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Submitted: 10-30-2008 by jamie_higgins

After last year's demo of the Epix 18x, I broke down and bought an 18x in March. I have thoroughly enjoyed the boat. This past spring I paddled it quite a bit for fitness paddling and raced it twice. It is more stable than a sprint boat, but I think it is as fast as my K-1 trainer (SRS Laser). All the qualities I discussed from my first review still stand.

This weekend I had the opportunity to take it out on a 4 day, 3 night overnight kayak/camping trip on the Suwannee River. It was absolutely awesome. It holds a lot of gear and I had plenty of room for the trip. Driving to Fargo, GA, we encountered torrential rain for the entire 5 hour drive and it rained most of the night as well. I expected the hatches to leak, but to my surprise there was only a few drops in the kayak.

I found the kayak to be very rugged and I had no qualms about sliding it onto sandy beaches or bumping into the occasional underwater tree stump. I also punished the integrated, understern, fixed rudder quite a bit by dragging it onshore, but it held up fine.

My only complaint is that the bulkheads leaked a little. I got water in the cockpit getting in and out of the boat. When I dragged the boat onshore, the water in the cockpit would collect along the stern bulkhead and somehow it would leak through to the stern compartment. It wasn't a horrible amount and it's something I can live with.

Overall, this boat fits my needs and lives up to my expectations. I wanted a boat I could fitness paddle and race as well as a boat I could do overnight camping trips and the 18X fits the bill.

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