me. It gave me tons of confidence. The only reason I didn't give it a 10 is that I haven't paddled everything out there and I probably wouldn't give anything a 10 anyway. I can't think of one single thing that I would change. I've practiced rolling it (unsuccessful in our pool but, I'm new to the sport and I have never had any rolling training. It was a whim one day. I was very close to being successful. With a rolling lesson or two, I think I have it. It's certainly not the boat's fault). I love this boat and I was worried about buyer's remorse. No remorse at all. I can't recommend the Kodiak highly enough. Customer service from Prijon was also very attentive when I contacted for info re: Kodiak before purchase.
I hope this review helps someone as much the previous reviewers helped me. Especially if you can't try a ton of boats.
06-23-2009Submitted by: Dailaffin
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought a glass kayak for speed and performance then went on a try it out day. I compared Sea yak, Exodus and the valley boats then took out the Kodiak. It was like coming home to my slippers by the fire. We have had several adventure together now including loading with ten days ration packs, tent, sleeping bag and stove. I couldn't lift the loaded boat but it paddled comfortably. I am 16.5 stone 6 foot with size 11 feet. Don't skimp on the rudder it is worth every penny.
09-23-2008Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 I purchased my Kodiak about 8 months ago. This is the second kayak that I have owned. I have out grown the recreational end of kayaking and I thought it was about time to move on to a sea kayak. After several months of research to first find a kayak that would fit my size and ability. I'm 6'-1", 265 lbs. After trying several kayaks, I knew I had to have an 18" or better cockpit and plenty of thigh room (large thighs). It came down to 3 kayaks. When it came time to try out the Kodiak, for size ... well it fit me like a glove.
This is by far a great kayak for the oversize paddler. I couldn't ask for a better fit. The performance is much more than I expected. Turning in a lean turn is exceptional and much better than I expected for a 17 foot boat. The initial stability was tippy at first, but in a short time all was well. The primary is great. I have been out in it at least 30 time and it shows not a sign of wear on the hull. The HTP construction lives up to it's name. I have only one problem and at the age of 63 the kayak is a little heavy for the old man, but I manage and will continue.
I really love the Kodiak and I'm sure this will be my last kayak purchase. Be sure to try one if you are looking for that perfect sea kayak.
08-18-2008Submitted by: RR
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is the first plastic boat that I have found that can keep up with my wife's thermoform. Handles very well even without the rudder. I am 6' 205lbs and it fits me like a glove. This boat also has a lot of storage space. It is narrow (23.5") and may seem a little tippy at first but that feeling can be over come very quickly. Not to bad in the wind either. If you like to surf the waves, you'll find this boat likes it too.
06-23-2008Submitted by: kahunabooks
- Rating: 10 of 10 Have had this boat two seasons now (bought it used when only 5 weeks old but fresh off a trip down the Yukon 2500 miles)and simply put, it is the finest boat I have ever paddled. Superb fit for a big guy/gal.. (I am 6'3" 235lbs, size 13 feet), surprisingly fast and responsive, very comfortable seat, and every feature on the deck that one could want... and way more than most American boats. Plastic is all everyone says it is... very, very tough and strong. I really see myself paddling my Kodiak for many years... simply can't find a better boat out there for a guy my size and experience (moderate). Superb craftsmanship as well, which outdistances the domestic boats by far if you look close at the new boats out there. Still haven't discovered the full potential... hope to include more info in the future. Buy one and be happy. Search over.
06-02-2008Submitted by: Douglas Morton
- Rating: 10 of 10 Okay... I've read all the reviews on the Kodiak, and I must agree with the majority. As is typical, being a large 6'-1" 250lb., I searched the internet and paddling shops until I settled on a mighty Yak that could carry me comfortably along with a good amount of gear for camping. I'm a novice paddler who didn't want to buy an intermediate kayak, only to out grow it's skill level within a season. So I did a bunch of research and settled on the Kodiak. I'm sure glad that I did!
The good - It's a durable Kayak with a type of air induced plastic manufacturing that creates a stiffer and more durable kayak. It doesn't scrape or scratch half as much as my wife's Venture Easky 15. It's a heavy kayak, being about 66lbs. This seams to help in the water, allowing for better secondary stability. In fact, when paddling into the wind or through some choppy water, this yak seems to hunker down and carry you through like a champ! It's a fast boat for such a big kayak, and I can out-paddle just about everyone on the lake except for the racing kayakers.
The bad - Primary stability was a little less than I had expected. In truth, I tipped the yak in 6 inches of water on my maiden voyage when trying to shove off a low grade boat ramp in a dry entry (darn bow hung on the ramp). I'll admit that I was a fool, not to mention being a novice. Wet entries are much better for me. Also, it took a while to understand what a tri-hydral hull handled like. It was different than the Easky 15 and the Necky Zoar I had tried. You can lean this kayak a bit more than you would think, and when I finally get a rudder, I think I'll even learn to edge it through turns.
Overall, I'd give it a 10! I love this yak! Its got great storage space. Its got a very comfortable seat and thigh braces that are fully adjustable as well. You can't go wrong with this one!
04-23-2008Submitted by: Morten Jacobsen
- Rating: 10 of 10 The Kodiak is my first sea kayak, and I shopped around a lot to find a boat that would fit my requirements. I needed a tough boat that I could truck around myself, I needed a boat that could be used for day touring and longer trips, and the Kodiak seemed to fit the bill. It did, and I absolutely love it. I use it mainly for day trips in various types of waters, and it handles extremely well in all the conditions where I have tried it. I am still trying to learn to turn the boat by leaning over and I am gaining confidence every time.
The only problem I have found is that the rudder release system, which is made up of a line with two plastic spheres and a hook for attaching the line at the side of the paddler, sometimes falls off when you pull to drop the rudder. I have had the release line drag behind me in the water for the entire duration of the trip, picking up kelp and stuff. This is a minor nuisance and I have learned to be more careful when dropping the rudder.
The speed is good, and I have recently had the opportunity to test it - I fell in with a group of paddlers going full tilt in their sleek touring kayaks and their huge, shovel-like wing paddles. I wasn't quite able to keep up with them, but almost...
10-03-2007Submitted by: alstef
- Rating: 10 of 10 A few months ago I purchased a Prijon Kodiak for myself and a Prijon Seayak for my wife. We have been paddling for 3 years and have used Prijon Combi's on rivers and in the ocean. Decided it was time to get real sea kayaks.
I am 6'3", 225lbs, size 14 feet. The Kodiak has more that enough room. I do not have to have the seat all the way back and the foot pegs are still not all the way forward. I test paddled and looked at as many boats as I could and finally settled on the P&H Capella 173 with a skeg. In the end I did not want to spend $6,000 for 2 Capellas and instead took a hard look at the Prijons. I am really glad I did.
