I'm rating the xwave an 8 largely because I'm new to kayaking…
I'm rating the xwave an 8 largely because I'm new to kayaking and have limited experience with other boats. I recently purchased an xwave and am very happy with it. All boats have their pros and cons so I'll try to address both. I tried several boats (Dagger, Perception, OT) before buying and found the xwave by far was the best tracking boat. Surprisingly it also had the best maneuverability. Because of its hull design, tighter cockpit, and included thigh braces, its an easy boat to lean and "carve" turns - even for a beginner. For some the tighter cockpit will be a downside. This boat may not be an option for larger paddlers. The other downside is its weight, at 57 lbs it's heavier than many comparable kayaks.
We love our XWaves! Comfortable, fun, stable, durable. The only drawback is…
We love our XWaves! Comfortable, fun, stable, durable. The only drawback is their weight....but that is a minor inconvenience. We haven't tried them on a river yet, but they are awesome for lake touring. Great yaks!