I have been paddling for 3 full years now. I purchased the Quoddy Lite the beginning of last season (2003). I went from a heavy 50 lb touring kayak with a large cockpit to the Lincoln Touring with a small cockpit. I wanted something lighter that I could manuever myself ,if I had to, and also something that I could learn to play around with and have some fun. Maybe learn to roll! (I'm not quite as young as I used to be). The Quoddy Lite I purchased is made of kevlar and fiberglass and has a small, 17" cockpit. It's overall length is 12' 6" long. It didn't take too long before I fell in love with it. One problem that I had adjusting was getting in and out of the kayak with out dumping it! I still have and occassional swim without planniing on it. The Kayak is quite easy to maneuver and is fast. I think the Quoddy Lite is a good kayak and I would recommend it. I decided to try and kayak over a beaver damn while fighting a strong courant. After quite a while of fighting with the courant, I WON! If I had been in my old kayak, I never would have had the muscle power to do it. I was so proud of myself. I am out state and the sales staff made the the whole purchase go quite smoothly. If I had any questions, they were there to answer and mailed items to my home if I needed anything. I met the gentlemen who made my kayak and he is quite interesting and dedicated to his profession. Good Luck to eveyone who is purchising kayaks this year, it is a great hobby.