One of the bigger surprises for me was the maneuverability of the canoe. A slight lean allows a quick turn not enough for whitewater (not enough freeboard anyway), but much better than a Wenonah Voyager or GRB Classic XL.
Overall, a great, solo flatwater touring canoe.
The comfort is fantastic, and keeps me off the ground even though it is only a few inches tall. No pressure points to deal with like a sleeping pad which is something I'll never use again.
The only drawback is that it takes a little stretching to get it in the door of my small two man Kelty tent that I use solo. It is expensive, but I've never slept so well while canoe camping (used it on a recent week long trip).
Money well spent.
I'm 6'2" 230 lbs and this board is very stable and allows me to carry a little gear for day trips. Not a burner, but it does have decent glide. My wife who is much smaller also enjoys paddling it.
I do have a major complaint with the layup. The board has two dings that penetrate into the core. One came from tying the board down, the other from my daughter falling while paddling.
I thought the board was a great deal because of the good paddling characteristics, but the fragility completely negates that idea. I guess you get what you pay for.
Carry a decent load,
IMO, outweighing any Pro, it is too fragile
I am thoroughly impressed with this boat's characteristics and capabilities. It is fast and seaworthy and responds well to both single and double blades.
On my recent trip I was paddling with mostly kayakers and I arrived at each break spot and camp every evening long before they did. It is easy to maintain 4.5 MPH in this boat all day long with a single blade. With a double blade into headwinds of 15 MPH I could maintain about 4.8 MPH with a day long effort. I had to regularly wait for the kayakers on open water.
During the trip we had an open water crossing of about a mile in 20-25 MPH steady winds with gusts over 30, and 2 to 3 ft confused seas primarily perpendicular to the crossing. I made it successfully across with the double blade paddle, and never really felt like I was going to lose it. Yes, I had to throw a few braces, but so did the sea kayakers. Matter of fact, one of the experienced sea kayakers described the conditions as qualifying for rough water according to the BCU standards, and three paddlers didn't make the crossing.
The XL is truly a 10.
Like I said, a versatile boat, maybe not the best at any one thing, but capable. If I only owned one canoe (heaven forbid), this would be the one.