My friend and I both got this kayak for christmas (both age 13). We love it. Living on long island We have a pretty good variety of rivers and ocean and open water. Its great on all of them. Especially great in shallow water since its so light. Also when you can't get to a body of water, we've found that it's great in the pool!
The seat is extremely comfortable. Even a person with a a hip replacement can use it comfortably. The typhoon Dimension has great control. Even "weak" 13 yr olds can control it easily.
Is easy to get in and out of, even when you cant touch bottom. Overall, a great choice for anyone. Great fun for everyone including kids.
(rated 9 because we frequently get water in the "watertight" storage compartment)As a preface to this, in addition to the Typhoon I own a Hobie Outback, an Impex Susquehanna, and a Tarpon 100 and had an Old Town Otter. I donít claim to be an expert but I have a lot of experience in flat water and a little running rapids.
I first saw the Typhoon at James River Runners where I was taking a rafting trip. I was attracted to the V hull shape. One of the men working there told me the Typhoon was a good general-purpose kayak and worked well in class I and II rapids. Soon afterwards I purchased a Typhoon from the Appomattox River Co. Tom at Appomattox told me that they sell a lot of Typhoons to livery services because, when you take off the capsule there is nothing to lose or break and it could handle type I & II rapids.
On the Rappannock River I have been through class I, II and III rapids. I found the kayak to be very stable and did not feel as thought it was going to turn over. It is easier to get off a rock than a flat bottom kayak because of its hull shape. The major problem is when water splashes in there is no way to get the water out except to stop, get out and turn the kayak on itís side to drain it. The molded in hand holes make it is easy to turn on its side to drain. I only went through one class III rapids and the kayak buried its bow in the water and then came up with all of the water on the bow coming into the cockpit filling the foot area not good. I found that the Typhoon is harder to maneuver around rocks than the Tarpon 100, which is shorter and has a flat bottom.
On flat water I find the Typhoon to be faster than my Tarpon 100, easier to paddle with no tracking problems. It is easy to get into and out of. It has good initial and secondary stability. It would be very hard to turn over in flat water. I am 5í 11Ē and found that the footrests could be a little farther out. A tall person would definitely have a problem with the footrests. The tall seatback is comfortable.
To date I havenít found a good use for the waterproof capsule. I like the stuff I take to be more accessible. I found a way to strap the seat pack that came with the Hobie behind the seat and then tied a soft side cooler behind it to carry drinks and food. I also have a plastic crate that could be attached to carry things in.
I like to have a place to attach the paddle to the kayak. There are no pad eyes on the Typhoon so I installed one in the front between the foot rests and use a paddle leash.
Things I did not like: No way to attach paddle to kayak. No place to carry a bottle of water. No scupper holes to drain interior foot or seat area of contract. Light weight, easy to carry.
Things I like: Back rest, shape of hull, stability, hand holes molded into side and each end. It is easy to stick your leg over the side to push off a rock. Faster compared to Tarpon 100.
Overall: I am very pleased with the Typhoon it is a good kayak for fun and play. Very stable would be good for kids and beginning adults. It can be used on flat water and in rapids.The typhoon is one of the best sit on top kayaks for flat water. At 11'2" it is long enough for good tracking and streamlined enough for pretty good speed. It weighs only 39 pounds and has moulded carrying handles.
One thing that is a little different about this kayak is that it is constructed with an integral high back moulded seat. The sitting position is slightly reclined similar to a recumbent exercise bike. Needless to say it is super comfortable and easy on the back. I am 6'4" and have plenty of leg room on this kayak. Another unusual features is a removable moulded storage compartment that fits the contoured shape of the high back seat. The compartment seals on the bottom with a large watertight rubber gasket and straps to the main body with the opening completely invisible. Use the storage compartment or leave it off and strap bulky objects with webbed belting.
This kayak has no self bailing holes and is not the best choice for surf and snorkeling. However, what you do get is a good, dry ride except for a little paddle drip into the foot wells. You also get a nice, low sitting position for comfort and stability.
This is the kayak of choice for several rental companies in my area. I purchased a used rental kayak about 2 years old for about half the $400 retail price for a new one.
If you want a nice flat water ride for creeking, lakes and slow rivers the Typhoon is very hard to beat. This boat is sturdy and well made. It is rated at 250 pounds and will perform well at maximum capacity. Check this one out. You'll be glad you did.