I kept hearing about the light weight and speed of fiberglass vs plastic. But the 17' Kodiak weighs only 4 lbs more that the 17" Capella. Also, the Prijon's blow mold process produces a very stiff plastic boat. With the Prijons I don't have to worry about dragging them over rocks on shore. They will stand up to anything. They are beatutiful, very durable, high quality boats at half the price of fiberglass.
I originally was looking for a skeg, but the Prijon balance rudders are much more versatile in all conditions. We have been out in 20 Knot winds with 4' seas and these boats handle beautifully.
Anyone considering a sea kayak should definitely take a look at the Prijons. Depending on size and what you want do with it, either the Touryak, Seayak or Kodiak should be on a short list.
09-18-2007Submitted by: pjwlk
- Rating: 8 of 10 Although I've done a couple of 5 day kayak trips in the 125-145 km range, one on the ocean and one river trip with class II/III white water, I still consider myself a newbie at kayaking.
I'm a big guy at 6'3" and 240lbs yet I found the Kodiak fit me very nicely and easy to get into to boot. My size 13 flippers also fit into the cockpit too!
I rented the Kodiak for a weekend just to play with it and test it's abilities (and mine). My test were done on a small lake with calm water and a slight breeze. The first tests I did where just me and the boat, the second test the boat was loaded with two rocks (1 front 1 back) that totaled 110lbs. Please note that the loaded boat with me in it was 345lbs and over the rated capacity of 330lbs. I did this intentionally as I know from experience that a 10 day trip will probably see that much weight in extra food/gear.
I found the Kodiak much faster than I thought it would be and would guess that 6 or 7 kph would be easy to maintain without a lot of effort. The initial stability for me wasn't too bad empty and improved a lot when loaded. I didn't find the secondary stability as good as others have described, but that is probably due to my inexperience. Secondary stability got better when loaded.
I have never done an eskimo roll before and this weekend was no exception. I tried numerous times with no joy - again inexperience. The boat definitely turns better when leaning over; when empty however it became quite clear that I would need a lot more practice before I would find turning acceptable. Loaded I found the turning to be less than desirable and likely to get me into trouble if I need to negotiate any fast moving water.
The seat was comfortable and nicely adjustable for big guys like me. Testing the rudder I found the cabling and adjusting straps rubbed against my legs at times. I would have thought the rudder to be more effective but it is a 17' boat after all and the rudder doesn't go very deep into the water.
The quality and workmanship of the Kodiak is outstanding and the HTP plastic is a lot more rigid than the regular polyethylene. I also read somewhere that this type of plastic is field repairable where as polyethylene is not.
08-04-2007Submitted by: Comednck
- Rating: 8 of 10 Price - $1725.00 (w/rudder)- Kind of high esp. for plastic.
Stability- Excellent primary / Good secondary.
Speed- Excellent/ Tested with a G.P.S. (unloaded). -Against a stiff wind and 1-2 ft waves, I averaged a steady speed of 6.1 mph. On flat water managed to exceed a speed of 8.0 mph.
Turning- Excellent/ (Without the use of the rudder). Once you learn to "lean" on the tri-hull design along with 3-4 well placed paddle strokes, it is surprisingly easy to turn this 17' beast.
Tracking- Excellent/ Even without the use of the rudder.
Rudder- (Wildwasser Balanced Wing Rudder)/ Great- Minimal drag, efficient foot pedal control, turns kayak well. (Rudder design is very much improved over previous designs).
Storage- Excellent/ This boat has plenty, front and rear bulk hatches (w/ neoprene covers), and cargo nets. -also added was a water tight neoprene day hatch in front of the cockpit.
Durability- Excellent/ The blowmolded HTP plastic is stiffer than most other plastic boats and will take quite a bit of abuse before it is severely damaged.
Quality - Excellent/ For a plastic boat, this is the top-of-the-line plastic boat. Also a lot of detail went into the rigging on this boat as well.
Weight- 62lbs./ Fair- Not the best boat to have to carry around either unloaded or loaded. Highly recommend a kayak cart with this beast.
Comfort- Excellent/ This boat is designed for bigger paddlers. If you are around 6'+ and 180lbs.+ This is a great boat for you. Everything on this boat is adjustable. Seat, seat back, thigh pads, pedals... -A very comfortable ride!
The bad- Size/ Remember, this boat is a beast, 17' and 62lbs. This boat was designed for long trips and to be loaded with a lot of gear. This is not a boat that I would recommend to someone just to take out for a day paddle or to use as a "light
touring" kayak. This is an expedition kayak.
The ugly- The size and weight of the Kodiak combined make this a hard boat to store and transport as I quickly found out. The heat especially is bad for this boat as if it is not evenly distributed, will warp or dent severely either on its side or when setting flat. The only good thing is that if this happens, applying heat with a heat gun or a hair dryer will "pop" the dents out and the plastic will return to its original form as plastics have a "memory".
Bottom Line- An excellent expedition kayak especially for the bigger paddlers. The quality is top notched and a high level of detail went into this boat at all levels. The Kodiak by Prijon has set the benchmark for plastic kayaks and will be a classic boat for a long time....
05-17-2007Submitted by: knickerbocker
- Rating: 9 of 10 I recently purchased a new Kodiak as replacement for my P&H capella RM 166 which I found to be too narrow at 22". I also paddle a 17 year old Prijon Sea Yak (which says alot for prijon durability !!!). I am 6'0" and weigh an athletic/muscular 230 lbs... but I am pushing the weight limit of my Sea Yak for general paddling. (Although I feel the Sea Yak is the best rough water boat on the market).
I immediately felt right at home in the kodiak. Once I adjusted the seat, foot pegs, and thigh braces to my personal preferences... it fit like a glove and for a moment I forget I wasn't in my Sea Yak. For a heavy boat (62lbs) the boat is extremely fast and tracks well. I took it out into some 3-4 swell and white caps on the chesapeake bay and it handled beautifully. I'm still getting used to the extra legnth which is a factor in heavy swells and cross currents. But that is not the boat as much as me needing to remember it is 11 inches longer than my sea Yak.
05-14-2007Submitted by: Russ J
The inital stability is excellent, secondary stability is very good. The boat rolls easily as well. I have not used the rudder yet, and I doubt the rudder will get much use. I am a semi retire(shoulder injury) white water paddler and rely heavily on corrective stroking and leaning to keep the boat tracking. The kodiak also looks great. I got the mango with black outfitting. The new day hatch is very useful... especially being right in front of the paddler as opposed to behind... which was hard to access in my capella. The only downside about the boat thus far is that it does not surf as well as my Sea Yak... but again it is a much longer and heavier boat.... A great overall kayak for general paddling... particularly for a larger paddler.
- Rating: 10 of 10 The first time I ever paddled this boat I howled and then took out my credit card. It was and remains the best boat I have ever paddled. It is stable, fast, manuverable, tough, comfortable, and has good storage and looks great too.
Stability- standing still you have a tippy feeling beacause it moves from the center stability position to the side stability position so easily, but once you get a feel for that it is quite stable. When moving it feels very stable and once you get used to leaning it into its side positions you can turn smoothly and rather nimbley for such a long and great tracking boat.
