Standard Horizon HX751 VHF Radio Review

 

standard horizon hx751

Deets:

Brand: Standard Horizon

Model: HX751

Radio Type: VHF Floating Marine Transceiver

Weight: 10.8 oz

Case size: 2.44” x 5.57” x 1.61”

Ham & Noise Radio: 40 dB typical

AF Output: 700 mW @ 16 Ω for 10% THD (@7.4 V)

Transmit Power: 6-Watt two way

Features: Floating, Submersible, 1.7” display, Thermometer Sensor, NOAA Weather Channels

MSRP: $175.99 (in 2010)

 

REVIEW

I purchase the Standard Horizon HX751 VHF radio in August of 2010 for the primary use of open-water crossings and extended ocean travel in the case of an emergency.  After hearing several favorable reviews of the HX751, I purchased the Standard Horizon due to its acclaimed reliability and dependability on the water. Disappointment was soon to await (skip to Third Year section).

 standard horizon hx751

 

First Year: First Glance

Duration of Use (approx. One Month)

One of the key features which initially attracted me to purchasing the Standard Horizon HX751 was its ability to float and stand upright in the water in the instance of accidentally dropping it in the water. As a sea kayaker, it is great to have a VHF radio that will not sink to the bottom of the ocean like a rock and one that will remain visible in the water.

After purchasing the HX751 in August 2010, I used it through the remainder of the season (through September) in both fresh water and salt water conditions. I found that the functionality of the radio was great and its features were easy to use on the water. Its large, illuminated buttons make it easy to change settings and adjust the squelch and volume if needed.

The HX751 transmission power is very favorable- with the ability to reach crafts and stations up to 10 miles away. This gave me peace of mind on the water, having a stronger feeling of reassurance in the instance of an emergency situation or need for extraction.

I tested all of the features upon first purchasing the device and overall I was very satisfied with its overall quality, easy-of-use, and functionality. Although, one feature I was never able to use was the temperature feature. In theory, the HX751 is designed to read the water temperature when submerged until its thermo sensor was covered. Although the manual specified that the device may take several minutes to register- of the multiple times I tested this feature, the HX751 never displayed the temperature. This was disappointing as the thermo sensor is advertised as a key feature.

 

Second Year: Great Year

Duration of Use (approx. 3 months)

I continued to use the HX751 into the 2011 kayaking season, bringing it along several trips through the summer months. The radio performed well throughout the season, and while I did not have to deploy its use on the water- I found security in knowing I had the extra insurance just in case.

 

Third Year: Death of the HX751

Duration of Use (approx. One hour)

I did not use the HX751 until July of the following year when I went on a group trip through the Boston Harbor Islands. While I went kayaking several times prior that season, all of the trips were minor and did not require accompanying a VHF radio.

On the trip in Boston Harbor, I had my radio ready for action- on and scanning in the case of any small craft warnings. After about an hour on the water, the HX751 began to fade which I found odd considering I had just fully charged it the night prior. The LCD began to fade along with the volume which are all signs of typical battery drain. I did not think much of it, I was just glad that I did not have to use the device because I was the only member with a VHF radio and in this case, mine had failed on me.

After recharging the battery, the device failed to power on. I wrote the fade-away and die-off as a dead battery and decommissioned the HX751 for the remainder of the season. Battery replacements are not inexpensive for Standard Horizon products (batteries for handhelds can run in the $50 range), so I did not run out to replace mine that season.

 

2013 and beyond

Duration of Use (Not used)

I did not use the HX751 throughout the 2013 season and it was primarily stowed away inside as I did not go on any trips where another group member did not have a VHF radio on hand. Towards the end of 2013, I decided I would purchase the removable battery tray for the HX751 since it was a less expensive investment. The battery tray allows for the use of replaceable AAA batteries instead of a rechargeable Li-Ion. Upon using five brand new AAA-batteries, the HX751 still did not power on. I moved to the conclusion that the issue was not the battery, but in fact the handset was the culprit.

 

Customer Service

I called Standard Horizon’s customer service line and explained my scenario- the customer service representative was very kind and respectful but notified me that the radio was out of warranty, and would not be covered under repairs and replacement without a service fee. To my dismay, I was very disappointed with Standard Horizon’s procedure and stance behind their product since they guarantee that “Standard Horizon is committed to ensuring your enjoyment of this high performance transceiver, which should provide you with many years of satisfying communications even in the harshest of environments. Standard Horizon technical support personnel stands behind every product sold…”

I would like to suggest several amendments to this statement: First, when they state “many years” they actually mean four and a half MONTHS of seasonal use… Second, when they state “harshest conditions” they actually mean light coastal kayaking with minimal contact with the water… Third, when they state “stands behind every product” they mean only on our terms and conditions.

