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Old 07-28-2011   #1
Albany, Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1
compare karnali to mamba 8.5

can u help me decide which one is better I am stuck between these two. I mostly paddle in the new river

denton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2011   #2
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 569
Have you paddled both? That's the only real way to settle these things. You can't be too intellectual about this decision. One of them will make sense to your body in the water, and one won't make as much sense.

As example, this year I cracked a boat, and went into the demo and shopping phase expecting the Villain S to be my next creeker based on what I'd heard and the hull shape. After paddling it, I hated it for some behavioral traits that other people prize.

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Old 07-28-2011   #3
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 808
I haven't paddled a Mamba, but I paddle a Karnali L and it is the best creek boat I have ever owned. I have paddled it on everything from small steep creeks to huge volume rivers and it handles it all with ease.

Positives: (1) It is fast and takes only a couple strokes to get up to speed, (2) Unbelieveable secondary stability- I literally have to throw my weight to get it upside down (3) Holds a line well and plows down small waves and holes- you do not even feel Class III sized features (4) rolls easily (5) great for overnights- you forget that gear is back there.

Negatives (1) It doesn't have quite as much rocker as other creek boats, so not as much of an autoboofer- but I am guessing this is not a big deal on the New River (2) the outfitting feels less solid that some, it wiggles around a bit.

If you are unsure about sizing, I would go for the large. I am 6'1" 160 and it fits me fine.
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