Fast- a great top speed. Gentle strokes give an easy 4-5 knots and a good hard paddle gives about 7 or so sustainably for me. Very efficient and quiet on the water. This boat likes speed.
Manuverable- I have not yet put on a rudder and while I had planned to add it quickly last year, I found I really didn' need it. This boat has rapidly become a mindless extension of my body so I really don't have to think about turning, it just moves with me. Very nice in a long boat!
Tough- the platic is very rigid. I have managed to scratch it from rocks and dragging but it is a very durable and much stiffer than normal plastic boats.
Comfortable- the padded seats are very comfortable for long trips, there is enough room in the cockpit for you to move your legs around and strech out a bit.
Storage- the storage is very good! Big compartments that seem tight fore and aft and a handy easy access watertight compartment right in fromt. Bungee nets on top. Nice appointments on boat.
Looks great- I saw one once on the water and was impressed. Now I am doing that to people. It is a cool looking boat, I have had a number of other paddlers single me out of a group of boats to complement. (Not me I think, just my boat, but still, it feels good!)
This is a good a boat as you are likely to ever need. I give it a solid 10!
04-02-2007Submitted by: bobhee
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have been kayaking for some 20 years and have owned dozens of kayaks.At the present time I have many specialty boats that excel in specific areas. I know of no other boat that performs as well as the Kodiak in all aspects.If I had to drop down to just one boat for day paddling as well multi day trips I would chose the Kodiak.
03-05-2007Submitted by: Mike
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have many composite and plastic kayaks over several years,I rate the kodiak the best overall because of its build quality,"strength" excellent tracking comfort and speed,I also paddle a kevlar multisport kayak and have gps etc,The kodiak has excellent speed,9.5 + kms no problems for hrs,It is a great point to point kayak,Yet to try surfing it in a decent sea swell,A little more expensive than some others but I feel you get what you pay for,The kodiak replaces a composite sea kayak,,Yes its that good.
12-13-2006Submitted by: DKrieg
- Rating: 10 of 10 This summer I purchased a '06 Prion Kodiak from my local dealer here in Kalispell. Rocky Mtn. Outfitter. Great people. I am 5'9" and around 240lbs. I just love this boat! Everything just suits me to a tee. Stable, fast, workmanship, and a massive amount of storage. Due to a bad knee, I really appreciate the key hole style cockpit, it's much easier to get both in and out of. The process of Prijons blow-molding vs typical roto-molding make for a very rigid boat. You will spend more money up front for a Prijon product, but it's money well spent. My 12 yr. old son Jake and I spend most of our time on the many lakes offered here in the Flathead Valley. His boat is my old '04 WS Cape Horn 150 (Plastic). I have been paddling now for around 10yrs. In that time I have owned Dagger, Perception, Wilderness Systems, and now Prijon. So I feel that my appraisal is both fair and honest. Simply said, Prijon is just a superior product. If you are in the market for a new boat and a "bigger" guy or gal for that matter, take the time to check the kodiak out. I think that you will be happy that you did!
08-30-2006Submitted by: cooldoctor1
- Rating: 9 of 10 The Prijon Kodiak is the flagship model of the Prijon line, and it is a superb boat with many virtues and few vices. Made for a larger paddler, I am 5 foot 8.5 inches and weight 168 lbs, and I feel very comfortable in this ‘pit, although I have added some minicell under the thigh braces. Please note that I own the 2004 model, produced before the 2006 remodel. Like all Prijons, the workmanship is truly superior for a plastic boat (blow mold, not rotomolded), and the dry hatches, coaming, and deck lines are well thought out. My version does not have paddle rescue deck lines. The seat, although not as comfortable as a rec kayak seat for those that like a reclining paddle position, is made for superior upright sitting in order to optimize the paddling stroke efficiency. When the padded seat back (a vast benefit over many yak’s backbands, in my opinion) is upright and secured, the positioning of the lumbar spine and buttocks is perfect for a strong stroke. Some minicell can be added to the seat pad, and I find it better than the stock Prijon removable seat pad. I cannot comment on the seta back being too high to roll as I am not a roller.
The performance of the Kodiak is stellar, and in wind-whipped chop it seems to stay steady and straight thanks to the 17 foot one inch length. This length compensates for the weathercocking that is famous for shorter Prijon models. I have no rudder, and find that the boat seems to edge well; I have not yet been in conditions that warrant a rudder, although I am a rudder advocate when necessary. This boat appears to do well without.
The Kodiak’s speed is better than fair, but it is with a 24 inch beam. It is, by reviews I have read, the second fastest Prijon. It would likely not be as fast as a 21-22 inch sea kayak, and if shear speed is the goal, try the Prijon Barracuda (see my review on that boat). If longer treks, distance paddling, especially if on stumpy, icy or rocky waters, the Prijon Kodiak rules over fiberglass and Kevlar. If one were paddling in debris-clear water, a very long distance, on low to middling chop, another 21-22 inch yak would likely get you from point to point quicker. The Barracuda should be considered in those cases, esp. as it can handle some abuse.
In summary, the Kodiak is a workhorse of a sea kayak, favored by expedition kayakers like Renata Chlumska and Jon Turek. It holds loads of gear (but not startlingly more than the Prijon Barracuda). Please note that, although I am below the height and size that is generally thought of for the “big man’s boat” Kodiak, I feel perfectly confident and comfortable in this 2004 model year boat. It paddles like a charm, has high initial and secondary stability. It has a generous cockpit opening that allows great leg stretch, and requires an XL Wildwasser or Snapdragon sprayskirt. The boat performs well with a 220 cm or 230 cm paddle length. The quality control at Prijon is exceptional.
07-27-2006Submitted by: timcrock
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have been trying out my 06 kodiak on lakes so far, have not made it to the river yet. I have to say it tracks real straight and does not seem to be bothered much by the wind, I did get the rudder too since I figured why not? it is a nice feature and helps in turning, It is not a boat that makes sharp turns easily at least not for me. The new deck box is nice, gives me a waterproof spot in reach for whatever?
I'm not sure I like the seat back adjustment? there is a small cord between you legs you pull and push into a slot to grip it which moves the back forward. You have to really push it down in to get it to stay and it loosens up.
It moves along real nice! I dont have anyway to see how fast though. If you want a boat to take out on anything from rivers,lakes or ocean and load down with a lot of supplies for a trip this is a good choice, Big hatches and plenty of room. Plus the nets and straps on top as well as the paddlefloat tiedown.
Rudder control footbraces are nice, easy to adjust and offer good support and plenty of area to keep your feet from sliding off. The plastic used is blowmolded and tough but you do have the 62 pounds to deal with. Good handling and stability to me and Im new at this!
I'm real happy with it I give it a 9 for being a real solid boat with quality features designed to be used and not just appear useful. except the seatback adjustment Im sure they will change that!
