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Old 04-19-2012   #1
Shelby, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 59

I've been researching and reading for months on different options for the best way to get my 9 year old introduced into WW. I've gone back and forth between hard shell child size kayaks to tandem hard canoes to everything else in between. I'm thinking something like either a SOAR 12 or 14 or the AIRE lynx II or Outfitter II might be the easiest, most forgiving, and all around best way for him to learn WW. I like the idea of the SOAR since it's different from your normal IK, but OMG they are expensive! Love to hear reviews and comments from those of you that have paddled and/or own them. Also whatever i end up with, it needs to be BOMBER PROOF and be able to eventually handle class IV rapids (for myself and a friend or son when he gets older).

GosuPaintballer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2012   #2
Huntsville, Alabama
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 8

As an owner of a SOAR 14 and Tomcat 1 I can provide you with some feedback.

I find both super stable but not fast paddling solo.

1. The SOAR 14 is a canoe and you will sit higher. My preferred position is kneeling. The larger tubes makes re-flipping and re-entry diffficult in moving water. You can paddle it with a canoe or kayak paddle. I used a kayak paddle for years before switching to a single blade. As for the price and construction I have been VERY pleased.

2. The Tomcat, because of the smaller tubes, is much easier to re-flip and re-entry. But you sit and I personally find it harder to read the water in front of me. I expect that is because I learned from kneeling in my SOAR 14.

Being from the SE, sometime river difficultly rating is deceptive compared to out west. If you are looking for a boat that can handle large waves and plow through hole, then I've had good luck with the SOAR. If you are talking about more technical, must make, small slots, rivers then the SOAR 14 can be a bit much to handle. The IK would be a better choice.

One other thing to consider. The SOAR provide more cargo capacity than an IK. They make good multi day gear haulers. By the time your son is ready for Class IV stuff he may want something else for play.
wwskydiver is offline   Reply With Quote


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