Carved turns surprisingly well but the rudder was a big help in the wind. Once turning had started the boat wanted to keep turning even when brought back to an even keel. This boat was easier to turn for me than the CD caribou but did not stop turning as crisply, or track as well. If I get this boat I will get a rudder and the trim tab adjustment and use it exclusively. I also need to raise the pedal height but that is down to me not Epic. I wonder if I could get the trim tab and leave the toe pilots out ( I know it is not standard design but... I will paddle this boat soon in conditions, and if I decide I need a fast sit in boat it's likely to be purchased.
Seat back is quite sad but what do you expect. It is way too tall and way to flimsy. I doubt that seat backs are a big concern of Greg or Oscar. The boat rolled OK but did not pop up like the romany explorer does (few boats do.) Weathercocking was noticable but not outrageous. The reason I would get a rudder is because of the boats tendancy to keep turning. I was very pleased with the lack of drag fron the sealline rudder.
Overall, I was quite pleased, and very pleasantly surprised at the boats ability to carve I weigh 225 have snort legs and have been working at improving my paddling skills for about 4 years three of them year round.
Mine is one of the early ones, she is very heavy, and very solid. In places where a boat with more primary would have made me nervous (or upside down)she just lets the little stuff go and the secondary is a dream. Slower than some 18 foot boats I have owned. I weigh 235 and paddle the standard version. I love the rope skeg, every skeg boat I've paddled has been annoying to my knee except those equipped with a rear rope skeg. She doesn't need it much unless I'm feeling lazy. She will ship water if I practice an over the back deck rescue, but if you cannot roll this boat you cannot roll. Yeah, the usual niggles, needs a foam seat and different backband. I've yet to paddle the T 170 or anything from Mariner, but for right now in rough water she is THE THING, with a bag of chips, salsa, and 4 gigs of RAM. I love the day hatch and keep my cell phone (in dry case), thermos of ginger tea, first aid kit, (need Dramamine or got blisters anyone), some boat repair stuff and other tricks in there. Radio and flares are on me.