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Reviews for Lobo Kayak by Kiwi Kayak


Rated: 8.04/10 Based On: 25 Reviews

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04-24-2013
Submitted by: BelkinSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Great inexpensive beginner kayak. I had canoed a lot, but had never tried a kayak. I wanted to try one, but instead, I just went out and bought the Kiwi Lobo for $299 plus $40 for the paddle at a local hardware store. That was 15 years ago. I wanted a sit inside with a large opening for getting in and out of (I feared getting trapped after flipping.

I found that the Lobo is very stable. The only time I dumped it was when I tried. Even in that case, it just slowly filled up with water once the side went under. Even up in NH, I use it 12 months of the year (I go clamming in the winter months). I found that I like kayaking much better than the canoe. Weighing only 35 pounds it is easy to sling it over your shoulders and carry it around. Also, since it is very short and stubby it fits well in my minivan (Dodge Grand Caravan).

The only two drawbacks that I have found is that the seat can get uncomfortable after a while and that it does not track well once you stop paddling. I have no trouble keeping it going straight, but friends who have tried it have been all over the place. I am thinking of replacing the seat, because I plan on using it for many years to come.

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08-21-2012
Submitted by: John shimtSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     For what it is it is good. great beginner boat stable easy to control and get into seat. is not very comfortable but it is ok. it was my first boat. It was my gate way boat that got me into kayaking. if you see one on craigslist for less than 200 and you are looking for a beginner boat go for it
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03-31-2012
Submitted by: PDCSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     My first Kayak, since 8 years old- that makes 15years of paddling it! Ridiculously versatile yak- makes for an excellent fishing platform, holds plenty of gear for river tripping/camping, rides waves in the ocean, handles class II rapids with ease, tons of leg room, cruises on flat water, tough to turn in white water. Molded in handles are the best of any yak. Only an expert could roll it, but only a novice would flip it. Takes a lot of abuse and UV damage but still keeps on yakin'- 15yrs and counting
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05-12-2011
Submitted by: mike spencer
Rating: 10 of 10

     1st kayak I've owned. I like it just fine.
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07-21-2010
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Look at my review from 2003.
I have 5 kayaks now and still use my Lobo sometimes for fishing in the Intercoastal Waterway (salt water) and Florida lakes for Bass. My most used kayak is a Hobie Outback with the foot peddles, but I still like, and use, my little Kiwi Lobo. I can carry it down to the water on one shoulder with everything else I need in a bag on the other shoulder.

I now have a 'skirt' so I can take it out in the ocean for fun and games, but fishing with the 'skirt' is not so good, so I only use the Lobo for the flats or the Intercoastal for salt water fishing. I have bought and sold three kayaks since writing my review in 2003, but I am keeping my Lobo. 'nuff said.

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07-07-2010
Submitted by: jeromeSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     used on small creeks and rivers handles well rides well can pack some gear easily
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04-28-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     I've owned and used this boat for about 4 years. I love the fact that it is lightweight, tracks great, is fast and maneuvers very easily. Now the downside: the first time my husband took it out, he dumped it. I thought it was because he is a big guy pushing the weight capacity, and he shifted his weight because his leg began to cramp. I am very experienced but 2 days ago I dumped the thing when I over-corrected trying to avoid deadfall in a medium- fast river. I'm around 135lbs, with a 50 lb dog and about 10 lbs of gear. It just sits so low in the water that much of a dip from the side scoops up the water and you go over before you know it. I think I'll be shopping for a more stable & roomy sit on top. My dog will definitely appreciate it.
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12-29-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I met Ann Dryer of Kiwi Kayaks and impressed her with my stories and pictures of myself sailing her Kiwi Lobo with a stunt kite. It was a blast ! I Love this simple and resonably priced boat. I have paddled it on class 2 and in the surf, It's just "Pure Fun"! A Real 10!
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12-29-2006
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My first kayak was a Kiwi Lobo that I bought used, I paddled it for several years and kept it when I upgraded. It is very stable nad handles well, a great beginner boat I highly recommend it.
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12-18-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I am very pleased with my Lobo. It is my first kayak purchase. Before I purchased the Lobo, I paddled about 10 hours on two different Old Towne Otter's to hopefully get an idea of how close the Lobo would feel. I really liked the Otter and hoped the Lobo would handle similar to it. I can say now that the Lobo is a better boat by far. It handles up to 275lbs and if fairly accommodating for a tall fellow. Which is a must since I'm 6'7" and 250lbs. I really enjoy the wide opening as well. The seat back is removable to allow for easy storage behind you, the straps behind the seat are very simple but effective. I enjoy the front bungee cord for holding a map or deck bag. Unfortunately, the foot pegs do me no good since my legs are too long. However, I tried the boat with and without the stryofoam in the front. I found I like the styrofoam since it provides some bracing for my feet to rest up against. The boat tracks fairly well, and I have not paddled with other boat owners yet, so I can't compare how it handles with others. I purchased my Lobo at a great price compared to list. 2007 Canoe and Kayak mag's buyers guide lists it at $479 which I feel is a decent price. Maybe a little high. Overall the boat is great, I hit some mild rapids and accidently crashed into a huge boulder that left me high centered and a little shell shocked. The entire bottom of the kayak flexed in som much it pushed my up about 5 inches. Once I freed myself from my rock podium, the boat immediately took it's original form. Very rugged body, very tough. I am incredibly happy with the boat and plan on keeping it in the family forever!! My next kayak will be a tandem sit on top. Sit on top only because I'm watching my pennies! Ohh and as far as comfort, I'm a big guy and have spent no less than 3 hours every time I'm on the boat with no aches or pains. It's not a lazy boy, it's a plastic boat!! Comfort is not an issue. Nice wide seat for you!!
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11-04-2005
Submitted by: PaulSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I purchased this kayak at a yard sale for $25, figured how could I go wrong, especially when he threw in two paddles. I already had an Old Towne loon and Perception Corsica. However, this little Yak held its own on flat water. Very stable little boat. Allowed me to take out my older brother (engineer, and doesn't get out much) out into the water. He had a blast and ended up giving him the kayak to hold on to while I'm in school. Found out that he's using it. If he'll use it, it has to be stable. I couldn't even get him in an 8 man raft on class 3's LOL. But I think he has the bug now. We all get it. Good kayak. Go for it if itís the right price. You won't be sorry.
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05-17-2005
Submitted by: JCG
Rating: 8 of 10

