I have had the Hobie Sidekickers on both of my PA 14's since I got the boats last June. I use them every time i'm out, even in calm water. Do I need to, no. But it sure makes a difference in how it feels with them in place. I'm a big boy with a lot of upper body weight (yep, I'm fat
). Even my 26 year old, 190 lb nephew likes to have them in place. Especially if he has the seat in the upper position.
Now, I've had my PA 14's out in Lake Michigan a couple of times now with the Sidekickers attached. For me, I wouldn't want to go out there without them. This last time, the wind kicked up on us and it got really choppy, really quick. Once i got back into the calmer waters of the South Haven Michigan Channel, I noticed the kayak was leaning. What had happened was the plastic plug-in pieces that are epoxied into the aluminum tubes came loose and one of the sidekickers rotated to the "up" position while the other remained in the down position. Upon investigating, I found that all 4 tubes had come loose, 2 to the point that they were falling out of the socket. The epoxy just doesn't stick well to both the plastic and the aluminum. I re-epoxied them and this time I drilled through and put a #8-32 SS Bolt through them so they cannot turn. Hopefully, this should do the trick. Now I just need to figure a good way to keep the socket tube from rotating in the plastic Hobie mounts that hold the whole thing to the boats.
Other than this little problem, I am very happy with them. Being able to deflate them for storage is a big plus.
Just be aware that the stock Sidekickers package doesn't fit the PA's, The socket tube is just too short. I had to purchase an additional tube and make a longer tube. You can see what I did here: viewtopic.php?f=78&t=48669
You will also see here how I have my batteries mounted so they cannot move.
Hope this helps,