I kayak alone and my favorite areas always have waves. It must be a holdback to my years of sailing, but I like to paddle straight upwind thru the waves( believe me, you need a sprayskirt in these conditions)then run downwind with the waves. This kayak will surf! Takes a little getting used to the sensation but is a blast. This is my idea of fun, paddle hard upwind (submarine anyone?) then back down. In all of my outings last fall and all thru this summer, I have only had flatwater once, the millpond conditions you see in the kayak ads. The rest of the time is battling against wind/waves.
I am looking at upgrading to a longer and faster boat but have not made up my mind yet. Although I find that the M-V is not the prettiest boat around, I cannot fault it. I take my kayaking very seriously and the boat has not let me down once. It can hang-in there a lot longer than I can. I usually always kayak alone and getting it on and off the top of my Honda CRV is very do-able, although some days it is harder than other days (fatigue factor).
All in all, it's a good boat. Maybe not the prettiest and its no speed demon, but it's comfortable, edges like crazy, easy to handle and very seaworthy. I'd highly recommend it as an entry-level boat and an excellent training boat. You can mess around with it to your hearts content with the highest level of confidence.
I first saw this boat in a tiny kayak/car dealership. Went home and did some research and found a local (2 streets from my house) dealer had it. Went down took a look. Lucky for me the guy let me pay for it over a bit of time. I am the proud owner of the 2001 max velocity. A very nice looking boat.
When you first see the hull of the boat it sets up questions in your mind: what the _____???? The hull is designed with about 4 mini keels that run the length of the water line. Makes the boat track very nice even with out the skeg. According to the brochures the mini keels are also supposed to compress that h2o under the hull and make it glide or almost plane like a motorboat. I will agree that this is a fast boat. The keels also add some extra stability on the secondary. Not much of a hard chine, there is one but not much of a difference from the upper part of the side.
I ended up getting a great deal because it was a 2001. Actually the last one around in the New England area. Mine came with a drop skeg, 2 bulkheads, all bungee dressing and 2 hatches (the rear being an oversized rectangle). Unfortunately the boats price and name have changed. My boat in the year 2002 is known as the velocity expedition. There are 2 lower versions: the velocity (with the barer essentials of a seat foot pegs and a little bungee) and the velocity trek (one bulkhead in the rear with the aforementioned hatch). My boat also jumped up about 200 dollars topping at $949. A bit much for a boat this size. But at the same time the designers at sun did some changing as well. In the 2001 it is a huge cockpit. About a 26" beam with coaming width at 19.5". None the less I have had to do some serious outfitting. mini cell foam is now my friend (and so is the adhesive).
2002: the width is now below 25" with the coaming the same. but another good thing that they changed is the depth from deck to hull. In my boat I can almost sit cross-legged in it. No longer. The 2002 velocity series has become even more user friendly than it was already.
Over all I love my velocity. I am a big guy 5'10" 238# and it fits me pretty well. Fast and smooth tracking and quite stable. For a bigger guy it is a great boat especially if you can get the price down some. And I will keep y'all posted on the durability factor.