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Old 01-13-2005   #11
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
I'm 6'4" and 180, so I'm nearly your size. I went from paddling a Micro 240 for years, and bought an Embudo a couple of years ago to try something new and more durable. Plus, the comfort factor for the Micro was never great for me.

I liked the Embudo when I first got it- more comfortable for the legs, and loved the way it cruised through holes on a high water Upper Animas run. However, I personally found two problems with it when I brought it to steeper creek runs-
1. As Badkins said, the bow does not stay very high in the water and ptions are common. Like the teeth-jarring kind, when you're trying to punch through a small wave and instead of glancing off a rock it stops you cold.
2. The boat is very fast for a creeker- a little too fast in my opinion. During a Upper-to-lower Source run I couldn't keep from creeping up on my partners too fast while they were trying to pick their lines. I like to slow drop the drops and make small eadjustments mid-rapid to get the bow in the right spot.

It's probably more a factor of my own style and skill (or lack thereof), but it made me a little uncomfortable how the boat just gets on a track and makes it difficult to make those small adjustments.

It switched back to a Micro for half a season til that broke (3rd Pyranha boat with a crack under the seat- big surprise), and I finally picked up a Nomad 8.5 late this past summer. Love it- comfortable for my frame, boats smaller than it looks, resurfaces well, accelerated when I want it to and slows the rapids down for me. I have no opinion about the plastic as yet, as I haven't owned the boat very long. But as it stands now, if I had to buy a new one every year, I probably would.

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Old 01-13-2005   #12
ACC's Avatar
dropzone, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 845
I have paddled the embudo extensively and now own a gus. In my opinion, you are unlikely to be comfortable in the embudo without some serious outfitting work, whereas the gus will be cadillac cush after some peel and stick foam application.

I'm 6'2" with a 32" inseam and always had my heels stacked on top of one another in the embudo, which contributed to my legs falling asleep often and hindered my ability to quickly exit and initiate a rescue. The Gus on the other hand, is super roomy and easy to outfit. It will also hold more gear for multi-day trips, but the lack of pillars on the embudo gives it the edge on ease of loading.

As far as how they paddle, I think both boats excel in pushy water and low volume steepness. The gus in my opinion exceeds the hole punching power of the embudo (which is also good). I also find that the gus boofs easier because my feet are in a better position on the bulkhead and I can really use my lower body to control the angle. The only thing quirky I can think of with the gus is the grooves on the sides. They take a couple paddles to get used to, but they are very effective for carving across eddylines, making big ferries, or catching a nice lateral wave on a slide. The only really non-creek friendly feature on the gus is its pointy bow, but it has a lot of rocker to compensate.

Give the gus a try. As for weight, they are both heavy ass boats. The gus again has the advantage because it sits nicely on your shoulder, whereas the embudo is awkward to carry long distances because of the lack of pillars and recessed hip pads.

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Old 01-13-2005   #13
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 22
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thanks guys

Thanks for all the good input, I guess I really was leaning towards a Gus and it sounds like its roominess compared to the embudo is huge. Also, it just seemd like the Gus has a lot more technology and thought going into its classic design. And hell anything that Johnny Kern uses to run the gnar in has got to be good enough for me. And on that note, I gotta say I'm kinda scared to just jump right into the brand new El Jefe without hearing feedback from all you good people first. Also, I think my wallet will like the Gus a little more. Thanks again guys and keep praying for cludy skies and snow, we all remember what last march was like.

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