Submitted: 05-18-2012 by Martha
I've had my XP9 about 3 weeks now, and love it.
My first real experience in a kayak was a whitewater class and I'm still getting over the fear that came out of that experience. I saw more of the bottom of the James River than on top of the water. Got T-rescued more than anyone else in the class, and even rode down part of one rapid holding on to someone else's boat because my knee had gotten out of the knee-brace, and I couldn't flip it up.
Even with that experience and fear, I really want to do whitewater. This made my kayak purchasing decision much easier, I chose to get something that could do anything that was out there from flatwater to class IV-V. A crossover kayak fit the bill perfectly, but which one?
I tried them all at Appomattox River Company's demo day in Farmville, VA. (usually in June) I narrowed it down from Piranha, Dagger, Jackson & Liquidlogic to Jackson and Liquidlogic. The Dagger and Piranha were uncomfortable, and really didn't fit me. I think they are made for skinnier people, so they were eliminated after one test-paddle.
I was having a hard time deciding between the Jackson and the Liquidlogic, then the Jackson's skeg broke. That made my choice much easier - I had been leaning toward the XP9 anyway, but Jackson's broken skeg made the choice much easier.
I made the right choice. This boat is helping me overcome my fear. It turns on a dime, and will spin like a top when I want it to, but it is stable and not quite as wobbly as a whitewater boat. When I trust the boat totally, I have a friend who gives private whitewater lessons, and he will work with me.
Another thing about the XP9, it comes in all different colors. I have a pink one, it's a dark rose pink, really pretty, and people who see it really like it. It is also really comfortable to sit in. I have some lower back issues and wanted something very comfortable to sit in. I love the seat in the XP9.
I would suggest this boat to anyone who wants a comfortable boat with lots of cargo space, that will do anything from a calm lake to class IV-V rapids. I've only had one problem with it, and that is getting in and out of it, but that is due to my flexibility and balance, and really has nothing to do with the boat.