11-27-2005Submitted by: paddlingnettjb
- Rating: 8 of 10 I have been paddling a Kodiak in the Great Lakes for the past several years. This has included extended day trips and hundred mile plus "expeditions" where I have camped out of the boat for days.
The Kodiak is a sturdy, trusty and seaworthy kayak. It is reasonably fast and rollable. It handles well in surf and chop. Storage space is voluminous (I'm getting spoiled). The kayak holds up well to the inevitable knocks against rocks and sand abrasion. The fittings hold up well. The hatches keep the storage areas dry even after extensive rolling and surf work/play.
Some day I may trade up to a glass or kevlar boat for day trips, but I will continue to use the Kodiak for multi-day trips.
I'm very tall, and it is so refreshing to have a kayak in which I can fit comfortably. The Kodiak is a great choice for tall/big people. I wouldn't recommend it to smaller folks, who would rattle around in the cockpit.
The downside to the Kodiak is the flip-side of its many virtues. This is not a kayak that you wear like you wear a low volume, narrow beam kayak. Nevertheless, for its size the Kodiak is surprisingly agile.
In sum, this is a great kayak for people ranging from beginners to those planning extended trips in rough conditions. The Kodiak may be the best combination of speed, durability and versatility that you will find in a plastic kayak.
04-12-2005Submitted by: kvnlutz
- Rating: 8 of 10 I have owned my Kodiak for five seasons and have paddled it off the Oregon Coast, Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands, and the Columbia River. It is the fourth kayak I have owned. I should start by saying that my feelings about this boat are very complicated, and only now, as I have only just purchased a Valley Pintail for my primary boat, do I feel that I can give it a fair evaluation.
As others have noted the Kodiak is a fast kayak with a great deal of storage that really loves rough water. I've had my boat in 5-6 foot surf and it broached only slightly. It weathercocks slightly, but only in the heaviest winds. With the rudder down, it is unmovable. It slides effortlessly over the face of almost any wave. In confused water, when other boats tend to bob, the Kodiak cuts right through, as if it is unconcerned with either chop or current.
While it is a bit on the heavy side, the boat has been very durable and has been used two to three times a week for over four years, and even more often in the summer. The hatches are cavernous almost 10000 cubes and the boat gains a great deal of initial and final stability as the weight sinks it into the water. The boat is easy to maneuver for a boat its length, and can be held on edge, while standing still, quite easily.
On the down side- I have had trouble with the thigh braces and after trying to fabricate my own, eventually ordered a set of customized replacements from Prijion (this has only become available this year, at a low cost). I have talked to many other Prijion owners who have had problems with the hard, brick-like braces. I also replaced the backband, as the original was little more than a piece of Styrofoam covered in fabric. I have resealed the bulkheads and they stay relatively dry save a few tablespoons of water but the old-style plastic hatch covers have both been replaced as they broke quite easily. The new ones are much better.
The buckles have also been replaced several times. I have also had to replace the deck nets every other season as they loose their elasticity.
One benefit I was especially interested in was the ability to repair the plastic. This promise, however, has proved to be disappointing. After purchasing half a dozen different consumer and commercial glue guns, and two soldering irons, I can safely say that using the repair sticks is minimally effective and does actually bond with the plastic to make one cohesive piece. The repairs fall out quite readily and are difficult to shape. The rudder lines also cut your legs if you are not careful, although it does not require the rudder very frequently.
Prijion customer service has been excellent. I can say they have been more prompt and courteous than any other customer service department, regardless of product or field, than any other I have ever dealt with. Ever problem I have encountered has been quickly responded to and successfully addressed. For this alone, I will probably purchase additional Prijion boats in the future.
Overall, while not a novice’s boat, this boat is comfortable.
02-25-2005Submitted by: Malone
- Rating: 9 of 10 I am not an expert paddler nor have I explored many different models of kayaks but I have been paddling my Kodiak for a year now and would like to endorse the Kodiak as an excellent performer.
The most often comment I receive is "that is a fast boat". And I would agree. I am not an athletic paddler but I have no problem keeping up with others or I end up in front of the pack. The Kodiak just seems to glide further than other boats with every stroke. I paddle less often and with less effort.
Stability is not an issue with any reasonable usage. Storage is voluminous.
And the quality of the fit and finish is great.
I have not tried rolling and I suppose there are some details I would change but there is no doubt in my mind that I bought the right boat for me. I am 74 inches tall and weight 240 lbs. I have paddled the Buffalo River from Ponca to Hasty, the Little Buffalo from Jasper to Hasty and the Missouri River from Fort Benning to Kipps Landing. The Kodiak is built for expedition kayak camping.
If you are considering this kind of kayak I strongly urge you to check out the Kodiak.
07-21-2004Submitted by: Chris
- Rating: 7 of 10 I bought this boat without trying it first (a long story involving a large discount), and I am genuinely very pleased with it. However, whilst I concur with the general praise offerred here, I do have three important reservations (hence only a 7 out of 10), which I shall list in ascending order of concern:
Firstly, I bought the rudderless version, as I am new to paddling sea kayaks and wanted to learn how to handle one without a rudder. However I would have liked the option of a retractable skeg as an alternative, for those rear quartering sea days and longer journeys.
Secondly, I am a bit of a fanatic about rolling - and I mean not just a flat water roll but being able to roll any boat I paddle in heavy seas or surf. To me this is an essential kayaking skill, though I know not everyone agrees. I found that the thight braces in the Kodiak were inadequate in this respect, so that whilst the boat rolled well in calm seas, or even facing into the waves, it was too easy to get twisted out if you tried to roll in surf or a beam sea. I have replaced the rather small side braces with proper thigh braces from a white water boat and am pleased to report that it now rolls a charm in the above conditons, and now I can just focus on my set up and sweep, without worrying about being rocked or twisted out of position, and be confident that I can get myself the right way up again should I ever need to.
Thirdly, I found the tow lines fore and aft top be a real hazard as, unbekownst to me, the rear one worked loose whilst I was paddling recently and when I treid a practice roll I discovered that my paddle had gone through the post capsize free floating looped end and pulled it tight, preventing me from completing my sweep, and having to try and free the paddle underwater. I'm glad I discovered that one in shallow waters during a practice and not in deep waters when I might have really needed my roll! It may have been a freak accident, but I have erred on the side of caution and removed the tow lines. I can live without being able to tie the kayak up using them, but can't live with the thought that this could happen when I least need it to.
So, great boat, I would recommend it, but if you're anything like me you may need to do a bit of customisation to bring your boat up to the highest sea kayak standards.
05-10-2004Submitted by: Bonneville
- Rating: 10 of 10 I own a number of kayaks, including glass and plastic touring boats. I was happy with them until I made the "mistake" of paddling a Kodiak at a demo day. Couldn't get the credit card out fast enough. The designers really nailed this one. Incredible blend of performance, comfort and quality. I won't waste space highlighting all the great features others have mentioned, but they're there and they're effective. If you want the performance of a composite boat with the stiffness, durability and price of plastic, this is the ticket.
