Aquayak Snapper Pro Kayak: Product Test
In her search for an Australian-made, high quality kayak at an affordable price, Claudia Bouma couldn’t go past AquaYak.
AquaYak is a Melbourne-based kayak manufacturer which sells yaks nationwide through a network of dedicated retailers. We were so impressed with what we saw on the website that we decided to head to the factory in Campbellfield, Vic, to have a look at the manufacturing process up close – and we were not disappointed.
The kayaks are made from the highest quality plastic available, also known as low density polyethylene (LDPE). This particular plastic is UV stabilised to provide prolonged outdoor protection in Australian conditions. AquaYak is the only manufacturer in Australia to provide a 10-year UV certificate as well as 10-year construction warranty with each yak.
The variety of colours is another great bonus, from the popular flame (yellow/red) to blue, green, yellow, pink, purple, sandstone and a large selection of two-tones.
Most impressive of all is AquaYak’s personalised customer service. Paul Varasdi and Darren Dunn were more than happy to demonstrate the Snapper Pro’s unique features, such as the Railblaza centreport, sideport, rod holders, extrusion rails and carry handles. Paul also gave us a thorough rundown on water safety, including an explanation about lifejacket requirements.
The next day provided us with the perfect weather to try out the yaks, to the kids’ great excitement. Chris had no trouble lifting the two 19kg Snapper Pros on to the car roof racks and tying them down securely with AquaYak’s two 4.5m heavy duty die-cast buckles. These have a neoprene cover to protect your car and kayak and a lashing capacity of 300kg.
Upon arrival at Lake Bullen Merri, Vic, Chris untied the yaks and transferred them easily onto the ground. Nine-year-old Shannon assembled the lightweight fold-up stainless steel trolley with pneumatic wheels and placed the yak on top. He wheeled the yak effortlessly to the water’s edge where he took out the trolley to use it for the second yak. In the meantime, Chantelle put together the double paddles and pulled out the lifejackets.
It was time to put the yaks to the test. Launching the yak was straightforward and, as a beginner, I was surprised at the 2.7m Snapper Pro’s stability and ease of manoeuvring. The sit-on-top design with self-draining cockpits means the risk of getting trapped underneath in case of capsizing is eliminated, which gave me great peace of mind.
The comfort seat is definitely a winner and the high quality two-piece double paddle is fantastic to use. The deep-moulded cockpit effectively lowers the centre of gravity and the streamlined underwater profile and keel design make it extremely easy to paddle and control.
Shannon started out using the Outrigger Kit which has been specifically designed to further increase a yak’s stability. Made of quality 316 stainless steel, it can be easily fitted to any kayak or canoe. The kit comes with two stabiliser floats, available in a large variety of colours, and can be installed in a matter of minutes. However, after one trial paddle, he removed the kit and was off in a flash, attesting to the kayak’s impressive stability on its own.
The Snapper Pro can effectively be used by children as young as seven and adults up to 120kg, making it an extremely versatile kayak. If you’re a keen fisherman, you’ll find the two rod holders and removable bait bucket a great asset.
RRP: Snapper Pro with comfort seat and paddle $599; 4.5m tie-downs $20; Trolley $99; Outrigger Kit $245
More info: (03) 9563 9197
Check out the full feature in issue #96 January 2016 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.