Bought a new 2005 Carolina 14.5 with rudder on sale last weekend. Took it out for its maiden voyage on Lake Erie in 2-1/2 foot waves and it rode great. This is my first kayak, but I have extensive paddling experience in canoes. I need to work on my kayak strokes and gain some more confidence, but I'm sure this will be a great boat for me long term. I tried a 2006 model, but the thigh braces were too tight for me to fit comfortably in the boat. I'm 6'1" and weigh about 210. The 2005 model is comfortable, and easy to paddle. The people at Ohio Canoe Adventures near Cleveland are great people to deal with. They are very knowledgeable, asked a lot of questions about how I planned on using the kayak and then made sure that the fit was right.