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The highest I attempted was Class III, which felt like Class IV in the tipsy Speeder. It'll make those easy runs challenging again, and make you a better paddler. It requires great balance and looseness in the hips, with not alot of big weight shifts. It is stable while bracing, but to go fast you don't want to be bracing alot. It works well as a flatwater tour kayak, especially if you want to go fast. It'll definitely handle downriver racing, and makes a good trainer for flatwater or workout boat. It has room for a decent amount of gear for overnighters, and the hatch is watertight. The bulkhead footbrace and outfitting is very comfortable and customizable. I ended up moving the seat forward a couple notches and it improved handling. It rolls OK, considering the hull shape.
It's not a boat to relax in, it's meant to be paddled hard and requires concentration to do so well. If you do, the Speeder will reward you with a great ride!
It worked great for me for recreational racing and some piddling about on the creeks. It is up for grabs over on the classifieds because I have found other hobbies that require other special equipment. Parting is such sweet sorrow. I would buy this boat again if planning racing more often.
About me: I'm female, 5'7", 180-ish pounds. I'm an intermediate level flatwater paddler so I can't tell you how the Speeder will perform on whitewater. This review takes place on a lake.
Oncoming waves: handled these just fine... slices through the waves and chop; splashes just run off the sides of the deck; mostly a dry ride even without a sprayskirt. Quartering waves: I just kept paddling and again, fine in terms of stability, although it DOES have a definite tendency to weathercock. Kept doing corrective strokes and wishing it had a rudder. Following waves: it likes to surf a little bit but bigger waves felt like they were trying to broach it, but I was able to correct for that.
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