Submitted: 02-08-2012 by Dave H.
I've paddled the 18x once at the Sanibel Island Paddlefest. 8 knot winds and a light chop on the water. I own a Seda Glider (now the 2nd fastest touring kayak) A Necky Chatham which is a greenland style hull great for rough seas. And a Seaward Tyee which is a big expedition kayak. I could trade them all for an 18x and not miss any of them.
The 18x slices thru the chop instead of bobbing over it like my other boats. From 2011 on the 18x has a retractable rudder for beach launches etc. It sits so low in the water it practically disappears below the wind.
I've recommended this boat for a beginners kayak. If you can ride a bicycle you can master this boat. Buy one boat, and keep it for life. The only quibble I would have with the 18x is the way the rudder is deployed and locked down. You have to reach behind you and snare the rope in a keeper. It'd be better if there was a lever near the front of the cockpit you could just flip and get right back to paddling.
I don't race kayaks. The 18x gives me more results for my effort than any other kayak. More incentive to exercise. I'm scheming my way toward owning one.