I've owned this boat for a year. I purchased it to go with my 6 now 7 year old son (45 now 52 lbs.) seating on the front Gator Hatch child’s seat. Im 5'10" and 235 lbs. This Kayak works out perfect for riding with a small child! It is very stable and yet pretty fast. I've done 10 miles with my son 5 miles in a canal leading to the bay and 5 miles in the bay. My brother's WS Tarpon 160 is faster but less stable, he won't take his son in his front hatch in the bay.
So for pure Speed, yes their are faster kayaks but usually you need to give up stability and weight capacity. If I had to ride solo I would probably buy a WS Tarpon 160, but I've really enjoyed this kayak with my son.I just paddled my X-13 for the first time and I must say, I LOVE IT!!!! Glad I made the jump from my Ocean Kayak Big Game. I did my homework, I wanted a faster yet still very stable kayak for fishing and recreational paddling.
When I first saw the X-13 I was impressed with its lines, stability at first I questioned but let me assure you, very stable! I did find some negative comments on the web about the center hatch leaking some before I bought it but I checked with Malibu Kayaks directly and they assured me the oversight was corrected. Nice group to deal with by the way.
A very well designed kayak I must say. Paddles smooth and is very stable. I would recommend this to anyone large or small. I'm a big guy 230# and 6'4" and I have room to grow:)I have just purchased Malibu Kayak's X-13 and would like to post a brief review.
Malibu has removed the forward fish well and scupper in their design and the hatch now opens to the interior of the Kayak. However, this alleviates the need to install a bulkhead hatch for equipment stowage. One of the selling points that prompted my decision to buy this Kayak was the forward fish well and to say the least I was a little disappointed.
The base model comes without the flush-mount rod holders, however, if you are a little handy these are relatively easy to install. I did like the fact that it comes rigged forward and aft with bungees and the gator hatch have two additional straps (I have seen some with only two straps) on the sides standard.
While there isn't a trolley system, this leaves the option of placing the system where you want it without excess holes from unwanted placement.
Although, there is a modest amount of water leaking through the hatch, I feel that the X-13 is a solid and sexy Kayak and with the use of the seat scupper plugs provided, quite a dry ride. It tracks well, is very quick, and even for a novice such as myself, easy to turn.
All in all, the X-13 is quite lovely and I recommend it to anyone looking for a good fishing Yak.A few weeks ago I managed to take the X-13 prototype for a short spin in a pond at a local kayak demo days to see what all the hype was about and I was impressed. So when the real model surfaced a few weeks later I was able to test demo the new & slightly improved X-13. WOW, it was love at first ride.
She is smooth, and glides effortlessly in calm water, now after a few test drives I can tell you she tracks well into the wind & chop as well being caught on the lake with gusts of 5-10mph, she stayed steady on course and did not falter. The famed Malibu Gator Hatch is standard, with a huge rear tankwell that would accommodate a full sized cooler if I chose to carry it.
The most unique feature is the forward storage under the gator hatch which has a scupper hole in the bottom. It fills halfway with water while paddling and empties upon landing. Plug it up and it stays perfectly dry to carry your goodies. Great place to keep some fish wet or maybe even serve as a small livewell or just haul a lot of gear.
This ride is dry, you can watch the footwells get water and then drain out thru the scuppers. I would say that the real life rider limit is around 230# before she might become a little wet. I am 5'8" & 200# and never got wet once.
All in all one of the best kayaks I have ever owned. She is sweet and lime green to boot. I am still very impressed. I am currently riggin her for fishing the Texas bays, I'll let you know how it goes later.