I am on my third one and I think it is a design that can be improved on. If anyone has any ideas I'm all ears. They have been making this design for a long time so I think the factory feels good about it. I believe Matt told me that it had been changed a bit lately and I think he told me the new control rods are different. The two I received from the factory(long story, let's just say I damaged the new one in a poor docking attempt about 3 weeks after I got it, so I got another one) appeared to be a bit straighter than my old one although I never saw that one new. The replacements work great. Never kicks up unless I want it too.
One other thing I think may be happening is a bit of "user error" or perhaps lack of proper training by the dealers in these rudder systems. Not blaming anyone but I feel like I really didn't understand how this thing worked until I saw a video of someone working it. I believe the prior owner of my boat didn't get the rudder down correctly with the lower tab between the cheeks and had it off to one side when he locked it in up top, thus bending the rod. I can't guarantee I paid much attention to that lower tab when I put the rudder down and may have done it wrong myself. If that lower tab isn't in correctly it is very easy to bend the rod when putting the rudder all the way down as it will easily bend to the side. Once the rod is bent to the side it throws the whole geometry of the system off and then the rod has to be bent back to lock in, creating the s curve. Once I learned how to get the bottom tab lined up I haven't bent the new one as it is almost impossible to bend when locked in at the bottom tab.
One never knows what a prior owner did with the boat. Once the lower tab is in correctly the rudder will lock down with the arm straight and it won't bend. Once it is bent it won't work right unless bent back or replaced.