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Sorry for the delay, I just saw this message.
If the keel strip modifies the speed, I don't notice it. It mainly makes me feel more comfortable with landings since there are lots of rocks in the areas where I paddle.
I prefer the IR backband over the seat that came with the kayak. My strongest preference, though, has been putting a foam block in the center of the kayak behind the seat and using that instead of a backband. It makes rotating for the forward stroke easier and provides plenty of support.
I have a 600XL without a back band, considering to buy the QCC seat pad or a Reggie. Do you prefer your IR backhand?
Also does the keel strip change the speed of the kayak?