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So for pure Speed, yes their are faster kayaks but usually you need to give up stability and weight capacity. If I had to ride solo I would probably buy a WS Tarpon 160, but I've really enjoyed this kayak with my son.
When I first saw the X-13 I was impressed with its lines, stability at first I questioned but let me assure you, very stable! I did find some negative comments on the web about the center hatch leaking some before I bought it but I checked with Malibu Kayaks directly and they assured me the oversight was corrected. Nice group to deal with by the way.
A very well designed kayak I must say. Paddles smooth and is very stable. I would recommend this to anyone large or small. I'm a big guy 230# and 6'4" and I have room to grow:)
The base model comes without the flush-mount rod holders, however, if you are a little handy these are relatively easy to install. I did like the fact that it comes rigged forward and aft with bungees and the gator hatch have two additional straps (I have seen some with only two straps) on the sides standard.
While there isn't a trolley system, this leaves the option of placing the system where you want it without excess holes from unwanted placement.
Although, there is a modest amount of water leaking through the hatch, I feel that the X-13 is a solid and sexy Kayak and with the use of the seat scupper plugs provided, quite a dry ride. It tracks well, is very quick, and even for a novice such as myself, easy to turn.
All in all, the X-13 is quite lovely and I recommend it to anyone looking for a good fishing Yak.
She is smooth, and glides effortlessly in calm water, now after a few test drives I can tell you she tracks well into the wind & chop as well being caught on the lake with gusts of 5-10mph, she stayed steady on course and did not falter. The famed Malibu Gator Hatch is standard, with a huge rear tankwell that would accommodate a full sized cooler if I chose to carry it.
The most unique feature is the forward storage under the gator hatch which has a scupper hole in the bottom. It fills halfway with water while paddling and empties upon landing. Plug it up and it stays perfectly dry to carry your goodies. Great place to keep some fish wet or maybe even serve as a small livewell or just haul a lot of gear.
This ride is dry, you can watch the footwells get water and then drain out thru the scuppers. I would say that the real life rider limit is around 230# before she might become a little wet. I am 5'8" & 200# and never got wet once.
All in all one of the best kayaks I have ever owned. She is sweet and lime green to boot. I am still very impressed. I am currently riggin her for fishing the Texas bays, I'll let you know how it goes later.
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