 

**Granted, I did take longer than I should have to report the radio failure. In retrospect, I should have reported the radio failure in the beginning of the 2012 season when it first died but my own assumptions that a nearly $200 VHF radio would virtually breakdown under minimal conditions lead me to believe it was not a call for alert** 

 

Recommended: No

Categories: Gear Reviews | 3 Comments

The Most Interesting New Sea Kayaks for 2014

This year I was able to get a bit of a head start on demoing the latest and greatest kayaks in preparation for Spring 2014! Here are what I believe to be the six “most-interesting” new models and why they’re worth the time to seek out for a demo:

 

Wilderness Systems Focus 145

Wilderness Systems Focus 145 (Image Courtesy of Confluence)

Wilderness Systems Focus 145 (Image Courtesy of Confluence)

Looking for a sleek, fitness-oriented kayak that’s quick on the flats and capable of near-coastal day tripping at a price point that doesn’t make your wallet say “ouch”?!?! Look no further than the new Wilderness Systems Focus Series. We had the chance to paddle the Focus 145 at the dealers show this past fall (also available in the larger 150 and 155 sizes) and we were very impressed with this modern take on the light-touring kayak. Like most fitness kayaks, the Focus 145 sacrifices some primary stability for its speed. However, we found the secondary stability to be quite solid and were surprised by how well the Focus 145 maneuvers on edge and its quick response to brace turns. This should prove confidence-inducing for entry-level fitness paddlers and makes me believe that the Focus 145 would also be a great choice for near-coastal day trippers looking for a kayak that can tuck into the coves and cover some ground in between!

Click here for a full review of the Wilderness Systems Focus 145

 

Stellar Intrepid 18

Stellar Intrepid 18 (Image Courtesy of Stellar)

Stellar Intrepid 18 (Image Courtesy of Stellar)

Long kayaks may be out of vogue but if weight is your only hesitation then passing over the Intrepid 18 (SI18) by Stellar Kayaks could be a big mistake. At first glance, this ultra-light, full-length sea kayak sticks out like a sore thumb in the Stellar line-up that is known for its racer-inspired designs. You’re not seeing things! This is exactly what it looks like; an 18-foot long sea kayak that is designed to handle bigger conditions while retaining the speed and efficiency that Stellar kayaks are known for. The best thing about the Intrepid 18 is that it breaks the “long boats are inherently heavy” rule. Here we have an 18-foot-long kayak that weighs only 45lbs in the “advantage” layup (best bang for your buck)! 45lbs!…18ft!…WOW!!!

Click here for a full review of the Stellar Intrepid 18


Lincoln Chebeague LV

Lincoln Chebeague LV at EORA 2013

Alex Demoing the Lincoln Chebeague LV at EORA 2013

Lincoln has raised the bar with the addition of the Chebeague LV to their exquisite line of Maine-crafted kayaks! The 14ft-long Chebeague LV retains the incredible performance characteristics of the classic Chebeague (lightweight construction, true-to-form tracking, and solid primary stability) while enhancing the experience for the smaller paddler thanks to its newly designed cockpit. The slightly lower deck and keyhole shape combine to make the smaller paddler feel more connected to the Chebeague LV and allow for better control while maneuvering on edge. We were so blown away by this kayak what we gave it a KayakDave.com Gear of the Year Award in 2013 to celebrate its awesomeness!

Click here for a full review of the Lincoln Chebeague LV

 

Venture Islay 14

Venture Islay 14 (Image Courtesy of Venture Kayaks)

Venture Islay 14 (Image Courtesy of Venture Kayaks)

The Venture Islay 14 proved to be yet another pleasant surprise at the 2013 dealers show! At first I was more interested in trying out the new P&H Hammer with the false expectation that it would perform much like its play-the-sea cousin, the P&H Delphin. The Hammer turned out to be a much more extreme chimera but I ended up finding what I was looking for in the Islay 14. In many ways the Islay 14 can be thought of as a mini version of the Delphin. It has a very similar feel with moderately aggressive rocker and that strange “self-righting” secondary stability that the Delphin are known for. The Islay 14 would be a good choice for paddlers interested in a variety of paddling from surf zones and rock gardens to day-tripping and quick overnights!

