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Old 08-23-2004   #1
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
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Opinions on river/creek hybrid boats?

I'm hoping to begin running some IV+/V- water next year and want to pick up a boat suitable for those needs. I'm wondering what people think of boats like the Diesel and H3 which claim to be good for river running and creeks. What's considered the disadvantage of using full on creek boats for river running? My understanding is these hybrids tend to have sharper edges than creek boats which may help manuverability but increase the risk of accidently catching an edge. Other issues? I've been in an EZ, is there is big transition period into a creek boat? Thanks.

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Old 08-23-2004   #2
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Boulder, Jackson Kayak, Colorado
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Full on creekers tend to have displaced hulls (rounded bottoms). This allows for much safer landings when landing waterfalls. The point being that water displaces away from the bottom so that you will not feel the full force on your spine of a flat hull landing on water. The drawbacks are that they don't keep a line as well and assorted other issues depending on manufacturer.

RR/Creekers are generally longer, more volume, overal beefier river running kayaks. They can do very well on large volume rivers and even do great in many creeks. They tend to have flat hulls that allow for surfing and sharper chines for eddy catching.

It depends on what you want to get into... but I doubt you will be running major vert in your first year of creeking... Maybe the H3 is best??? Again, it's up to you.

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body. But rather...To skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... WOW !!!! What a ride!!!!!!"
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Old 08-23-2004   #3
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Geologist, Colorado
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I tend to creeker has a flat hull and is great for pivoting to make quick moves in tight places. I also have a rounded hull boat that I use for big water, like Idaho. The rounded hull keeps the boat on line and is harder to manuver thru tight boulder gardens for instance.

River runners are great for anything up to class IV+, and some V- (IMO). Once the river gets to the level where you will not be doing any playing, then you want the creeker.
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Old 08-23-2004   #4
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Check out the M3 instead of the H3. It is noticeably improved. I love it, but I have only used it on class 5. Like most creek boats it would probably suck at playing. You can borrow my boat if you want...

Although I prefer hard chines on a boat for holding a line while on edge, I don't think the chines affect turning. The larger factor in how well a boat turns is the amount of rocker the boat has. More rocker and it spins like a top (on one central point of the boat). Less rocker and a longer length of the boat sits in the water, therefore holding a straighter line. My 2 cents.

That said it is largely personal preference of which boat is best. Do you want to work harder to keep the boat straight or work harder to make the boat turn. Both are decent options.
Kyle McCutchen
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Old 08-23-2004   #5
Dreamboat, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 230
River Runner/Creeker

If I were you id check out the new Bliss-Stick Mac 1. Their is a very informative review about it on boatertalk. You can reach that link by going to , and then going to the Mac 1 link on the first page.
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Old 08-23-2004   #6
pnw, Washington
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I like the H3 for what you have described but as we always say, demo, demo, demo.
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Old 09-01-2004   #7
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I just sold my huck and switched to a LL Hoss for running harder water. The switch from playing to creeking is super easy and the plaining hull provides lots of support. As you edge your boat there is more and more resistence. In general you trip over deck edges and low volume sterns not hard chines. I would be wary of charging 40 footers in a plaining hull but that is not me any way. Gore, Clear Creek, Vallecito, Crystal Gorge, give me the Hoss. It is even fun at South Canyon below 2800. Spun and back surfed when all the little boats were choking.


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