I am going to buy my first kayak in a couple of weeks. I will mostly be using in in lakes and slow rivers and maybe at the beach ( it does not have big waves). The kayak I am thinking about is the Ocean Kayak Malibu XL.Do you think this a a good choice? I want stability, and easy to manuver.

It is Certainly Stable
It is probably one of the most popular tadem kayaks ever. It is a very common kayak for kayak liveries because it is stable.

One downside is weight, but not a big problem for two to carry.

other, faster, just as maneuverable SOTs as well…! The XL is the original M2’s ‘Big Brother’, and it IS an improvement over the original.

But, friend, it paddles like a slug. I know, we had an M2, and with only a solo paddler, it was a chore & a half to move that monster.

There’s probably literally a ton -well, a half-ton, really -of candidates out there that will do you better if you’re not specifically searching for a tandem’s 2 seats, but want stability and maneuverability.

I point first to my OK S-Pro TW, a fine, stable boat that will literally run by, and then run rings AROUND, the M2. And it’s something like 15 or so pounds lighter. It was our second solo boat, and SUCH a WONDERFUL advancement over the old M2 it seemed almost miraculous in comparison. Yes, I’m a bit biased -but I still, 6 yaks later, including a superfast glass SOT and 2 SINKs, think it a fine SOT for what you seem to want it for -plus it will handle big water should you ever seek to try THAT, as well…

Then there’s the Prowler 15 -again, a significantly faster boat, and if not quite as rasy to turn as the S-Pro, will still offer the stability and maneuverability you want. And it is CERTAINLY stable -I’ve seen guys standing up on them fishing and poling.

And these are merely 2 boats from the OK stable.

There WS and their Tarpon line, starting with the T-160, a fine, fast boat that is dryer than the OK line, stable as all get-out, and can be outfitted with a rudder if you need to turn fast and don’t want to invest in a kayak-turning learning curve. There’s the T-140, akin to the 160, but with a TW, an easier abilitgy to turn, and not quite as fast.

Mainstream makes some nice angling platforms that will probably outpace the M2 while providing about the same stability…

…and the list goes on, and on, and on some more…

And a small piece of advice?

Friend, stability isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. As folks around here and elsewhere will tell you, I’m not the most stable guy in town. And I’m not into balancing an unstable KAYAK, either, LOL! But with a few outings under your butt and a few hours on the water, the very characteristics that make for a stable boat will begin to haunt you, I believe, and you may end up regretting getting what you seem to be adking for.

As always, try before you buy and later cry because you didn’t plumb exactly why you wanted what you THOUGHT you originally wanted to


-Frank in Miami

malibu 2
great boat!first sot i ever used had to go get one.its been part of the fleet for five years.the kids love it.the dogs love it.made a down wind sail for it last year.good family boat.it is alittle heavy made a yak cart for it out of pvc and kids old plastic fourwheeler tires.very stable will hold up a ton of gear.

you NEED a tandem forget them.You’ll be much happier with a single.OK’s Drifter is very stable and turns on a dime.Not a rocket but not slow either.I have the SPTW.It doesnt have as much initial stability as the Prowlers but plenty enough.Very efficient to paddle at only 26" width and turns well.Good luck!

You’ll move up later
I started as a raw beginner with WS Tarpon 140 and within a few months, was aching for a sleek, narrow sit inside (which I bought sight unseen on the internet) I am very happy with my current QCC SINK. Initially I was like you in desiring a very stable kayak. I wish someone would have pushed me into more challenging and efficient kayak from the beginning.

My first time in a kayak was in an OK Malibu II. Not knowing any better, I thought it was about all I would be able to handle for a long while. I was wrong. Best advice anyone can give you is to try as many different kinds of kayaks as you can before buying one, INCLUDING a sit inside. On the other hand, there aren’t many kayaks as safe as the Malibu. It’s almost impossible to tip over unless you try. It is a fat barge.