I would almost change my rating on this boat because of all the things that went wrong, but can't as I think Absolute has resolved those since my experience in Fall 2002. 1. I actually broke the contrived footbrace when paddling--resolved. 2. The hatches as I made them leak quite a bit, maybe 2 quarts after about 10 minutes of rolling and bracing--common to many kitmakers' hatches--not resolved. 3. A high cockpit rim and a poorly padded backrest put pressure on my midback--probably resolved. 4. As I mentioned in my review below, small waves washed over the front deck when paddling in small chop, but also, the water hitting the front edge of the front hatch cover drenched me (the kitmaker probably resolved this by moving the cockpit back 3"). My particular boat needs cockpit relocation (sternward) and reconstruction (lower in back), a better back rest, watertight hatches (VCP or Kajaksport--not pretty but effective) and a rework of the front hatch installation to minimize splash.
On the plus side, the boat has so much rocker that the stern hangs out of the water when I set it down empty. Primary stability is very good and few other boats I've paddled can match its secondary stability. Once leaned to max, the bow and stern hang out of the water and you can spin the boat so quickly you almost puke, esp if you use a Greenland paddle in extended position. People constantly admire the thing. Mine looks great with the deck bright finished, the hull bottom dressed with epoxy/graphite and the hull sides painted white.I built a Sea Wolf kit in 2002 before Roy Folland sold his kayak kit making firm.
Positives: 1. Straight forward assembly--no rocket science degree required. 2. Easy solo carries due to its light weight (48 lbs. with fiberglassed deck & hull, hatches, bulkheads, bungees) compared with most Fiberglass boat (those 55 lb. cows!) My Pygmy Coho with hatches and bulkheads runs at about 43 lb. 3. Leaned turns give quick results. 4. Its long waterline, which gives you good speed--I know--I have other boats. 5. The one piece deck looks marvelous.
Negative: 1. It now costs more ($875) than a comparable US boat kit from Pygmy $(735) or Chesapeake Light Craft($779). 2. Short cockpit keeps me (31" inseam) from entering buttocks first, legs last. 3. The high rear of the cockpit almost hurts and does little to facilitate layback Eskimo rolls (layback rolls can be done--you just do them with your derriere off the seat and fall back down when upright again). I may raise the seat height or eventually reconstruct and relocate the cockpit. 4. The website says it weighs 39 lb--mine @48lb doesn't.
Mixed: 1. My boat trim skewed toward bow heavy--small waves washed over the front deck--Roy assured me that they moved the cockpit back 3" to correct this--I won't buy another to test that. 2. You could easily adjust the footbrace with a strap/buckle at your hip, but the strap stretched and creaked when wet--I have replaced it with a Keepers plastic footbrace system, whose footbrace can deform and fall off the rail under pressure--that happened with my other kayak. You also didn't see mounting bolts on the outside of the kayak. Absolute may have a different system in place now. 3. The hatches leaked, but most hatches will leak, except for the watertight Valley Canoe Product hatch covers. 4. I disliked the 4:1 mix ratio of the included epoxy. I prefer the 2:1 ratio of System 3 epoxy which Pygmy ships.