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Old 03-28-2010   #1
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 160
Playboat question

I'm looking to buy a new playboat but as usual, I find my self between sizes. The medium size is too small and the large is too big.
My question for you is would you rather have a playboat that's a bit too big or too small, given that they are both comfortable enough to stay in, pain-free, indefinitely?

The smaller boat would be lighter and shorter, so it would be quicker and easier to maneuver.

The bigger boat would get huge air.


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Old 03-29-2010   #2
Mike Harvey's Avatar
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 805
Maybe this isn't that helpful, but my advice is don't compromise. I am 6' tall and between 160-170 and have always had the problem you describe. I would try everything until you find one that fits and you can throw around and fits well. For me, the '07 All Star or the '10 Fun are the boats that give me the best combo of pain free and fun to paddle, where other manufacturers I would be stuck either in a boat that had too much volume or one that smashed my feet. So if you are coming to the conclusion you are in between sizes, I would try a different line of boats and see if you can fit perfectly into one.

All that being said, in years past, when I did not have a choice of manufacturer I would usually pick the smaller size and try to increase volume with an overthruster/beach ball type of implement. For me, my shoulders were happier with a smaller boat after a summer of playboating.

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Old 03-29-2010   #3
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 216
Very common issue with boat choice. I am 185lbs and at the top of most medium sized playboats. I still always have ended up in the mediums instead of large. I have been able to paddle them all because we demo them all at Alpine Quest Sports. The medium size is much easier to throw around and you will be more retentive in most features. A larger boat tends to blast you out of the hole and "bob" when trying to do cartwheels. I paddle the biscuit 55. I am very very happy with it and am comfortable with size 11 feet and 6' tall.
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Old 03-29-2010   #4
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 302
Hey Ross, how is the Biscuit 55 at your weight for loops. I'm shooting for 185 as a paddling weight and wondering if the larger size isn't better.
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Old 03-29-2010   #5
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 216
The 55 is awesome. I was really lucky enough to have both a 55 and 65 with me at Eternity hole during my spring break. I was wondering if the 65 would work better. It was a great experiment because I got to switch several times and weigh the pros and cons.

The 65 was more comfortable, and yes, threw huge loops. BUT, it was very difficult to control. If i did get a cartwheel I would bounce and flush right out.

In my 55 I am constantly forgetting my overthruster and I still have great success. I get bigger loops than any boat made previously and it is absolutely the easiest to set things up.

Here is a pick from that day at eternity hole. I can't complain about the air time it gives up

If you are going river-running the 65 will be fun. But for serious play you'll love the 55 size

I hope this helps
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Old 03-29-2010   #6
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 302
Thanks Ross, that really helps. I've heard the opposite as well, but you're pretty convincing.

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