I'm giving this kayak 4 stars, because for what it is meant for it does really well. This is an over-stable, short, easy to use kayak. Because of the length and hull design it turns on a dime. This is a benefit when kayaking a narrow river, and a curse when trying to kayak a long distance on an open lake. This kayak does not track well at all, meaning you will constantly be correcting your course as it wants to turn with every paddle stroke. A seasoned paddler will know the strokes to counteract that, new kayakers may get frustrated. But, this kayak wasn't made or sold to do long lake/ocean crossings. This kayak was made for new kayakers to get in, have fun, and learn some of the basics of kayaking and this kayak does those tasks excellently. I have taught at least a dozen children how to kayak and probably close to as many adults and I almost always throw them in the Otter first. It's a great kayak to get rid of the "tipping" fear as it is extremely stable. The new kayaker can really focus on paddle strokes etc without worry about tipping. Overall I would certainly recommend this to young paddlers and any new kayaker that just wants to try kayaking. It is typically inexpensive and it is always great for a spare around the cabin when guests visit and want to try kayaking. If you are a larger person you will want to look elsewhere. If you have a larger budget and are a bigger person, or plan on kayaking only on lakes, I would suggest looking toward the Old Town Loon or something similar that has a larger weight capacity, a little more room, and tracks better.
When I say this kayak is fast, I'm comparing it to the Dirigo and other recreational kayaks in that class. This kayak will not win any races when put against longer ocean kayaks.
Overall I'm very happy with the Loon and would buy another if given the chance. Great boat!