Full Review of the Venture Islay 14 coming soon!

 

Dagger Katana 9.1 & 10.4

Dagger Katana (Image Courtesy of Dagger)

Dagger Katana (Image Courtesy of Dagger)

One of the holy grails of our sport is finding that one kayak that can do everything. This endeavor has fueled a recent proliferation of the so-called “cross-over class” of kayaks supposedly well-suited for both flat-water paddling and mild white-water (class 2) paddling. By-and-large I have found that many of these corss-over models come up short in both departments being slugs on the flat-water and down-right scary to paddle in anything bigger than a mild class 2. The Dagger Katana represents one of the very few cross-over kayaks that I would consider adding to my fleet. Granted, it may still be a slug in the flats but its white-water-spec hull and superb outfitting would provide confidence in moderate (class 3) whitewater!

Full Review of the Venture Islay 14 coming soon!

 

Eddyline Denali

Eddyline Denali (Image Courtesy of Eddyline)

Eddyline Denali (Image Courtesy of Eddyline)

We all had our theories about the Eddyline Denali when we caught wind that it was in the works. Most of the speculation centered on the idea that it would essentially be a larger version of the Journey which gave us pause considering that the Journey suffered greatly from a lack of volume in the stern. Anyway, the Denali turned out to be much more than an up-scaled Journey; this is a boat for the big boys! We asked Brett (our tallest staff writer at 6’ tall) to take the Denali for a spin and he gave her good marks for tracking, stability, and overall cockpit fit.

Full Review of the Eddyline Denali coming soon!

Happy Paddling and get psyched for warmer weather!

KayakDave

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TRUE or FALSE: Eating snow in a survival situation can save your life.

In a life-threatening survival situation the body requires basic physiological needs in order to stay alive. Proper hydration, calories, sleep, and an adequate core body temperature are all necessary functions that need to be met for sustained survival.

eating snow

Winter conditions can make survival situations even more challenging; from crippling cold to a scarcity of food. But there is one resource which seems endless—snow. Here lies the question…

Q: Can you eat snow for hydration in a survival situation?

A: No. Eating snow possesses many dangers including induced hypothermia and dehydration. Due to snow’s below-freezing temperature status, consumption requires your body to go into overdrive to bring the snow down to a regulated body temperature. This process is strenuous on the body’s metabolism which creates a major caloric output. In addition, the introduction of freezing snow into the body can drive the body’s core temperature into hypothermic levels.  The bottom line—eating snow directly is a terrible idea and can turn a situation from bad to worse.

The solution: Melt the snow before you consume it. Using a container or empty bottle, one can stuff snow into the bottle and allow it melt (typically over a source of fire or the sun). Make sure to only seek out white, fluffy snow and avoid snow that is discolored. Dark, discolored snow may be routed with contaminates, bacteria, and debris—so make sure to treat/purify it prior to consumption.

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How to Prevent Blisters When Kayaking

Kayakers, especially folks new to the sport, are very familiar with blisters. Hand blisters typically form on the inside of thumbs, upper palms, and on the padding of fingers. This guide will give a brief insight on your first line of defense against developing blisters on the water.

Proper grip. Your first line of defense against hand blisters is through proper paddling grip. More times than not, I see kayakers gripping their paddle shaft with “white knuckle” strength. Much like little leaguers are taught in batting practice, holding a kayak paddle is more about finesse than strength. Gripping the paddle shaft lightly will reduce friction and heat, allowing more air through your hands during each paddle stroke.

A smooth shaft. A smooth kayak shaft is important to ensure the least amount of friction as possible. The constant sliding of wet, soft palms over the kayak shaft creates a one-way ticket to blistered skin. An easy to reduce friction and sliding on the paddle shaft is through the addition of Yakgrips, soft neoprene pads which fit over the paddle shaft in the hand position. Yakgrips are a great companion for kids and new kayakers who are still learning proper paddle grip and position.

Hands covered. Paddling gloves or pogies are a smart investment for those looking for a way to prevent blisters. Available in various designs, colors, and styles; paddling gloves are great for paddlers of all skill levels. Gloves prevent rubbing and friction on the palms, fingers, and inner thumb areas. In addition, gloves can help keep your hands dry while wicking way excess moisture.

sailing gloves

Word of caution: Be aware of sand! Loose sand can become trapped behind glove fabric which can spell disaster for blisters. Make sure to remove any sand from your gloves prior to hitting the water.

