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Old 03-08-2011   #1
Ogden, Utah
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 44
Playboat volume, big or small?

Not sure if this topic is beating a dead horse, but...
I'm looking at upgrading to the 21st century and getting a newer style playboat. I've heard preferences for both high and low volume. So for those that have had lots of experience with both low and high volume playboats, I ask,
Which do you prefer - low or high volume? (in relation to your mass)
I'm assuming 'high volume = comfort' / 'low volume = throw down beeyotches!' ?

Not talking what brands or play parks you prefer, so could we keep the "Prijon for life!!" 's or "Crack Hole for life!!" 's to a minimum...

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Old 03-08-2011   #2
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 350
I'm sure this question has been beaten to death, but I don't mind adding my .02. You give me the chance to do that, and not be a thread necromancer.

Low volume will definitely make cartwheels easier. I run into a lot of people who basically get the smallest boat they can fit in and go that route. You'll be able to throw it around like nobody's business.

Aerials (like loops) will present a problem though, because the lower volume means less pop. If you do want to do it all, you will want a boat that you're somewhere in the middle of the weight range, maybe even at the lower end.

Currently, I'm 145lbs and learning on a Transformer 2. I'm sitting comfortably in the middle of the weight range for it. Sure, my learning curve for cartwheels and all the non-aerials is a bit steeper on flat water, but I know if I was more skilled and conditioned, this boat would be fine for that. On top of that, it's got the proper amount of pop for possibly learning loops at some point. It's been very tempting to get a Jackson Star, just to lessen the learning curve, but then I remembered eddy lines. Eddy lines make diving the bow and stuff way easy, so there's no need for me to cheat and get a lower-volume boat.

So personally, the only advantage I see to low-volume (and yes, I've been in a star at my weight of 145ish lbs), is that it makes learning in flatwater easier. Just remember, when the going gets rough, there's always eddy lines.

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Old 03-08-2011   #3
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 302
Another way to say the same thing Kendrick is saying, which is accurate, is just to follow manufacturers recommendations. Apply what he says if your weight fits into either of two sizes of one boat, for instance I fit either a SuperStar or AllStar.

Otherwise buy the boat recommended for your weight.

Also, the newest boats make the gap between easy flatwater tricks and easy aerial tricks smaller. A new'ish boat will help make both types of moves relatively easy on the same platform.

So generally this "I'm assuming 'high volume = comfort' / 'low volume = throw down beeyotches!' ?" is incorrect.
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Old 03-08-2011   #4
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 350
Yeah, if I had tons of money, I would have a Jackson Star for right now, and an AllStar for when I get good. Finances being tight, I settled for a T2 at $220 though. When I push the playboating limits of this old playboat, I will consider upgrading to an AllStar or something, but until then, it's my only playboat. Thankfully, this model was used heavily in EJ's old Playboating Dvd, so I know what it's capable of .
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Old 03-08-2011   #5
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Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 481
I would offer a new spin on this volume stuff. In the old days (i.e. 2005 or so - ancient history), it was all about pop, so larger volume boats were the way to go. Bush was president, cartwheels had just been declared old school, a couple people could do this weird move known as the mc-somethingorother, and finally the loop was a move that the average boater could throw. Everyone wanted to get bigger air, so the hip thing to do was to paddle a boat with a little extra volume in order to get that extra inch higher than your friends.

However, that was like 6 years ago. Nowadays, the loop is the new cartwheel. If you loop, it had better be either 5 feet out of the water, or just a filler trick in the midst of a long complicated combo sequence. The new movement is towards pulling moves out of your ass. Mcnasty? Forget about it - orbit mcnasty cartwheel backloop combo. Also, wave moves have really reached a new level. For both of these reasons, the new priority in playboats is length. The shorter a boat is, the easier it is to whip it around in any wave move or in a difficult hole combo.

So short boats are the way to go. Volume is still a great feature, because it gives you better pop and makes you more retentive, but if you can make a boat shorter by shaving off a gallon of volume, the length is probably the deciding factor.
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Old 03-09-2011   #6
Ogden, Utah
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 44
Somehow this ended up in 'Gear Talk'...?
I was kinda hoping to get more eyes on this by originally posting in the 'Boater's Forum';
But whatever.
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Old 03-09-2011   #7
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
It the same sets of eyes no matter what forum and yes the topic is about gear.

"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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