We had a great time taking this kayak out. All four of our kids (ages 6,9,11,12) were able to get into it without falling in the water, quickly learn to maneuver it (the different foot positions were super useful for their varying heights) and have a great time even in a fairly crowded lake. The backrest works great, but I don't think it will hold up as long and as well as the kayak. The kayak has three holes that helped us easily and quickly tie it onto our minivan rack. It has good on-land maneuverability. My kids are able to buddy up and carry it around together. My 6 year old pulled it out of the water up onto the beach by himself. We really appreciate the fact that it is sturdy but not unreasonably heavy. The kids found a lot of fun ways to use it, and that they could easily put two kids on it together and stay very steady. They eventually did tip it intentionally, but never had any trouble staying upright when they wanted to be dry. The paddle comes in two pieces, which helps for storage and transporting it, but the kids also liked using it as two separate paddles when they had someone sitting on the back as shown in the fourth picture. Not the intended use, of course, but our kids are creative and adventurous and we like that this kayak gives them options. Our 12 year old daughter is a thrill seeker, and appreciated that she could get the kayak moving pretty fast across the water. She also found that she could stand on it and use it like a paddleboard! The other kids followed in suit and they all loved that too! All around we really enjoyed adding this to our lake trip and are considering purchasing another for an upcoming summer birthday. With all the kids taking turns alone and together, they had the kayak in the water for at least 4 hours non-stop. We can't wait to take it out to the river and other fun places!
My wife and I bought this for occasional use on our yearly trip to the mountains. We wanted a tandem kayak and looked online for a used kayak. We are not professional kayakers so we weren't looking for an ultra performance kayak. A lot of the used kayaks online were in horrible condition. The new ones (brand names) were well over $1000. So we found this kayak out our local sporting goods store. We've had this for 3 years now and everything works as brand new. The kayak is 10ft long so it's one of the shorter tandem kayaks, which is a perk for us. We bought seat pads and the stock seat backs work well. As mentioned this isn't the most performance kayak out there, buts it's doesn't cost as a performance one does. For occasional trips to the lakes for fun relaxing floating around the water that doesn't brake the bank...This is the perfect kayak.
Lightweight and easy to carry. Fits easily in the bed of a truck. Our kids had a great time paddling around a local marina. The kayak was steady and they stayed upright, while taking on boat wakes. It's a good size for our 10 year old with years to grow into. We definitely plan on letting all our kids learn with this model to build their confidence and experience. The backstrap is adjustable to accommodate different sizes. Has some handholds on the back that their younger siblings like to hold onto, like a boogie board. My husband has some experience with boating and kayaking rivers and whitewater and was able to quickly teach them different strokes for them to maneuver between buoys. This is a great recreational kayak for them to learn with. The kayak seems more suited for slow moving waters and lakes as it lacks the stabilizer straps that would go across the thighs and knees if you are to navigate rivers with strong eddies or small to medium rapids. I think these straps would also be beneficial as a safety feature if there was to be strong winds or waves on a large body of water. The straps can help you leverage your hips to pivot. The paddle that came with it is sized appropriately for youth. The paddle breaks down into two pieces for easy storage with the kayak in our garage. Gave a 4 out of 5 stars because of it's ease of use and transport and our kids really liked it. Some modifications to increase the stability would make it 5 stars. For example, the foot wells are pretty shallow. Adjustable foot pedals or deeper wells would be great. Also, the back support could be bigger/taller or have some type connection to keep it from slipping low and losing support. It would catch against our son's vest and either push the vest above his chin or slip low to where he was sitting on it. My husband also recommends the thigh/knee straps as third point of stability so you can then drive into bigger waves. These features could obviously increase the cost, so for the price and quality of this particular model, it's a very good buy and recommended if you want to get your kids comfortable before upgrading to something larger or more technical.
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