I was in a very privileged…
I was in a very privileged position to demo paddle the Wavesport Hydra alongside a number of other kataks. For the record these were: Dagger Stratos S (14.5 ft) Venture Jura (16 ft) Valley Sirona (16.1 ft) Wavesport Hydra (14.8 ft)
So broadly in the same area tho pricing and performance vary.
Regarding the Wavesport Hydra. I understand its targeted at the Dagger Stratos so I will make my direct comparisons there. The Hydra currently comes in one size. On the water it is quicker than the Stratos and in a straight line feels nice and has a positive feel. The seating was comfortable - slightly better thsn the Stratos which is a compliment! The hydra also has two bulkheads like the Stratos and an additional front sealed compartment for your near to hand bits
The downside is its turning performance. Even with the skeg up it was difficult to turn easily. The Stratos definitely has the upper hand. The boat edges ok tho it is a little on the heavy side.
The other downside (for me) is the size of the cockpit. Its huge. Instead of having two sizes like the Stratos, Wavesport offers only one. So the feel of the boat will vary greatly with the size of the person.
My lasting impression is that its good in a straight line, very stable, has comfortable seating but turning is sluggish. Maybe a little more rocker is needed?
If your choice is between a Syratos or the Hydra, do demo them both as they are similar but have different characteristics which will suit your own feel.
I mentioned the Valley Sirona in my earlier listing. Thats the one Im going for as its faster, turns on a dime, and edges like a dream. A Stratos and Hydra on steroids...... But its priced at 50% more! Oh well.