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Old 09-23-2013   #11
FatmanZ's Avatar
NOCO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 582
Finding a local FreeRide demo may prove difficult. Last time I saw one on the Poudre was the year they came out. Even CKS stopped carrying them in demo.
RMA has a few sizes of the Fun series in stock and it won't be hard to find a used one. As far as outfitting on the Jackson - people seem to either love it or hate it. I swapped out the footbag and seatbag for the foam block and seat pad on my kids Funs at their request and it's worked out great for them. The backband on the 2013 boats is also a big improvement over the previous version. I use my SuperFun for 95% of the runs I do - it's good at everything and excels at nothing in particular other than being super comfy.
So none of this answers your question - I will hop in my friend's FreeRide 67 this Friday on Westwater and see how it compares to the SuperFun. He can tear it up in the kayak, but I think 90% of that is the boater and not the boat.

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Old 09-30-2013   #12
Radville, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 26
How did that Freeride treat you this weekend?

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Old 09-30-2013   #13
miker's Avatar
Indian Hills
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 340
I am restricted in small boat choices due to my length handicap (38" inseam). I owned a Superfun for a couple of years and that got me going on playing and river running. I even liked it on Gore. I was unable to cartwheel it. The old Monstar was a little smaller than the new ones so it really hurt my feet but I love the play. However I demoed a LL Freeride on the Occoee and loved it. I was able to cartwheel and play on a bunch of features. I would of bought one but Fatman traded my Superfun straight up for his new Monstar and I am happy. If I had the choice I would choose the Freeride for the outfitting, comfort, versatility and play for a big guy.
With cunning skill like a duck walking a tightrope at night
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Old 09-30-2013   #14
Abron Cabron
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Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 594
4fun ftw... ;]

I had a 2009 4fun for three years, and absolutely loved it. the outfitting is what it is, i will just say it works fine for me.(still using JK boats) but the way the boat handled, secondary stability to keep me upright, and ease of rolling and playing was so awesome. it literally rolled so much better then any boat i had ever been in that it gave me a ton of confidence back that had eroded using boats that didnt fit well.

I did the MFS @ 2.25' no problem, no swims,(best multiday trip of my life for sure. it was kinda low, but not too low for the rafts, and a perfect water level for a playboat...) ran the Kern at 5k, not to mention all my local NM & CO runs.
I traded it in for a superstar in 2012, and i almost wish i would have kept it for a riverrunner, (for the numbers at medium flows for example) cause the superstar is definitely more aggressive, but it actually is a damn good riverrunning playboat as well. just much less in the stern. Now, if its high water, i have decided i am intermediate enough of a paddler, i should just take my superhero and stay happy. i am just not a high water playboater.

So thats another boat i would recommend, the 2011 or newer JK hero... super friendly,creeker/river runner. different category for sure, but still surfs a bit ...

I have one friend who has a freeride, and he likes it, but there are a LOT of people, beginner through expert who paddle JK happily for good reason. LL boats are sweet though, and would def. be my second choice. The Remix & Remix XP10 are on my radar for sure.

I do recommend switching the happy feet for foam blocks for ease of use. the 2012 boats came stock with foam, which is good.

you can carry @ 3' length of i think 6mil cord, which makes it easy to do a repair if the cord in the back band wears through (it will take a couple years of cinching it tight into the cleat) and maybe even an extra cleat.

also JK boats are really dry. they have no screw holes that go through the hull, so the only leaks i ever have had are from the tunnel of the skirt.

the weight limits are generous too, you can go over the posted limits a bit and the boat will still handle really well.

hope that helps
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Old 10-16-2013   #15
Prince George, BC
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 4
I have a Freeride 57. My only complaint for the free ride are that the thigh braces suck, they are pretty much flat and offer very little support. I have also had my GF hop in it and take it for a spin on a few waves and easy river runs, her complaint was the width made it awkward to roll (she ended up in the smallest Jitsu for her play boat and has run it on some decent water).

Other than the thigh braces and a quick fix to keep the back band from popping out (and for some reason I can't keep the seat square... but that is probably from pushing too hard with my feet) the Freeride has been a good boat. Stable and fast enough to get through III+ when needed and fun to surf on waves.

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