Preparing hotspots. I’m not talking about Wi-Fi here. Hotspots are localized areas of the skin which are prone to inflammation. Some kayakers are more prone than others at developing blisters due to skin sensitivities. If you fall in this category, it may be a smart investment to purchase a preventative pre-bandage such as Moleskin or anti-blister pads.

moldeskin

These can be found at various pharmaceutical shops and outdoor retailers. Look for waterproof or water-resistant variations as you will be using these primarily on the water. In addition, it is best to garnish Moleskin with additional wrappings along with paddling gloves.

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KayakDave.com Gear of the Year Awards 2013

KayakDave Gear of the Year Stamp

With the end of a great 2013 season comes the second annual edition of the KayakDave.com Gear of the Year Awards! We had the opportunity to review all sorts of mind-blowing outdoor products throughout the year thanks to our many generous sponsors. As always, these awards represent the most exciting, innovative and utterly amazing paddling gear that we were able to get our hands on! Without further ado, here is the “Gear of the Year”:

 

Kayak of the Year:

Lincoln Chebeague LV

Lincoln Chebeague LV5

There was one kayak that stood out above all of the rest for our staff this year and frankly it was a huge surprise! The new-for-2014 Chebeague LV by Lincoln Canoe and Kayak blew both Alex and I away when we got the chance to give her prototype a whirl at the EORA show this past summer!! This 14ft-long, 37lb (32lb kevlar) light touring kayak echoes the brilliant, hand-laid hull found on the classic Chebeague with a slightly lower deck and updated key-hole cockpit layout. Smaller paddlers should rejoice as the Chebeague LV was made for those of you looking for a classic, Maine-made day tripper that behaves as well in the flats as it does on edge. Alas, a kayak in the Lincoln line that fits wee paddlers well!!!

Full Review of the Lincoln Chebeague LV

 

Paddle of the Year:

Aquabound Stingray Hybrid Paddle w/ Posilock Ferrule

AquaboundStingRayHybrid

Aquabound Stingray Hybrid Paddle (Image Courtesy of Aquabound)

The Stingray Hybrid by Aquabound may not be the lightest or most flashy paddle on the market but it may just be the best bang for your buck at $140.00 MSRP! This paddle is an excellent choice for the average, everyday paddler thanks to its lightweight construction (30.5oz), moderate blade area, and smooth-padding blade shape. However, the feature that really blew us away was the updated posilock ferrule system. This may be the best ferrule on the market due to its ease of use and minimal failure points (zero metal parts)! This paddle is so all-around awesome that we almost had to give it a “Gear of the Year” award!

 

Bending Branches Balance SUP Paddle

Balance SUP Paddle (Image Courtesy of Bending Branches)

Balance SUP Paddle (Image Courtesy of Bending Branches)

SUP is all about being one with the water. In a sense, you’re literally “walking” on it which invokes a sense of connectedness and appreciation for this surreal experience. All of this may seem a bit existential to some but, trust me, the Balance paddle lends itself to this perspective. This paddle really has it all; a strong carbon shaft, a nicely balanced feel in hand, and blades that are beautifully-handcrafted from black willow and red alder. It’s everything that you can ask for in a SUP paddle and we’re thoroughly in love with it!

Full Review of the Bending Branches Balance SUP Paddle

 

Paddling Apparel of the Year:

MTI Slipstream

MTI Slipstream Lifejacket FrontBack

This may come as a surprise to those readers and clients who have heard me rant and rave about how much I love my Astral Greenjacket! I figured that the Greenjacket gets plenty of love and it’s time that another great PFD receive some of the “Gear of the Year” spotlight. This year, the award goes to the MTI Slipstream. This is a great choice for men and small-chested women who are interested in an athletically-cut lifejacket.  When it comes to fit, everything (mesh airflow system, z-straps, ect) adds up to make the Slipstream incredibly comfortable to the point where you forget that you’re wearing it. We were also impressed the assortment and layout of accessory features; especially the inclusion of a radio pocket as this is something that most “high-end” PFDs lack!

