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Freedom Hawk Kayak Turning Heads


Mike Clifford
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What do you make of this?

 

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Brighton's Dave Cameron holds a redfish he caught near Cape Kennedy, Fla., from a Freedom Hawk 14 kayak that he designed. The rear four feet of the kayak swing open, allowing the angler to stand while casting.

 

Open waters offer few problems for split-back kayak

 

March 15, 2007

 

BY ERIC SHARP

 

FREE PRESS OUTDOORS WRITER

 

PLACIDA, Fla. -- A recent story about trying the Freedom Hawk 14 kayak drew a flood of e-mail and telephone calls from fishermen asking for more information about the kayak that converts to a standup casting platform.

 

But several readers objected that paddling on a big indoor pool at an outdoors show proved little about how the kayak would perform in the real world. Now I can assure them that, after two days of testing in open waters and the mangrove backcountry in Florida, the unique boat performed even better than first impressions in the pool suggested it would.

 

The forward 10 feet of the Freedom Hawk, designed and built by Dave Cameron of Brighton, is much like other sit-on-top kayaks. The difference is the rear four feet, which splits open into a Y-shape and allows an angler to stand to cast about as easily as in a 14-foot conventional boat.

 

My first fishing kayak, an Old Town Loon, had the hydrodynamics of a brick with pointy ends. Paddling across a big lake into a 15-knot wind was so hard that I soon began looking for a yak with a better hull form that would work for fishing.

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He was at the great waters fly show - its an interesting boat, parking brake lever handles on the sides of the seat lift to move the wings out. Includes a rope grip to help you lift to stand or lower back down. Definitly better than outrioggers as you can convert back and forth with no set up, move, set the brakes stand up & fish. A little pricey though.

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I've gotta see how they handle in the moving waters of a smallie stream.

 

I need to visit the craft after the levers and moving parts have a season or two of serious testing.

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