This boat rocks! I bought it for my other, so he could go out with me and keep up with my Wilderness Zephyr 15.5 on the Intra-coastal waterways, Florida rivers and lakes. It is very maneuverable and quick turning, but still has a stable feeling for beginners. The Dagger is also long enough at 14 ft to track nicely and the deck low enough to not catch the wind too much. The drop-down skeg adds stability and better tracking in tidal surge conditions, but is easily retracted. He says that the seat is a bit uncomfortable and could be padded a little more. The seat, sling back rest and thigh pads are all completely adjustable. The large fits his 5'10" 185lb slim frame well, except it's a bit of a tight fit for long legs to tuck in. After a test run with a friend's boat, I knew this was an excellent choice for a confident beginner or a experienced water fiend to play in the surf or in the current of the springs of Florida. Happy, Happy!
First of all, a disclaimer. I won this board from another review on Paddling.net in 2016. What an awesome surprise! We have played with the Blend for 2 summers now and really like how responsive it is in the small rolling surf off Florida's east coast. It is quick and turns well with the 3 fin arrangement. I recently paddled it 5 miles in both smooth water and a 10 mph left-quarter wind; it tracked well, but was considerably slower than my longer high volume board. It does take practice to move around on it; tough for yoga or looking over your shoulder angles as it's not highly stable. Overall, it provided a great workout!
My biggest negative comment is the material on the underside. It is a rougher surface than the slick glass on the edges and top and tends to mark up with hand prints, scrapes, etc. I also have found that the edges chip easily from unintentional paddle hits; I tried to protect the edges with helicopter tape, but unless you get it perfectly fit, it will rip off the logos when it peels back. As compared to my other board from Boardworks Surf, it seems to be made of more fragile material.
I do like how light and easy to carry the Blend is; we frequently have to carry over low tide beaches of 100 feet or more. It's fun, it's responsive and it's got great graphics. Overall I really like the board. Thanks, Starboard!
These are the best carbon reinforced bladed, carbon shaft paddles for the money in my opinion. Great value, light weight, options of shaft size, very good design. Aquabound makes great paddles and I don't need to use anything else.
I have nick-named the boat, 'Weeble', because compared to the highly stable Tsunami, it wobbles. In a good way....it will turn on a dime due to the chine/rocker design. The only thing I don't like about it is the noise the skeg makes when deployed. It seems to be loose and knocks side to side as you paddle. I think this was redesigned in later model years, but have not had a chance to try them out. The other thing is that the day hatch storage is a bit tight as there is a second hull brace vs the Tsunami.
Overall, a great speedy little boat for the paddler looking to upgrade skills and ability to go.