Opinions Please?

Hello! I’m looking to make a kayak purchase and I have narrowed my decision down to two choices. It’s going to be either the Dagger Axis 10.5 or Wilderness Aspire 10.5. So I’m just looking for any personal experience with these Kayaks or opinions that would help me further my decision. Thanks for your time.

More info needed
No profile so no information on intended place to be used (quiet ponds and lakes, calm rivers, whitewater or ocean/sea), intended purpose (day paddles, fishing, camping). Also no info on your height and weight.

If you want an answer on if anyone likes one or the other of these boats best, that can get a response. But if you are asking which would be better for your useage, need to supply more of the stuff above.

As Celia said…
…it’s impossible to say without knowing your stats and intended use. But those ‘little’ details aside, those kayaks are entry level boats and will not allow for much growth in your abilities. Doesn’t look like they have floatation in the bow either.

I wouldn’t want to spend a morning or afternoon in either boat.

I mean, if you can save yourself $30 with the wilderness, then why not? both look great from what ive seen and im sure that $30 could buy you a decent accessory.

A few Thoughts

– Last Updated: Jun-17-14 6:59 PM EST –

Here are some comments, admittedly from a non-kayaker, but someone who's looked at a bunch of questions about which kayak to buy and has paddled with a bazillion rec-kayak users. This won't answer your question, but may be something to think about.

Both boats are a step above the typical rec kayak in that they have thigh padding. What might be harder to decide without trying them, is whether one will fit you better than the other so that you can actually make good use of that padding to control the boat.

One boat has a drop-down skeg, which might seem nice, but proper paddling technique should make either boat go straight. Still, if you plan to paddle on windy lakes the drop-down skeg might give one boat an advantage over the other.

10.5 feet is short unless you are often poking around in extremely tight, twisty creeks or are doing mild whitewater (but even in really tight places, a boat that's a few feet longer will do just fine). One thing I've noticed is that it seems like everyone wants their first kayak to be short, not realizing that that's going to make it better at making a big wake than cruising quickly. Granted, I'd admit that this length is not as short as what some people want to start with, but even increasing the length to 13 feet would provide a huge step up in cruising efficiency. So with that in mind, you might think about whether you actually "need" the boat to be short or whether compactness simply appeals to you for some (non-performance) reason.

All that being said, there sure are a lot of people paddling short kayaks, boats that are usually much lower on the quality scale than these, and they seem happy and have no need to "grow" into a better boat. Right now, no one here can know where you stand in that regard, so it makes no sense to recommend a different class of boat, but rest assured, plenty of people will do exactly that.

I agree with you even though…
…I mocked those kayaks. I mean why set the bar low? Or I guess that would be setting the bar high if you are talking about setting the bar for limbo dancing.

But in this case it would be setting it low as in the high jump… then this bar would be very low but not so low as being on the ground low but nearly so.

You’ll just have to pardon me, as I spent too much time upside down in Lake Erie over the weekend and I think that some of the lake effluents got inside my inner ear:)

It’s understandable
You wouldn’t go to a photo-hobby site asking for advice about “the best” $150 camera in terms of picture quality and features. The same thing happens here.

How true…
…I do go to a photo forum and it can get hairy at times. And then every so often I’ll see a great image taken with a truly crappy camera (but more often it’s the reverse:).

same parent Co, but slightyl different
I do agree with the other when they ask what you will be doing so they can suggest whether they think this class of boat is the right for you.

That said, the two are the same parent company, but are slightly different boats. The basic hull shape looks similar. But the main differences I see are:

  • the Dagger has a smaller cockpit opening (yet still large) - this will allow it to better take a skirt, if you planned to use one.

  • the Dagger has a skeg, where the Wilderness Systems does not. This could allow for better tracking and better ability to deal with winds.