This is the first touring /sea kayak I have bought and hopefully it will continue to perform year after year. The tracking is awesome and very responsive so need need for the rudder. The 2 hatches aft and stern seal quite well and easily enough even though I feel Old Town could have done a better job. The slide out day hatch is abit of a toss up, on mine the latch to seal the compartment is not very strong and could open easily ( Hopefully Old Town will fix this). It is easily removed but at this point I would trust any valuable in it. The phone hold down could be better as well as the straps do not hold a phone very well. The foot pegs are easy to adjust so thats always a plus. The seat tilt adjustment should go back to the old style as it was easy to raise and lower and could not be lowered by an errant push of a button. Overall I really do like this kayak and would recommend as a first kayak for touring on a budget
I upgraded from an Aruba 10 and my goodness what a difference! I love the looks first of all, low, sleek and beautiful on the water. Once you start paddling you immediately notice the superb tracking, stability, and ease of paddling it. It is plenty quick as well, and extremely quiet in the water which is great as I love to use it as a platform for nature photography. I love that it has dual watertight bulkheads, as these make me feel a lot safer in big water. Also, I opted for the rudder which is great for when I am gliding along as I can hold a camera and steer with my feet, keeping the boat straight. The boat tracks very well even with the rudder stowed though. I am 5'8 and about 185 and the boat fits me very well. A spray skirt is optional as the boat sheds water very well and under normal conditions you just don't get wet. I love the rigid construction, much more rugged than simple roto-molding. A very nice boat, well worth looking at if you are looking for a mid-sized all around boat. Highly recommend it! And the customer service at Old Town is top notch!