06-19-2003Submitted by: harpcycle
- Rating: 8 of 10 We purchased Prijon kayaks about a year ago after trying several different models/makes. We wanted plastic boats because of the areas we like to launch/land at. First, the Prijon plastic system really impressed us. Looking at older Prijons we didn't notice any of the oil-canning that seemed evident on most other used plastic boats. The stiffness of the deck seemed to be retained even in older boats.
Kodiak - I am 6'4", 220 lbs, size 14 feet. The Kodiak fits. With the footpegs on the last holes my knees pop nicely under the thigh hooks. I can only wear neoprene booties with a thin sole though. The cockpit is big enough where I can lift my knees one at a time to stretch. Getting in bottom first then tucking my legs in doesn't work real well because of my long legs.
The boat weighs 57.5 lbs empty. I can pick it up and use the cockpit/shoulder carry method comfortably. The stern toggle is too close to the rudder to be comfortable. The hatches are watertight and well designed. The neoprene covers are difficult to get on and off. The rudder mechanism works very well. The deployment line is a bit farther back toward the stern than I like and I have long arms. The gas pedal foot controls allow strong braces and sensitive trimming of the rudder.
The boat edges nicely although the limit is elusive. It takes seas on the bow or stern well. It weather cocks enough that I would rather rely on the rudder than edging and correcting. The seat and backband are "okay." They adjust easily but aren't real comfortable. I would like to adapt the Wilderness Systems' Phase III seating, but haven't yet.
The deck netting works pretty well. The forward net should extend back closer to the cockpit. The rear net is effective for carrying "stuff" but isn't great for holding a paddle blade during a self rescue. The cross straps on the hatches work well for holding spare paddles. The D-Rings are very useful. The boat accelerates and glides well considering its design. It is comfortable to paddle and I could carry a month's supply of "stuff" into it.
07-22-2002Submitted by: Steven
- Rating: 10 of 10 I just bought a Prijon Kodiak this past weekend; my prior sea kayak was a Aquaterra Scimitar. I looked at the Necky Looksha IV, CD Storm, and the CD Sirocco. My favorite place to paddle is the Texas Gulf Coast, where there is almost always a strong onshore breeze, so I was looking for a kayak that would pose little wind resistance and track straight as a rail. I'm 5'11", 210 lbs, and the Necky was just a little too tight for me, and the amount of rocker aided maneuverability, but at the cost of tracking. The CD Storm seemed okay, but the hull was a bit too flimsy. I liked the Sirocco until I saw one at my local paddle shop that was returned due to a broken seat. The high, sweeping bow also looked like it would act as a sail in beam winds. The Kodiak fits me very well, the hull material is strong, there's ample storage, and there's a lot of "niceties" thrown in. Mooring lines fore and aft, full perimeter lines, a hex key stored in the cockpit to adjust the seat and thigh braces, and the gas pedal foot braces are awesome. When I first took the Kodiak out it was a little tippy, but it just took some time to get used to. The first day was on a local lake with a lot of power boats (too many in fact), so I didn't really get a chance to paddle up to speed. The following day I went to another lake which doesn't allow power boats (yeah!). The Kodiak is FAST for a plastic boat. My brother has a Perception Captiva, and I was able to put a lot of distance between us very quickly. The Kodiak also tracks extremely well, I bought mine with a rudder and have yet to use it. Although it tracks very well, it's also quite maneuverable with a good sweep stroke and lean, but, you REALLY have to lean it to make a quick, smooth, tight turn. If you're looking for a touring "play boat", the Kodiak isn't for you. If you're looking for a solid, comfortable, well appointed sea kayak that you can put some serious miles on (without a lot of course corrections), the Kodiak is your boat. As for aesthetics, I like the looks of the Kodiak, but aesthetics are a matter of opinion and really shouldn't matter unless you want something that will look good on your roof rack. Aesthetics won't make you go faster, keep you safe and comfortable, nor will keep your hull from oil canning (blow molding ROCKS!). Also, the deck pack nets work very well. I didn't have to worry about losing my water bottle or bilge pump when I practiced wet exits.
If you're serious about paddling, don't base your purchase off looks, base if off functionality, comfort, and features. There's no other plastic Kayak out there that has the features of the Kodiak, but again, if you're looking for a touring "play boat" look elsewhere.
12-26-2001Submitted by: ben
- Rating: 10 of 10 I own a kodiak and several other models and think extreamly high of this boat. I read anouther reviewers comments and was displeased. I believe prions boats are not the most pleasing to the eye, and if all you want is a boat that looks good in the garage, dont buy the kodiak, but if you are looking for a boat that you will not grow out of, and that has the performance that compares to a composite, then the kodiak is for you, if it fits you. The material, though its not very pleasing to the eye, is the most durable of any and is as stiff as a composite. As for the deck rigging, i thought it looked bad at first, but the nets are very usefull, they will hold many things that bunjee cord will not. They did not make this boat for stability, but give the boat a couple of hours and you will get used to it. Once you learn to edge a boat, you will love the kodiak.
So, if you are looking for the most durable, longest lasting and a super performing kayak that you will not have to upgrade in a couple of months and you are willing to take a couple of hours to learn how to kayak, get the kodiak(if you can fit, if not go on a diet). If you are into your into kayaking because it is the latest fad and looking for a kayak that looks good to your friends as it hangs in the garage, get into anouther sport.
11-13-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 The Kodiak, by Prijon, is a 17'1" expedition-class touring kayak. It is an excellent combination of configuration, performance, and reliability. Possibly the most outstanding feature of the Kodiak is the construction. Prijon's HTP "blow-molded" construction combines the strength of fiberglass with the durability of a plastic kayak. This is one tough boat!
Prijon's touring boats are also very accommodating. Considering its size this kayak is rather light at 58lbs. The Kodiak is equipped with an adjustable seat and thigh braces. A great feature for getting proper fit and function out of the kayak and especially a nice feature if more than one person uses the kayak. The gas-pedal type foot braces are a very nice touch and are extremely comfortable to use with or without the rudder. Prijon has one of the best rudder systems on the market. The optional rudder is easily deployed and control is both effective and comfortable via the pedal system. You can't beat it! The rudder system is simple but practical, and I installed it myself with no experience, just the directions, in a little less than an hour.
Other useful amenities are the recessed deck-fittings, deck pack nets, a safety deck line, and fore and aft "tow-lines", or mooring, lines. The Kodiak provides ample storage for multi-day trips. The hatches are a combination neoprene cover with a hard plastic shell covering the hatch. The web straps hold well, even under intense conditions, and so far I have not had any water leak into the hatch. And I've been in some intense conditions. One feature that Prijon does not advertise well is the mooring lines. The lines are secured to the deck but can be easily released. They come in handy for two reasons. One, when you're in shallow water you can easily disengage the lines and pull the kayak along. A very practical advantage! Two, if you pull up to a dock you can easily secure the kayak.
