You lean back. The sun smiles on your face, warming your skin. The cool water dampens the sun’s heat. It is a little hot today, but you can jump into the water to cool down if need be. You breathe in, breathe out, and paddle. It is a nice day. Your arms have grown stronger. You picked a great kayak to bring along with you to the water today. Before that though, you read a Review of the Malibu Ocean Two XL Tandem Sit Top Kayak.
What will this piece do for you? In short, this article will give you an overview of this kayak, my own personal experience, average star ratings, customer testimonials, and accessory recommendations. After reading, you will be thoroughly satisfied and ready to come to a decision, so let’s get jump right on into it.
A General Overview and Technical Specs
Technical Specs – this Kayak’s Nitty Gritty
Length: 13 ft 4 in (4 m)
Width: 34 in (86 cm)
Weight: 68 lbs (31 kg)
Does it come with seats?: yes
Colors: surf blue, yellow, envy green, sunrise
Number of People: 2 adults + 1 child
Maximum Load: 450 to 500 lbs (204 to 227 kg)
Deck Bungees: yes
Material: single layer polyethylene
Can it be Used on Fresh Water?: yes
Price: $899.00 – $970.75
A General Overview – What to Expect from this Kayak
The Malibu 2 XL kayak comes in four different colors, surf blue, yellow, envy green, and sunrise. For an adventure on any waterway, it is a perfect fit. You can be winding your way down the lazy river or drifting just off shore on the Ocean. By a wide margin, it is the world’s most popular family kayak. If you want to get away from the family or cruz around the lake with friends, then this is an excellent kayak for you.
What separates this kayak from the competition? It is really durable, holding up to all the rage a testosterone fueled teenage boy can throw at it. The hard plastic enables it to handle its own when it bumps into rocks or the odd log here and there. If there are four or so kids scrambling all over it, then you can rest assured that the kayak will be quite alright. It also has flexibility. You can paddle solo or tandem or even throw a third person into the kayak, staying above the water even when heavily weighed down.
Because of the plastic thickness, greater than average width, and overall size, the kayak is very stable. When you see five kids climbing all over it without flipping over, you know it is quite a steady kayak. If motor boats and jet skis are in the water, you can rest assured that this kayak will hold its own despite the waves they generate. The long length enables it to go faster in the water and the wide width gives it a lot of stability. When you choose a long kayak, you choose speed over maneuverability.
My Own Experience with this Kayak
I had two key experiences with this kayak, Lake Wildwood, California, a place that can best be described as a slow paced retirement community, and Malibu, British Colombia, a world renown yachting destination and home to a Young Life camp.
Lake Wildwood, California – a Great Place to be Introduced to this Kayak
My Dad owns a house next to the water at Lake Wildwood. It is very fun to say the least. For a long time, he did not own a boat. We borrowed an inflatable raft from a friend and that was ours for a while. My Dad only bought this kayak and paddles in 2008 or 2009 for the family. That was when I first experienced this kayak. I was about 12. I did not have much say in the matter except to nag my parents to buy a boat. This kayak was the result. They bought it in store at about a $100 discount. It was a good deal to say the least. It is going to be difficult to find a similar deal.
Before I started kayaking, I wish I knew more about safety, but it is in the past, so I have to let it go. Fortunately though, I wrote an article about kayak and canoe safety not too long ago. Check it out and save yourself a lot of headache down the road or, rather, stream I should say.
I have taken my Mom, Dad, Aunts, nephews, nieces, and friends out on this kayak. They all really enjoyed it, appreciating the kayak. Sometimes it could be a hassle, because we disagreed about how to paddle, but I wouldn’t let it get to me and it can happen.
One of my most favorite experiences was towing my nephews. There were two of us paddling and a third in an intertube attached by rope to the boat’s back. In short, it was slow going, but a great blast. I spent my Summers with this kayak. I would flip it over, jump in the water, climb on top, and cannonball into the water. The kayak would flex and dent and distort the hull shape if you stood on the bottom of it, but a slight push popped it back into shape for more use. With my friend Blake, we would play king of the hill when the kayak was flipped over, seeing who could last the longest. I would win each time, sorry Blake. 🙂
The water was warm and I loved every minute of it. I will say this though. If it is not warm, you will feel the cold water hit you like an icicle since it is an open-top kayak, but I did not really use it too much on cold days, only the warm ones. The kayak best functions as a Summer kayak.
