Just returned from a 92-mile trip on the Rio Grande at Big Bend NP. I am just a novice with class 2+ experience. This boat is extremely stable and forgiving. I set up this boat as a solo tripping boat. I paddle the boat reversed, from the bow seat. I removed the stern seat and added a thwart for gear packing ease. I started this trip with approximately 450 pounds of load including myself. I do not recommend this boat for tandem tripping, as the gear capacity is too limited for two paddlers.
The main attraction of the Rio Grande at Big Bend are the canyons that rise straight up from the river. In places the canyon is only 25 feet wide. Within parts of the canyons are obstacle courses of boulder gardens and gravel bars with tight turns. This provides numerous opportunities for wall shots, strainers and more boulders. The boulder gardens consist of large boulders the size of cars and even much larger.
Throughout the entire trip I felt extremely secure in the Legend 15. Even when I did not follow the best line the Legend pulled me through. On a few occasions I broadsided the wall on a turn and was slipping water over the gunnels on the upstream side. With just a little weight shift I was able to keep her upright.
If your river tripping includes technical whitewater I highly recommend this boat. If you are a novice you cannot go wrong with this boat for a solo river canoe. I rate this boat as a 9 because the Mad River workmanship is less than stellar.I just purchased the Legend 15. My requirements when looking were for a symmetrical tandem boat that could be turned around for solo use. My intended locations for use would be rivers up to class 3 for no more than three days. I wanted maneuverability over tracking ability. I wanted secondary stability over primary.
I have only taken it out once so at this point I can only give my initial impressions. This boat has met my expectations and then some for maneuverability. It has less freeboard than I anticipated and initial stability is next to none. Secondary stability is very good though; I need to test the limits of it. Overall quality seems excellent except for the included cup holders which fell off with a liter bottle. It has more glide than I expected for a boat this short. I will have to paddle with some other boats to gauge its speed. It seems to draft rather deep for having only two people in it with no gear. I only weigh 150lbs and my wife weighs less. It may be that I would have been better off with a 16 foot boat, but in that case my solo time may be more difficult. This boat seems to be built for white water as both seats are very near the yoke. My initial impressions leave me very satisfied. I will give a long term review when I have taken it out in all conditions.