I took this out for a demo (about the 11th of the day) and in 5 minutes knew I had my boat, though I had paddled more expensive ones, cost was the deciding factor and I'm in no way disappointed. It has great initial and secondary stability so getting into and out of it is no problem and if you want to put it on its edge, go right ahead it will not bite you and snap over when you least expect it. It was pretty windy that day so I got a chance to see what the skeg will do. It did exactly what you would expect and better still, there are about 12 positions it will lock in to.
For me, the weight is not a concern, I'm 56 yrs old at 5'11" and 210lbs and in normal shape, getting it onto the roof of my Journey is not much of a problem, unless I've been out all day and my arms are pretty much jello. In that case I sit and relax a bit first. I fit well into this kayak and have used to hip pads that it comes with to get a good snug fit.
I let my girlfriend paddle it this past weekend and it looks like I may have to buy another one. I seriously doubt if I'm going to get it back unless I go out with it by myself but then I usually get in trouble from her for not taking her along. LOL
While I'm no expert kayaker, I'm a research and learning type of person so before I ever bought one, I looked and read a lot of things, watched tons of how to videos, mostly from Paddling.net and Paddling TV (they are a great source of info) and took the outfitters classes from beginners to advanced kayaking skills and safety training because I wanted sit in versus sit on and plan to do day/weekend trips soon.
By best advice is while this kayak will work for a beginner I would not buy it until you take a few training lessons, but if you have a few hours already paddling recreation kayaks, then go for it, it's a nice transition from basic recreational kayaks to a more advanced recreational one.
I came from a very basic Pelican Trailblazer 100 which is a super stable boat so at first this one seemed a bit tippy to me but once I found my balance point and remembered to keep my hips Loose (hula hips LOL), that went away. In roughly 15 minutes I was already used to this boat and wasn't even thinking of it any longer. My girlfriend now uses the Pelican exclusively and she loves it but is a little jealous now that she has to paddle harder to keep up with me. By myself this will not be a problem, but with a slower boat, I've had to slow down my paddling.
The seat fit me great, it took no time at all for me to find the best setup for me. I like that it has small hooks on short bungees to strap the set back down for transportation. This is a great thing of you are not going to be using a cockpit seal while transporting the boat. I have one on order because I do travel some distance to go kayaking at times and without the cockpit seal, it kills gas mileage. I learned that will the Pelican because it's cockpit is huge so it like a big air brake on you car, especially if you mount it cockpit facing up or on J-Racks. Mount it up side down and it is better, use a cockpit seal and it's the best compromise
Basically the boat is very reactive and can easily be turned, stopped or accelerated quickly and also glides well. Be mindful of your technique and this is a fun boat and will do most anything you ask of it.
Bought this at Dicks just like everyone else did. Took it out today for the first time and I'm reasonably impressed. Like most others, the back rest could be better. Tracking seemed good, but not like my Riot Eudoro 12, which is for a totally different purpose. I'm just over 200lbs at 5'11" and 56yrs old and I fit well into the cockpit
The rear storage is not even close to water tight and doesn't really hold much, but for a 4 hour trip, it works. With the max weight at 275lbs, it does sit a little low in the water, but with her in it and at 125lbs, it's a perfect kayak for my girlfriend. I was surprised just how much she loves it. She's a beginner and within an hour she was very comfortable paddling this around a very calm stream.
You can't beat this kayak when it comes to the price.