Posted by Davey Jones on July 10, 2002 at 16:28:43:
In Reply to: The All New Pro Explorer from Malibu Kayaks posted by jas on July 09, 2002 at 22:14:45:
: I took the new version of the Pro Explorer out for a couple of test drives. This kayak has been improved and remodified to better suit the angler(or diver)than that of their previous version. Malibu Kayaks has added a HUGE new front 38" hatch to accomodate all of the gear. It's the largest hatch I've seen on a kayak. I was able to stow 3 poles, speargun and gaff with still A LOT of room to spare. It was a lot easier sliding my poles in than my other kayak. Even with all that stuff (plus large otter box, battery, cables, etc;), I could still have put a bunch more gear in there without having to line up every pole or piece of gear perfectly. I sort of just dumped it in. There is also a center hatch located just in front of the seat. What a great utility hatch. Tackle, drinks, lunch, camera, etc; No scooting yourself up to the front hatch just to pull out your lunch. There is a nice tankwell in the back for stringing up your fish or stowing more gear topside.
: There is plenty of deck space on the Pro Explorer. If any of you have paddled a 12-13ft tandem SOT kayak by yourself, and have noticed the amount of deckspace when your paddling partner isn't there.........this is a similar view.
: I'm 6'2" and weigh about 205. My feet didn't even come close to touching the last molded foot rest. This kayak can handle a tall person no problem. I was pleasantly surprised about how long cockpit was. Though a shorter person shouldn't have a problem either. The molded footrests can accomodate a wide range of various persons' heights.
: The kayak tracked extremely well. I took it out in the afternoon wind. Handled the wind waves great. Still tracked well through 1-2ft wind waves and white caps. The ride was very dry as well. Even without Scupper plugs and wind waves breaking over my bow, I still managed to stay dry. As far as stability, I personally haven't paddled a kayak that was more stable. Though keep in mind, I have many more hours with the touring style of sit on tops than I have with these types. Today I managed to get on the beach without coming across some of the 2-3ft beach breaks that were regularly pounding the surf zone. Though the other day, I did manage to successfully ride straight down the face of a small beach break wave without pearling the front end. Thank the front splash guard for that. Stays on top pretty nicely.
: I tried the kayak out with a low back seat the very first time I paddled it. I felt uncomfortable with the low back seat in it. When sitting in it with the low back seat, it seemed like my rear was lower than my legs or the footrests. Put more strain on my lower back then I was use to. Since I sat so low in the kayak with the low back seat, my rear paddle clip kept getting bumped by my elbow. Today, I tried it with a HIGH back seat.....WOW, HUGE difference in comfort, control, etc; The high back seat made a world of difference. If you go to their web site, it's pictured w/ a high back seat. As well, that rear paddle clip wasn't even close to getting bumped no matter how I paddled the kayak. I was very pleased with the performance once the high back seat was in place.
: One thing to consider is transporting them. If you are use to putting 2 kayaks on your roof top, you'll have to measure the two kayaks against the surface area of your rooftop. I could not have put 2 of these kayaks side to side on top of my Honda Accord or a small truck top. Though kayak saddles, larger roofs, etc; could mangage 2 kayaks side by side.
: Cheaper may not be better when purchasing kayaks, boats or just about anything. In the case of Malibu Kayak's all new Pro Explorer, you DO NOT compromise quality because you are paying less than the larger manufactures for their sit on tops. In the real world, we call this a good value. Did I mention there is a lifetime warranty that comes with it as well?
: I will be putting up pictures of the Pro Explorer tomorrow. I believe their web site has not been updated yet to reflect their new modifications. Though I did hear they were working on that. Until then, you can view it here.
RE: Yeah was talking about them awhile back if I remember, b4 they had the hatches made and the new pics. From the reviews I have read, they have many happy buyers and the barebone kayaks can't be beat.
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