IT’S evident by the increasing number of kayaks on the water that more and more people are turning to this form of fishing and recreation.
Your budget will also be a major consideration when looking at buying new or upgrading a craft. Since many different kayaks are on the market with a very wide price range, and all offer a host of options and features, it can be a hard decision to make. I recently tested the Freak Assassin GT kayak and will give you a rundown on its performance and where it fits into the above selection criteria.
The Assassin GT has an overall length of 2.9m, which makes it well suited to estuaries, protected waterways, creeks, rivers and inland waters; effectively most places except open water. I also think it would be good fun to play with in the surf, though I didn’t get a chance to try this (but I hope to over the school holidays).
Combine this length with a width of 83cm and you have a good size platform that offers a mix of manoeuvrability and stability and is very easy to paddle. The sharp entry point of the hull cuts through chop easily and water is deflected away by the flatter sides, keeping you and your gear relatively dry.
Standard features of the kayak include two dry storage compartments and a section at the stern where you can keep bigger items that can be secured by an occy-style strap. A strap for holding your paddle to the side of the kayak is also standard, and it can be handy when carrying the kayak to the water or if you want to get the paddle out of the way but within easy reach.
In addition, the Assassin GT’s total weight of 26kg makes it fairly easy to handle alone, especially with the two handles on the sides. Alternatively, two people can carry it, utilising the handles at the bow and stern. However I think one of the best features of the Assassin GT is the fact you can easily add or remove accessories as you want.
Facilitating this is the Railblaza system and mounting points already moulded into the kayak. All you have to do is attach a couple of stainless steel screws that come with a Railblaza mount and you are on your way. The mounting points are universal, so you can easily change the position of certain items or have the mounts hold different things.
This way you are able to see what works best for you. So if you just want to dip your toes into kayaking waters, you can get an entry-level Assassin GT kayak and a paddle and be on your way. Conversely, you can deck the yak out with a host of options.
But the best part is you can keep adding options when you want to. The ability to add things as your love for kayaking grows is fantastic.
And you don’t have to worry about drilling or cutting into your new Assassin because as stated, the prefabricated mounting points come standard.
One of the great things about this is you have a versatile kayak that can be made basically naked with all gear removed, so you can give it to the kids to play with and climb over and be safe in the knowledge they won’t do any damage.
Then when the time is right, it doesn’t take long to add rod holders, a sounder, anchor, safety flag, seat and even an electric motor to turn your yak into a pimped-out version ready for some serious fishing.
Having this versatility makes the Assassin GT a bit of an all-rounder and good for either those who want to get into kayaking or hardened yakkers. Another plus for Freak Sports is the company has a shop where you can go and see the kayaks in person and ask any questions you may have.
This means you get quality advice to make sure you get the right product for you. You also get to see first-hand how the different accessories work and determine which ones would suit you. Speaking of accessories, a host of items are available in store including kayaking lifejackets, paddles, trolleys, sounders, sun shirts, waterproof bags and a huge range of Railblaza fittings.
Given the Assassin GT’s versatility, I think it will suit a lot of people and it is priced pretty sharply given what it has to offer.
The Freak Assassin GT is priced at $599 and includes a deluxe kayak seat (which is a must if you plan to spend a bit of time in any kayak) and a two-piece alloy paddle.
I think this represents good value because you are getting a quality product that can easily be decked out. In respect to the paddle being two-piece, I was impressed with this as not only does it allow you to store or transport it easily, but two holes for connecting the pieces give you an option in terms of the length of the paddle (can be made shorter for kids).
It also allows you to easily change the position of your blades so you can have them offset or inline (the two paddles I currently have are one-piece and don’t offer this flexibility). As testament to the quality of its products, the team at Freak Sports offers a 14-day money-back guarantee on all kayaks.
For more details on the entire Freak Sports range and current specials, check out www.freaksports.com.au or give the team a call on 1300 437 325.