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Old 08-15-2010   #1
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 15
Boat Envy - 4FUN??

I started paddling last year. Bought a Mamba since that was what I did my instruction in. I spend a lot more time on the water this year, but primarily in play parks. Suddenly, my trusty Mamba feels very stable but big and clunky and I find myself looking at boats again, especially as I am trying to work on surfing skills, etc.

Logically, I have no need for another boat and should be content to paddle my Mamba for the next few years. But I am not. Instead, I stare at the happy people who float through the park in their shorter boats which seem much more maneuverable in the hole than mine. Is this typical? What do you think of shorter boats like a 4Fun?

Bonus points to anyone who can successfully talk me out of buying a new boat.

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Old 08-15-2010   #2
Gumbydamnit's Avatar
DURANGO, 81301
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 144
I don't think anyone is going to get bonus points on this one. In fact some will probably tell you that you need at least three boats in your quiver. I have a 4Fun and I love it. It surfs really well and takes on the big waves good too. I also have a diesel for my "big water" boat. Big boats like the Mamba a good to learn in and build your confidence, but going straight down the river can get boring.

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Old 08-15-2010   #3
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
Of course you need a play boat if you do anything other than creeking.

THe 4 fun is a good one if it fits you right. Play boats are very weight and height specific.

Conversely, a play boat is not a good only boat if you want to run harder stuff. I saw the bottom of someone's fun 6-7 times before getting to supermax yesterday.

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Old 08-15-2010   #4
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 111
Bonus points: Get the mamba out of the play park. While surfing and getting trashed in play holes is great practice in any boat that big, clunky hard to surf boat will feel big, floaty, powerful and safe(r) out on the river. If you're stuck in the park for whatever reason practice getting destroyed in your mamba and getting your roll 100% bomb proof and then take that river destroying machine out on some progressivly harder rivers.

No bonus points: you have a good reason to be envious. Little boats are WAY more fun than big boats for surfing and for goofing off on the rio. On the plus side since you already have a big ass boat you might be able to skip the fun and get more aggressive playboat (star,biscuit,project etc) IF you can handle it enough to still have fun. Borrow your friend's boat or demo or.... The play boat (or small river runner) will also make easier runs more fun by enabling you to throw ends, surf more, etc etc etc. Having a smaller boat will also make you a better boater overall so when you do take the mamba out on something hard it'll feel easy(ier). Buy used!
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Old 08-15-2010   #5
RandyP's Avatar
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 152
I had the opposite boat envy untill I picked up a super hero for the big stuff and creekie stuff! But still love the 4fun for those days in the pp or on runs like waterton/foxton. Get the second boat you won't regret it! Can you really have to many toys?
Normal is a setting on your washing machine!
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Old 08-16-2010   #6
Abron Cabron
abron's Avatar
Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 594
LOVE my 4fun... So easy to roll... surfs and runs like those guys knew what they were doing when they made it.... course i am pretty much a wuss with playboating,aka... braveatlowwater, :] but... nonetheless, both my jacksons (the others a Villian) are the best fitting ,best rolling boats i have ever owned. fuckin' a!

IMO two boats is not being a selfish...its maximizing the boating you want to accomplish. riverrunning for high water/ aka the timid part of the year... river play for when you warm up. and... playboating can help you become a better boater. rolling all over the place, from all kinds of angles etc...
but expect to get served or be doing a lot of rolls/ends at higher levels. (me on the fractions at 2800 or the LTB a couple years ago.) thats what the big boats are for for, until you want the extra 'fun'factor...

Just demo first and look for used or demo at one of the end of season sales. or the BT or MB classifieds. You wont regret it!
other good boats in the same category are the WS fuse,and Liquid logic CR series. but after going through the same deliberation this summer (and paddling an EZG for four years...) ...its a 4fun hands down for me. Jacksons are So friendly. (... some HATE the footbag setup, but thats per individual.)

..So basically i guess i just repeated what was said above... but theres another opinion for you...

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