Vibe has made an entrance into the world of tandem fishing kayaks, and if you’re thinking of purchasing one, you should definitely read our Vibe Skipjack 120T review.
While taking the kayak out on the lake for a morning fishing session can be a tranquil and reflective experience for some, others may want to bring a friend or loved one out with them to enjoy the first catch of the day.
Luckily, the yak lovers over at Vibe haven’t excluded those people. They created the Vibe Skipjack 120T with all of the same characteristics and qualities as their single-person kayaks, while doubling up on the seating arrangements.
While we love their Vibe Skipjack 120T, we can’t lie and tell you that tandem kayaking does not have its disadvantages. We’re all about the honest outdoor adventure and that is why we’re here to tell you all you need to know about the Vibe Skipjack 120T before making your final purchase.
The Skipjack 120T Review
Features and Benefits
Let us start with talking about the seating arrangements aboard the Skipjack 120T. Vibe installed two completely adjustable deluxe kayak seats, along with two built-in cup holders. Both of the seats are easily adjusted with the straps on the side and are very comfortable.
The Skipjack 120T is what is known as a sit-on-top or SOT kayak, meaning you are sitting atop the hull, rather than flush inside. There are many benefits to this including more flexibility, better vantage points, easy-gear access, etc. Not only are these seats incredibly comfortable, an important quality when you are on your butt out in the middle of the water for a few hours, but they are also incredibly durable.
The straps that attach the seats to the hull are both UV-resistant, meaning you don’t have to worry about the sun beating down on them day after day until they’re worn and snapped. The connector straps are made from a marine-grade brass to add onto that durability.
As an added bonus, Vibe decided to throw on a rear clip-on bag so that you can store a lunch, bait, or whatever your heart desires. If you decide that you want to go on a solo trip, or you want to bring one of the little ones along, Vibe decided to add a middle seat to the Skipjack 120T as well.
While it isn’t the same material as the others and definitely not as comfortable, it’s a nice option that is available to those who want it.
The gear mounting capabilities that Vibe includes on a lot of their kayaks makes them stand out from the rest in many ways. Onboard, you can find four separate mounting spots made especially for accessories by Scotty, RAM, Vibe, or Railblaza. This is perfect for easily attaching things such as anchor locks, bait boards, or a number of other accessories to your kayak without having to jerry-rig anything.
There are two flush mount rod holders on the side that are made pretty deep. Some rod holders can feel a bit sketchy if there are shallow and you are afraid of losing your poles out in rougher water so the fact that they thought to give them a bit more depth is cool. They are also capped so that if you are not fishing, you can close them up to stop any water from getting in. There is one bungee paddle park on each side that keeps your paddles on the kayaks nice and securely while also providing easy access, as well as two paddle rests.
We were pretty impressed by the amount of storage that they’ve included on the Skipjack 120T. For starters, Vibe has included your standard storage space on the rear of the hull that is fairly large. Anything that goes here needs to be secured on by the bungee cord that they provide. If you’re looking for dry storage, Vibe has place two different dry storage hatches in front of each seat. These are both completely sealed to be watertight and have an ample amount of space in them for phones, wallets, keys, and anything else you need to keep water free.
Vibe Skipjack 120T vs. Skipjack 90
The Vibe Skipjack 120T and Skipjack 90 are similar in many ways, the major difference being that the Skipjack 90 is built for solo riders rather than tandem. This makes the Skipjack much more maneuverable and a ton faster when compared to the Skipjack 120T. While about 3’ smaller than the Skipjack 120T, and about half the weight at 46lbs. it still can support up to 300lbs, a pretty impressive capacity for a kayak that size.
The Skipjack 90 still utilizes the same Rotomolded high-density polyethylene construction, comes equipped with Vibe Deluxe Seats, and has just about the same amount of onboard storage and mounting capabilities in relativity to its bigger brother. The one thing we thought was very interesting was the fact that they decided to include six scupper holes on this one while there are only four on the Skipjack 120T.
All-in-all, if you are looking to go out fishing or kayaking completely solo, or just want a kayak that is quicker and more maneuverable, there is no question that you should go with the Skipjack 90. The only reason we would ever recommend the Skipjack 120T over it is that it has the capability to bring company along. Know that if you decide to purchase the Skipjack 90, you are pretty much ruling out the possibility that you could ever bring someone aboard for long, comfortable kayaking sessions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the pros and cons of tandem kayaks?
Like everything else, the tandem kayak design has its pros and cons. Obviously one of the best things about having a tandem kayak as opposed to a single-person kayak is that you can bring somebody along with you to enjoy the experience. Also, having more than one person means more paddling power. Though it might take a little bit of time and effort to get your strokes in sync, once you do, it’s an awesome feeling that can make paddling far more effective. If you are looking to go out with two people all the time, you’d be spending far less getting one tandem kayak rather than two single-person kayaks.
On the downside, you don’t have the ability to go wherever you want without having the other person onboard, no pun intended. When you’re on a tandem kayak, you’re there with the other person and you guys both have to make constant mutual decision on how and where to paddle. On the chance that you want to go out on a solo trip, kayaking out on a tandem by yourself can be a bit difficult. Not only will it be much heavier to paddle around all alone, but it will also be much harder to maneuver and find the proper balance on.
What kinds of water is the Skipjack 120T best suited for?
The Skipjack 120T performs surprisingly well in all types of waters including rivers, flat water, and even some surf. A lot of that has to do with the fact that it has tons of width that gives it enough stability to stand harsher conditions. That being said, we would not recommend taking this out where conditions are tighter, as it is not the most maneuverable kayak out there. Because it is longer and heavier than single person kayaks, you’ll find it a bit more difficult to get it into spots where there is not any launch.
Can kayaking replace my regular exercise routine?
Kayaking can add a little bit of adventure and excitement to your tedious workout routine. Seriously, who wants to walk on a treadmill for an hour everyday? For starters, paddling is a major compound workout that can get you absolutely shredded in tons of different ways. Pushing against water resistance is an excellent way to get defined tone in muscles such as your arms, forearms, shoulders, and upper body. For your core, the constant twisting to get every stroke in makes sure that it is engaged throughout your kayaking session. Lastly, you use your lower body to apply pressure to the kayak so that you stay balanced. What we’re trying to say is, in many ways, kayaking can replace just about any piece of gym equipment designed to get you fit and toned. Not only that, but it also increases stamina and can be an excellent source of cardio. Now obviously we would never recommend replacing what you already do (unless it isn’t working of course) but adding kayaking to your regular routine can make it much more motivating to get out there and get your body moving.
Is the Skipjack 120T good for kids?
While it may be easy to get around for adults, most kids might find this kayak to be heavy and hard to maneuver out on the water, even if riding tandem alone. We would highly recommend starting your kids off in a smaller, lighter kayak, or going with them if you want to take them out.
Final Thoughts – SHOULD YOU BUY?
In the end, the Skipjack 120T does exactly what it is intended to do. If you’re a casual user, you’ll love the fact that it is easy to get out in the water and get started with.
Paddling through the water will be a breeze and the buoyant and comfortable design will make learning that much better. In terms of it being a tandem kayak, it is the perfect size for two people and some gear! We would find it hard to imagine that anyone could not make this kayak work for them.
Vibe is a big kayaking company as well, so you’ll never have a shortage of accessories or add-ons as you begin to grow with your kayak. So whether you’re a newbie with an itch to get out in the water or a veteran fisher looking for a new yak this season, the Vibe Skipjack 120T should be at the top of your list.