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Old 02-23-2007   #1
Commercial Paleontology
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 182
Creeker boat size & confusion

Hey I am a new boater as of last summer and really diggin it. Because of my cool job I have paddled on numerous rivers around the least 7-8 different states already. In several weeks I will be headed back east again to the New, Gaule, Yough, Cheat & later down to the N. Carolina area etc. I am now aspiring to get more into creeking. I am 6'3" & about 210-220. I started w/ a Diesel 75 & then stepped into a Jackson superfun since.... which I definitely luv. I am thinking about ditching my Diesel for a true creek boat so as to have a wider range between styles of boats. Maybe that's dumb & I should just stay with the Diesel till I get better but I am motivated and wondering what boat to get. My main issue is size. Since I will be paddling all over the country & hope to venture out of the US bounds do I go for more volume & length or stay with some of the smaller size ones for even more techy runs. I have looked at (just on the web) Prijon Cross & Hercules, Jefe & Gus, Habitat, Nomad, H3 Etc. There seems to quite a variation in lengths & what will be best for such a variety of geography & my size..... I am not thinking that much towards over night type endeavors though The Black is calling.... but I know I need more time on the water before that comes. Anyway would appreciate any feedback of what I should be looking for and to just learn more about the creeking aspect.


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Old 02-23-2007   #2
BastrdSonOfElvis's Avatar
Thought-criminal, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 989
Your a pretty big dude, a little bigger than me even, and you need more volume. Ever noticed that the majority of boaters are little guys or average size? I notice a big difference between how I trim in the water and how other guys in similar volume boats do...also I submarine a lot more. If I was in the market for a new creeker which I may be in a year or two I'd look at the new jackson mega rocker.

I paddle a blunt right now. I like it but it's heavy as hell and getting kind of beat up. Good boat if you're on a budget and can find one on the cheap.

I hope in the future Americans are thought of as a warlike, vicious people, because I bet a lot of high schools would pick "Americans" as their mascot. -Jack Handy
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Old 02-23-2007   #3
KVBA TV8 Vail weatherman/Colorado Kayaker, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 847
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Everyone knows my pick. Nomad 8.5
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Old 02-23-2007   #4
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Moscow, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 269
As BSOE mentioned, you are larger than the average bear. So you'll only want to consider the largest creekers out there. Big Nomad, Jefe (may be too small still), Habitat 80 (still maybe too small), Burn L, Mega Rocker, L Solo, and Hercules come to mind. For most people, I would say that the Diesel 75 would be a good transitional creek boat, however you will want more volume. But, with that said, you've already got the Diesel so maybe it would be better to paddle it and see how it performs for you on harder runs.

The real trick when sorting through the list of boats I mentioned is deciding what suits your paddling style and the style of rivers you paddle. The list covers the spectrum of creeker designs from full displacement hulls: Nomad & Mega Rocker; to semi-displacement hulls: Jefe, Solo, Hercules, Habitat; to planing hulls: Burn. People have run the shit in all of these designs, so it really comes down to what meets your needs. I will say that the L Burn will handle similarly to your Diesel, but with some design features that make it more creekable (IMO). Hope that helps.

"A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure."
-Oliver Wendell Holmes writing for the majority in New Jersey v. New York
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Old 02-23-2007   #5
Cody, Wyoming
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 260
Stick with Jackson Kayaks!

My Vote= Mega Rocker
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Old 02-23-2007   #6
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 62
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Just because it hasn't been mentioned yet and i really love mine, take a look at the Bliss-Stick Mystic. It's a great boat, about as long as the Gus with a lot of volume, rolls quickly, turns on a dime and has a lot of speed. It's worth a good look...they're also not too horribly pricey.
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Old 02-23-2007   #7
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 57
u should look in to a large burn...
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Old 02-24-2007   #8
Ft Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 198
Boat choice - what suits your style

I think Mark hit it on the head - you need to try out a few boats and see what fits your style. Some people find it difficult to switch from a planing hull to displacement hull, others don't. I bought a Diesel and after a few trips to get used to it, I really like it. But I chose the Diesel in part because it was lighter than the H3, and the H3 required a larger skirt. I already have 3 skirts and I'm small, and I didn't want to buy another skirt or schlep a boat that was 5 lbs heavier. If you're planning to run big falls, then a displacement hull is safer. But if you watch the videos you'll see the pro- and hard-core boaters running huge drops is just about every boat out there. So in the end, skill is clearly more important than having the very best boat design.

My vote for considerations would be (1) what are you most comfortable in? (2) What's safe - you're big and for creeking, you want to be sure you can get out quickly if necessary, and (3) what feels best on the river (i.e., planing hull, full displacement). and (4) what can you get a good deal on. I don't think the decision is all that important - sounds like you're going to hammer the boat, and at your weight you'll probably destroy it in a season anyway. If you see a good deal, but the boat and try it out. I suspect most of us have had boats we really loved and boats that were a mistake. In their days, I really liked the Crossfire, RPM, and Project, and didn't like the Hurricane, Fly, SuperSport, Nomad, or Rockit. I'm on my second Diesel and I really like it for all-round boating - for me, it's good for 'easy class 5' (yes, I know that's an oxymoron! I don't run the hard stuff any more), but it's not a good surf/play boat and for me (150 lbs) the smaller Diesel doesn't take extra weight very well. But you'll find every opinion on all these boats.

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