I am slender and 5'11 and this is my first Kayak. Before I owned the Kitsilano I was probably out on the water only 2x and I did not test it on the water before purchase either. I know that Current Designs no longer uses TCS material on its touring models due to not selling well. The clerk informed me that this was because people who were transitioning from more recreational models were opting straight for the fiberglass vs TCS. I have had no complications with the material and if anything I love it!!! It has the look of fiberglass but does not scratch as much. It is quite durable. New it would run around 2,000 but I purchased it looking almost new for 1,300 at one year old.
The boat was used as a demo model for a store and actually the owners wife had it on vacation at the keys when I first went to look at it. I like the idea of the smart rudder system but have not used it and do not think I need it. From looking at how other types of rudders work I don't think I would have bought this boat if it was a regular one. You use your toes to control it and it's real easy to let down. I have tried to let the rudder down with wind but I think the wire has gotten way too loose and it throws the boat off. I find very little need for improvement in tracking unless I am going catycorner against current or in some cases wind.
The first time I got in this boat it felt very wobbly but after a paddle or two I have gotten used to it and hardly ever notice it. I started out slowly on a small calm lake without motorboats then slowly challenged myself by heading down to blue marsh to experience the waves of large speed boaters etc and I did fine. Falling out of the boat has never been an issue unless entering the vessel but I have since mastered that.
Recently I have taken it on a trip to a state park where I had a blast even with the wind and weeds. I definitely outperform other smaller slower boats on the water. Although I do not have much to compare it to I believe the maneuverability, speed and the responsiveness are all very good. The tracking is good but, as I said before, it may need some correction under some circumstances. My paddling skills I am sure leave room for improvement so any of my complaints may be very subjective and that is why I am not focusing on detailed aspects of that.
The important thing is that I am very pleased with the quality and performance of my boat. I'm sure that more experienced paddlers will definitely appreciate it also but beginners be wary of the instability especially sitting; although I did not find it to be much of a problem.