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Old 03-17-2009   #1
Fort Defiance, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1900
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 17
Rio Bravo Quality

Hola I've looked in the archives and their are some comments on the quality of the Hyside Rio Bravo series but I wanted to see if anyone has had any issues, good or bad with this boat. I'm in the market for something small, 10.5 feet, and wished that Hyside had an expedition series in that size and I can't afford a Sotar, so I found the Rio Bravo. I know they're made in China and dont look sexy, but I'm just curious about how they hold up. I will be doing class II-III in this boat and will use my 14 footer for longer rivers. Any advice is much appreciated, thanks!!

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Old 03-17-2009   #2
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 748
me and a friend bought one a couple years ago, and we put 4 different holes in the boat in 7 river trips. Hyside refused to do anything to help us, and I think we would have been better off with a raft from kmart.

We lent the boat to a friend and he put a hole in the boat at Westwater in may, which to this day blows my mind.

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Old 03-17-2009   #3
Land of Lovin, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,449
We bought a 14' Rio Bravo last spring with a frame, so far this is what we have taken it on:

Pumphouse to Statebridge at 2500cfs and 1200cfs oaring
Filter Plant at high and lowish flows, R2 and R4ing
Lower section of Browns Canyon at very low water R2ed
Grizzly to 2 rivers park at medium water R4ed

So far no punctures or issues with the boat at all, though we have yet to hit any rocks, branches, sandbars etc. as we are very careful.

I hope others experience is closer to mine than the last guys!

The boat does look cheaper - visible glue at the seams and it needs more D-rings but it was well worth the savings of buying their Outfitter series.
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Old 03-17-2009   #4
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,403
Rio Bravo = floating garbage.
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Old 03-26-2009   #5
Mr Beaver's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 188
Aire Puma is cheaper than a Sotar, but not by a lot.

I was in the market for a similar boat and found a floor model Super Puma for a steal.

My advice is to keep looking around. Also Hyside had very limited availability for the RB series.
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