I have had this kayak for a little over a year now. I have taken it on many 10-15 mile trips and even a few 20+ miles. I paddle with a group of Pelican Ultimate 100's and I do have a hard time keeping up with them (I have same physical build and endurance). This kayak is 2 feet shorter and a tad bit wider, making it somewhat slower. We have been in a few caves where the shortness came in handy when turning around though. With that being said, it does do a great job on the water. It is stable with me (5'11" 180lbs) and tracks good until I start paddling hard and then it starts to slow up and drift a bit. I do like the dry storage compartment in the back. It is very small and sometimes you'll get your hand stuck in it, but I am always the "key holder" when we kayak. So I guess they have faith in the waterproofness. It does NOT have foot pegs, which is a problem on long trips where your arms get tired at the end and you tend to use your whole body in paddling. The seat is rather big for me but it is comfortable (add a foam pad and your glutius maximus will thank you). I have hit many many rocks and this thing still keeps on taking it. The bottom is scuffed, but there are no holes or huge gashes. I can strap this thing to my car and go, which is a huge plus. All in all, you get what you pay for with the kayak and the paddle. I bought a cheap paddle and snapped it on my second trip because we were horseplaying and splashing water. Anyways, I recently upgraded to the Future Beach Spirit 120 Sit-On so I could keep up with my group. I would recommend the Aruba 8 SS to any beginner who wants to paddle and get out on the water. But in a year or two, you will upgrade to a more streamlined boat. If you have experience in paddling or are wanting something fast, pass up this cinder block. As a general rule, the longer and narrower the boat, the faster. But with the speed and ease of paddling, you lose your maneuverability and stability, something an experienced paddler is okay with. Pros: small, lightweight (solid 15 lbs lighter than most), easy to maneuver, easy to store, fun, dry compartment, bungee straps for coolers, paddle holder, stable once you get in, bow-stern carry handles, "kind of a" cup holder in the front middle of the seat Cons: SLOW, no foot pegs, wide, not very hydrodynamic, high side rails, drain plug hard to get back in, small storage compartment, sways when you start picking up speed, seat pad hurts your back after an hour, thin walled and flexes easy
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