View Poll Results: Who makes the best WW Kayak?
Jackson 1 50.00%
Dagger 0 0%
Perception 0 0%
Liquid Logic 1 50.00%
Somebody that I forgot but that you would love to write a response including the name of. 0 0%
Voters: 2. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-02-2013   #1
Gresham, Oregon
Paddling Since: N/a
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4
New Member From Oregon

Hello All!

My name is Simon, I am currently living in Gresham, Oregon, (East Gresham, essentially @ the mouth of the Columbia River Gorge). I am in the middle of a transitionary time of my life where I will be a little more flush with cash and I have always been fond of rafting, but wanted to get into WW Kayaking, and now seems to be as good a time as any.

My questions are, who makes the best WW Kayaks for a guy thats in the 210-230 range regularly but secretly hopes his new found love of WW will help him shed some pounds back down to around 180-190.

I understand this question is probably not an easy one, and one that has been asked a million times, but frankly, time changes things, and some companies that were once great, are now nothing more than mediocre, at least in the world where I come from, (Ultralight Backpacking/ North Face comes to mind).

I fully intend to take classes w/ Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe before purchasing everything, but honestly, when I do something, I go all out, in the sense of, I would rather pay full price today for something great, and have it for years. Than to pay half price for some janky stuff that will last me in the short term. I feel it's more cost effective in the long run, and has historically put me in a better position to succeed. Though, I may be entirely wrong, and would love nothing more than to be educated by some of you Legends that have been on the rivers since before I was walking.

Thank you for any and all responses, I appreciate you taking your time to read my post, and bare with me through the onslought of newbie questions.


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Old 04-02-2013   #2
MT4Runner's Avatar
Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,436
Your skills and needs are going to change rapidly in the next year.

Alder Creek are some great people. I know Steve Scherer, the former co-owner. They won't steer you wrong.

Of the boats you listed, Perception is a goner. Replace that name with Pyranha. Now, among Jackson, LL, Pyranha, and Dagger, all have their advocates, their benefits, and their drawbacks, and each will have a model that fits individual paddlers and their styles better.

Want to spend your hard-earned cash on some great gear that you will have for a lifetime instead of something janky that will only last you a season or two? Spend it on a good drysuit. Kokatat has a lifetime guarantee. A good drysuit will extend your season, and you can get out now in the pre-runoff flows and learn to boat while everyone else is just warming up for the summer. If you wait until the post-runoff flows that are beginner friendly, you're probably looking at waiting to start until late June.

Get a decent used river runner, learn to roll, develop your river reading skills on some decent class II water. Find a local crew to paddle with who will push you (a little). You want to be challenged, not terrified.

If you want to buy a new boat, it should be your 2nd or 3rd boat.

If you want this to be a new lifetime sport, may as well also take a swiftwater rescue class.

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Old 04-02-2013   #3
Gresham, Oregon
Paddling Since: N/a
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4

I have been researching different gear all week at work and really feel in love with the Kokatat dry suit.

So now I just have to find a used creek runner by the sounds of it. Any ideas on local resources? Alder Creek carries used stuff I think, I'll look over there tomorrow.

Thanks for the heads up about AC, it's always reassuring when you're looking to drop a few grand that the money is going to a good place.

Thanks Again!

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Old 04-02-2013   #4
Favre's Avatar
Nampa, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 240
I have a Jackson Villain in Boise listed for $500. Would accept a bit less. It's in fair condition, it's yellow, it's a modern design that would get you through at least a couple years, and it's your size.

E-mail me if interested.
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Old 04-02-2013   #5
Gresham, Oregon
Paddling Since: N/a
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4
Sweet, how long have you had your villain? How did you like it? Would you be interested in meeting somewhere along the way?
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Old 04-02-2013   #6
Favre's Avatar
Nampa, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 240
I LOVE the Villain. Still do. It's a big boat so at 180 pounds, I am on the light end. It fits people up to 250 pound well. It rolls very easy, and it handles both creeks and big water well. Probably my all-time favorite boat.
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Old 04-02-2013   #7
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 569
Welcome to the addiction. Find something around 80 gallons for your first boat with what are called River Running characteristics. Full bore creek boats tend not to go straight and can be frustrating to learn in. Something like a LL Remix 79 or a Wavesport Diesel 80 would be a good place to start. The boys at Alder Creek should be able to set you up there.

As for the debate about "the best", the answer is none of them. Each person's body has a different set of inclinations and tendencies, and each boat its set of idiosyncrasies, such that people wind up with radically divergent views on otherwise similar boats. As an example, in the rounder creek boat space, I love the Shiva, but dislike the Nomad and Stomper despite all three boats being very similar shapes. They just have different reactions based on subtle differences.

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