Sadly, this boat has been discontinued. I got hooked on paddling the 18X as a rental. When the time came to buy my own boat, I needed something shorter, and I found a used 16X. I love paddling this boat, and more than the 18X, it's extremely nimble with the rudder up and also also steers well with the rudder down. Many have cast aspersions on the gimmicky rudder, but I like the elegance of the design. Also, for whatever reason, the Epic seat just fits me... I've always had comfort issues in other boats.
Love the hatches... never had any leakage problems and the day hatch is generously sized and works perfectly for easy access to water, snacks, a camera, and such.
Now, for the bad... I bought my boat nearly new for about 50% of retail and it and at that price, I can't complain. I have loved every second paddling it. But had I bought it new, I'd be *pissed.*
As other have noticed, the fit and finish is really sloppy.
1. Poorly sanded cockpit coaming that will destroy cockpit covers and skirts. I put some automotive door trim around the edge. Probably also could have sanded it myself but I'm lazy.
2. The rudder isn't centered when locked down. Doesn't really matter, but imagine buying a new Porsche with a crooked bumper.
3. The seat rails and foot board rails are poorly made. I don't do any rolling and don't plan to for a while, but I do wonder how the seat will hold up.
4. It's a real chore to adjust the foot board position while in the boat. I like to switch between knees up and knees under the deck, and I haven't found a single position that works well in both setups. I added a cord to pull so I can adjust the foot board more easily, but it's not perfect.
5. The backband adjustment is total garbage. My boat came with the older webbing strap backband. I added tri glides, but that made it nearly impossible to adjust the backband while in the boat. I upgraded to the newer seat design with a cleated line adjustment. The Dyneema cord slips and the back band would not hold under more than slight pressure. I leaned a little hard against the backband while paddling backward and the line ripped a hole through the seat. I was able to improve things significant by replacing the Dyneema with a thicker cord with a nylon sheath. The back band still slips under heavy pressure though. Plus side: Epic's pricing for a new seat was surprisingly reasonable.