Has anyone had any experience with the Ascend H12? I am a big guy and this looks like it may be just the ticket for me, but I am very new to kayaking and hope some of you experts here might have some insight.
Wow, that’s a wide boat! I guess when they say “hybrid” they mean that it’s a cross between a sit inside kayak and a canoe.
I’m sure it would make a decent fishing platform but if you are interested in any other form of kayaking it would be slow and not particularly safe in anything but very calm water. If you tip it I’m thinking it’s pretty much game over and you better be ready to swim to shore as it will sink.
What are your interests and expectations?
That is what I was afraid of.
I am a big guy working on not being as big of a guy and kayaking is something I have been interested in for a while. I believe it will be a great way to get me out from behind my computer monitors and back outside moving again. I am in TX and have a plethora of lakes/rivers within driving distance. I am searching for a kayak that will handle both lakes/rivers and my current size as well as staying relevant to me as I improve/reduce.
Keep one thing in mind
Whenever someone asks about kayaks that are wide, or generally in the "rec" class, at least one person will tell you how dangerous they are because if they flip you can't get back in them. While that's true, the oddball flipside to this is that no one here will ever say the same thing to someone who is planning the same adventures in a canoe, yet the problems with getting back in the boat after a capsize are just about the same (yes, people talk about re-entering a canoe, but when push comes to shove, most will admit that they did it when they were kids but can't do it anymore). I'd never be able to count the number of times this topic has come up for people proposing to paddle kayaks on small rivers, even though the normal thing to do after a flip there is just to drag the boat to shore.
Use common sense so that you don't put yourself in situations where a capsize and the need for swimming to shore might kill you. Then go have fun. You can also install flotation in your boat so that it won't sink if you do flip.
Lots of people get plenty of use and have plenty of fun in wide, rec kayaks. If you need a wide boat, buy a wide boat. As long as you aren't out in high, curling waves, the extra width will not increase your risk of flipping (common sense once again).
If you want a big boat that performs better (the one you are looking at is made for fishing), check out the Pungo 140. It's a fairly efficient hull, considering the width, and the 14-foot length will suit you much better if you are doing more than just puttering around and not going far.
I was also going to recommend the 14’ Pungo. It’s a 28" wide kayak with double bulkheads rated for up to 350lbs capacity. A Wilderness Systems Tsunami 125 is rated for up to 300lbs and would probably be an even better choice.
It’s true that the Ascend will get you on the water, and you’ll have fun…well at least for the first little while, but I think you’ll soon outgrow it if you have any aspirations of becoming a competent paddler and getting a decent workout.
Thanks for all the responses. After further research I believe that I am going to go ahead and invest in a better quality SOT.