The Explorer Kayak vs The FastTrack Kayak
Two of the most popular inflatable kayaks offered by Sea Eagle, the Explorer Kayak and the FastTrack Kayak are often the subject of many discussions. Which one is better? What about whitewater? What if I want to use it in an ocean bay?
I suppose the real question to ask is what are you planning on using it for? Knowing how you plan on using your inflatable kayak will determine which one is best suited for the job. If you are looking for a “jack of all trades” kayak, then you will need to examine the pros and cons of each before you commit to purchase one. Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself to help you choose between the two!
How Many Passengers?
Sounds simple enough. Are you planning more solo trips than partner trips? If so, the Explorer kayak is available in a solo package that includes a shorter hull, just enough room for one person and his gear. The FastTrack does also offer a solo package, but it isn’t a smaller hull, only a single seat arrangement is used. Not quite the same.
If you think you may have an even split of solo and passenger trips, you will need to learn to manage with a roomy hull when you are by yourself. The 385FT FastTrack is easily handled solo, and the same goes for the 380X Explorer Kayak. The extra room in each allows for lazy paddling with your legs stretched to the max, but each one will respond nimbly if needed.
What Kind of Water?
All water is the same, until you put it in motion! White water and flat water are immensely different. The calm found in a remote lake contrasts nicely with the raging rapids of a class 4 river! Knowing which one you plan on tackling will again help narrow down the choice between the Explorer Kayak and the FastTrack Kayak. I have taken both kayaks into both whitewater and calm lakes and the performance difference is noticeable. The FastTrack shines on the flat water, tracking true and gliding almost effortlessly. The built in inflatable keel also helps out when the wind comes and and the waves get higher. Keeping a proper bearing can be done in the Explorer kayak though, it’s much harder with only the removable skeg for help.
When the calm water turns white, the Explorer kayak helps build confidence and a sense of security as you easily conquer your local waterways! The larger pontoons and additional self bailing valves making keeping water out of the boat easy. The Explorer kayak will also pivot on a dime, allowing you to eddy out when needed and ferrying across to the other side is simple.
Here is a simple comparison chart outlining the physical differences between the two kayaks.