I bought this kayak about a year ago and have been using it ever since. Probably the thing I enjoy about it the most is its extremely comfortable seat. Most kayaks have poor seats that are terribly uncomfortable, but this one is amazing. Recently, I lost a piece that clips my seat to the kayak, so I asked customer service about it, and they promptly sent me a new one at no cost! Very happy with this kayak!
We got a paddle with our daughters kayak and I'm so glad that we did. It's easy to hold onto and makes it easy to get to where you want to go! It's easy to balance as well so if your taking a break you can set it across your kayak and it stays there! It comes apart for easy storage.
This paddle worked great for each of our kids (ages 6,9,11,12). It is lightweight and very maneuverable for them. They were using it with a Lifetime youth kayak, and were able to control the kayak with ease. We appreciate that the paddle disconnects easily in the middle, and splits in to two halves. That is useful for storage, but also because our kids sometimes put more than one kid on the kayak, and then they can both have a paddle. We also liked the feature that there are two options for connecting the paddle together: one where both ends (blades) of the paddle are flat (at the same angle as eachother), and one option where the paddle blades are offset from eachother by 90 degrees. Depending on the user's approach to paddling, both of these settings can be useful.
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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