Full Review of the MTI Slipstream Lifejacket

 

Astral Brewer Water Shoes

Astral Brewers 2

Astral also deserves some love in the form of a KayakDave.com Gear of the Year award for their amazing Brewer water shoes. Most water shoes are down-right awful; few are made for walking in, most let all sorts of sand in to violate your toes, and the vast majority make you look like Goofy! The Brewers defy this trend and are by far and away the best water shoes that I’ve ever owned. They’re wicked comfortable, highly functional, and have style to boot! So far, I’ve been most impressed with the durability of the Brewers, the gripiness of their “stealth rubber” soles, and the fact that they actually keep the vast majority of sand and muck out.  The Brewers are the type of water shoe that will make even the most fashonista of teenagers think that wearing water shoes is cool!

Full Review of the Astral Brewer Water Shoes

 

Paddling Accessory of the Year:

GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition

GoPro Hero 3+ Camera (Image Courtesy of GoPro)

GoPro Hero 3+ Camera (Image Courtesy of GoPro)

GoPro cameras have changed the way that we view the world by providing us with vivid imagery from the once-elusive Point-of-View perspective! We were lucky enough to get our hands on a Hero 3 Black Edition toward the end of the summer and it has made paddling that much more exciting for me! Rare are the days that I leave the GoPro behind. Bringing it along means that there’s a good chance I’ll capture that off-beat moment in vibrant colors and high frame rates. In the very least it gives me the chance to share my adventures with our readers in a way that a brick and mortar trip report never quite could. I doubt that even the sky is the limit when it comes to shooting with a GoPro! Check out our videos category to see what we’ve been up to so far.

Full Review of the GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition is in the works :)

 

Camping Gear of the Year:

Power Practical PowerPot V

(Image Courtesy of Power Practical)

(Image Courtesy of Power Practical)

The PowerPot V by Power Practical represents a quantum leap forward in backcountry power generation technology. This little pot is unlike any pot that you have ever seen before; it’s really a thermoelectric generator disguised as a regular old backpacking pot! Simply boil water in the PowerPot and it will convert heat into electricity to charge your small electronics including cell phones, GPS, iPods, and battery packs via a standard (5V) USB port! It’s by far the most stable and reliable power generation unit that we have tested and should be a big hit amongst tech-savvy outdoor enthusiasts and kayak campers!

Full Review of the Power Practical PowerPot V

 

Thus concludes our 2013 Gear of the Year Awards! We’re always looking for exciting and innovative outdoor gear to test out and review for our readers so if you have any ideas feel free to send them our way!

Happy New Year!

-Kayak Dave

 

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Happy Holidays from KayakDave.com!

KayakDaveHolidayCard2013

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KayakDave.com Celebrates Second Anniversary

Isn’t it incredible how time flies when you’re having fun?? It certainly doesn’t feel like a whole year has passed since our last anniversary post but here we are celebrating the end of KayakDave.com’s second year on the inter-webs! The site continues to grow and prosper with over 400 total posts in 16 paddle sport-related categories. Our expanded content along with an increased Facebook presence has resulted in the quadrupling in our readership since this time last year! We’re humbled to be considered a credible source of  insight by so many members of the paddle-sports community! All-in-all it’s been a very successful year for us and we have a lot of folks to thank…

KayakDave_2ndAnniversary2

This past year has been a great one for KayakDave.com thanks in large part to our incredible, grass-roots staff! Our writers have worked very hard to contribute amazing trip reports, product reviews, and instructional articles throughout the year. Their passion for paddle sport has also spawned our new Paddle Boarding, Whitewater Paddling, and Kayak Camping categories each with a number of exciting new posts to inspire your next adventure. I’m always amazed by the creativity and passion that our staff brings to the site and I’m very proud to have these amazing paddlers on the KayakDave.com team!!! If you’re interested in joining our staff or contributing an article please don’t hesitate to drop me a line (dave@kayakdave.com). We’re always looking for a new perspective on our sport!

Thanks for another great year! - The KayakDave.com Team

Thanks for another great year! – The KayakDave.com Team

Charity remains a cornerstone of the work that we do at KayakDave.com. This year we were able to raise awareness and funds for our new partner charity Heroes on the Water through our Duct Tape Kayak Project. Their volunteers do amazing work for our wounded veterans by taking them on kayak fishing excursions as a way to rehabilitate from their injuries and discover peace through new-found passions. Working with Heroes on the Water has been truly humbling for us and we’re very proud that the Duct Tape Kayak Project was able to raise $1200 for this worthy cause. Be sure to stay tuned for our next edition of the Duct Tape Kayak Project as we strive to continue our support for this great charity!

