After hours upon hours of searching the internet, watching Youtube videos, following Facebook conversations, I finally decided on the kayak that I wanted: the Ascend 128T Sit-on-Top Desert Storm Kayak.
I knew that the Ascend 128T Sit-on-Top Desert Storm Kayak was a long and wide kayak, but I really didn't get an appreciation for it until I picked it up at Bass Pro. This kayak reminds me of an aircraft carrier! It's big enough for me to take off and land my drone! It's exactly what I wanted in a kayak.
The maiden went well. Better than well. It went exactly how I knew it would. Reading all of the opinions from internet forums gave me the expecation that this kayak would paddle like a 14' canoe. Some even opined it paddled like a barge. Well, it didn't. It paddled like a 13' kayak. It did take two of us, Gabriel and I, to load and unload the kayak and take it down to the waterline. This is a heavy kayak!
Ascend 128T Yak Power features:
- Size: 12'8"
- Approximate weight: 96 lbs
- Maximum weight capacity: 350 lbs
- Made in USA
- Rotomolded, custom-crafted tunnel hull
- Wide transom and flared bow sections
- Exceptional durability, standing-and-fishing stability, and tracking
- Yak-Power system with wiring harness, master controller, and 3 strategically placed power plugs
- Removable rod tip protector/paddle stowage with threaded insert for attaching accessories
- Recessed bow and stern open storage areas with flush-mounted bungees
- 4 flush-mounted rod holders with rod leash eyelets (leash not included)
- Flat casting deck with a non-skid foam mat and pull-up assist strap
- Midship and aft weathertight storage
- Port and starboard accessory-mounting rails
- Deluxe removable, adjustable seating system with 3-position seat landings and adjustable foot braces
- 8 scupper drains throughout with 8 plugs
- Bow and stern carrying handles
One goal of the day was to figure out what size cooler would fit well in the back of the 128T. Pictured above is a YETI 45qt cooler sitting atop the main storage hatch. We didn't have a 35qt cooler with us to test with but we feel like that would be close to what I'm looking for. There will be more information coming along with my review on my purchase of which I am well pleased. I wanted to like this kayak before I bought it.
It's equipped with the Yak-Power® wiring harness, master controller, and 3 power plugs. It's stable enough for me to stand, turn around, walk forward, and even get behind the seat. This is a whole new level for me. The open-deck access offers enough room for my gear and there's plenty of room below deck for more storage.
There's a removable rod tip protector/paddle stowage cover that I'll probably remove and install a hatch. I'm thinking I'll then attach the rod/paddle protector to the newly installed hatch cover. Doing so will allow me to get inside of the bow for more storage.
There are 4 flush-mounted rod holders with rod leash eyelets that I am certain to use for a sun cover system. This cover will keep me out of the rain and protected from the sun. There's enough room on this open deck to set up my Catoma bednet and so far I've found the kayak to be stable enough on our local lake to actually sleep on.
I'm happy with the deluxe seat but was surprised that these kayaks no longer come with the swivel seat option. The flat casting deck with a non-skid foam mat and pull-up assist strap make standing up easier than ever for me. There's also midship and aft watertight storage, port, and starboard accessory-mounting rails, and 8 scupper drains with plugs.
We're ready for adventure in this 12'8" kayak.