It was many years ago, in 2012, that I started the hobby of kayaking. I was fresh into a new relationship and had experienced kayaking for the first time. It was pretty clear that tandem kayaking was probably not going to work out for us. That meant I needed my own kayak in which to isolate my terrible paddling technique.
As luck would have it, Woot was selling inflatable kayaks at a pretty good price, so I bought some. Two is some, right? I did the research and these kayaks, by Sea Eagle, were pretty well respected. Obviously they had their detractors – those who would never use anything but a solid kayak. But, there are a lot of conveniences to be had with these inflatables. The most important is that I could transport it in my MX-5. Not only that, but I could transport both of them.
Years have gone by, and I’ve been wanting an upgraded version of the Sea Eagle. I find it very odd they have such a good entry level model at a reasonable price, $200, but if you want the real deal, the model that really earns its keep, the price is over $1000. There’s nothing you can do in-between? Damn.
So I watched and waited. Actually, I let CamelCamelCamel do the watching. When I created the watch, the Sea Eagle model I wanted was a little over $1000. I set my target price at $850. And I got nothing, for almost a year. I had nearly completely forgotten about the watch when I got an email notification that the kayak was now being sold for $822, and that was the cheapest it had ever been.
Part of me wanted to sit back and think about it. The other part of me went to Amazon and saw there were only two left in stock. There’s a lot of expenses that have suddenly crept up on me lately, so I couldn’t justify buying two of these, so I just bought one. The next day, I went back and the price on the remaining one had gone up slightly to $835, so I guess I did the right thing. A few days later, that one remaining kayak was up to $913, so, yes, I think I did do the right thing. However, that’s not the cheapest I’ve ever seen them. Woot, of all places, once sold the Fast Track model in the $600 range. Now that’s a great deal.
The package arrived a couple of days earlier than the the initial tracking estimated. The box was compact and heavy, just as I remember my other kayaks arriving.
I inflated it to get an idea of how it compared to my original Sea Eagles. There is no comparison.
Where the SE330 hugs your sides, the 385FT gives you plenty of width. The floor in the FastTrack is firm and has little give. The material on the FastTrack is substantial and much less pliant. I left it inflated overnight to let it sort of stretch out. And of course identify any potential leaks. It was fine for days (because I’m lazy).
I have yet to take the craft out, but I am eager to try it out this year.