I purchased this as an upgrade. I paddle primarily in the Monterey bay and northern CA coast with a looksha 17. I consider myself at an intermediate level. I'm pretty large (heavy) so having a pfd that doesn't turn into a turtle neck is nice. The design makes re-entry and rolling much easier. The padding high on the back lets the kayak back rest do it's job. Arms are wide open so nothing gets is the way of your stroke. The green color is visible from space.