The Diablo Paddlesports Adios
Tested July 2010
The Adios sets a new standard for size. Think aircraft carrier. Its deck is so broad, you can launch jets off this thing. Okay, that's hyperbole, but you really can walk all over it. Stretch those legs and fish like you were meant to, standing tall. The elevated perspective is superior for reading water and spotting piscine targets. Worried about stability? Even the clumsiest of the C&K test crew had no trouble going from standing to sitting, and could really huck those snap casts. Capsizing would be a real trick; falling off is the more likely dismount style.
For all its heft, this hybrid that blurs the lines between kayaks and standup paddleboards is surprisingly nimble. Moving it doesn't take much effort-credit sit-on-top design savant Tim Niemier and James Thomas of Wild Design for this bit of magic. By necessity, the Adios comes with a paddle keeper on each side. Our testers preferred the long, single-bladed SUP paddle for fine-tuned maneuverability while fishing, but fell back on the efficiency of kayak blades for touring.
The deck design is clean and uncluttered, well suited to flyfishing and wide open for aftermarket rigging. A neat rectangular hatch sits up front, accessing plentiful in-hull storage; two more small rounds are just aft of the cockpit. The storage well is large and accommodating. Thoughtful details include wide, non-skid cushioned foot pads throughout the cockpit and nylon straps rather than bungee cords across the storage well. So good, it's fair to say the Adios is a big step forward in fishing kayak design.
DIABLO PADDLESPORTS ADIOS
($1,600 in thermoformed ABS, diablopaddlesports.com)
L: 12'6"; W: 36"; 69 lbs., 400-plus-lb. capacity