When I wanted to first get in, everything I watched told me I wanted a play boat. So my wife surprised me with one, and learning to roll and keep an edge in a pool was fine and dandy. First time I took it to moving water, it was a catastrophe. Luckily a friend of mine had an 8.5 Dagger Mamba that he had brought and let me use the rest of the day, and I had a blast. Found a great deal on one, and purchased it same week. It's forgiving, very stable, and super easy to roll. I'd recommend it, especially being in your shoes last year. Now both boats get equal love.