A surprise package..
A crossover boat that truly excels in any water, the Katana was designed to inspire confidence in the paddler with a balanced rocker profile for speed in the flats and maneuverability in whitewater.- Dagger
I was kindly offered this kayak to paddle for a few weeks and to see what I thought of it. To be honest I was a little sceptical, as I have never paddled a "crossover" kayak before and I had some preconceived ideas that it would be too big and awkward for whitewater and to slow for flat..
On the flat
The next few outings were on flat water, both static site and trips of approx 10km. Again the Katana was a pleasure to paddle. The drop down skeg is easily deployed to improve tracking and give more direction on the move. It is also spring loaded so, should you forget to retract it, it will not get damaged.
Other nice features are the bungee deck lines and large rear hatch for camping gear, a hard shell pocket between your legs and loads of extra space for kit and safety equipment. The Ergo outfitting is really comfortable and simple to adjust.
On the Sea
As expected with its round hull the Katana is quite sluggish in the surf, but it punches through waves with ease. It can surf, but its slow to take off and move around. It is better suited to rock hopping, exploring caves and short coastal trips of a few km, where its nimbleness and straightline speed complement perfectly.
As an instructors kayak it is amazingly versatile. You can run sessions on the flat, in whitewater or on the sea with the same kayak. Likewise for somebody new to the sport that doesn't have a boat for all occasions, it offers lots of possibilities. It is has great stability and is also a very easy kayak to roll.
The "club spec" Katana which has less bells and whistles than this model, but still the same performance would be an excellent fleet kayak for commercial operators running courses and tours.
This is the second Dagger kayak I have reviewed and it looks like they have managed the seemingly impossible once again. Bridging the gap between to different kayak styles and making it work.
The Katana's overall performance and versatility have really surprised me and I would happily recommend it to beginners and experts alike.
Katana full Spec and features from Dagger HERE
You can check out my Dagger Stratos Review HERE
Kayak instructor, athlete, business owner and outdoor enthusiast from the west coast of Ireland.
Paddle & Pedal Blog HERE