     I bought the Lobo because I was new to the sport and wanted a boat that would do lots of things well, was light and small, inexpensive, and storable (either in the garage or on/in a vehicle). Itís a fun little boat, kind of hard to consider it a hard core serious kayak, but then I'm not a serious hard core kayaker. I've primarily used it on lakes and rivers for fishing and exploring smaller creeks and streams--all flat water. Itís a Ford/Chevy, not a Porsche/Ferrari.
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02-09-2005
Submitted by: BG
Rating: 10 of 10

     I'm 17 and Iíve had my kayak for about 3 years I love it I go everywhere. My friends and I even go on over night kayak trips. The Lobo is awesome, I love it. I also love the colors Kiwi Kayaks have.
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05-31-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     I started kayaking two years ago at a local small (flatwater) lake. The marina rents out these Kiwi Lobos, so it was my first kayak. At first I spent a lot of energy just mastering the basics of kayaking itself. Eventually I got pretty good at it, to the point where I could paddle for an hour and not feel like my arms were on fire. I'm a big woman (5'8", 210 pounds) and found the Kiwi easy to get in and out of. It handled nicely, fast enough for me, not too tippy, went where I wanted it to go, and I never fell out of it. I've gone out with a couple of friends who were kayaking for the first time in Kiwis, and they struggled to keep up with me. That made me think it was the paddler, not the kayak, that was slow! The small size and light weight of this kayak would be a plus. It should be easy to chuck into the back of your truck or stash in the garage.

The main drawback is the uncomfortable seat position and lack of support in the backrest. I could never go more than an hour in this boat because my back was sore by then. I do not have a back problem.

But truth to tell, I never knew what I was missing until I rented a kayak at a kayak store. My goodness, what a difference. I never took down the name of the kayak I used, but it was new, sleek, and fast! Made those old, banged-up Kiwi Lobos feel like bathtubs by comparison. I had a friend come along for her first kayak experience, and she really likd it too. Later, she rented the Lobo, and complained that she had to work very hard to keep up with me in the Lobo, whereas in the other kayak, she felt a lot faster and could keep up with me.

A Kiwi Lobo would probably be an all right choice for a beginner who won't stay out too long, or for kids. If you want to spend more than an hour in your kayak, get something else.

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08-25-2003
Submitted by: David AndrewsSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I have an old red Lobo that I have modified for my style of salt water fishing. The floatation in the front and back keep it from sinking if flipped, but getting back inside while in deep water is impossible. I have fastened two of those foam "Noodles" to the inside so that it will remain upright even while full of water so that I may be able to get in now. My rod holder for trolling is a PVC pipe inserted in a hole just behind the front floatation and when a fish hits, the whole kayak vibrates. I took the seat out to get lower to the bottom and use a thin pad and a foam backrest that I made. It is easy to drill holes in the hull to add fasteners and such and I made a paddle holder and a holder for my tackle box so it is on top and does not move around. My rain poncho works in a heavy rain to keep water out and I can stay dry using a long bungee cord to hold the edges of the poncho under the edges of the cockpit. It has been a very usefull boat for a few years now. I still like it but could make a couple of suggestions to the company for minor improvements.
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05-23-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     Bought my Lobo as my first kayak. I wanted something very stable as I am not a great swimmer. I am taking swimming lessons however. I love boats in general and like kayaking. I find it very stable although I bought it without trying out any other type but a Kiwi. I know I should have tried others, but I felt comfortable in it. The only problem I feel is that I am going to outgrow it too rapidly. I should have looked into a more advanced kayak. But the performance of the Kiwi Lobo has been great for me. I rated it an 8 because I don't feel it handles as easily as it could. I seem to have to work at keeping it going where I want to go. I know I am a novice. Good first boat and I am going to give it to my granddaughter.
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02-03-2003
Submitted by: No Name
Rating: 7 of 10

