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  OK, tried more boats on the water
  Posted by: bartc on Dec-24-12 4:35 PM (EST)

Great to paddle on a gorgeous X-mas Eve Day!

First up was the Zephyr 155. Compared to the 160 that I had found so tippy, this one was more stable and controllable for me. It's a candidate, but would still take getting used to, so not an immediate winner.

Then tried 2 WS Tempests, the 165 and the 170. The 165 immediately felt more stable than the Zephyr and felt a bit faster, but it was too tight a fit for my legs and feet. The 170 felt that it fit my body the best and felt the best in terms of stability, but didn't want to turn very easily. That's the trade-off that everyone speaks of.

Tried a Valley Aquanaut (?), but it was so small as to be impossible for me to even get into!

No Alchemys available, unfortunately, as comparing with that boat, which I recall liking, would have been illustrative.

All three WS boats had the same seating system. I'm not used to a back band and don't particularly like it as yet, but I realize better boats go that way. Only the T 170 felt high enough to be remotely comfortable. What I felt from all 3, however, was fatigue in my thighs, which I assume is an adjustment issue and not due to the boats themselves.

There you have it so far. I'm now more convinced that I need significantly more seat time, plus maybe a good edging class, before trying to buy a new sea kayak.

 Great Products from the Buyers' Guide:

Paddling Accessories

Paddler's Truck Rack

Pro Coolers

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