While I find the deck netting very effective, some people are not crazy about it. The netting in front of the cockpit is a little far forward and some paddlers might not like that. I've considered placing some extra shock-cord a little closer to the cockpit. The back brace has received some criticism, but I've found it very practical. It provides excellent comfort on extended trips. Some criticize the overall design and colors, but Prijon maintains its own unique style and design. And it's a style and design that definitely performs.
Whether is the fish-form design, the trihedral hull, or the Kodiak's contours, this kayak is a true performer. The Kodiak cuts through the water like a glass or Kevlar boat. And it's fast! It accelerates quickly and maintains speed with little effort. In heavy boat wakes, chop, and fetch, the Kodiak handles extremely well. The fish-form design allows for very specific boat control in regard to edging and bracing in extreme conditions. The trihedral design allows for a smooth transition from initial to secondary stability. The Kodiak does not have an upturned "Greenland" bow like the Sea Yak, but it does quickly shed water from the deck and efficiently cuts through waves. I've had this kayak out in a variety of places and conditions, from wide rivers, large lakes, marshlands, open bays, and even in the turbulent Atlantic Ocean in windy conditions. The Kodiak met my expectations in every condition. As an intermediate kayaker I felt very comfortable even in very rough conditions with the Kodiak. And I feel this kayak will serve me well as I advance my skills. The only thing I haven't done with the Kodiak is a roll, but that's more because of my lack of skill rather than a fault of the kayak (I keep lifting my head up). With proper outfitting and skill, this kayak can be rolled. The one relevant issue people have with the Kodiak is turning. It should be mentioned that this kayak was designed specifically to track well. And it does track well. It takes some serious gusts of wind to weathercock the Kodiak. The Kodiak will make efficient, sharp turns if you combine good sweep strokes with slight edging.
This kayak is ideal for a larger paddler. I'm 6'1", 250lbs. I've modified the cockpit with closed cell foam to increase comfort and paddling efficiency, but otherwise I required no special modification to the kayak's design. After test paddling several models, I chose the Kodiak and have enjoyed it ever since. I'm giving the Kodiak a 9, but only because of my limited experience rather than because the Kodiak's excellent performance.
08-28-2001Submitted by: ladams
- Rating: 5 of 10 I know this is running contrary to the conclusions of some VERY qualified reviewers, but for some very good reasons. First, it didn't fit me. Nothing they could do made the thigh braces anywhere near acceptable. Second, though I'm an accomplished canoeist, I'm new to kayaking, which requires a different skill set. I do NOT have a good snap, nor am I very good yet at putting a boat on edge. This boat demands those skills more than any other boat I paddled. I would grow into it, yes, but I need a boat I can enjoy to some extent in the meanwhile, and this wasn't it. Since the boat I paddled had no rudder, I didn't have one to fall back upon when I got tired of just working to develop my skills.
Then there's the fit and finish. For my money, I want a boat that not only paddles well but also is aesthetically pleasing. To MY taste, Kodiak was not. The matte finish was not appealing to me. The boat I paddled was multi-colored, and looked a little as though it was unintentionally so. She was NOT graceful looking. The deck rigging can only be described as cheesy. Now I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it just didn't do it for me.
08-06-2001Submitted by: davevan
- Rating: 8 of 10 I've been paddling 2-1/2 years and have had the Kodiak since the Winter of 200/2001. My first experience in the boat was in a pool in rolling class. I paddle it regularly on Lake Michigan off of beaches and out of harbors in Chicago. The Kodiak is a big boat for larger people. I believe that if you are less than 200lbs and have less than say a 36" waist, you could probably fit in Prijon's Seayak, their flagship sea kayak, and paddle it more efficiently and fit better than in the Kodiak. That said, if you ARE a bigger-heavier paddler, give the Kodiak a try.
The first thing I want to mention is how great the material is for a plastic boat. The blow molded manufacturing process really does yield a more dense, stiffer, thinner and lighter hull. The Kodiak, at 58lbs, is one of the lighter plastic boats of its length and only about 5 lbs heavier on average than fiberglass boats of the same length. The large keyhole cockpit is easy to get in and out of even with my 36" inseam. The seat contour is good and the seat is comfortable for me without padding. There's a cup holder in the seat like on typical rec boats and that has come in handy on lazy river paddles without a skirt. The back support is low, soft and comfortable and adjusts in angle easily with one hand while seated in the boat. The seat adjusts fore and aft a few inches and the thigh braces also adjust fore and aft a few inches making it easy to "fit" the cockpit. The adjustments are made using an allen key which is conveniently stored in a little socket in one of the thigh braces. All of the boat's hardware seems to be good quality stainless steel that holds up to lots of adjustments. No deforming of any screw heads or allen sockets yet. I found the thigh braces to be just a tad aggressive for me, the edges dug into my thigh a tiny bit but they are easily removed and filed or sanded since they are solid blocks of plastic. Additional braces can be ordered from Prijon's web site so you can have a go at reshaping them without worrying about wrecking you boat. I purchased the boat without a rudder. The footbraces are easily adjustable and generous in size but are really designed for use with a rudder. The rudder is controlled using the pedals in a gas pedal like fashion rather than sliding back and forth. If you want to get a boat with a rudder, seriously consider the Prijon boats for that feature. The cable ways and rear mounting block are stock so adding a rudder later is a no brainer. One downside to the rudder design is that it does interfere slightly with the rear carry toggle when stowed. The Kodiak has handy safety lines all the way around the perimeter laced through recessed plastic hardware that also act as places to attach additional rigging or lights or a compass. There are bow and stern mooring lines which can be reached from the cockpit to toss to someone already on the dock or to grab upon exiting the cockpit. Carry handles are sturdy plastic handles attached by a loop of nylon webbing. The webbing is short stiff enough to keep the handles from clunking on the hull while bouncing around in waves. The hatch system is nice too. Almost flush mounted thin thermoformed plastic covers over tough neoprene inner seals with 3/8" bungee rands have kept my compartments bone dry even through lengthy self rescue classes. The thin plastic covers appear to be high impact ABS or similar material and are held down by nylon webbing with fastex buckles. The covers are captured by the webbing on one side so they don't blow away when you take them off. Where the webbing attaches to the deck there are D rings so you can lash additional gear on top of the covers using rope, bungee or webbing. The rear hatch opening is huge and the compartment is too. Large enough to fit my cart (model name: Pop Cart) without breaking it down. The front hatch opening is much smaller but still larger than most other front hatch openings. Bulkheads are well sealed and keep water out. The Kodiak comes with stretchy netting type of rigging fore and aft of the cockpit. I found the netting a little difficult to quickly get things in and out of so I removed it and replaced it with the typical bungee deck rigging laced through pad eyes (inchworm eyelets) that I mounted with SS hardware. The flat part of the deck around the coaming resolves in an upward scoop toward the rear deck. While it's not likely that this contour was designed to do so, I find it helps steady the paddle during a paddle float re-entry which I've begun practicing without rigging the paddle to the rear deck. The coaming on the Kodiak could be taller and deeper. The Wildwasser skirts made from Prijon stay on just fine but I've had trouble with a couple other brands with heavier rands slipping off. Luckily the Wildwasser skirts are very nice skirts so this is only a minor negative. A more serious negative is the undesireable flexibility of the deck next to the right thigh brace. The boat could be stiffer there. I think my boat might be an exception in this case as the left side seems plenty stiff.
