Even if you love kayaks, it can be hard to find one that manages to stand out. Searching for something special to sluice through can be a slog. Those who love kayaks do so because of the fun and great times they represent, and all else is secondary.
Maybe you care about all the little minutiae that goes into evaluating a kayak, and maybe you just want to head out on the water in whatever suits your tastes and budget. Either way, while niche kayaks occupy the larger and smaller ends of the kayak spectrum, it’s the most well-rounded ones that often have the greatest appeal and staying power.
Case in point, the eMotion Spitfire Tandem Sit-on-Top Kayak. While it may not “stand out” with flashy features the same way more extreme options can, the eMotion Tandem Kayak is a perfect example of a well-rounded kayak, offering an overall smooth and satisfying, if highly streamlined, experience.
Key Features of eMotion 12 Spitfire Kayak
With its flat bottom, the eMotion Tandem Kayak is, unsurprisingly, best suited for flatwater kayaking. On the one hand, this means that it balances well on the water, which is important given its large size.
Other key features include:
- 12 ft length
- 35 in. width
- 66 lbs
- Padded seats
- Rear tank well with cargo lacing
- Defined keel
- Slight rocker hull
- Weight Capacity of 500 lbs
One of the most interesting things about this model is that it’s a seeming collection of contradictions that somehow still amount to a solid kayak. For example, while this model has an impressive carrying capacity of 500 lbs, the suggested crew is still just two given that there are only two seats. Of course, you can bypass this a bit by bringing on small children or pets, but it’s still a lot of carrying capacity to have for just two riders.
Build and Comfort
In addition, the model has padded seats, but the overall molding for the kayak is still quite firm. The hull has been specially designed to withstand abrasion, and the seats feature a CRS quick release design that lets you easily move them as needed to maximize the amount of space and thus your overall comfort while kayaking.
The biggest example, however, is the fact that one would not expect a kayak of this size to handle as well as it does. The usual rule of thumb regarding kayaks, as with other boats and vehicles, is that the smaller they are, the easier they tend to handle, especially for beginners. That is partially due to the fact that larger kayaks tend to be heavier, and at 66 lbs, this model definitely isn’t a lightweight. However, the combination of its mostly flat bottomed hull and slight rocker (a term used to define a hull’s curvature) give the eMotion Tandem Kayak a unique degree of maneuverability for such a large kayak. It still won’t track on the water the same way as a smaller or more radically curved kayak, but it is far more than you would expect of a kayak of this size and shape.
Easy to Control
Given how large this kayak is, you might think that it would be hard to carry down to the water, and to be fair, it certainly isn’t as easy to carry as a lightweight or inflatable option. At the same time, however, the inclusion of easy to grasp handles make it much less of a schlep than it would be without them.
The model also features a self-bailing scupper, which helps reduce the degree of water the chance of your kayak sinking as it takes on water. Instead, excess water harmlessly splashes through the scupper holes, draining your kayak while allowing you to paddle on unimpeded.
Finally, as the name would imply, the eMotion Spitfire Tandem Sit-on-Top Kayak does indeed feature sit-on-top-style seating. Whether you prefer that to models that situate their seating further down in the kayak is a matter of personal taste. That said, for a sit-on-top model, this kayak does a good job of balancing stability and comfort in its seating.
What Do Users Say
On the whole, users’ experience with this kayak has been positive. Many have praised its all-around design, its sturdiness, and as mentioned above, its ability to marry the maneuverability typical of a much smaller and lighter kayak with a larger mode. This is definitely rare among kayaks of this size, and it is by far the biggest feature that has stood out to users.
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If there is anything that users have been more negative about, it’s the fact that some models aren’t necessarily as sturdy as you would expect such a large kayak to be. Some users have reported dents, others have said the plastic molding seems uneven, and still more have gone so far as to say that their kayaks developed leaks.
Still, the overall vibe around the kayak is a positive one. As long as you can be sure of the veracity of your particular model before you hit the water, user feedback suggests you’re in for a good time.
Pros and Cons
There is plenty to recommend about this model, including:
- The large yet maneuverable build
- Sturdy polyethylene build
- Self-bailing scupper to drain the kayak
- Stable flat-bottomed design with slight rocker
- Comfortable padded seats with CRS quick release
- Nothing too flashy or “extra” in the design
- A two-person crew limit despite so much carrying capacity
- A bit expensive considering the basic design
Our rating: 4.1 / 5
Overall, the features offered by the eMotion Spitfire Tandem Sit-on-Top Kayak may seem contrary to what you would expect of a kayak of this kind, but they still add up to a well-rounded kayaking experience.
While it may not be the flashiest option out there, it also doesn’t have any gaping holes in its design, and the very fact that it is that large yet that maneuverable speaks to how well-designed it truly is. If you are looking for a larger kayak that maneuvers like a smaller one and don’t mind the two-person limit, this is a good all-around kayak to consider.