My first experience with an Ocean Kayak was the Ocean Kayak Yak (8ft) when I was working this summer along side the Beachguards on Great Yarmouth beach. Before then I had only kayaked in-land on fairly placid water (where I did my 1* Kayak with BCU). My first taste of the sea on one of these was quite scary especially as I tried to come back into shore and was tipped over by a wave. After a few more attempts in the water I got the hang of coming into shore without getting too wet.
The local marine shop then lent the beachguards a Frenzy, which I had a go on, it was 9ft and had a deeper keel, an open cockpit, is easy to get in and make a quick exit out of. The keel makes it so easy to go straight and it cuts the water better than the smaller yak. The only problem is that the keel drags in shallow water.
Being the foot longer it has the room for small children, although my 2 older children love going out on the beach guards Yaks or even my Frenzy.
This boat is most suitable for kids or smaller people, as its Max weight capacity is only 125-147kg. So if you are heavier, you may want to consider buying one of the larger kayaks like the Scrambler. This is a great stable kayak especially for the price. for under £300. It is very comfortable with an added seat it has storage at the rear and the front with bungees. The scupper holes work great when in rough water or surfing, but you would need to get plugs for lake/calm paddling otherwise you get wet for no reason.
I eventually purchased my own Frenzy in August not knowing much about kayaks other than what I had learnt "hands on" and a few tips from the old sea dogs along the beach. It was the best thing ever. I certainly would suggest trying it out by either renting one or borrowing one first, it is like no other ride on water.
This is a great boat for a lake, ocean, or just about everything. One bad thing is that you can really only use this in the summer or in warmer water because you will get wet (if not totally soaked) and even with the thickest wetsuit the North Sea is cold.
Cheri Walpole October 2004