A couple of weeks ago Nordictrack E 5.7 came out, and at the time I thought it was a really impressive product. It's actually made by Nordica, which is not exactly an obscure name in the world of quality kayaks, but I don't think they are very well known in the United States. At any rate, Nordictrack has taken quite a bit of heat for its performance and customer satisfaction.
Now, there is no doubt that the boat is pretty solid, but what I mean by this is that it was built on a very small part of the intended design, as is most often the case with a new design. As a result, the model they are marketing as the "E" series is not really the best selection when it comes to finding a good, low-priced boat.
Now, if you are a person who likes to have a boat that has the feel of something more expensive, but costs a lot less, the E-series is not the boat for you. In fact, you probably wouldn't be able to afford it.
As soon as the product was introduced, you could buy it for half off or less, but when Nordica does a big sale, people get crazy. In these cases, Nordictrack makes money selling the cheaper model to people who buy it at a large discount.
Nordictrack gets a commission on each and every one of those sales. But it seems that people buy the product, then lose interest after a few months, or take a boat into a large competition event where they have nothing to compare the boat against. That is a vicious cycle, and the company has taken a beating for it.
This explains why Nordictrack made the decision to discontinue production of the E-boat series. You can only wonder what would have happened if the company had stayed in business.
Let me tell you about the E-200 model. I think this is a great kayak. I think it is comparable to other brands and probably more durable.
At any rate, Nordictrack did give the E-200 a try. I took it out for a full day trip, and I was impressed. The boat felt like a Nordica, but it has so much more cushioning than I expected.
Of course, the best thing about the E-200 was the fact that it was much lighter than the E-class. I had a hard time keeping up with it, though, and I couldn't feel comfortable while paddling it.
It did look a little less luxurious than the regular Nordictrack E boats, though I couldn't put my finger on it. I think the extra comfort it has may have been a byproduct of the lightweight construction.
I also did test the brand new Nordictrack T-rails, which I am fairly sure will turn out to be a hit. The rails seem to have much better turning radius than the T-series model. And the topsails are pretty close to Nordica topsails.
In my opinion, these boats should stay in business for another year or two. Nordictrack E boats are still quite competitive, and they are certainly not the least expensive boats available. If you want an everyday boat, these boats are definitely a good bet.