First I must say the Eddyline Journey is a very elegant craft. Overall the fit-and-finish of the kayak is flawless. Absolutely the finest build quality that I've seen. The thermoplastic material has a fantastic finish, is relatively light weight and bulletproof. I get many compliments on the beauty of this boat.
I'm surprised that a boat of this fine quality has a couple of major flaws. First of all the seating system is uncomfortable. It slides forward and backward a few inches and the backrest or backband can be cinched but there is no adjustment to raise the seat pan. I also feel a little lost in the relatively wide cockpit because the thigh braces are a insufficient. My Dagger Alchemy and the Tempest 170 both have superior seating compared to the Journey. My girlfriend has also remarked about the less than comfortable seat. The thigh braces are not adjustable but the sliding seat does allow you to get locked in. The foot braces are excellent quality.
The other item that disappoints me is the deck rigging. Directly behind the seat there are bungees but no perimeter decklines. This lack of non-stretchy decklines makes a paddlefloat re-entry very difficult if not impossible.
In spite of these issues, which could be remedied, the boat is a joy to paddle. It has excellent glide and tracks nicely even without the skeg. By the way, the skeg system is excellent and far superior to the skeg systems in my other boats. The craft has a decent amount of rocker, is very maneuverable and responds wonderfully to paddle input and edging.
I hope this info is useful to anyone considering the purchase of this boat. She is a beautiful craft and I do enjoy paddling her but I'd probably recommend one of my other two boats to a potential buyer.
I think it's important to understand the reviewer. I am an experienced novice. The Alchemy 14L is my 3rd boat. My 2nd boat, which I still have, is a 15.5' Eddyline Journey. Even though I'd describe the Eddyline as a better craft in almost every aspect, every time I take out the Alchemy I can't believe just how much fun it is to paddle! I do mostly lake paddling but have taken the Alchemy in the ocean and rivers.
This is a perfect boat to learn some skills on. So it's ideal for a novice or intermediate paddler. I've had people who've never been in a kayak before slip this baby on and feel very confident in no time at all. It is not the fastest boat but with a little extra effort you'll keep up with anyone. The Alchemy is a super responsive kayak. It spins like a compass needle when doing sweep strokes. It edges nicely and responds to paddle input and pressure on the foot pegs like you won't believe. I'd describe both primary and secondary stability as excellent. It tracks like you'd expect a 14' boat to track but the whole point of this boat is to develop skills so edge the darn thing to go straight.
Since we are talking about course correction, let's talk about the skeg. I try not to use it. Yes an incremental amount of skeg will help the Dagger go straight but once deployed, the drag it creates slows the kayak to what feels like a crawl. All the reviews I've read about this boat says that the skeg rattles when fully deployed. Yup, it sure does and you might find it annoying but I didn't see it as a big problem because the Alchemy excels at everything else. It's a great platform for a novice or intermediate paddler to develop and practice skills.
The seat is excellent. Very adjustable and comfortable. I like the low backband. Excellent hip pads and knee braces. It's easy to get connected in this boat. Last but not least, it's a good looking boat. I'd highly recommend this craft if it sounds like what your looking for in a kayak.