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The Dagger Zydeco 11 is a great recreational kayak…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $545 (online)
The Dagger Zydeco 11 is a great recreational kayak that has the comfort and features usually only found on more expensive boats. Although it can feel sluggish, it tracks and maneuvers well for a boat under 12 feet.
- Stable and sturdy
- Great features usually found on more expensive boats
- Tracks and maneuvers well
- Good price
- Can feel a little sluggish
- Doesn't track as well as longer boats (naturally)
The Dagger Zydeco 11 is a sturdy, well made recreational kayak with the features of more expensive kayaks, yet at a reasonable price. With a roomy cockpit, knee/thigh padding, easily adjustable foot rests, and a padded and adjustable seat, the Zydeco keeps you comfortable even for long paddles. It has a roomy dry hatch that keeps your gear dry, and bungee cords forward and aft for a little extra storage.
The Zydeco 11 maneuvers very well for a slightly longer boat, and is very stable even in Class I or II rapids. It tracks well**, but not as well as some longer boats (12' and up), and I sometimes feel that it takes a good effort to get this boat started. The dry hatch doesn't stay completely dry when water from rapids comes up and covers the aft, but I guess that's not really what this boat is made for.
Overall I think this is a great recreational kayak, especially for new or inexperienced paddlers because of its features, stability, comfort, maneuverability, tracking, and price.
My advice to anyone considering a kayak is really think hard about how you will use it. For me, this was a great starter boat. It's great for flat water (lakes and ponds) and rivers/streams with smaller rapids.
**If you're new to paddling, tracking is very important. When boats track well, you don't have to work/paddle as hard because your boat stays on its line. It feels smooth and effortless. When your boat doesn't track well, you have to work/paddle to keep it going in the direction you want it to go.
I just had my Zydeco out on Lake George in Upstate New York and wanted to update my post. While I have had this kayak for several years, I've never had it out on a lake like Lake George. I'm usually paddling streams and rivers, or small lakes.
I stated in my original post that the Zydeco can feel sluggish at times, but want to clarify that it only feels sluggish in choppy water. I realized this while on Lake George in different conditions. When the surface was less choppy, my Zydeco tracked exceptionally well and cut through the water with ease.
When the water was choppy, it took a little more effort to maintain speed and track, but I think that would be expected for a boat this length and without a rudder. Even in choppy water, it still performed well and, as always, was very stable. The pictures above are from my trip to Lake George.