The boat paddles very nicely and is very easy to keep on track. The trihedral hull does what it is supposed to. Getting this boat up on edge is easy without going over too far and once on edge it stays there until you are ready to put it back. Edging to stay on track and turn the boat is not difficult and works well. Turning without some edging is a chore. This boat has little or no rocker when flat in the water and was designed to go straight. Initial stability may seem to suffer a small amount from this trihedral hull design but I have never felt uneasy in it. It's fast. Keeping up with more experienced paddlers in glass boats is no problem. Recently I paddled with 5 experienced paddlers all in glass boats on Lake Michigan in 3 foot waves plus serious powerboat wake and I could see in their eyes that they were surprised that I was staying on course and at one time was leading. One of these guys didn't want me to go due to my lack of experience but the boat and I together were up to the task. I would not have tried to go out that day without the others and I was impressed by the performance of the boat and proud of myself as well. The lack of an upswept bow does not seem to hinder the boats ability to ride over such waves. Weather cocking is noticeable in stronger tail winds but edging a little combined with one or two corrective sweep strokes keeps in on track but does slow me down a bit. I have not successfully rolled this boat (or any other for that matter) but have seen other class members do it successfully in pool sessions learning the C to C roll so I'm not giving up!!! Also, it's a very handsome vessel. Since I don't have even a full season in this boat and I'm not ready to take it out in really challenging water, and there are some things that could be improved I can't give her a 9 or 10 just yet.
- Rating: 7 of 10 I paddled the Kodiak during a day-long fundamentals clinic on Lake Michigan. Conditions were good, with gusts up to 10 knots and 3 to 5 foot swells, with poweryacht wakes causing some chop. I chose the Kodiak specifically because based on specs only, I was interested in buying one. Other boats in the fundamentals class included several types of Perceptions, a Prijon Seayak and an Old Town something-or-other. The Kodiak is heavy at close to 60 lbs and the 75 yard carry to the waterline was no joy. I found the cockpit to be quite comfortable (I'm 5'10", 200 lbs.) although the thigh brace extensions had considerable flex that was somewhat unnerving during certain manuevers. The foot peg system is great, and adjustment is easy if you keep the sand out of the mechanism. Initial stability is moderate at best for such a fat boat, and secondary stability, while adequate, was disappointing because I had bought into all the Prijon hype about the "trihedral" hull design. Of particular note is that the Kodiaks both dumped during sculling manuevers in 4' waves, and none of the other boats did. According to the instructors, this was a very common occurance and they normaly don't use the Kodiaks any longer but they were short on boats due to an expedition they had going on at the same time. in a straight line, the Kodiak was fast, although it took some work to get it to speed. A Perception Shadow in the hands of a reasonably experienced paddler was the only other (plastic) boat that could keep up with the Kodiak. It also tracked extremely well, with minimal weathercocking. Turns, however, were a chore, with the boat responding slowly to edging and many sweep strokes required. The Kodiaks were among the slowest boats on the impromptu "slalom" course we set up. Although we didn't try it during this class, the instructors told me that the Kodiak was an easy boat to eskimo roll. The Kodiak has an impressive amount of stowage, and it might be that stability would improve under a greater load.
To summarize, in my opinion the Kodiak is a fast, comfortable boat with good tracking ability and the capability to carry an expedition size load. On the down side, both initial and secondary stability are at best moderate for such a beamy boat, and turning ability is only fair. This certainly isn't the worst of the boats I've paddled recently, but after my day-long tryout I've decided not to purchase one
07-10-2001Submitted by: kayak-ken
- Rating: 8 of 10 My family owns five different models of Prijon kayaks. One of them being the Kodiak. I have been paddling the Kodiak for about six months.The Kodiak is a great kayak that I truly enjoy. As a timid beginning kayaker I found the tippy initial stablity a bit unnerving. I have since learned to eskimo roll, and do to my greatly enhanced confidence, the tippyness is no longer an issue. Unless you are a heavy paddler, a little balast goes a long way to solve the tippy problem until you get used to it. This boat can be hard to turn with out a rudder until you learn to edge it. Put on edge it turns great. Good tracking, good speed, and loads of storage. For a beginning smaller paddler I would recommend the seayak do to better inital stability. For the paddler that can't fit in the seayak the Kodiak is a great boat.
07-06-2001Submitted by: SWH
- Rating: 8 of 10 A great boat for covering distance. Doesn't turn easily unless put on edge but then handles very well. The initial stability is good which allows me to put the boat on edge to compensate for quartering side winds which would otherwise require a rudder. Secondary stability is good and the boat is easy to roll. The outfitting is very nice and I found the boat very comfortable for a 5'10" 200# guy.
04-11-2001Submitted by: JDG
- Rating: 9 of 10 I tried this boat as part of taking the Basic Kayaking Course from California Canoe and Kayak. It was a bit heavy to lift on top of the car rack, but I expected that for a 17' boat. It is very nicely outfitted with Peg pedals, flush fore and aft hatches, perimeter rigging and cargo nets which are substantial enough to hold a paddle for a paddle float entance. The plastic seems quite durable, and the rudder system was very well done. The seat was comfortable and the adjustable thigh braces were a nice touch.
When I entered the water I immediately noted that it tracked very well and was exceptionally swift. It seemed that I could almost relax between strokes because it cut through the water very rapidly. This is a fast boat. I felt that it was very good in the primary stability department, and acceptable in secondary stability. It did not turn on as short a radius as the shorter kayaks paddled by the other classmembers, but in the open water they could not keep up with the Kodiak. During a water entrance using the paddle float, the netting was strong enough to secure the paddle during the entry. I really like this boat, because it is reasonably stable, tracks well, and paddles effortlessly. The hatches are exceptionally roomy, and will hold tons of gear. It looks good, and has nice detail. The only draback is that it is a bit heavy at 58 lbs, but considering that it is 17'1" long, this is to be expected.
I purchased this boat and am just as happy as when I first demonstarted it. It is very durable, continues to track better than most, even without the rudder in the water. The hatches keep the interior contents dry. I found that a spray skirt with a zippered pouch makes most essentials accessible. This kayak does very well in rough water, and it was not substantially affected by winds. The 24.5" width did not seem to make this kayak any more tippy than others of the same width. I would give this kayak a rating of 9.5 out of 10.
