which kayak?

-- Last Updated: May-17-11 6:14 AM EST --

I have never kayaked before and I am not sure what is a good kayak. My wife and I purchased a couple of equinox 10.4 kayaks from costco for $330 each. They seem nice and sturdy and I love that they have the covered storage on them. I also noticed REI has an Emotion Glide kayak for around the same price with a different shape hull but not really any storage. It is also quite a bit lighter than the equinox 10.4. Trying to load the equinox on top of our SUV was a little challenging since its a little heavier. My main concern though is how it will perform on a calm lake. With the weight and hull shape of the equinox will it perform as well as the emotion glide? any help is greatly appreciated. THANK YOU

six of one…
…half dozen of the other. The two boats should have somewhat the same performance. The dimensions and hulls are not very different. As you have noticed, the hatches add considerably to the weight. You can always store your gear in dry bags and 37 lbs is a lot easier to load than 54. Being lighter should also make the Emotion a little more responsive to paddle and expands the load bearing range. It also seems, from user reports, that it is easier to keep a sprayskirt on the coaming of the Emotion. With such an oversized cockpit, you will get a lot of water inside the hull in any waves so you may want to be able to use a sprayskirt.

Hard to knock these as low-budget entry level kayaks and you will probably be able to sell either one for a couple hundred when and if you decide you want something more versatile, faster and responsive. Both are STRICTLY pond boats. This style is not very fast and not quickly maneuverable – with the wide flat hull, they may be stable in calm water but can go over completely if hit broadside in a large boat wake or wind-driven waves. It is also difficult to get such boats out of strong currents so I would stay off fast flowing rivers or coastal areas.

No matter what you buy, make sure it has adequate flotation. I have seen rec boats sink and if you think they are heavy empty, you should try to empty one on the water!

Equinox 10.4

– Last Updated: May-18-11 8:02 PM EST –

The Equinox 10.4 is made for Costco by the Canadian company Future Beach, which makes a small line of similar kayaks, including the Trophy 126 DLX fishing kayak and the Reflection 10.4, which is basically an Equinox 10.4 without the front hatch. I own five kayaks, none of which is made by Future Beach (Hobie Pro Angler, Hobie i9s, Wilderness Systems Ride 135, Hurricane Santee 116 Sport and Pelican Pursuit 80 DLX), but I have a few kayak fishing buddies who each own a Trophy 126 DLX and, based on my experience fishing with them, I can tell you that you've purchased a great kayak. It's extremely durable and crazy stable. It's plenty fast and maneuverable for its size. One of my buddies can double-time it in his Trophy 126 DLX at five miles per hour. Your kayaks have the new Easy Rider II Comfort seat, which addresses the biggest problem that each of my buddies has with his kayak; the comfort of the seat during extended paddles. One of them recently bought and retrofitted his kayak with the Easy Rider II Comfort seat and loves it. A bonus feature of the dihedral hull of your kayaks is that they sit flat on the crossbars of your roof rack without the need for pads or any additional racking systems (e.g., J-style racks). You made a terrific purchase. Now get out there and paddle.

Appreciate all of your input
Thank you for all the information. We are dying to get out and use these kayaks. I know my wife has done it once before but I have never been kayaking. Stability was one of my major concerns because I just want a relaxing time out on a lake but I also wanted some decent speed. I do love how the seat feels in the kayak though. It feels like it conforms to the body very well and kind of cradles you. For our kayaks though we did still have to get some J style roof racks to get both kayaks on top of our escape.

Thank you for all of your responses!!