My post just got approved on my end today. I guess someone had to think long and hard about allowing a critical post. My wife and I have owned kayaks for the last 7 years or so. I am a lifelong duck hunter and have been paddling perogues all my life. I am now 49 years old. We own (2) heritage redfish 14s for fishing. My wife is not as good a paddler as I and often has trouble keeping up and finding her way around the maze of salt marsh that we fish in. We wanted to try tandem fishing out so that we could avoid the 2 prevous problems as well as actually interact more when we fish. We have rented tandem paddle yaks and as it usually is, I am dong most of the paddling and it is difficult with the extra weight of another person and a heavier hull that it far less hydrodynamic than a solo kayak. I once stopped someone on the beach that had an oasis and they were gracious enough to let us try it out. It too had that heavy cumbersome feeling to it. I just tried another out from a guy that we were considering buying one from and had that same initail feelings asa well. Niether way is easy. I would have to say that I am still very much considering one because of the hands free fishing. I did not have a pro advising me of proper setup either time. Perhaps it takes some fine tuning to get it dialid in.
My wife and I are in our 70's and our legs are probably the best parts of our bodies. I had minor knee surgery after we got our Oasis, and I feel pedaling our Oasis helped to speed up and fine tune my rehab post op.
Our 2009 Oasis bought in 2010 was our first kayak, and like you we weren't that impressed with it in the water at first.
Our Oasis was taken out of its wrap in the parking lot of the dealer and loaded on to my truck. Apparently, this may be standard procedure for many dealers as we had trouble with steering our new Oasis. If you read this helpful site, the improper tuning of the steering system from many dealers is a fairly common and totally avoidable occurence.
Thanks to Road Runner, others on this site, I went to the internet and found out that our rudder was not centered, and the steering system was very sloppy.
Once I found the internet site showing what to do, with a little help from my wife, I untied the steering lines, centered the rudder and retied the lines.
The next day. we took it to a local lake and tried it. Our Oasis went from a clumsy barge like yak to one that could do 180's and 360's in basically its length. Now I have my wife use the rudder controls before we put the Oasis in the water, and I make any minor adjustment that may be needed.
The other unique problem, we have had is getting the Mirage to fit properly in the front site. My wife says the process reminds her of dealing with someone with severe PMS. That problem has been taken care of with the new Mirages. So we deal with it and make sure it is inserted/engaged properly.
With those minor problems addressed on each trip, our Oasis is very fast and very able to handle tight maneuvering.
We easily average 4+ mph with it and have hit maintained over 6 + mph for sprints or leaving experienced yakkers behind in calm water and even faster in waves up to 15".
On our last trip last year, on our local river we were about 1.5 miles upstream from the launch site, and a surprise upstream wind of about 15 knots and the predicted incoming high tide. We slowed down to about 2 mph, stayed dry, while I steered into the slicks and any leeward areas. We passed and left a pod of experienced yakkers with paddles trying to get back to the launch site.
We beat the pod back to the launch site and had our Oasis out of the water and back on the trailer before the pod arrived. They were in their 30-40's, wet and very winded. I helped a couple of them to get on the ramp and to get out of their yaks.