01-22-2001Submitted by: Don McPherson
- Rating: 9 of 10 I own a yellow Kodiak. It is 17'1''long and 24.5'' wide. it has a nice and wide keyhole disign that lets you get in and out very easily. It has good first and secondary stability. It is made of blowmold plastic. It is a tougher plastic than rotomold and is stiffer. Which helps it trace better and cuts through the water very fast. I especially like the rudder peddle set up. The paddles stay in place, which is good for bracing. Instead of sliding front to back you push on them like a gas paddle. It works great and feels right. If you can test one out your going to buy it. It is that good.
07-15-2000Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 I test paddled the Poly model on a tour off of Peaks Island in Maine. I felt it was quite roomy in the cockpit. I am 6'1 220 lbs. size 12 shoe. A little tippy initially but I got used to it very quickly. The thigh braces and foot pedals were top notch. I paddled w/out the rudder and found it to stray a little off course in windy conditions. It tracks well and being new to kayaking I probably am in need of more paddling experience and better technique to put it on edge to turn. It did turn quite easily with good sweep strokes and a little leaning. Overall I felt it was a nice ride. Of course I still need to get over the motion sickness from these things. Someone told me today to where earplugs and that should help. We'll let you all know how that works later. I did put a deposit on a Current Designs Solstice GTS fiberglass. Wish me luck. Thanks Jay.
07-06-2000Submitted by: Cam McMinn
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought the Kodiak after a lengthy tryout, and it seems fantastic to me. I had it out in the Pacific surf recently and it took the waves beautifully (even with the rudder up); even broadside or at a severe angle it handled smaller breaking waves with barely a twitch - and I'm new at this. Fast, comfortable (I'm 6-2 and 210), easy to board, not that tough to turn, very efficient steering with the rudder, and great looking. Initial stability a bit twitchy but great on the secondary. Tons of storage, good seat/kneebrace adjustments. Sleek, cool boat... thumbs up.
06-28-2000Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I love this boat! I bought two of them... a bright red one and a sunny yellow one. In many ways it is a perfect sea-kayak. It tracks beautifully without a rudder in moderate air. It has a well engineered rudder system for heavy air and/or following seas. It carves very well when you need to turn quickly. It has outstanding secondary stability as any good sea-kayak should. The trihedral hull is kinda unique and it performs very well. The hull also has the virtue of being very stiff.
The boat has full perimeter line with recessed fittings. It uses shock corded nets to hold deck gear which is a feature I like. The netting is very strong and works very well for a paddle float re-entry... it holds the paddle blade very tightly so it doesn't scissor.
The grab handles are excellent and the painters are adjustable and use recessed cleats... very nice touch. There is plenty of room just behind the forward cargo hatch for a nice Ritchie Kayaker compass or Nexus 85 or whatever your preference.
The cockpit is a super keyhole... very spacious. Seats are adjustable with adjustable backrests... great feature! The solid plastic thigh braces can be removed, augmented or carved to suit. There is a drink holder on the seat which is nice when the sprayskirt is off. The Prijon sprayskirt with the Sure Rand is VERY tight... maybe too tight if you are not pretty strong... but that is not part of the boat purchase. It is an accessory.
I added some items to customize the boats. I added waterproof U bolts to fasten an aircraft cable to lock the boats to the T-Rac. I added medium Cam Cleats with fairleads to use with a tow line. I added Ronstan cheek blocks for better line control. I also added some low profile 3" brass cleats to quickly fasten lines to the boats. Oh yes... we use Current Design paddles with the beautiful yellow blades... two different models.
The bottom line on the Kodiak is performance... several times we have had these boats (as configured above) out on Lake Michigan in 3-4 foot seas (plus powerboat wake) and they performed brilliantly. They can take much more. We landed in moderate surf with no problems whatsoever. We paddled back out through the surf easily. On calm water, they are a pure delight to paddle. Another bonus... they are really pretty (or handsome if you prefer) boats... good lookers. I say get one... it's good!
06-26-2000Submitted by: L
- Rating: 8 of 10 I'm a big guy - 6'4", 275 lb. Had a chance to try several boats side-by-side at a Paddlefest. I'm still a novice paddler. The Kodiak is not a boat I had been looking at, since it's not specifically built for us XXL types. The cockpit opening was barely wide enough for me to get into, and the seat pinched my hip bones. Those were the bad points. In the water, the boat is wonderful! It's a bit "tippy" in initial stability, but the secondary stability is solid. It responds well to edging, and is quite fast - especially for a plastic boat. It seemed as fast as some of the fiberglass ones I tried. The cockpit has room for a lot of modifications - the thigh braces are adjustable, and there is a thick plastic rim and "hip brace" on the sides of the cockpit that could be carved to facilitate a bigger body. The seat, however, will never fit me - I'm too wide across the hip bones. However, the seat can be removed & replaced with something wider. For someone with even slightly narrower hips than I, this would be a great boat off-the-shelf. I may buy one and modify it.
06-19-2000Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 I test paddled A Prijon Kodiak earlier this spring and came away liking this boat quite alot. Once I got the foot pegs properly positioned and the fore-aft seat positioned, the Kodiak was very accomodating and comfortable. Initial stability was (to me) not the greatest, but secondary stability was excellent. The Kodiak moves through the water like a knife. Prijon has a very VERY tough plastic that is extremely stiff. I sat on the deck behind the cockpit and it barely flexed with my 200# weight. Entering this boat was a bit tricky, especially for a 6'3 tall guy, but anyone shorter would have no difficulty. The seat back got in the way when entering, but otherwise the cockpit is roomy and leg room adequate. My boat was bright yellow and could be seen a mile away. The footpedal/rudder system is easy to use and deploy, but the Kodiak handles very well without the rudder. What I found most odd about this boat was that you never felt the seat back at all. You sat in the seat bottom and never came in contact with the seat back (maybe it was improperly fitted to me?) This boat has cavernous cargo holds front and rear, with generous openings and new flush mounted hatch covers, a nice touch I thought. And for such a long boat, the Kodiak turns and stops quite well. The Kodiak is also (in my opinion) a better looking boat than the Seayak or any of the other Prijon boats. The extra 6 inches in length over the Seayak will benefit larger/taller paddlers. And the moveable seat is a very big plus. I would have rated this boat a 10, except for the slight difficulty I had in entering the cockpit. Otherwise, this is an excellent touring kayak for beginners to advanced kayakers.
06-08-2000Submitted by: Mau
- Rating: 10 of 10 Just paddle Kodiak today. I am new to sea kayaking and have tried many boats lately and this has been my favorite. It's very stable initially but also carves turns very well. Great secondary stability. Never felt like I'd tip over putting on edge. Cockpit is superb. Lots of adjustment in the seat and thigh braces which is good for me. 6' 220+pds. Most boats I've tried have been to small in the cockpit and my legs fall asleep or to big and they feel like a bad fitting ski boot. I can't wait to buy a Kodiak. Has lots of great feaures built in and seems like a kayak with excellent durability. The gas pedal rudder pedals are really cool to.
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