Ocean kayak frenzy is a VERY stable kayak. the width is 31″ which makes it nearly impossible to flip. the seat is also much lower than my scrambler which allow for a lower center gravity which improves stability. i took it out on lake erie where the waves were almost 3-4 feet and it did not flip and i felt very stable. it’s only 9 feet long which does make the bow oscillate back and forth about a foot whenever i paddle hard. it tracked better than i thought for such a short and wide kayak. i attribute that to the keel that is a feature of most ocean kayaks. for sure you won’t win any speed races with the frenzy, but if you want a very stable and maneuverable kayak for casual paddling then this is it. i bought scupper plugs (ocean kayak yellow small) for the scuppers near the seat they kept me pretty dry on flat water until i took it out to lake erie and the water came in from the stern, but still drier than without the plugs. i also bought a 6″ kayak hatch which was easy to install. keep the cutout plastic in case you need to patch holes or fill scratches. another thing is that it’s only weighs 44 lbs. i was able to lift this from the ground to the car carrier by myself quite easily.
I am new kayaker, so the rest of the review is from that point of view. I have kayaked on two other occasions for a day each, both times several years ago. I dropped the kayak in the water the day I received it. It floated! so points there. 🙂 I loaded up, and sat in the kayak. It still floated, even better. But I did get some water in the footwell area through the scruppers. (I am about 6′, about 195# for reference). Not a lot, but enough to be annoying. So I climbed back out, let some of the water drain, and then installed the scrupper plugs I had bought, then climbed back in. I then paddled for about an hour, upwind/upstream for a while, then back down, and around the marina. I am really out of shape, but the kayak seemed to paddle well, though not a speed demon, was averaging 3-4mph on flat water. The “keel” design helped keep this shorter kayak in a straight line. I felt it tracked really really well. Only when I stopped paddling, and let the current/wind take me did I get sideways.
In my opinion its one of the better sit on top kayaks. You do need a proper back support, but it handles very well, it is very tough, it has a higher than average weight limit and quite stable. I have taken mine on rivers, lakes, surfing, and even under the Golden Gate bridge (mind the currents, stay near shore, and a good wetsuit is smart). So if you want a beginning to moderate/advanced yak, this one is really hard to beat.
Luckily my dad bought me one of these as a gift, and then I stupidly bought a Lifetime which was much cheaper to have around as a spare. As a novice kayaker I didn’t expect them to be much different. Well the Ocean Kayak is so superior it’s unbelievable. It’s lighter, tracks straighter, and is just effortless in comparison to move in the water. It just glides. The other one feels like I’m dragging a tree through the water. There’s a reason people rave about this kayak. That being said – Ocean Kayak, if you read this: how about ditching the flimsy cloth backrest with just a molded backrest that’s part of the plastic shell, and also some of these little metal tie-downs are in the perfect place to smash your wrists and forearms against. Ditch them!