I bought my Manitou after several months of Internet research and shopping around for opinions. This is my first kayak and I had a lot of requirements. I wanted to be able to do river trips but also flat water touring. Of all the opinions I heard, the Manitou was the best choice. A Demo weekend finally came and I got the opportunity to paddle one. The boat is forgiving, even to a novice like me. After some practice, I was able to edge it and turn with greater precision than I had thought possible. The storage is ample, despite the lack of a forward bulkhead and/or hatch. I am 5'10" and have quite a bit of room in front of the foot pegs to stow a dry bag. This boat’s light weight, size and versatility make the boat a great buy and great boat to paddle.