Ascend's kayaks are changing the game of paddling with features, functionality and affordability. Here are my first impressions of the FS10.
I recently picked up my first kayak, an Ascend FS10 kayak from Bass Pro Shops. I've done quite a bit of kayaking, but I've always had to rent from an outfitter or borrow from a friend. As a result, I've used a variety of 'yaks from a variety of manufacturers.
However, each left something to be desired, especially for the price tag. I was looking for something for recreational paddling, fishing, and even hunting. After a lot of research, I decided on the 10-foot FS10, and I couldn't be more pleased.
This is the first installment of my Ascend FS10 kayak review.
The kayak seats attracted me to the Ascend brand initially. Although some of the models I've tested offered padded seats, the padding only seemed to put off the back pain for slightly longer. Typical sit-in kayak seats tend to stop right in my lower back. Inevitably, after an hour or so on the water, I start to notice.
Ascend, however, uses a mesh-padded seat, similar to those used on bleachers. The back is plenty high for me, and the recline of the seat can be adjusted with one strap. Ascend didn't stop there, though. The seat can be removed and used on shore while stopping for lunch or camping over-night.
Secondly, I was interested in the openness of the cockpit and storage options within it. Unlike some sit-in kayaks, I have plenty of room in my FS10 to move around, cast a line, or aim my shotgun.
The screw-out deck plate is a nice feature that will keep my wallet, cell phone, and keys safe from water. Two molded cup holders and another molded storage area give room for drinks, worm containers, or shot shells.
Lastly, I loved the capacity for hauling and storing larger items. Ascend has added a large sternwell, perfect for a dry bag, cooler, tackle box or duck decoys. Bungees are included to secure items in the sternwell, but they can also be removed if desired.
Bungees also cover the bow for additional storage. There's even room for a medium-sized dog, although I'm not sure Ascend recommends that.
I'm impatiently awaiting warmer weather to get my FS10 on the water. As mentioned above, I plan on using my kayak for paddling, fishing, and hunting. I'm already looking at accessories. The FS10 already comes equipped with two built-in rod holders and one rod trolley.
I'll also add an anchor trolley to make fishing and hunting easier, as well as some form of lighting for night fishing or setting out decoys before sun-up. Stay tuned for expansions on this review as I customize and upgrade my Ascend FS10 kayak.