I am a first time kayaker, so this is my first kayak. I really like the larger opening for the cockpit because I don't feel restricted. The kayak has excellent balance and at no time do I ever feel like I'm going to tip. It lightly skims across the water with much less effort than it takes to paddle a canoe. Although I have yet to use it, there is a console for holding a few things including a beverage. I love my kayak!