As I mentioned in my post the other day, I’m right in between the recommended size for the 532 and 582. The dealer informed me that had I been 85kg+ and over 6 foot, the 582 was right, and likewise 75kg or less and 5 foot 8 the 532. I’m bang in the middle and was expecting a tough decision.
To help make the call, Mirage recommended trialling both boats at Sydney Harbour Kayaks, one of the Mirage dealers in Sydney. Sydney Harbour Kayaks are located at the small beach just before the Spit Bridge as you head north out of Sydney. They have an array of Mirage Kayaks for hire and purchase.
I went with a friend so that we could get a good test of each boat by paddling to Balmoral and back, swapping at Balmoral.
I started out in the 582. Unfortunately the paddle set up done on shore was not quite right for me which I didn’t realise until I had set off and adjustment was difficult on board. Still, the boat was comfortable and handled very well. It moved through the water smoothly keeping a similar pace to the 532 and all in all was a great paddle.
We swapped boats at Balmoral near the boat shed cafe to compare notes before turning back for the Spit. I immediately had doubts about the 532 when I looked into the cockpit to adjust the peddle length – the compartment was much smaller than I expected and the pedals were already at full length.
As soon as I sat in the boat, the decision was as good as made. The cockpit was like a glove. While that provided a much greater sense of feel with the boat and therefore manoeuvrability, it was too tight to be comfortable. After a short distance I was wriggling in the seat to try to get some relief from the pressure and certainly could not have paddled any great distance in that position. The good news is that made for an easy decision between the two models.
Things got better when I returned to Sydney Harbour Kayaks and discovered the 582 in green on sale. Initially I was concerned that I would not be able to purchase having already put the deposit down with Mirage proper, but they were good enough to transfer my purchase over meaning I will be paddling in the new boat next weekend instead of waiting a month.