I am 71 years old, 5'11", 155 lbs. in excellent condition. I am relatively new to kayaking--about two years, but I have been on more than 30 paddles over that time--15 with the Fathom. With my previous 17 foot, 24" beam kayak, I was having difficulty keeping up on some paddles. I had four requirements when I began searching for a new kayak. First, something I could load and carry myself--under 60 lbs. Second, room for my feet. I have size 12.5 and most kayaks are too tight. Third, I have a stiff back that needs high firm support. The Fathom can be ordered with an extra firm back that adjusts up and down with a thumb-screw bolt. Forth, I needed more hull speed. The Fathom met all criteria. I was initially worried about hull speed, but I found I could cruise at 4 knots non-stop for more than three hours. It tracks straight both forward and backward and is easy to roll. I am a little stiff, so a bigger cockpit would be nice, but I make do. It was a very good choice for me.