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Old 08-23-2005   #1
Self-Aggrandizing jackass
heliodorus04's Avatar
The Ranch, Colorado
Paddling Since: 04
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,134
How to choose your first boat?

What are the philosophies for getting a new whitewater boater a whitewater boat?

I have a friend who did sea kayaking for 6 years, but never had a whitewater boat or did whitewater. She’s 6-feet tall, about 200 pounds (but you didn’t hear ME say that). She wants to get into the Colorado whitewater scene, and I wanted to recommend to her she do what I did. I bought a used Dagger Honcho through Mountainbuzz.

I’m ecstatic in mine, frankly, and since Memorial Day when I first got in a boat, and now, I’ve boated a ton and I’m comfortable in Class III (and I haven’t swam lately). I don’t know what particulars this boat had that made it a great learner for me. I’ve heard a few horror stories about newbies buying very new boats that don’t represent the best approach for them and their goals. We definitely want to go used, though. I’m 6’2 and 230, and if I could find another Honcho, would that be as good a recommendation for someone else as it turned out to be for me? (Thanks to the guy at REI who logged into mountainbuzz, recommended that particular boat for me, then sent me over to Confluence Kayaks for my intro to whitewater without selling me anything).

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Old 08-23-2005   #2
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 305
Ola fellow Honcho paddler, The biggest draw back to a Honcho is that it tends to bury the nose(pearl) when paddling upstream as I am sure you know.
I also learned to paddle in that boat and love mine.

The other problem is that finding one is few and far between as most of the people I know that have them won't part with them......

How agro is she going to be??? I met a girl this weekend that learned to paddle in a Crazy 88 and loved it...
A couple of other options are the...
EZ's by Wavesport
Jackson's 4 fun or Super fun they are out there used.
Check with Confluence Kayaks I don't know what used boats they have that are not spoken for yet......

Don't do anything, just stand there.
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Old 08-23-2005   #3
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 122
I definitely wouldn't want to learn in a crazy 88 scott!!!

I am a big fan of the Dagger GT series- look into a GTX or GT 8.1, I think you should be able to find one fairly easily. It should fit her I think! Stsable, great for beginners, stable and easy to roll but can surf and play a teeny bit if she wants to go that route. Great for beginning up to class 4. I learned in it (along with several other rental boats) and I feel totally comfortable in mine and I doubt I'll ever grow out of it!!!

For the EZ series, she would probably fit well into the bigEZ though they are a bit harder to find used.

I hear great things about the Jackson fun series but I doubt you'd find one used very easily, they are far and few between.

Sounds like the honcho would be a good one too, though I've never paddled one.

Good luck!
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Old 08-23-2005   #4
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 122
on mtn buzz right now there are a few wavesport stubby boats for $250-300... cheap and also really stable... Never paddled one though!

Linda Ziccardi is selling her dagger piedra for $200, that's a great beginner boat too. She's paddled it a bunch but it still looks new! It's on mtn buzz too!

also on the gear swap: Big EZ for $500, another for $475.
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Old 08-24-2005   #5
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
Dude, go with what you know. The honcho is fine, stay away from displacement hulls such as the piedra. If you wanna go new look at the Jackson, EZG type boats.
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Old 08-24-2005   #6
Front Range, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 274
For whatever it's worth, I'm still relatively new to all this myself, and I love my Jackson Fun. I think that's a major problem you're going to run into with the Jacksons, though: a number of their owners aren't planning on parting with 'em!

What you do have going in your favor is that you're in an area with alot of dealers and it's getting close to the end of the season... I'm not sure how that games runs on your side of the divide, but the handful of shops we have here tend to start getting rid of their demo fleet around this time. I'm guessing you could get a pretty good deal on a killer-yet-gently-used boat if you shopped around for it the next month or two.

BTW, I've heard good feedback about the Jackson boats fitting larger-sized paddlers really well. You may just want to get to it with a straight razor before brings it home, and try skillfully scraping off the "4" or "Super" from the logo/ decal Jackson's kind enough to plaster across the front of all their boats.....
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Old 08-24-2005   #7
Metro Area, Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 214
my brother learned to kayak in an old beat up wavesport X. it was a great boat for him b/c it is stable, easy to roll, but still has somewhat of an aggressive hull, has allowed him to play a little too. i think the wavesport EZ series is a great recommendation too. but no matter what, get her a used boat.
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Old 08-24-2005   #8
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 41
Thanks for the plug on my Piedra, but it is for a smaller paddler. And yes, it has a displacement hull.


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