This review is specific for how I feel about the kayak after my first trip in it.
Please take note that I have no experience at all with a mono hull/regular kayaks. Also please note that I weigh 72kg (160 lbs) and I was with my daughter who weighs 16kg (35 lbs). She was sitting in the front, facing me.
The bay (Ashbridge Bay – Toronto, Ontario) did not had big waves, but there was high traffic, big sailing boats and ski jets.
The w500 kayak was very easy to launch, no wet feet.
First minutes in the kayak I felt weird about its buoyancy effect; When I leaned in one direction (any, front, side, back) the kayak bounced back. This is weird initially, but after few minutes the feeling passed. It’s like starting to learn to ride a bike. The beginning of the ride is hesitant in balancing the direction, same here.
After the first minutes you learn how to sit steadily – the trick is to stay firm on saddle.
Paddling was easy, with no big effort; I paddled for almost two hours continuously with small breaks to watch the birds and fish, without feeling pain or tired.
Based on the bay size I think I put somewhere between 3-4km. Next time I will take the GPS to track the distance.
To change direction by 90 degrees it took only one backwards stroke.
I did not splash any water inside. For a newbie like me I think this is also good.
The paddle bought with the kayak is good, does the job well. I dropped it in the water; It floats and does not retain any water.
The lower part of the legs is well protected by the cockpit.
I did not have any problem in keeping direction while paddling. I found that it is easier and faster to paddle sitting at the rear, and not in the middle of the kayak, but please note that my daughter who weighs 16kg (35 lbs) was sitting on the front.
The kayak absorbs impact, and I think this is good, and at same time it feels rigid enough.
The tips of the kayak are great and very handy for storing stuff, plenty of open storage.
I found the eyelets mounted on the body useful for rigging various stuff.
Now, after the trip, strapping it to my minivan looks easy, using only 6 straps. No additional device to rig on the car, no foam, no special rack.
In my opinion the kayak delivers the features that are posted on the manufacturer’s website. For me, it met all the aspects that I was looking for. I don’t see now major changes needed to the design or rigging. I will mount maximum four RAM 119 rod holders, nothing more. I have a portable fish finder. I don’t think that the kayak needs more rigging or holes.
Overall I am happy with my purchase, and I am looking to have good time with my family using the kayak for fishing and just touring.
As a veteran Wavewalk kayak angler (Rox) said – Life is good.
Regards and safe paddling from Ashbridge bay, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
29 August 2010