DTK-HOWSticker

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our many friends and sponsors that have helped KayakDave.com continue to grow and prosper. Doug Gray, the owner of Billington Sea Kayak, deserves a special shout-out for his unwavering support. I think that I can speak for the entire staff when I say that it’s been a privilege to have been mentored by Doug over the years; he’s one of the best kayakers, small business owners and friends out there!

KayakDave2013Sponsors

We’re also very lucky to be sponsored by so many amazing companies throughout the paddle sport industry. Special thanks are in order for the folks at Seattle Sports, Astral Buoyancy, Bending Branches, Power Practical, Cascade Designs, Snow Peak, and GoPro! Many of the instructional projects and product reviews featured on our site would not have been possible without the support and generosity of these great companies and their amazing employees. We’d also like to extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to Seattle Sports, MTI Adventurewear, Duck Brand Tape, and Panera Bread for their support of the Duct Tape Kayak Project this year! We hope to continue our relationships with these great sponsors as the site enters its third year!

Thanks to our readers and sponsors for your continued support! -Kayak Dave

Thanks to our readers and sponsors for your continued support! -Kayak Dave

Now for the $1million question: What’s next for KayakDave.com?? This year we promise to keep exploring, imagining, and creating in an effort to bring the best possible content to our readership! This will include expanded coverage in our SUP category, a number of new GoPro-inspired instructional videos, and a greater emphasis on unique trip reports as we prepare to publish our guide book. We’ll strive to continue to expand our sponsorship in an effort to bring you the latest and greatest kayak and gear reviews. The biggest changes will be reflected in the Duct Tape Kayak Project where we plan to put more emphasis on fundraising and educational events and less on racing. Above all, we’re looking forward to getting back out there this Spring and seeing some of you on the water!

Happy Paddling and Thanks to all of our readers for another amazing year!

-Dave Arruda (aka Kayak Dave)
Principal Author and Founder, KayakDave.com

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What to get a kayaker for Christmas?

Christmas is fast approaching and it may be your final weekend to find that special gift for the kayak-hearted person in your family.

But what if they already have everything, or you just don’t understand enough about kayaking to know what to buy? Well… that’s not a problem. I have compiled a short list of products that may spark some gift shopping ideas for your kayaker.

#1) Paddling gloves.

paddling gloves

Paddling gloves are one of the ubiquitous gear items that it seems every kayaker has in their paddling bag. Surprisingly, not many kayakers own gloves, especially for cold weather paddling. Check your local paddling shop for gloves designed specifically for kayaking. Fingerless gloves are best for warm-weather paddling, while thicker neoprene gloves are best suited for fall/winter paddling.

 

 

#2) Handheld VHF Radio

vhf radio

 

This item is ideal for the more adventure inspired kayaker. This is not a 2-way radio; a handheld VHF radio is designed for marine-specific use in the instance of an emergency or for essential communication with other boaters.  Basic models are designed for emergency communication only while higher-end models can include features such as GPS-location, compass, flashlight, and thermometer. I would recommend checking out your local marina shop and seeking expert advice rather than springing for an online purchase.

 

 

#3) Local paddling guide book

9780881504415_p0_v1_s260x420

 

One of the best resources for unlocking hidden paddling spots can be found in locally written guide books. Guide books include maps, trip suggestions, geography, and wildlife details pertaining to kayaking. Most guide books are written by local paddlers so the information is relevant and accurate. Purchase the newest edition to make sure the information is current.

 

#4) Waterproof light

Safety_eGear_Gaurdian_clear

If you are on a smaller budget, one item to consider is a waterproof light. Headlamp or clip-on styles are ideal because they allow kayakers to keep both hands free on the water. Flashlights come and go on the water and are often not replaced when lost. You can find these at local paddling shops or at your local department store in the outdoor section. Just make sure it is waterproof.

 

#5) GoPro camera

home_brandbar_product-holiday-6832ee4eb358f40bfb0f09c87fac2277

If you are ambitious and seeking to spring on a more expensive item, consider surprising your kayaker with a new GoPro camera. GoPro cameras are designed to mount on outdoor gear to provide the perfect POV adventure angle every shot. GoPro cameras come with a waterproof case so they are perfect for the watersport inspired filmmaker.