When I was on the water with my Dad in this kayak, he would sit in the back and I would be in the front. The heavier person usually goes in the back. It is more efficient. Anyway, he ran into back issues because of his age. As a consequence, the seats that were provided just did not cut it. If you sit in the back though, you have an advantage, you can lean back onto the boat and paddle like you were sitting by a poolside sunbathing in a Chaise lounge
chair. You still get back support and you are paddling quite comfortably. I would recommend the hard plastic seat though, especially for those long trips.
To this day, my family still has the kayak and it has been just about a decade since we bought the boat. It is still the same from the first day we bought it. There are some scratches as I expected there would be, but it stills hold its own out on the water. I enjoy every second of it.
Malibu, British Colombia – in the Cold Sea Waters of Canada
Malibu, British Colombia is the number one yachting destination in the world. The mountains tower overhead and the cool breeze chills your spine. The evergreen trees drop the temperature, blanketing the mountains in their
canopy. If you are traveling to Canada to see the country’s beauty, British Colombia is the place to go. The waterways of the province can be very chilly, especially for an open-top kayak. Still though, I had a blast with this kayak in Malibu, British Colombia.
You may ask, “Alex, how did you come to experience this kayak in British Colombia?” Well, I was part of Young Life, a Christian youth organization and I went there twice for one week Summer camps, once in 2011 and again in 2012. The place had quite a lot of these kayaks there. I would say at least twenty for all the kids that come to Malibu each and every year. For kids to the camp, kayaking was one of the options available to enjoy the scenery. My friends and I would grab a boat and set off into the chilly, Pacific ocean water. For a low fat guy like me, I was cold.
The first summer I was there, Malibu had nothing but warm, sunny days for the entire week. I would only later learn how lucky I was. We spent a lot time in these bad boys. My Young Life group would battle each other and others out on the water in these kayaks, reaching full speed and ramming into others’ Malibu kayak. Sometimes I would jump into the water and attempt to flip another boat.
We even went so far as to bunch all of our kayaks together and create a “flotilla” or a “battleship” as it were. These kayaks took a pounding to say the least. From what I saw (even though I did not ask too much), the kayaks were fine, looking much like mine at home. They were a bit beat up and scratched up, but they held their own.
At the end of each day, the Young Life staff at Malibu would spray down the kayaks with fresh water. It prevented corrosion. If you use your kayak in salt water, you need to spray off the salt with fresh water. Salt water is one of the most corrosive materials out there. To ensure the longevity of your kayak, you need to be sure and do this.
Customer Testimonials and Reviews
On Amazon, this kayak has 4.8 stars out of a possible 5, but it is only out of 9 reviews. While it is not the most reviews, they are all positive. Overall, I found the reviews to be largely positive after reading them, so here they are.
The Positive Testimonials, the Ones You See the Most
In “Perfect for the Lake,” one Amazon customer wrote, “We are fortunate to live on a lake and after researching we finally chose the Malibu Two XL. We wanted the extra size for its stability in choppy water as we have jet skis, and power boats we share the water with. It’s good-looking, and light enough that we keep it on our patio, then lift it onto the roof of our golf cart to take it to the water. I can’t say enough about customer service. They actually answer the phone and were extremely helpful after the sale, even emailing answers about after market products I wanted.” This Amazon customer gave it five stars.
Mjohnson97045 in “Very Well Built and Comfortable” wrote that, “We have a high end inflatable kayak which is fun but it lacks directional stability and speed. This kayak is much faster and much easier to keep its heading. The seats can be moved to a few different positions for solo or two up riding. Our beach is rocky and so far there is some mild scratching but nothing serious. They claim you can stand up and paddle this but you would probably have to be pretty good to do that. The seats are very comfortable and can conform to thin 14 year olds to pretty heavy adults. Just make sure you get long enough paddles as this is wider than the more traditional sit in kayaks and you sit higher up. It has some straps and webbing to hold down shoes, coolers, fishing gear etc.” In the end, the user gave it five stars.
In “Lots of Fun,” Roger G. Buffington wrote, “this Kayak gives you a stable, comfortable ride and is a lot of fun. It has self-bailing gunnels, which you can plug up for when the seas (or lake/stream/river) are calm for a somewhat drier ride. In our harbor community I find no need for this, but that is for each user to decide. With a lumbar-support seat or two, and good paddles, this kayak is great fun. Recommended. RJB.” He gave it five stars.
