Submitted: 11-16-2010 by mbob63
This was my second kayak purchase but my first whitewater boat. I'm a novice paddler who is 5'11" and weigh 190#. I bought a 2010 XP10 for river running and for surfing on Lake Superior. My experience with this boat, is that it is excellent in any kind of whitewater. I have done Class II and III rapids with ease. I would give the boat far more credit than my own skills. This boat is amazing in rough water. I have been out on Lake Superior in 4-5ft waves with strong winds. The XP10 performed great in those conditions. Paddling companions were struggling while I was not. In fact, one of my friends purchased an XP9 after watching my boat's performance in the surf.
I was less impressed with the XP's flatwater performance. This boat is very slow. The harder I paddle the more the bow pushes water. The bow is designed for flotation and lift not speed. Keep this in mind if you are buying this boat to use in mild conditions. Another advantage of this boat, is the stability. It has excellent initial and secondary stability. This boat can be put up on edge at any time but could also be used for fishing. Novices feel very safe in this boat. Another positive worth mentioning is the Badass outfitting. This is a very comfortable boat. I can spend many hours paddling without any discomfort. I do wish that I could adjust the seat forward and aft so I could trim the boat better for conditions. I think the 2011 models may have this feature.
I do agree with some of the other reviewers about the dry hatch. Mine has never been dry at the end of a trip even in mild water. My guess is that the skeg cable leaks but I have not attempted to fix it as I don't use the hatch.
Overall, this is a great boat for someone looking for a comfortable, great handling boat for whitewater conditions. If you are looking for speed, look elsewhere.