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Initial unpacking, lake paddle and roll practice

The Fluid Spice was waiting for me when I returned back to my house after 10 months away. Shipping has always been prompt for me from Fluid, and this was no exception, as I expected to beat the boat home but was pleasantly surprised that my renters had put it in the garage.

First impresion of the boat: It's nice. Plastic is as good as newer Dagger kayaks easily, similiar feel and look. Jackson uses crosslinked plastic so their kayaks are different, but the Fluid appears to be a quality plastic. The outfitting in these kayaks is quite comfortable and easy to work with. I was infact really surprised to discover such quality outfitting at the Fluid price point, so kudos to them. Overall, a nice kayak in appearance and fit.

How did the kayak fit? In the water, the kayak showed a few areas that I will need to tool around with to get the fitment and personal customizations just right. I'm at the high end of the weight spectrum for the Fluid, being a 230lb gorilla. In the boat, with the seat centered, the trim was off on the boat. Not a big deal, I went back one notch on the seat and was able to acheive what felt like a reasonable trim. I was a bit bummed by how little the nose rose up on the kayak. I was expecting a bit more nose to help prevent submarining on a wave... but this is a fair bit more akin to a playboat with a bigger rear section The foot braces I found uncomfortable. They put my ankle at an awkward ankle that cramped them up so bad I had trouble driving home afterwards. This may require some customization and tooling around with though, and is probably just a personal fitment issue over a true fluid issue.

How did the kayak paddle and feel in the water? Welp, I can't entirely be surprised after paddling in Jackson Superhero's, but this boat has somewhat vague primary stability. Secondary stability was pretty workable though, and helped add some reassurance, if you're comfortable being out there though. I'm not an expert but I've practice bracing and rolling a solid amount so as I'm not afraid to be far out on the boat.

The boat paddled fine. Seemed to be a bit faster and easier to paddle than the super hero with better tracking, probably relating to the hull shape. The water behavior from there seemed to be pretty standard of the boat. Make a fast turn while hauling and not keep an eye on your edges? You'll risk rolling. It's of course expected with this boat, and you'd be a bit silly to mess such a thing up in the lake, but it's not as forgiving of a boat and I can't say I'd recommend it for beginners... infact I probably won't do a whole lot with the boat until I get a fair bit better at kayaking!

 

 

That's the initial review. I dig it, I'll be able to grow into it and surf waves with it and have fun. Should be a good kayak to have around and in the quiver!