Took the new girl out for a spin this morning... The conditions were ideal for a n00b like myself.
I didn't get down to fishys until around 9:30 thanks to some work stuff, but once I got on the water i was all good.
I live about a kilometre's walk from fishermans beach, and seeing as i have no racks on the car, have to walk my yak to the water and back.
The new pneumatic, sand-going wheels are awesome and give a nice soft ride. The damping that it provides made it much easier on my arms and shoulders for the long haul. (especially back up the hill). It was harder going on the sand, but there was good balance and traction... no complaints there
It took me a couple of goes to get in the yak, but once in it was all systems go. I released the pedals, slipped my feet in and tentatively started kicking. Propulsion was easy enough and eventually I got going at a reasonable pace...
At first I just pottered around, trying to get used to the rudder controls and just building my confidence. It didn't take long to feel at home though. I am pretty much a beginner at yaking, but I felt very confident, very quickly with this lil hobie. Now and then I felt a bit tippy, but only really because I am still getting used to being on the water.
I had good fun just trying the handling on this thing.. for a 4m yak it turns in a surprisingly small circle. At first I was too chicken and turned flat, but if you go with the flow and lean your weight inside the turn slightly, it turns even tighter. I even managed to get in and turn in the wake of passing stinkboats.
Now, I have nothing to compare it to, but this vessel has a nice turn of speed, though the "gearing" feels a bit short... Meaning that I think, with my bike riding experience, I generate plenty of torque with my legs, so I think I'll probably upgrade to turbo fins sooner rather than later. On the plus side, once or twice I needed to get up and go pretty quick, and that's pretty easy with this system. And it gets up and planes very nicely too. The nose sits up a little and you can just crunch through the waves with it.
Anyway, beaching at the end of the trip was a piece of cake too.. I just picked my spot on the sand and headed out and turned back in heading straight for the spot. I got up some speed, then flicked the mirage drive into lock, then brought the rudder up and nosed it into the sand.. Sweet as my friends...
Here's a picture or two from the water... I'll try and do a more comprehensive and useful review some time soon, once I've done some more testing.
There's also a vid here