Rated 5 out of
Excellent crossover kayak!I've had all touring kayaks up to now. My touring kayaks are stored at my vacation house, so I needed a kayak to keep at my regular house so I could go out with friends there too. I wanted a kayak that was smaller and could do flatwater and some faster water river running. I tried friend's kayaks, but the smaller ones that tracked well weren't very responsive and the kayaks that did respond well would start turning with anything but the most moderate paddle stroke. I knew a skeg helped with tracking when you needed it, but most kayaks I paddled with skegs only improved it a bit. Until the Katana!
Wow, this Kayak has a split personality (kayakality?). Skeg up the Katana is very willing to change direction with little prompting. With a forward stroke on one side and backward on the other the Katana will just about spin around within her own length. She edges nicely, turns quickly, and threads through obstacles well. With the well constructed thigh braces and hip pads I feel the Katana moves with me. As my fast water skills improve, I don't think I will outgrow the Katana as a river running kayak.
Put the Katana on flatwater, with the skeg down, and she tracks like a 12 ft touring kayak that doesn't have a rudder or skeg. With the skeg down on the Katana I can take full paddle strokes on each side once moving and the nose hardly goes off track, yet with a good turning stroke and a little edge she navigates well.
The ratcheting seat adjustments for the back and thigh work great too, allowing me to adjust easily while paddling. Overall this is a great crossover kayak. Good job Dagger at creating a boat that can really crossover!