I have paddled both the Zydeco 9 and 11. The 9 has more responsive turning but is slower (as expected for a kayak 2 feet shorter). The 11 is easier to paddle and keep up with other boats. The seat is comfortable. Both sizes track well when paddling. They did tend to turn with the current when I stopped paddling. This is expected from a kayak that doesn't have a skeg and also shows that it will turn well when you want/need it. The Zydeco has a lower profile than the Axis and doesn't get caught by the wind. I didn't notice any issues with it being thin but I wasn't going over any low rocks. I enjoy paddling this kayak and will let friends paddle my Axis and Blackwater on flat to class 1 water. I will still pick the Axis or Blackwater 10.5 for class 2 -3.
I bought this boat early spring after a couple of trips where my 14 Necky was just too long for the environment.
This is a really sharp looking little boat that is quite comfortable for it's price point and is very easy to paddle and dare I say athletic for its size. Its highly manouverable, tracks as good as you can expect for an 11' long 28" wide boat and the fit and finish is better than most boats in it range.
This is a tough size range where you get some pretty low end Perception options, or some really overpriced Old Town boats. The Zydeco falls in the middle in terms of price and quality and you can get them for less than 500 bucks on sale.
I've read that folks think the hull is thin, I dont think so. It's not as thick as some other but it also keeps it lighter and easier to portage. I'm 6'3" and 235 lbs and I can stand in this boat and its fine. Dagger makes a good quality product that land in between a Percpetion and Wilderness and in the 400 to 550 prige range , its the best 11' footer out there.
It's made for running tight and slower rivers or lakes and ponds. Use it for that and you'll love the boat.
As an experienced kayaker who has completed many overnight wilderness camping trips on the ocean and lakes, I find the Zydeco 11 hull design has proven its ability to store as much as larger kayaks, and handle rough water even without a rudder, making it suitable for beginners as well as experienced paddlers that are looking for a more a affordable lightweight craft to handle for day or multi-day trips. I highly recommend the Zydeco 11.
If you're just looking for a cheap boat to poke around in for a couple of hours, this boat should do but I think there are better boats for not tooo much more money (i.e. Pungo), but I would not recommend it for longer paddles or overnight trips.
Initial stability is okay, secondary is better. This Zydeco tracks well as long as I'm paddling, but it veers when I stop. I enjoy the re-designed seat and the hatch. It's great on long paddles.
My biggest regret about this purchase is that the plastic is so thin, and has so much give, that I can't imagine it wouldn't fold up if I got pinned in swift-water. When I go over stumps or "butt-rocks," on a river I can feel the bottom bend and give. This is not a comfortable sensation, especially in a new boat.
I applaud Dagger for trying to make an affordable 11' boat for Zydeco fans, but if I had the choice to make again, for the same price, I'd have opted for a better-made, used, longboat.