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Submitted: 11-18-2013 by rz

First off, the reviews of the Xcite by Johnnysmooth, paddlemaniac, and tideplay all are excellent and more than cover all the important points in the discussion of the design and performance. I just wanted to add my endorsement as an advanced beginner and attest to the confidence inspiring and responsive hull. I love my Xcite and though I have not had it in larger than 1 1/2 foot swells and wind on Lake Superior, I can appreciate how little effort I expended staying on course in chop and gusting winds. As it was my first time in such conditions I was amazed at how at ease I felt. I have been in lesser conditions in other boats and used a great deal more energy correcting. The Xcite responds precisely and predictably to subtle input from the paddler.

I wanted a low back deck to facilitate lay back rolls and static/sculling braces and though it is not quite as easy to lay back on as an NDK, I can still get myself flat on the back deck. It rolls easily even for a novice like myself.

I'm 6'3", 210 lbs, with a 36" inseam and 11.5 size feet. I'm on the upper extent of body size for this boat in my opinion and improved the fit and comfort by foaming out the bulkhead for my feet and replacing the backband with a shaped foam block. This is not a knock on the pegs or backband, just a personal preference. I am still unable to wear rubber soled paddling boots as they add just enough length to my foot that I cannot fit them comfortably. There are enough other options for footwear that this is far from an issue. At one point I unbolted the seat pan and experimented with moving it back 1" and even that little change positioned my feet where there was more deck height, so someone with a shorter leg would likely fit quite comfortably.

If I forgot to mention it, I love my Xcite. I've heard it said it may be the best all around boat you can buy. Based on my experience, I can't contest that claim.

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