In “Awesome Addition to our Full-Time Airstream Traveling. Ocean or River – No Problem! All Fun!,” Adrian Rodriguez writes, “My wife and I are full-time Airstream travelers and this was the perfect addition. We’ve been looking for a while before finally choosing this particular style and make. We wanted something we could use on the ocean and river. As for our river runs, we normally won’t go through anything bigger than a Level 3 rapid. So far, the kayak has been a perfect fit for us. We also use the kayak to help train for our adventure races as we travel around the US. Its weight is not an issue. Although we have decided to purchase the 2 wheel dolly to tow it around locations that our F250 Truck cannot fit into.” He gave it five stars.
On this last review, I disagree with him on the ease of moving the kayak when it is out of the water. Because of its long length, width, and size, it can be awkward to handle. You really need two people to be able to carry it down to the water without any issues. Once in the water, it is just fine.
The Lone Four Star Review, a Needle in a High Rating Haystack
In “This Kayak Performs Great and Met all Expectations with Respect to Performance,” Redrob writes, “This kayak performs great and met all expectations with respect to performance and handling. However, I was a little disappointed in the lesser quality of “fit and finish” compared to the three older Ocean kayaks we have owned. There are many slight imperfections and “waves” in the molding. These are mostly on the top, purely cosmetic, and of no significance as far as performance…Having whined about all that, it HAS performed up to Ocean standards, at least for the short couple of months we have owned it.” This user ended up giving the kayak four stars.
While the review did lower the overall rating of the kayak and does offer a noteworthy critique of the kayak, his issue is really negligible. It is just a small cosmetic issue. I have never seen a kayak entered into a beauty contest. The kayak performs just fine. If you pay particular acute attention to very fine details, then you should be a kayak connoisseur, but otherwise the kayak handles itself just fine.
Accessories that You Might Want to Consider
I divide this next section into two parts, gear you absolutely need with this kayak and gear you can really put off buying for a while.
Must Have Accessories before You head onto the Water
Paddles, You Cannot Get Very Far Without Them
These are must haves for this kayak. You cannot use it without them. I would recommend two of them since it is a tandem kayak. That will be more than enough. When it comes to choosing the right sized paddle, the two most important factors are paddle length and blade shape.
When deciding length, you need to consider your boat length and your height. For people under 5 ft 6 in (1.7 m) for this boat, you need a 240 cm (94.5 in) paddle. For those over 5 ft 6 in (1.7 m), you need a 250 cm (98 in) paddle.
When it comes to blade design, there are two types of asymmetrical dihedral paddles, narrow and wide. For this boat, a narrow one would be best. They are meant for longer, more relaxed trips. Wide paddles, on the other hand, are meant for quick, powerful strokes. The people who use them tend to be kayak surfers and white water kayakers, people in shorter kayaks. If you are one of these, then you might want to consider a wider paddle.
Bent paddles as opposed to straight paddles give its user more comfort during strokes. It comes down to personal preference on this choice.
Life Jacket, for Each Crew Member, it is Mandatory
Technically, you do not have to bring or wear a life jacket at all if you are over 18. You are old enough to make your own decisions at that point and you risk your own skin all by yourself without one. All underage kayakers each need one though; it is the law. There is no way around it. Regardless though, everyone should have one. If you have heard of the Titanic, they did not have enough life jackets and boats for everyone. The result was disaster. Play it safe and have one close by. You can never be too careful.
Extras if You Want to Make Your Experience more Enjoyable
Gaspachi Hatches, a Cover to the Portholes
I never knew the name of the hatches that cover the portholes where you can put various items inside. Gaspachi is certainly an odd name. Unfortunately, I could not find the reasoning behind this name in my research. If you know why, please let me know. It is an interesting question I would love to know the answer to.
Otherwise, it takes two round and one oval Gaspachi hatches. When you have some Gaspachi hatches on your boat, you can store more gear for those kayaking trips, helping to enhance your experience.
Hard Plastic Seats, You Need to Protect Your Back
Like I said earlier, one drawback is the seating they provide. It does not offer much in the way of back support. My Dad used to go in this kayak with me and we did not go very far because of the lack of back support. He needed more of it. For you, I recommend the same. A hard plastic seat will protect your back on those extended kayaking trips and ensure you have a fun time on the water.
Final Thoughts to Paddle Home On
This kayak is an absolute joy. From my own experience of it, I relished in the time spent atop this boat. Because of this, I had a lot of fun with friends and family. It was a blast for a testosterone fueled teenage kid. What do you say though? Are you going to take the plunge and seriously consider this splendid kayak? You will create a lot of fond memories. Click on the link below and embark on adventure near you.
If you have any thoughts, questions, or think I missed anything, do not hesitate to comment below and please share the article. Thank you so much and I hope you make it a great day!