July 23, 2022
BY KRIS SPEAKE
I want to talk about kayaks. The different types and brands on the market can be overwhelming. Before I made that first purchase, I did my research. Every kayak had it’s own benefits. I ultimately went with the Old Town MK 106. I knew I wanted motorized and stability. After I purchased it, I knew I made the right choice. My husband was so impressed, he bought one two weeks later.
I have since bought several more brands, for various reasons. I bought the Hobie Professional Angler 14’ for more room. I attached a Minn Kota Xi5, like all the big boys did, and it was a mistake. Too much weight on the front caused it to lean forward. My last and favorite purchase was a Hobie I-Trek 11. This is a super portable inflatable SUP/kayak. I now use it almost exclusively. Again, my husband was so impressed with the stability, he purchased one.
DRAFTING - MK106 drafts more shallow than probably any other kayak with a rudder. The I-Trek 11 does not draft very shallow unless you take the pedals out. Unfortunately, those pedals are it’s best feature. If you use it as a SUP (stand up paddleboard), then it drafts in literally inches.
SPEED - The MK 106 goes over 3 mph consistently. The I-Trek 11 with the turbo fins can zoom. I got up to 4.5 mph, but not for very long, lol. The Hobie Mirage Drive is truly a technological marvel. They just don’t tire you out.
LOCATION - This is a serious consideration for me. I fish in various lakes, but a large percentage of my fishing is at Caddo Lake. The swampy, gator inhabited lake is just not something I am going to put an inflatable kayak in.
PORTABILITY - With the I-Trek 11, I can stop and fish almost any where. I use an automatic inflator and getting on the water is easy as pie. But, this thing does take up a lot of room. The case has plenty of handles, but it’s bulky in weird ways. I have a cover on my truck, so I put all my accessories in the case, and just put the folded kayak beside it.