I started paddling with a group of people who have composite sea kayaks. Needless to say, keeping up with them was a chore. After a lot of research, I bought the 18 S. The first few trips were interesting to say the least. I am tall with a high COG and many times thought I was in the water, only to not be there.
I use a Euro paddle and it 'sticks' frequently in this boat because I am a high angle paddler. Still considering a wing but I have modified my stroke more toward low angle. I had just been on a 2 month hiatus because of a back issue and took the ski out yesterday. Almost felt like an old friend. I am looking forward to our next trip.
Performance was good, in fact it surfs very well. I found it a bit irritating that my butt got wet with the scupper plugs in under the seat. I weigh 235 so it sits fairly low in the water. The plugs are pretty, but today I replaced them with Minicell.
The 140 is not as fast as its' big brother the 160 but is a great boat nonetheless. Even after several submersions the forward hatch did not leak. As we were putting in, a guide for Coastal expeditions said, "that T140 is a great boat, especially with thigh straps." I had added them the day before and would not paddle bumpy water without them.
P.S. this boat is an unruly beast out of the water. Heavy as a brick and like handling a wet log.
Echoing the last reviewer,the boat is a much drier ride. It is really nice not to sit in a puddle for hours. To achieve that, the paddler is further off the water with an attendant decrease in stability, but so little it is hardly noticeable. I got caught in a couple of sudden side currents that were momentarily exciting. I'll take that loss for the dry butt.
The phase 3 seat is great. Lumbar support in a SOT!
Continuing the trend, the boat is heavy as a brick. It comes with tracks for adding accessories, but that does not include attachment points for thigh straps. I was disappointed that I have to add them. Paddling a SOT in rough water without thigh straps is not fun. Still, I am pleased with the boat for my intended use - small rivers and salt water bays and creeks.
The biggest issue with the Zone is it turns like the Queen Mary, even with the rudder. I'm sure experience would improve that, but not enough to paddle up the Weeki Wachi.