The boat has a fair amount of rocker and likes to turn but edging and proper paddle technique are required to master it. I've been in 2' waves and confused rough water (great fun) from power boats with no problems. The boat also likes to weathercock and this is where the rudder comes in handy. Rudder down the boat goes where you want and you can concentrate on covering some miles despite the wind.
When I first got the boat I didn't like it a bit. I found it uncomfortable and difficult to control. I was tempted to sell it and buy another, I'm glad I didn't. I padded up the seat with minicell foam by fitting it underneath the seat in its recesses and installed some hip snaps on the seat brace. I then removed the thigh braces as my knees lock up tight beneath the coaming and now I had the comfort I wanted. I worked on my paddling technique and edging and now have the control I wanted and can now say I really do like this boat.
I think Elias may be too small for those taller than I but the boat will lend itself to a beginner who can then grow with it.
This paddle is very smooth with little blade flex or flutter. The swing is very light. The ferule is a flush one button with internal adjustment for feather. A very sexy paddle and seems to move my boat and my 180 pounds well. I have not tried the paddle with a loaded down boat so I can only hope it performs well here as well.
The only down side (besides price) I have found is the Cyprus is unforgiving of sloppy paddling so it will make you a better paddler, hey maybe that's a good thing.
I gave a 9 because it has a few little voids in one blade edge. Oh so close to a 10, but not quite perfect.