I purchased this kayak to rig out as a fishing kayak to be used in local lakes and a bay area. I am 5'11", 200 lbs. First trip out on a very windy day at a local lake. The kayak design puts the center of my weight a little forward, thus in the choppy water a few wave came over the nose. Possibly when I get the rear loaded up, it may even out. The tracking was not an issue, or at least into the wind, when I turned around I did have a little trouble staying straight with the strong wind at my back, side wind was no problem. I added the rod holders with no issues. The rear storage was removed prior to purchase, and I don't think I would have used it anyway. The kayak is sturdy, floats well, tracks OK, and is pretty stable (it is a kayak, not a boat). And for the price it hard to beat. The difference between this and the Journey is about $50, the equipment will cost you $40. I wanted the tangerine color (very easy to see), and do not mind a little DIY fixup. My wife also tried it out and had no issue with the waves or the tracking. She is 5'4", 120 lbs.
Bottom line the 12' would have been better, but also costs an extra $140. This is a good kayak, easy to handle in and out of the water, and not a huge investment in case I lose interest.
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