I think you mean the Dagger Axis 12, which is one of my kayaks.
Every kayak style has a purpose, water type and paddler body type it works well for. In general the crossover kayaks are more beginner to intermediate kayaks that are a big step above recreational kayaks but a step down from dedicated white water or touring kayaks.
I like my Axis for what I bought it for -- I prefer moving water and narrow twisty streams/creeks with a small amount of easy rapids to keep it interesting. It handles flat water better than the XP10 and Fusion and is fairly maneuverable but as the rapids get more difficult (3-3+) you will get more performance out of the XP10 or Fusion, which are closer to whitewater kayaks. For the record, I have modified my Axis with thigh pads and hip pads. The Axis is more a touring kayak than the XP10 and Fusion which are closer to white water.
Most of the crossovers are nice boats for a larger person. If your wife is average woman sized or smaller I doubt she would like any of the crossovers.
I occasionally do canals or lakes -- mostly calm but some are large enough to get waves and chop in the center from winds. I never had a problem doing 10+ mile paddles in the Axis but if I did more flat open water I would probably want a 14-15' kayak. The Axis is nice enough on a lake and haven't had any problems keeping up with 12-14' touring kayaks, if we doing a normal pace. You might struggle more with a XP10 or Fusion.
But over the years I have seen many people run small twisty streams in 16-18 kayaks -- if canoes can do that why not a kayak... I have also been on many trips where people ran class 3+ whitewater in 14-15' touring kayaks without any problems -- they usually just go straight with minor turns to avoid rocks. They don't seem to have problems but it also doesn't look as much fun.
I have also seen little squirt kayaks on big lakes and no movement canals -- they do seem to struggle and not have much fun.
Honestly a 14' touring kayak is probably more versatile overall. They can do easy whitewater but won't be as much fun as a crossover or whitewater kayak. They are fine on moving water or rivers with limited whitewater and great on flat.
The crossovers will be a bit more enjoyable on rivers where you have lots of flat sections mixed in with 1-3+ rapids. But the more rapids and less flats you probably want to think about getting a whitewater kayak.
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URCHIN Portable Anchor
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