Originally Posted by asleep.at.the.oars
How does it roll and play compared with a normal boat?
With some of the stuff people have done with existing Alpackas, I'm waiting for some amazing videos from people with better free time:responsibility quotients than myself.
My $02 is that the point of a whitewater packraft is to get to non-roadside places. Any hardshell playboat excels at roadside play, but would suck to carry miles in to pluck a cherry of a first d.
Having said that, while the intent of these new Alpacka WW boats isn't play, I've seen them do effortless blunts, cartwheels, and both front and back loops. Full disclosure: the back loop was me, was 100% unintentional, and resulted in a swim...
If you already have a solid roll in a hardshell you'll quickly learn to adapt it to the packraft. I don't think they're quite as easy to roll as a hardshell, but my experience is really limited.
Two of my favorite trips from this summer, that happen to have been done in the yet-to-be-named Alpacka whitewater boat:
And finally: There were 5 of us out at Gauley Fest last weekend, paddling these boats. Our schedule was tight so we only got to do one lap on the New River Gorge and one on the Upper Gauley. None of us had ever been on either. We each had a flip and subsequent roll on the New, and one of our group got slapped sideways by the big lateral hit at the bottom of Sweet's, but easily rolled up in the aerated water below.
Point being, some will look to these new packrafts for probing unpaddled deep backcountry runs, others will use them to *easily* go places that are very difficult/expensive to take a kayak--like from the West Coast to Gauley Fest for a quick weekend romp.
Good times to be a boater.