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SUP DOG (GoPro Video)

Visit the KayakDave.com YouTube Channel for more GoPro videos!!!

Categories: Paddle Boarding (SUP), Video Tours | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lincoln Chebeague LV Review

Overview:

“The Low Volume version of Lincoln’s most popular kayak has it all. At 14’6” and hosting a tighter fitting cockpit, the Chebeague LV has all the features and benefits of long touring kayaks but in a shorter, lighter weight package.” – Lincoln Kayaks

Lincoln Chebeague LV

Lincoln Chebeague LV

 

The Deets:

Material: Fiberglass/Kevlar or Kevlar

Class: Light-Touring/Touring

Length: 14’6”

Width: 24’’

Deck Height: 12”

Cockpit Size: 16”x30.5”

Capacity: 95lbs to 225lbs

Weight: 37lbs Fiberglass/Kevlar, 32lbs Kevlar

Hatches/Bulkheads: Bow and Stern

Rudder/Skeg: Optional

MSRP: $2805.00 Fiberglass/Kevlar, $3240.00 Kevlar

 

The Review:

Lincoln has raised the bar with the addition of the Chebeague LV to their exquisite line of kayaks hand-crafted in the Great State of Maine. The original Chebeague has been the staple light-touring kayak in the Lincoln line for quite some time thanks to its light-weight construction, solid primary stability, and true-tracking nature. However, the voluminous cockpit found in the classic Chebeague has always been a bit too accommodating for smaller paddlers like me. I always felt more enveloped by than connected to the Chebeague because of this. Needless to say, I was quite excited to try the new Chebeague LV and had the chance to do so at one of the retailers’ shows this past summer!

Lincoln Chebeague LV1

It takes guts to bring a classic kayak like the Chebeague back to the drawing board. In this case, I’m glad to report that the Chebeague LV retains the same hull and incredible performance characteristics found in the original Chebeague! The extended waterline helps the Chebeague LV paddle straighter and faster than many of the other light touring kayaks of its length. The Shallow V-shaped hull aides in the tracking department and provides rock-solid primary stability. Soft chines allow for a seamless and predictable transition to secondary. However, it’s the secondary stability of the Chebeague LV and how it handles on edge that impressed me most. From sculling to lean turns to draws strokes; I could literally spend all day playing in this kayak! There’s no doubt in my mind that the Chebeague LV would make a great choice for those beginner-intermediate paddlers interested in day trips and short overnight adventures on lakes and near-coastal waterways!

Lincoln Chebeague LV5

I was also blown away by the newly designed cockpit in the Chebeague LV and its much-improved fit for smaller paddler over that of the original Chebeague! The biggest changes can be found in the cockpit which has been updated from the traditional oval design to a longer key-hole design. This new keyhole cockpit makes a big difference for a few reasons. First, the keyhole shape actually lengthens the cockpit by 2 inches which makes entering and exiting the cockpit all that much easier. I’ve had more than a few folks mention scuffing their shins on the old oval cockpits over the years but this shouldn’t be an issue any more. Second, the old underdeck knee pads have been replaced with full-on thigh braces that allow for better control while maneuvering on edge. Couple this with a slightly lower deck (now 12inches as opposed to 14.75inches) and you have the perfect cockpit fit that smaller paddlers have dreamed of!

Lincoln Chebeague LV3

Overall, I’m very impressed with the performance and fit of the Chebeague LV! In many ways, the incredible performance of the Classic Chebeague hull including the lightweight construction, solid stability profile, and true-to-form tracking has been retained in the Chebeague LV! This kayak is also a great example of how improved cockpit fit can make all the difference for the smaller paddler. Don’t be surprised if the Chebeague LV ends up with a KayakDave.com Gear of the Year Award for “Best Kayak” in 2013!!!

Happy Paddling!

-Kayak Dave

 

Pros: Great tracking. Solid stability profile. Lightweight. Superior cockpit fit for the smaller paddler.

Cons: Relatively expensive when compared with other light touring kayaks in the 14’ range.

Comparable Kayaks: Current Design Vision 140, Stellar S14, Dagger Tybee S

Demo Notes: The Chebeague LV was demoed by both Kayak Dave and Alex at the 2013 EORA show. This demo took place on a quiet mountain lake with light winds and negligible waves. We will update the review should we get the chance to demo the Chebeague LV in more challenging conditions.

KayakDave.com Rating:

5 paddles

Categories: Kayak Reviews | 9 Comments