Hey, guys and gals!
Ok, so I have a bit of experience paddling, but I must confess that I’m in the process of buying the very first kayak that I can call my own. After a ton of research and studying yaks in my price range (I’d like to spend no more than $800, considering I’m not particularly affluent and that I’ll also have to shell out some cash for a paddle, life vest, and any other necessary items), I think I’ve pretty much settled on Ocean Kayak’s Prowler 13. Academy Sports has them right now for $699, in stock, ready to pick up.
Some things I think I’d like about it:
-It’s not ridiculously expensive, but is packed with some of the same features as more expensive models
-It seems to have stood the test of time and consistently gets good reviews
-Great weight capacity (I’ll be doing a lot of camping trips and overnighters)
-Accessible compartment for small items (such as cellphone, etc.)/molded-in cup holder (no spilt beer)
-Molded-in foot brakes (I read a lot about adjustable brakes, well, breaking…)
-Versatile (I’ll probably be mostly still water paddling, but I plan on tackling a Class I or II river on occasion)
-Fast ENOUGH (I’m not running any races, but I don’t want to be the slowest boat in the water)
-stable ENOUGH (I like to fish, but I don’t necessarily need to stand to do so)
Before saddling up and dropping what I consider to be a good chunk of change, I guess I just wanted to throw my decision out there for validation more than anything. Is it a good first kayak? Are there others in that price range I should check out first? (the Perception Pescador Pro is in the same price range, with similar features, for example) What are some things I should watch out for with this particular model? Are the features I’m interested in really all that essential? What am I not considering? Etc.
Anyone who has owned one and still prefers it, I’d love to hear your thoughts, as well as any opinions from those who have had one and found it inadequate. The biggest complaint I’ve seen from reviewers so far is that they can sometimes get a little wet. Since I live in South Carolina and love cooling off in the lake/river/creek/yard sprinkler, I personally consider that characteristic a plus. I’ve also read that the stock seat is crap, but I can always upgrade that at my leisure.
What do you guys think???