The adventure started at West Lake Park, 8:00 am. We parked close to the dock, tossed the parts on the ground, and started the assembly process. The paddles come in four small parts and snap together in seconds. The seats literally take 5-6 pumps and are rock solid. Now for the kayak itself. There are five separate air chambers and with the provided inflation gauge, a snap to inflate. This being our first time, it probably took us a little longer to get everything together but from the car to the water, including a restroom break and loading water and snacks..... 30 minutes. I am not kidding. We floated from the boat ramp at 8:30. A quick adjustment to the seats, some test paddling around the dock, a tiny bit more air to be sure, and we were on our way. I have kayaked in rented boats for years and I can tell you the Pro Package seats were the most comfortable I have ever used. They also move freely in the boat and cause you to sit a bit high. They took a little while to get used to but I was pretty much settled before we hit the open water. The paddles have a slight curve to scoop the water and propel the boat with little effort. Turning was simple and accurate and tracking was great. A must to negotiate the mangrove swamp that makes up a large portion of the park. The wind had a noticeable effect and a strong wind would probably be annoying in open water but close to the shore it was fine.
Our first day trial adventure lasted 4 hours. If the Florida sun had not started to take it's toll, it could have been 4 more. Bigger hat, more sun screen, and more water go on the checklist for next time. From the time we hit the ramp till we loaded the car, 10 minutes. It was ridiculous. The kayak just deflates and rolls up in minutes. The paddles snap apart, the seats deflate and fold up. We had to wait a bit while a couple of guys with the hard kayaks pulled out of the water. We drove away while they were still loading up.
Now for the cleanup. Since West Lake is brackish water, there was some slime and salt to deal with. We inflated the side chambers, a quick rinse and cloth cleaned the boat in a few minutes, then it was left upside down to drain and dry. The seats, paddles, and life jackets just needed a quick spray. An hour later it was a fast wipe with a dry cloth, deflate, roll up, and in the bag with the seats and paddles. How easy can this be right? We have four other locations to try out so there will likely be several more kayak posts on this blog. I also want to put in a word for Tuaq.com. Not only did they have a phenomenal price on the Sea Eagle, they had it to my house 5 days after I ordered it.
|Sea Eagle 370 Pro - Tuaq.com|