I took this ship out for a test run some time back with the intention of buying the blue storm model. It was fast and not really a dime turner but figured out how to make it turn fast. The rudder allowed the ship to navigate through the water with ease against the crossing wind. Im a big guy 6'4" 290 lbs. Getting in was easy getting out somewhat challenging but was doable. I rolled the ship over to slide out with ease as I didnt mind getting wet. There is plenty of storage for a week trip for myself as I wouldn't load unnecessary items on it. The ship is stable and user friendly. I couldn't complain as this ship was the first one that checked all the boxes for me. Since then I've been in an accident and looking for that elusive Necky Elias. Get one youll enjoy it.
To start with I'm 5'8" 175 lbs. Been paddling about 12 years. I've been through about 40 sea kayaks in that time. Most of my paddling is in open water. I like at least 4 ft. choppy trashy water or nice big rollers coming in for surfing.
I found the Elias on craigslist and though I would give it a try.
I liked the outfitting and I took it out on a 3 ft. trashy day with very unorganized wave action. Found out right away it handled the conditions very easily. Rolled it a few times and it took a good effort to get back on top of it. It was a little tuff to time a wave for surfing with it and the stern would catch making it want to broach.
Now the rest of the story:
I took it out on a beautiful little north Georgia lake and that is where this boat should live. It is an extremely smooth ride, responses perfectly to a slight paddle initiated edge turn, and with a bow rudder will spin on a dime. Carving turns are just as effective. It handles like a 12 kayak but you have the cruise of an almost 16 ft. boat. Secondary stability is STRONG...
So, I'll give this boat a "10" for what it is, a great flatwater kayak that will handle anything mother nature can through at you.
The boat has a fair amount of rocker and likes to turn but edging and proper paddle technique are required to master it. I've been in 2' waves and confused rough water (great fun) from power boats with no problems. The boat also likes to weathercock and this is where the rudder comes in handy. Rudder down the boat goes where you want and you can concentrate on covering some miles despite the wind.
When I first got the boat I didn't like it a bit. I found it uncomfortable and difficult to control. I was tempted to sell it and buy another, I'm glad I didn't. I padded up the seat with minicell foam by fitting it underneath the seat in its recesses and installed some hip snaps on the seat brace. I then removed the thigh braces as my knees lock up tight beneath the coaming and now I had the comfort I wanted. I worked on my paddling technique and edging and now have the control I wanted and can now say I really do like this boat.
I think Elias may be too small for those taller than I but the boat will lend itself to a beginner who can then grow with it.