Submitted: 01-04-2005 by gam
I did paddle the Performa in the past and I will compare it with the Performa L, the modified version made in 2003, which is the one I have now. They are both the same length in fiberglass but Performa felt tippy and showed difficulty in turning, unless hardly edged. Tracking and surfing were excellent, but there was always a little uneasy feeling.
On the other hand Performa L outperformed the previous in several ways. It still tracks very well but it feels stable enough so that I can take pictures in moving waters, let my paddle and stretch, etc. But I can turn very easily with slight edging. I can even speed up and edge to one side and turn and then edge to the other and jerk it a little and it will start turning in the other direction. With good edging and sweep strokes I can make 360 deg turns with 6-7 strokes. The seat is comfortable and the coaming is lower. The previous was too high for me. This is about right. The back coaming is lower and I can easily lie back for sweep rolls making them very easy. The hatches may leak if the straps are loose but if tighten them right and use the leverage handles in the right place, they will be completely dry. My feet are 12 and I can seat in comfortably.
In rough weather, heavy winds and in the surf it is a beauty to handle. I have a feeling of confidence in 4 foot waves and 30 mph winds. Speed is very good for its size and I stay with groups having 17.5 and 18 feet boats.
I consider that for the price I paid, I get the best return possible in speed and performance.