Rating Your Kayak

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lee johnson
Posts: 108
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:51 pm
Location: vancouver canada

Rating Your Kayak

Post by lee johnson » Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:33 pm

Rate your kayak, by all means, but know that you are also rating yourself. A well-designed kayak is only as good as the person using it. I have written a review of my 2007 Expedition for paddling.net and have assigned it a "10" out of 10. When I was getting used to it, however, I would have given it a "7" or an "8" - simply because I had a learning curve to ascend: to know how to "read" the deck-lifts as clues to twists in the main chambers, to know how to line up, exactly, the BackBone and a marked inflatable floor, or to know what kind of paddling strokes work best. Now, my 2007 EXP is so "perfect" that, taking my cue from the amps in "This Is Spinal Tap," I could give it an "11"!
The Expedition has become my favourite kayak - not that it displaces the best all-rounder - which, in my view, is the Advanced Frame 10'5" (the finest compromise of speed and maneuverability) - or the Dragonfly XC (now the Lagoon) - which is simply a joy to use. Responses to the Dragonfly XC illustrate my point that they often tell us more about the kayakers than about the kayaks. "B" loves the Dragonfly XC because it instantly responds to her every wish, giving her complete control at all times. "K" cannot get the Dragonfly XC to do what she wants, despite having taken kayaking classes. "P" - an experienced hardshell owner - thinks the Dragonfly XC is wonderful and a "hoot" to use - especially if one shortens one's stroke and keeps it ahead of one's hip-line. "D" thinks the Dragonfly XC is a "tub" compared to the Expedition - and proceeds to give authoritative technical analyses of why this is so. In all this, the Dragonfly XC is still the same watercraft: made of the same high-quality materials as the Advanced Frame line. Of course, it serves a somewhat different purpose: the ultimate in a serious, ultra-portable kayak one can take anywhere - pack it into the wilderness, if you wish - a kayak that perfectly fulfills its purposes - IF the kayaker is clever enough to adapt to its nature. Then, there is no excuse not to use the Dragonfly XC and simply enjoy its qualities (nothing else out there rivals it in its class).
So, take the reviews with a grain of salt or a splash of salt-water - and ask yourself if you are exploring, to the full, the ingenious possibilities your AE IK is offering you. Look for experienced opinions from those who revel in the wide spectrum of kayak-designs - especially from those who have demonstrated a willingness to change their minds as they figure things out. Most importantly, though, "listen" to your well-designed AE kayak as you use it in a variety of conditions of wind and waves - and let it "tell" you, as it were, how to get the most out of its considerable potential.

Michi Mallt
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2014 6:47 pm
Location: United States

Choosing a Kayak

Post by Michi Mallt » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:36 pm

Hi, I really appreciate what you have shared about Kayak designs. I think, you are correct of having a kayak with a design that also fits a user's needs. to add to it, I guess, choosing the right one for you means first coming up with an idea of how you intend to use it. However, Is it true that The serial number on the stern should conform to a to a certain standard? I have read that this will give you a better info one may need.

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