Ascend FS12T

8.2 score
[Editors rating (8.2) + Users rating (9.4)] / 2 = (TheGearHunt) score (8.2)/10

Editor rating: 8.2 / 10
User's rating: based on 3 user ratings
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Ascend FS12T Review Facts

Kayaking offers fairly specific health benefits that are unique to the activity. This includes targeted muscle group building (back, arms and chest), improved cardiovascular fitness, better torso rotation strength and reduced wear and tear on joints that are commonly experienced with other types of activities like running and biking. There are different types of activities that require padding as well like sea kayaking (done on the sea with more waves and stabilization requirements), surf kayaking (where the kayaking participant is fitted with a fin instead of a surfboard) and marathon racing (which is typically done down a river). Another similar activity to kayaking is canoeing. The primary difference between kayaking and canoeing is that with canoeing you are in an open boat rather than an enclosed one. The person sits usually on a seat and pushes their way through the water with a paddle. A canoe can also offer more than one seat, allowing for a second individual to also sit in the canoe and assist with paddling. Kayaking, on the other hand, usually only allows for one person to use and sit in the kayak. With a kayak, as well, the individual sitting in the boat will often have straight legs rather than legs at a 90-degree angle the way they do in a canoe. One primary piece of equipment is required in order to participate in this sport, this piece of equipment is unsurprisingly a kayak!

This article focuses on one kayak in particular, which is the Ascend FS12T. This kayak is fairly popular with reviewers due to its stability even in rough water, as well as its ability to keep water out of it even when in areas of high wind and waves. We looked at consumer reviews in order to determine what consumers thought of the product. We did research on reviews from both amateurs and professionals. We also looked at the materials used to build this product and its construction in order to determine its durability, waterproofing, and reliability. This is our comprehensive review of the Ascend FS12T. We hope that this article helps you find the perfect kayak for your next over water adventure.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • This kayak is inexpensively priced 
  • This kayak offers a fair amount of deck space
  • This kayak also offers a fair amount of storage space
  • Even at high winds water stays out of the scuppers which is ideal
  • The scupper holes on this product are poorly located according to some reviewers 
  • Advanced kayakers were not impressed with the products stability
  • Reviewers were not impressed by the thinness of the kayak 
  • Reviewers were also a little disappointed by how heavy this product is as well


This product offers a deluxe removable seating system, this allows those who want to stand in the boat (usually for fishing) to be able to do so relatively easily when out on the water. The seat can be raised and lowered in order to suit the individual using the boat. This also makes it a little more versatile for more than one user. The standing area is also improved from earlier versions in order to improve the rigidity of the standing area for better stabilization and less work on the boater. The foot braces are also adjustable which, again, allows for a more comfortable and customized fit for those using the product as well as versatility for more than one participant (or growing legs, like with young adults). The scrupper drains which help keep the participant dryer and the kayak also offers fasteners in order to keep the participant comfortably in the boat. Security rails, as with all kayaks, are also included to add piece of mind to the participant when in motion. Those who purchased this product found that the kayak was quite comfortable to use for extended periods of time and once they got used to stabilizing themselves when standing that they could also stand for hours as well which is positive.


This product offers weather-tight storage. The storage is offered through d-rings that are integrated through the molded stern well that is secure enough to hold a full-sized cooler (ideal for drinks for the trip). The rails also offer accessory storage for extra gear for more versatility for your storage. The storage offers a secure weatherproof hatch as well which keeps the items you are storing protected even when in rougher waters as well. Reviewers were impressed by the amount of storage throughout the kayak saying that there was plenty of storage with the hatch and the front/back areas where coolers can be stored which is positive. One reviewer said that they loved the amount of deck space to work on and with which is also positive. One issue is that some reviewers found some stability issues with the kayak, this is discussed in more detail below, however, one reviewer stated that when reaching for the rear storage that they nearly tipped the kayak over. This, of course, is an issue as this may decrease the actual usable storage space offered by the kayak if reaching for the storage tips the kayak. Read onto the stability chapter for greater detail on this issue, though, as opinions differ depending on the reviewer.


This product offers a removable seating system as mentioned above, which allows those using the kayak to pull the seat out and stand within the kayak. The upgraded standing area offers an improved rigidity which offers a more stable standing location when fishing or sightseeing. The flush-mount paddle holders offer an easier row, while the adjustable foot braces allow those using the kayak to sit comfortably and securely no matter the leg length. Those who used this product found that even in high winds they had no issues paddling through rough waters. They also found that the thickness of the kayak was ideal, however, the weight of it was a little much for one person attempting to get the boat loaded for their trip (on top of a vehicle or onto a trailer).


