Have had and paddled many boats over the years, and this is my favorite boat for taking my trips. 4 multi-day trips so far: 2 river 2 ocean. Have packed gear for 2, plus a full size cooler of beverages, and a friend and I were still able to stand up in it without sinking or flipping... did get some water in it from the back hatch but I'll guess she was floating about 550 lbs at the time.
Fishing the local lakes I stand and fly fish with out any problems at all. hardest trip ever was 6 mile paddle into a 20 MPH headwind going to Capers Island. she tracked well without a rudder, stayed dry when several Tarpons on the trip had water coming over the bow and leaked into the hull at the front hatch. With most of my gear stored in the hull it cut down the winds effect. love that front hatch.My first Malibu Kayak was the original X-Factor. I normally fish out of the Stealth 14, but had the opportunity to fish out of an X-Factor for a tournament recently. I have to admit that I was blown away with the improvements made to the new X-Factor. It's easier to stand in, and the new raised & fully enclosed tank make it a great yak! The fully enclosed tank offers several different scenarios for a paddler to choose: aerate for a live well, use as a cooler for drinks, or simply use as dry storage!
I was very pleased with the quality of the improvements on this kayak. I prefer to stand & sight fish, and the ability to stand and get into some skinny water was amazing! great kayak!Purchased the 2012 X Factor approx 2 weeks and have spent the last few weeks rigging her out. Finally got it wet this past weekend on a large freshwater lake in Virginia doing some crappie fishing. I was amazed at how well it performed.
The stability and ride of this big yak is awesome. It was great to fish out of and very convenient to reach storage compartments where tackle boxes, snacks, etc was stored. At one point, there was a power boat that came thru a no wake zone wide open and then shut it down quickly which I knew was going to lead to some serious wakes and rough conditions. I took two waves over the side but thankfully, being a sit on top....it drained great quickly. Also, all three hatches remained sealed and at the end of the day, there was no water inside...it was bone dry!! Thanks Malibu for this design and the water tight hatches!