I have the Agent right now undercover in Costa Rica . So far I have taken it off a 30 footer, paddled some nice class 4 maybe 5, and surfed it on everything from small loop holes to big "Dries of the New" type waves. As well as meet some great paddlers and folks along the way.
When I first picked up the Big Agent my first impression was that it looked snazzy. I have had a lot of good boats that on first sight look ugly, but this is a rad looking boat. And it is equally as good on the water. I have been in the Crazy 88 for two years, and still enjoy it, but was ready for a change, and the Agent is a good change.
Compared to the 88, the agent has more volume, bigger side walls, and a long planing hull with some well placed kick rocker at the ends of the boat. All you tall, 190+ guys are gonna dig it. lots of knee room, like most of dagger's boats, and this one even has foot bumps.
The volume was a little overwhelming at first. I weigh in at about 175-180 so I am on the low end of the boats recomended weight range. It floats me well, to say the least, but this feels good on the wave. The volume is evenly displaced with a lot of volume right behind the seat and under the side edge that runs around the boat. Well placed volume in a play boat equals big air. It floats high on waves and holes, which means it sets up faster for moves. The water isn't grabbing, holding me under the foam pile, so I can focus on the execution of the move. My first ride in a hole, Upper Railroad on the New River, I got an unintentional air wheel after a big entry kickflip. Didn´t get many of those in the 88.
This extra lift on the water also helps when landing moves. Landing big moves is half the battle. The boat isn´t burying under the water, forcing me off the wave after a big trick. I have had it on some big waves on the Rio Reventazon here in Costa Rica. They were actually some of the best waves I have ever surfed. I was trying some big, fast moves and the Agent was landing them with ease.
The hull of the boat is different from many of daggers playboats. The chine is super carvey. Great for carving away from the foam pile and into the green corner of a wave. Just put it on edge and it flies diagonally across the wave. The chine also runs straight along the boats length instead of curving like many of Daggers other playboats. The kick rocker feels great when front and back surfing. Usually the less rocker you have throughout the boat means the more it is going to purl, but the overall shape of the boat with the kick rocker at the ends makes it a controlled surfer and fast when accelerating down the wave.
It is the fastest blunting boat I have ever been in. I had it on some small fast waves on the Rio Pacuare and it had no problem releasing for a blunt. The only thing I have to work on is keeping up with the boats speed, which is a nice problem to deal with when I am trying to execute the fastest, biggest moves I can possibly pull off.
I was getting frustrated my first day in the Agent because I kept trying to muscle it through the water to pull off moves, which was easy in the slicy Crazy 88. I finally realized that I couldn´t overpower or muscle the boat around, it was just too big. I started trying to execute the moves perfectly using finesseand the boat would explode off the water. I could overexaggerate the execution of the move, pull it off, and then allow the volume to hold me on the wave. So this means better, cleaner looking moves.
Going down river the Agent is really stable and holds a line well. Just got off the upper Naranjo also called the labyrinth section. It had 2 miles of solid class 4 and 5 in a beautiful canyon. Nothing but clean boofs and technical river running. Running this type of river in a play boat is always hard so you have to be ready to get back endered and widow shaded a few times but the Agent held up well. I have enjoyed the explosive nature of the Agent for down river play. Again, the first day I was in it I got frustrated because I couldn´t throw multiple wave wheels and muscle the boat. But once I figured out how to use the volume to my advantage I was hiting air wheels instead of wave wheels, throwing the best mocho moves I have ever thrown, and luanching off of waves when kickflipping.
I would recomend the big Agent to anyone that is looking for a stable high performance boat. This may be one the best "big boy" play boat ever made. I could see a 200+ person fitting in it just right and paddlers on the lower end of the weight range using it for big air. At my size I am could get away with paddling the big and the middle sized Agent. The 50 gallon Agent would be good for throwing around in holes. I can´t wait to clock in some more time in the Agent. Every day I am doing something bigger and better than I ever have. It is good to see Dagger is still stepping up the performance of their boats after all these years. Can´t wait to see what they are producing 10 years from now.