This product is considered quite inexpensive to many reviewers and it does seem to be the case. It definitely sits at the lower end in price in comparison to others on the market. Many reviewers regularly refer to it as a "great bang for your buck" indicating that this products quality is in line with the price. There was one reviewer that rated it fairly highly despite replacing several items on it. He said that it was just part of the life of a kayak though. It does seem that this product is quite durable though, despite the reviewers comments, the body seems to be quite durable but the parts do require replacement over time. The body isn't thick but the kayak itself is quite heavy. This isn't ideal for those carrying it but does make the product a little more durable. The body is also waterproof up to a certain point, but kayaks do have holes (or scruppers) for the purpose of less wind resistance, as well as to drain the product if water gets in. Some found that the srcuppers were weird areas though. Overall, it seems that this product is right in line with the cost. It's not the best build kayak but it's great for starters as long as they learn how to balance while standing or reaching for storage when on the water.


This product is 12 inches in length and 31 inches in width. It is about 77 pounds in weight with the seat. The maximum weight capacity of this product is 350 pounds, however, there were several reviewers that don't believe that it can actually hold that much weight without water getting into the boat. Some found that the boat probably couldn't fit an individual over 150 pounds which is a bit of an issue considering its max weight standards. The boat itself is also quite heavy, some found, and had issues getting it loaded on their vehicle for their trip. This kayak may require two people to load onto a vehicle and this may be something that the reader may want to consider before purchasing this product. Overall, though, this product is made of durable materials but it does make the kayak a little heavier.


The stability of the product seems to be a point of contention for some reviewers but also praised by others. The stability of the boat is improved from earlier versions and according to the manufacturers website is custom-crafted through the hull in order to increase the stability for easier handling in rougher conditions and for smoother entry and exit when at shores or on docks. They also mention that the standing area has improved rigidity in comparison to earlier models which is supposed to offer easier standing when out on the water. For those with issues with the stability, most of the time this was in comparison to another type of boat that was quite a bit more expensive which should be considered. If buying this product for the purpose of a discount, the boat is not as stable as more expensive models. Those who were okay with the stability of the boat usually referenced the discounted cost of this product. They found that once they got used to the stability and were able to balance, that they could stand (and move around when seated) for extended periods of time. This may also be an experience level thing as well where regular boaters were better at adapting to stability changes where newer boaters may have had some difficulties.


The primary use of this product is for both kayaking and for fishing. The removable seat issue is meant for those who need to stand when on the water, this is usually (and almost primarily for) fishermen. This allows those who are fishing more room to move their arms when casting their lines. The boat itself has enough storage to bring gear with you when out for the purpose of fishing and the top of the boat has room to work in order to prep. The boat, of course, is meant to take out on the water to just enjoy the water and the scenery as well. The boat is meant for one person and is narrow enough to comfortable kayak next to another person in their own kayak and have a conversation while doing so.


Tunnel hull design for smoother gliding through the water
A padded, removable seat in order to offer room for standing
A larger molded stern for stability and durability
Weather tight storage and hatch for protection against water
Upgraded standing area in order to offer better stability when standing
Accessory rails in order to hand addition accessories on
A wide flat top in order to prep on when out on the water
A durable body to protect the boater from rougher waters and add longevity to the boat's life


The bottom line is that this product is a pretty decent one. When looking at quality and features with this type of product you have to remember that quality is usually more expensive. This product seems to kind of sit in the middle where the product is priced at the value of it. The durability is not a concern for the most part with this product. The body itself is quite sturdy, albeit heavy, and stays intact even on rougher waters and years of use. The additional components are the areas that may require replacement over the years but likely, for the most part, this is less expensive than getting an entirely new kayak. The stability is a point of contention for some reviewers as even if you watch review videos, it looks like the reviewer is quite literally on top of a unicycle. This was however regularly reviewed as being a little ridiculous, stating that many people found that once they got used to the stability it was quite easy to keep the boat upright which is positive. This product is ideal for those who want a boat at a decent price who have no issues with adapting. It is made of quality materials, offers plenty of storage space and is a good bang for your buck. For these reasons, this product is definitely worth consideration.