Nhk, do keep an eye on the Spectra rudder cable situation when you get your 18X Sport. When my friend's cable broke, his rudder was over to one side and could not be centered by him while seated in the boat; I came alongside and centered it for him. He was glad he hadn't been solo and offshore when the cable frayed, as he would have had to exit the boat in order to center the rudder so as not to paddle in circles. He also said that, without the rudder's retractable skeg deployed, he found the boat quite a handful to handle in the following seas that marked the route back to the launch site. And he couldn't deploy the skeg because that would have released the rudder from its locked, centered position. My older 16X has a conspicuous nubbin, bump, fin on the underside of the rudder that serves as enough of a skeg so as to enable fully controlled paddling with the rudder kept centered; the newer rudder replaces that fin with the retractable skeg within the rudder.
It will be interesting to see how/if Epic deals with this situation, if it does become a widespread complaint (the Spectra cables' fraying problem). I would suggest that they refigure the rudder with stainless cables, or, more difficult for them to accept, that they revert to a stock Feathercraft or other type rudder. I'm happy with my 2009 16X as it is now, but let Epic owners be aware of what might develop.