Submitted: 01-08-2012 by Compton,C
I have a Dimension Spirit 3.1. The only reason I gave it a 9 and not a 10 is because I'm a hard grader.
Fantastic surfer. Cuts right through breakers heading out like they're butter. I cannot make this thing pearl. It is amazing coming in, too. Drop in and go. It's so stable with just the right amount of tracking you just need a few easy adjustments with the paddle left & right to stay perpendicular with the wave. As an added bonus, if the beach (bottom) has a nice smooth approach with no trench to stop the wave from rolling up the beach, you can ride it right onto the beach, flip it around, and ride it right back out without ever getting out. I can do this with just a few boats.
Another cool thing about the design...when tired, you can comfortably lie on it backwards (head towards the front...feet towards the back) and just drift around and soak up rays and catch a breather.
As good a surf boat as you will find.
For class I - III rivers...just ok. A bit bulky and hard to turn because of it's massive tracking capabilities. But very stable in fast water. You might even get class IV w/o getting tossed out. A little tricky in eddys, though. The back end will come around quickly and it'll flip.
Flat water...a breeze. As long as you don't need to make speed. It's sluggish and has a heavy feel. But for slow to medium cruising - just fine.
In short. I love this boat. With a Coast Guard "OK", I went through Hatteras Inlet between Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands in it this past summer and felt completely confident in it. If you ever get a chance to shoot this inlet by all means do it! I suggest dropping in the inlet from .5 mile out on the Hatteras/ocean side on the incoming tide and then you're on your own. Careful of the current so you don't end up 12 miles away on Portsmouth Island!
Dimension Spirit = Great Boat!