Friday, May 24, 2013

Teva "Fuse-Ion" Water Shoes

I've been in the market for some time for some nice water shoes, as the ones I used until now have been cheap water shoes that you would pick up for the family trip to the water park, or my flip-flops. I had not found anything that I liked, and wanted to spend the extra money on. Then I found a deal on some Teva® “Fuse-Ion” shoes.
The first thing that I noticed about them was the “cool” factor. One of the things that Teva says about this shoe is, “We spend an awful lot of time around people that live for adventure. When we asked them for the biggest problem with high-performance shoes, we kept hearing the same one: "I can't wear them to the bar." So, what'd we do? We designed a shoe that they would gladly wear to the bar, then we figured out a way to make it the highest performing water shoe we have ever built.” With the cool factor, the price, and my need for a shoe that would protect my feet around rocks and oysters, I made the purchase.
The Teva® Fuse-Ions introduce T.I.D.E. Hydro, an Ion-Mask technology to keep your shoes dry, and a T.I.D.E. Grip Jstep and Spider Rubber outsole that will stick to just about anything. They also incorporate T.I.D.E. Comfort, a collapsible heel that allows you to slip in and out easily. The shoes, including the laces, seem to repel water. When they do get wet, they dry very quickly. However, the drainage of the shoe could be better. They do drain fairly well, but a little slowly. I noticed that I needed to sit in the kayak and lift my feet to get all the water to drain out before putting my feet back in the boat, or I would have a good bit of water inside while my scupper holes were plugged. Also, very fine rocks and sand can get into the shoe, but have a hard time getting back out. However, that is not too big of an issue since you can easily get in and out of the shoe fast.
Teva Fuse Unboxed
The shoes are pretty comfortable, with one flaw that I could see and feel. They are very low cut, and the heel of the shoe can become a pain after wearing them a while. If you wear socks with the shoe, this is not a problem at all. I don’t usually wear socks, so I definitely noticed that the back of the shoe really started to irritate me, as it felt like it was rubbing pretty hard against my skin. It may be something that takes time to break in, but so far, I haven’t noticed a difference in that. Socks would fix this problem.
The soles of the Fuse-Ions are great; the bottom of the shoes are like glue. I have walked on sand, rocks, oysters, boat ramps, etc., and I have not had any issues with slipping at all. The last thing you want to do is slip while unloading a kayak off your roof top. I feel very safe standing on just about any surface with these, including in a kayak.
The “cool” factor was really one of reasons I purchased this shoe. Could I wear them out just like any other normal shoe? I got ready for work, slipped on some khaki pants, and put on my Teva® shoes. No one really noticed them, so I asked a few people I work with what they thought. The answers were all positive. No one knew they were a water shoe. Most people thought they looked more like a skate shoe, which is what I wear to work anyways. Could you wear these out after your fishing trip? I’d say definitely.
Teva Fuse Casual Dress
For more information, check out the Teva® website.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

2012 Jackson Cuda 14 Review

Length: 14’-3”
Width: 30.5”
Height: 11” (seat area)
Weight: 74 lbs.
Capacity: 400 lbs.

The Jackson Cuda 14 is a great kayak for the type of fishing I do.I fish the coastal creeks of Jacksonville, FL, and occasionally will take the kayak offshore. The speed, stability, and of course the seat were what drew me to this kayak.
The Cuda 14 is the longest kayak I have paddled. It tracks very straight without a rudder, and it flies through the water with easy paddle strokes. One thing I have noticed about the length though, is that it turns a lot slower than my old 12.5' kayak. This is something that I don't mind though. There are so many other features that outweigh the problem.
The stability of the Cuda is awesome. I have no problem standing, and fishing, for very long periods of time. I have tested its limits while standing, just to see how much I could do without taking a dive into the water, and I was quite impressed. A lot of it depends on where your head is positioned. Where your head is, your body will follow.
The seat is probably one of the biggest selling points to many who fish from the Cuda. Yes, the seat is amazing! The high-low seat is great. I find it best in the low position when you are paddling longer distances. Then, when you want to sit and fish, the high position gives you a nice view point. It does feel a little tippy at first when paddling from the high position, but it is something you get use to after awhile. It is also a lot easier to go from the high seat position to a standing position, then it is when the seat is low.
There are many other great features of the Jackson Cuda 14 that led me to make the purchase. It has tons of storage with the front and rear hatch, and the center hatch (which I love). The center hatch allows me to store my rods, paddle, tackle, etc...which is great when your going out past the breakers, or just to have everything in one spot when you're about to launch. The rod stagers are great, and I use the rod tip cover a lot when I am paddling through grassy areas. It comes with a nice spot in the back for your fishing crate, a cooler, or whatever else you want to fit back there. The rod holders are very easy to access as well from either low or high seated position.
Jackson did a fantastic job with the Cuda 14. It was very well thought out, and very well made. I look forward to seeing what they come out with in the future.