     I bought my Lobo late last spring. It was my first very own kayak. I was so excited and great for upper body exercise. Now, not even a year later, Iím beginning to feel like Iíve outgrown it. Entry and exit are very easy, but forget about attempting a roll. The formed handles are nice for topping a vehicle. The wide cockpit has made mee lazy and you can catch me often times I go out leaning back, putting my feet up on the deck catching some rays. :o) I do definitely have to say that I donít love the paddle it came with, but overall Iím happy with my lobo.
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08-20-2001
Submitted by: Mike C.Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     After extensive reviews and research, I settled on the Lobo. My requirements were 250 lb + capacity and 40 lbs or less weight! This kayak fit both, and I find it perfect for rivers and small lakes. It tracks great, easy to get into, and comfortable in use. I am 5' 11" and 245, it works great!
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05-08-2001
Submitted by: RKSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I am new to kayaking, 6'1" and 240 lbs. I purchased the boat to get out on lakes and mild rivers. The shorter length has made it easy to transport and store. The molded handles on the bow and stern have proven to be very useful when carrying or storing the kayak. The wide beam and large cockpit make it easy to enter and exit. I would suggest purchasing an aftermarket paddle. I purchased a Harmony Sea Passage paddle and "what a difference!" Kiwi's paddle was heavy and performed poorly. Overall I am happy with the kayak and will keep it for a second kayak. I am currently looking for a new kayak so I can go out with friends who do not own a kayak.
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07-06-2000
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 7 of 10

     I have a Kiwi Lobo that purchased a couple of years ago. I (all 240 pounds of me) have used it on lakes and large flatwater rivers and find it tracks okay and is quite stable but, you do need to modify the seating (get a cushion..!) On the smaller fastwater (up to class II's) rivers that I have used it on it is super...it's very agile, reasonably comfortable (with a cushion), foot braces are good, it's very stable and if you go over it's light enough to make emptying it a relatively easy task (providing you can stand on the bottom of course). Whenever we have grankids over for the weekend to go paddling they all seem to want to use the same boat...the Lobo..!
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06-13-2000
Submitted by: NickSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     The Lobo is a great boat for recreational use. It makes a great fishing and camping boat, but it is not the boat to take into whitewater. It is very stable, but if you do go over it is not an easy boat to roll.
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09-15-1999
Submitted by: HBSend Email
Rating: 4 of 10

     I had bought a Kiwi after already owning 2 Perception Keowee's . I found that it is less stable and far less comfortable then the perception keowee's The seat is sort of cheap and your feet are at a weird angle while on the peddles makeing your heels sore. My kids wouldn't go down the river if they had to ues it, so I got stuck with it till I sold it. Shop and compare.
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08-03-1999
Submitted by: PEOSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought 4 lobos 2 years ago and have used them and taken friends and family out in the San Juan Islands here in Washington and on Saratoga Passage at Skagit Bay, easy running rivers and lakes and have been more than pleased with the performance and handling. Also, the large loops on ends work great both for tying down to haul on van rack and to use to put small chain and lock and leave on a dock, or a bike lock even works for 2. Sure can't do that with a lightweight loop!! Pretty superior, I think. Also lightweight enough for me to lift and carry easily. I rate them a 9.
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05-18-1999
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 5 of 10

     I purchased a Kiwi Lobe for my personal use this year because of my limited strength vs the light weight of the Lobo. After having used it several times on both lakes and rivers I find that it excels on small rivers because of its excellent manuverability and stability. I had it in some small stretches of whitewater and really enjoyed it. On lakes it "stinks", yup, thats right, it stinks. It tracks terribly, the seat adjustment (the knot in the rope adjuster) doesn't hold very well and because of the large passenger opening you cannot brace yourself against the sides at all!!!!
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01-28-1999
Submitted by: Ralph ThayerSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Kiwi Lobo solo recreational kayak in polyethylene. Huge cockpit limits your ability use your hips but this boat is for gentle use, not whitewater. Tracks very well, actually surfs decently (though it has only Styrofoam for flotation so if she goes over, you have a job getting the water out.) Extraordinarily stable; a beamy boat. Easy to enter and exit. I use it on gentle rivers tracking active boys and carrying supplies...it has a good load capability. For about $500 this is a heck of a boat. Seat is comfortable and adjustable. Get the nylon skirt, don't buy the paddles from Kiwi, get them elsewhere.
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