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Old 03-11-2015   #1
Atlanta, Georgia
Paddling Since: 2014
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 3
Mamba 8.1 or 8.6


I'm new to kayaking (a few I/II trips, a few roll classes) and am looking to buy my first boat. I took a few roll classes and trips in a Mamba 8.1 and felt really comfortable, but don't want to shell out $1k+ since I'm completely green and haven't seen any local used for less than $750. I found an 8.6 for a good price, but I'm nervous it'll be too big for me.

For any Mamba paddlers, will going up a size make me feel like I'm paddling a barge? I'm 5'10" and around 190-195, so I fit the specs but on the lighter side.


ketrueno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2015   #2
Enfield, New Hampshire
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 332
re 8.1/8.6...

Hi Kevin,
I was thinking along those same lines a while back, as I am roughly the same size but 5-6 lbs more than you.I settled for the 8.6 and will stick to that unless I go way below 190 [not happening]. My only issue with the 8.6 compared to the 8.1 was the easier rolling[less boat] of the 8.1, but I think I figured this out in the last pool session and just have to work on it. Otherwise the 8.6 also feels quite easy to handle and gives you the advantage of all that extra float. I do, however, have to pad the thigh braces a fair bit but I need to do this with all my boats.

Just my thoughts.
JIMM is offline   Reply With Quote

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