Initial stability is spooky for a beginner because the max width is 24 3/4". The secondary is excellent for such a narrow canoe, and I'm no longer scared of dumping, though you have to stay kneeling to feel secure.
The Bardy Jones Express (BJX) has great glide. I think it has a "wall," but I'm not an aggressive enough paddler to find it. I believe with a longer paddle, one could make this canoe FLY using Mike Galt type far-reaching forward strokes.
Would it beat a Magic? Probably not. It is faster than my Bell Wildfire. About the same as my Bell Merlin II.
I've been told this canoe was designed for the Florida Everglades, and I believe it could be true. It seems okay in the wind, and appears it would hold a lot of gear (which would help the stability???).
Whoever had it before me really used it, and he used it in rocky, fast rivers from the scrapes and bruises. I think it would be EXTREMELY fast down aggressive rivers due to the length and narrow width.
It has a much different feel than a bell. More like a Swift Osprey, but not as forgiving, perhaps.
Nice, interesting design...