When you are overweight and you are trying to get those extra kilos off, sometimes you have to get creative to avoid the typical boredom that comes from exercise routine. For me kayaking was going to be my tool to get myself out of the couch and into the wild without feeling disdain towards the workout. Longo ago, during my 20’s I used to practice kayaking in sit-in slalom kayaks in a beautiful Lake in the middle of the Island called “Presa de Hatillo”. That experience taught me to look for a stable and keeled kayak next time around. One of the good things in life is sharing, and I definitely wanted to share this experience with others, so the other conditions that the next kayak had to meet were that it had to be for two people and it had to be under a thousand dollars.
After a while searching, I got hold of a second hand, almost like new, Ocean Kayak Malibu Two. But that only include the kayak and the paddles. For a few more bucks I bought 2 seats and two PDFs and that completed the whole setup. It was time to take it for a paddle.
Paddling an Ocean Kayak Malibu Two
For our first paddle we took the Malibu Two to a very calm lake close to home in the north part of Santo Domingo called “Lago de la Puerta 4”, which is located inside the Mirador Norte National Park. My first impression of the kayak while carrying it to the lake was, “is this 57-pound little boat really going to hold us both?”. It so happens that this single layer polyethylene rotomolded tandem kayak can carry much more than the official 425 pounds. Believe me, my friend and I combined weight around 480 pounds. Once we got the 2 seats all set and our PDF’s on, we paddled out. When we were in the water everything started felling right. It felt comfortable, the stability in that type of water was great and effortless, staying in track after every paddle was a no brainer and maneuvering it was easier than a bike. I must say, although we never capsized, there was a small sense that you should always be aware of your center of gravity, because the streamlining, which is great to cruise faster through the water and through waves, does add a bit of instability and increases the possibilities for capsizing.
The Ocean Kayak Malibu Two delivers its promise, it’s a paddle only tandem recreational kayak which can be used in lakes, category one rivers and coastal waters. Since it’s a sit on top you can expect to get your pants wet as water comes through its scuppers. You can take this kayak pretty much through any obstacle like rocks, reefs, hard sand and logs without the fear of messing it up. It definitely holds its water against medium bashing. While it excels in the fun and recreational part it totally slacks in the subject of fishing. First of all, its not fishing ready and I strongly recommend not to add any fishing upgrades to it because its very likely that you will jeopardize its overall integrity. The most impressive feature of this kayak is its flexibility and light build, two things that can go out the window if you for example install a fishing rod and a hatch.
But there are plenty more great aspects to go around this kayak still. For example, the seat width is large enough for a chunky guy to feel comfortable. The bow and stern leg length are pretty long and you can place your feet in any of the fixed slots the kayak has built in it. The kayak doesn’t need a rudder because the propulsion comes from paddles not from pedals. Another great aspect of the Malibu Two is that this tandem kayak can be used as a solo kayak. It has a center seat molded into it that allow you to perfectly and comfortably place a padded seat on it and paddle with ease.
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of the Ocean Kayak Malibu Two
Let’s start with the little ugly secret of the Malibu Two, which is a defect they know the kayak has, they know they can fix and still do nothing about it. The Malibu Two has a design flaw that can only be explained as a programed obsolescence feature which is the scupper holes’ cracks that form either after extensive use, or if you stand on them on land or if you stack them too high. This nasty flaw can make the kayak flood in a time span of an hour or so depending on the length of the crack. We can name it nasty because you have to be very skilled to fix it. It won’t be as simple as putting a patch on it. The good part is that it only shows after long time and extensive use.
But not everything is bad, this kayak has plenty of positive aspects that makes it a good choice for recreational paddling. First and most important, it’s rookie-friendly. The level of skill needed to paddle on it is almost none when you are in calm waters. This kayak glides so well above the water that its maneuverability is superb. This kayak is easy to transport, to maintain, it’s stackable if you have several of them, it’s resistant to tear and wear and has a high resistance to discoloration from sun exposure.
I Give This Kayak a 4.5/5 Rating
There are two main reasons why based on my experience paddling this kayak makes me subtracts that half star and they are the following:
- Scupper Hole Cracks after Extensive Use
- Difficulty to easily upgrade it
Leaving these two aspects behind I highly recommend this kayak because the first one will only show after a very long time of use and the second one depends in the evolution of your kayaking needs. If you only require recreational kayaking this will suffice. I have taken this kayak to open sea conditions, non-other than the Caribbean Sea and it had an excellent performance. Otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this review. LOL. In summary I will say this, it’s fun, it’s light weight, it’s flexible and it’s durable. Recreation guaranteed.
I highly encourage you to read my “Trip Report of El Lago de la Puerta Cuatro”. The closest and most beautiful lake in Santo Domingo, where you will feel an instant detox from the stress of the city life. Join me in a descriptive adventure of all there is to find and enjoy in the Mirador Norte National Park.