Just purchased this Infinity from Greg @ Xstreamline Sports. I am 55 yrs old, 5'10", 32" inseam, 200lbs, & an intermediate paddler with mediocre bracing & new to rolling (unreliable). I have owned a Perception Eclipse 17 Airlite, Necky Chatham 17 Carbon, Necky Looksha 17 AC, & have paddled extensively a Current Designs Sirocco.
The Infinity 1st caught my attention because the fit was so good & I wanted another skeg boat. The cockpit opening is very long but the thigh braces are in the perfect place for me. The seat is super comfy but the back-band had no support. IR designed it to be able to swivel back to allow for lay-backs. Greg re-laced the bungee to eliminate the swivel and it was improved 100%. I paddled 16 miles Saturday without any back pain. The Kevlar layup is nicely done and the gel-coat is evenly applied (except for the extra thickness at each end of the keel-line - which is necessary).
The footpegs are easy to adjust. The skeg is much easier to deploy & adjust than the Chatham. It has a very long waterline & very little rocker. It tracks great and next to the Chatham it is the kayak least effected by weathercocking. It does not turn as easily as the Chatham but it does respond to tilted turns. It has lots more room in the hatches & the Kajak hatch covers are easier to use than the VCP covers on the Chatham but don't know if they are as waterproof yet.
All 4 of the kayaks I have owned feel like they have a pretty nice glide at a touring pace. The Looksha seemed to hit a wall in top speed earlier than the rest. The Infinity seems to only be limited by my strength and endurance. I did not have my GPS Saturday but a friend was paddling my Looksha and I could easily pull away from him at full speed and the Infinity did not feel like it was pushing water to maintain the pace. Probably the result of the very long waterline and the VERY SOFT chines.
The main area of concern for me when I first hit the water is that the initial stability is even more slippery than the Sirocco. As I got more confident and explored the secondary stability of this kayak I noticed that it did seem to firm up nicely. I need to be committed to improving my bracing skills to feel confident in large sea swells. The Chatham was much more confidence inspiring even though it was lightly narrower. The chines on the Chatham were more defined and even though they were still fairly rounded the bottom profile had lots of initial stability. the Chatham was the best all around kayak I have yet to paddle... wish I kept that one.
The Infinity seems to be one up on the Chatham on the gel-coat finish, has a faster top speed, and is the most comfortable kayak I have ever paddled. Once my bracing skills become more reflexive I think that I will be completely happy with the Infinity.Just a quick note on this new (2009 model) British style boat from CD. Our local rep loaned me a kevlar boat for Paddle Oregon, a SAG'ed trip on the Willamette River. I was sweep/safety person, so really appreciated the speed and responsiveness of this boat. I was very lightly loaded, but there was plenty of room for expedition gear.
The boat is a rocket, especially in kevlar, and has the usual good CD quality. I'm looking forward to trying this out on the ocean soon. This is not for everybody, but it's a very nice boat -- I gave it a 9/10 as I found the back brace uncomfortable and would replace it with an aftermarket version (but I have back problems, so bear that in mind).