Is Riot kayaks polarity 16.5 tandem kayak the tandem kayak for us? A question we wanted answered, so we set out to kayak heaven in Wormerveer, Holland. The specs of the boat sure are promising. Easy to manoeuvre, not to long, not to wide, lots of storage capacity for short day trips or a two day camp trip. Neoprene covers and a hard shell cover provide dry storage compartments. A standard included ruther ensures the boat is easy to keep on a straight line. And last but not least, I like its looks, sturdy but not bulky.
There is a lot of room in the cockpit, comfortable seats and lots of legroom if you are build like I am, about 1m80, stocky but not bulky. The downside of all that room is that your seat is pretty low, combine that with the high and square top deck and putting your paddle in the water without hitting the side of the boat is quite the task. Because of the high sides you loose a lot of power, a high end paddle stroke is only possible if you keep moving your upper body. Seated in front there is not a problem in the world. Except a bit of splash water when there are some waves. The tip of the boat isn't that far away so that's to be expected. The rudder works like a dream but even without it, the boat is easy to keep on a straight line. It tracks very nicely and it is possible to keep up with faster single boats with ease. Turning it around is never a problem, even without banking or using the ruther it is possible to follow a challenging route down river. The bottom of the boat has a bit of a catamaran shape, so it's not flat on the inside, which can make stepping in and out of the boat a bit harder. Thanks to its excellent stability this 'problem' is easily solved.
Downside of all that sportiness, there isn't room to take lots of bagage, so multi-day trips aren't a possibility. That's not our intent so for us the fact that is was a used boat and the ruther needed fixing never made us change our mind. These 'sloppy seconds' were for us a great way to save some money. Does this mean that the polarity isn't a good boat? No, it is a great boat, I would have bought it if not for the presence of the lighter and easier to handle fiberglass eagle. If you want to make short camp trips or day trips in a tandem kayak, I would also recommend the polarity. When your main focus are sea trips, I think there are better alternatives.