I have only paddled the Mace 1 one time so can't give you an indepth review but it is in the same category as a WS diesel or H3. The Mac 1 has more rocker than the diesel or h3 and that was the biggest change I saw. Planing hull river running creek boat. Sorry I can't help you more but I did not paddle it enough to give a good review. If you want to demo my huka let me know or if you want a Mac let me know and I will get you an order form.
ps there are many reviews of MAC 1 onMissionAssaultCraft1 on boatertalk
The "Who & Where"
For reference, Im 510 and 155lbs. Been paddling the MAC1 for a few weeks now (just bought my very own a weeks ago, so no
Im not sponsored by Bliss Stick
only Visa) and have had it on a variety of runs. Ive had it on low volume technical class IV-V stuff, mellow driftnboof waterfalls in the 15-20 ft range, tight slot drops, pushy steep technical gorges, and bigger drops in the 30-40 ft range with must boof or must plug scenarios. The MAC1 has performed well in all of these environments
with perform being the key word here. The MAC1 is a high performance creek/riverrunner.
Check out www.kayaking.peak.org
to reference the runs (Green Truss, White Salmon River and the Salmon River Gorge, Oregon Salmon River) where I tested the MAC1. These were great testing grounds to say the least!
The shape and volume distribution of the MAC1 is noticeably different from any other boat out there right now. It has a generous amount of bow rocker, but not nearly the healthy dose that was given to the Huka. The rocker on the MAC1 allows the boat to climb up on features well for rock boofs, spins, or when hopping over logs. Stern rocker is somewhat minimal but this is one of the aspects of the boat that allows the boat to generate the speed that it has. I have not found the lack of stern rocker to be detrimental to the boat in any way at this point. In fact, the shape and volume distribution of the stern has created a feature and handling characteristic in this boat that is surprisingly beneficial
but Ill get to that in a bit. The volume distribution of the boat makes it well balanced in bigger features and provides for a nice, dry ride. The full planning hull design gives the boat a sporty, snappy feel that is just plain fun. If you think about going somewhere, the boat will take you there without hesitation.
Volume: 74 gal.
Weight: 45 lbs.
Bliss Stick stepped it up a notch with their new outfitting. It is still relatively basic when compared to some of the overly complex systems, which are infiltrating the kayak R&D circles, but is genuinely functional and sturdy. Hip pads are now included with Bliss Stick boats and extra shims are provided if you happen to be a bit under-fed to properly fit within the rotomolded seat. Adding shims takes no time at all
seriously, less than a minute. The backband is now adjustable at four points: two cams located on the back of the backband and ratchets located up on the thigh braces. This new backband setup seems to be more of a bomber setup than the original one that was used in the early versions of the Huka. It is also super easy to get a nice, secure, custom fit with the backband. The seat is adjustable on pre-drilled tracks
just loosen the bolts and slide the seat to where you want it, quick, easy, and painless. The seat also comes with a pre-fitted pad now, so you wont need to add any foam unless you want to be higher in the boat. I found the seat height to be just about perfect for my tastes. The bulkhead is quick to adjust here, nothing fancy, just pure function. I added some foam to the plastic plate in the bulkhead since I like any type of piton insurance I can get. Overall, this has been one of my easiest outfitting experiences and the simple yet durable nature of the setup gets my vote of approval.
The MAC1 is the supercharged rally car of creek/riverrunners. This boat will accelerate quickly and carries its speed up until you decide to hit the brakes in an eddy (or a piton rock
depends on how you like to stop). It is however easy to scrub a little speed if you find things happening a bit to fast for your liking. Thats why I liken it to a rally car, itll be quick if you need it to be, but it will also just cruise along at a manageable clip for those mind-bending technical sections where accelerating into the next drop too quickly is not ideal. Like I briefly mentioned earlier, the MAC1 will carry its speed well when faced with a series of man-eating hydraulics followed by eddy fences guarding your next checkpoint. This boat is noticeably faster than the Huka.
The MAC1 is a good boat to charge big lines with. Combining its ability to accelerate and hold a line, it generates confidence when running potentially confidence-destroying lines. Surfing the smallest of waves is just plain easy. Using that characteristic makes holding ferry angles above nasty-dont-go-there features pretty dang easy if you keep it together in your head J. Heres the one thing that really surprised me about the handling of this boat
its super easy to make last minute corrections. Considering how well it tracks, I didnt think it would be an easy boat to turn or make quick adjustments with, but I was wrong. This boat tracks like a long boat but is nimble almost to the point of feeling like a Huka (super nimble).
Bring em on! This boat kicks ass when dropping into big stomping hydraulics. In all seriousness here, Im confident that this boat handles nasty holes very well. Granted, theres always going to be a hole that gives you a good slice of humble pie
but when the battle starts Id want to be in this boat. The MAC1 will pierce a hole, go deep, and fire out the backside without a hint of slowing down (in fact, this is the first boat Ive felt accelerate out of every hole Ive gone deep in). Or, if staying on top of the hole is the best option, bring that planning hull into action and skip over the top of it. Ive literally felt this boat get airborne skipping over the top of big holes. I dont know what else to say here. The MAC1 is the best boat Ive been in when dealing with big hydraulics.
This boat will boof on command. While not being the silly easy boat to boof that the Huka is, its not far off. The bow rocker will allow you to easily climb up onto rocks or shelves for those assisted boofs. Late boofs are not a problem as there is ample stern rocker (although not as much as the Huka) to allow an easy lifting of the bow. If it needs to be boofed, you wont have to think twice in the MAC1
just giveer and itll go! Contact points within the boat, such as knees, thigh braces, and hips allow for body language to easily and quickly translate to the boat for mid-air angle adjustments. Ask this boat to do it and it will.
controlled, predictable, and quick. I thought that Id paddled boats that resurfaced in a controlled and predictable manner, but the MAC1 takes it to another level. As I mentioned when talking about busting through holes, the boat resurfaces quickly. Due largely to the stability that is provided by the hull design, volume distribution, and very stable nature of the stern shape, this boat brings you to the surface quickly and confidently. I never experience even the slightest feeling of being back-endered or getting rocket moved back to the surface in an uncontrolled fashion. The boat does resurface with a slight bow up angle, but not so steep that it wants to go over backwards. Some other boats Ive been in seem to resurface flat, which seems to slow things down sometimes when I dont necessarily want to slow down. The slight bow up resurfacing nature of the MAC1 allows it to maintain its speed and carrying it out of the backwash of a drop. Very nice boat for running big drops in. It probably goes without saying, but try to avoid landing flat off the big ones as the planning hull could make you and your chiropractor new best friends.
I have been thoroughly enjoying the MAC1. It is a quick, sporty boat that is more than worthy for taking down your local steep creek or big water run. This is a great all-around boat suitable for running class IV-V+ water. Some folks will really enjoy the hull design while those coming form displacement hulls will need to take some time for adjustment. That being said, this boat does have a high performance feel to it that just makes things fun on a different level. Considering what this boat was made for, I havent found anything that I would change at this point, but Ill update this review if I do find anything. As far as durability goes, Ive beat the crap out of my Huka and it should have broken by now
but it hasnt. I like Bliss Stick plastic. Im looking forward to the coming winter rains out here in the Pacific Northwest to get it on some true big water runs and see how it handles in the type of water that it was designed for.
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