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Old 04-05-2007   #1
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1492
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 283
Thoughts & Feedback on WaveSport Habitat 74/80?

Hey. Looking for feedback from anybody who has already been out paddling the Habitats, either size, but preferably the 80. And, I don't really need to hear from people sponsored by WaveSport. I've read all the "reviews," but would like to hear from people that might be a little less biased. I'm in a Nomad 8.5 now, have had it 3 seasons, and it's been reliable in all the shit (Clark's Fork Box, Big South, N. Payette, etc) Just interested in a little more comfort, quickness, and ease of seat position adjustment. The Habitat looks great, feels great, but still haven't had the opportunity to get out on thawed water yet. Would like to hear what peeps think, about the boat and WS plastic. Thanks. JH

So many rivers, so little time..........
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Old 04-05-2007   #2
rm&p's Avatar
East Jordan, Utah
Paddling Since: 1979
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 29
I've been looking at the Habitat 80 myself. Seems like it would be the shit, but the key factor here for me is the plastic. After breaking a Diesel last year and lucking my way out of a 12 mile walk, I'd have to be an idiot to buy another boat made out of the same plastic. I've tried to contact wavesport via email to ask them if they've changed their formula, but my emails keep getting rejected. I think they're redesigning their website or something. Wyopaddlr1, I'm with you in that I don't want to hear what some wavesport sponsored paddler has to say. If we could all get new boats as soon as they started to oil-can it'd be one thing, but it seems like the people footing the bill and paying full retail for these boats are the ones who should be doing the reviews.

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Old 04-06-2007   #3
Durango, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 390
From what I've heard, it's the same shitty plastic. I took the Habitat 74 down the Piedra a couple weeks ago and wasn't impressed at all.... it felt totally unresponsive and sluggish. I'm 185 so I was a little on the heavy side for the 74 and probably would have been better in the 80. But the real deal breaker for me was the softball sized dent that appeared in the front left side, and it wasn't like I hit anything so hard that I should have dented the damn thing! 15 minutes with a blow dryer and it popped back out for the most part, but there was still signs of a small crease. The next weekend, a friend of mine took it down the Embudo and dented it front and center on the nose. I can't speak for how abusive he was on the boat, but 2 major dents in its first two days on the water simply isn't impressive at all.

My $.02 = save your money and buy something more reliable.
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Old 04-06-2007   #4
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 273
I have boated WS for the last 5 years, in the Y boat. I tried the Jefe, and liked when I was upright but not so much on the roll. Without solid edges I couldn't feel where I was in my roll because I was so used to the square Y boat. I now have a Habitat and it feels very nice being back in a WS. I like the speed, the boofablility is superb, and the edges seem to do the trick. The outfitting is sick, you can take the back pillar out and store a midget in the back of your boat, the seat comes all the way forward and the comfort is unmatched.

As far as the plastic goes: If Colorado creekin' is your bread and butta' I haven't seen any boat make it a seaon with our crew in the last couple of years. All the plastic sucks. But WS plastic does seem a little softer than the rest. I did however beat the crap out of that boat on our AZ mission this year and it held up suprisingly well. I even threw it down some cliffs several times and there were no dents, a few scratches, but no dents.

Summary- The boat design is very good, it's repsonsive, fast, and predictable, with lots of functionality. The plastic could be better, but so could all the plastic, besides prion. Money well spent in my opinion.

3 cents
hey diddle diddle...
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Old 04-06-2007   #5
rm&p's Avatar
East Jordan, Utah
Paddling Since: 1979
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 29
Does anyone have anything to say about Jackson's crosslink plastic? You would think that in our plastic culture someone could come up with a lighter weight plastic than the stuff used ten years ago and still maintain some degree of durability. It's nice shaving off the pounds for carrying, but how much of a benefit is it when you have to worry about cracking a boat when you're in the middle of nowhere?
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Old 04-06-2007   #6
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1492
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 283
Thanks so far

Thanks for the quick feedback. I too wish WaveSport still made cross-linked boats. I had a cross-linked Y that did 4 seasons for me: Cali, Wy, CO, and BC, including several Big South and Clark's Fork Box trips. I was not kind to that boat, and it just kept going, with virtually no oilcanning until it actually started getting thin it was so old. So, it sounds like the plastic is the biggest question mark, but the design may not be all that great, either. As far as the Jackson Kayaks go, it's great that they are cross-linked, and his playboat designs seem to get better every year. But, one look at the new Rocker and MegaRocker and all I can think is "gee, looks just like a CFS with even fewer edges. And anybody who paddled a CFS will probably agree it was welded in holes once it got stuck, just too round. The Rockers look like potatoes to me, no edges or running surfaces at all. The Mega even looks an awful lot like the old WaveSport "Descente" which would slide past almost every eddy you pointed it at . No disrespect to EJ, but I certainly wouldn't go backwards in creek boat design just to get cross-linked plastic. And, for my money, the BlissStick Mystic is the toughest creek boat being made right now, hands down. You can drive a truck over those things, and practically nothing happens to them. I'd buy one of those, but have sat in several now, and cannot get them to be comfortable for me (puts both legs to sleep from the waist down within five minutes). There's something about the geometry of the sitting position in it that just doesn't work for me. Too bad, as I've already seen it run the scariest stuff I'm willing to run anymore (everything on the Clark's Fork, as well as Fantasy Falls and South Merced). I'd go for a little bigger Mystic, too, as it was the volume and comfort of the Habitat 80 that appealed to me most. Anyway, once again we are back to the toughest dilemma in creeking: lighter, tougher boats that won't break that are the best design. Thanks, keep the beta coming. JH
So many rivers, so little time..........
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Old 04-06-2007   #7
Cody, Wyoming
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 260
The Jackson Plastic is awesome one of the paddlers here in town has one of the original All Stars and has put over 400 days on it and there is no signs of bad spots or oil canning. To top this most of those days are on a limestone river which causes some serious damage on boats. As far as the rocker goes I paddled last years for the first time on Ten Sleep at a big flow and felt solid with no warm up time at all. I havent paddled this years Rocker but I hear it's even better. Of course i'm a bit biased because I own a Jackson kayak superstore but as far as the plastic goes it's hands down the toughest on the market.

By the way the Big Horns have been getting dumped on and the paddling is going to go off in just a few more weeks.

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Old 04-08-2007   #8
Warren's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 122

Big fan of the Habitat. Took the big one down the Piedra as a warm up just to feel out that edge a bit. It takes a bit to lean on her but once you get the feel of it the boat snaps in and out of any eddy fast and easy. The plastic seems like it is getting better. I looked at a couple earlier boats and the plastic seems way more firm in the one I got.
The step out pillar is one of the best ideas Ive seen in awhile. Hopefully never needed but a nice feature. Did the Piedra as an overnight and the lower profile of the back of the seat was great for gettting the gear in and out of.
As for the speed and hole punching ability, I am totally satisfied. Made a point of trying to plug through every hole I could find on the Embudo week before last. Shes a plow. Taking the edge back to where they did allowed for rock boofing with out grabbing while still keeping that rail to carve with. Nice for a low water Embudo run.As for the plastic, in Taco Garden at those levels I took a huge piton and did divot the bow. Didn't turn out to be as big as I expected and was gone by the time I got out of the water.
Overall, I'd say give her a shot. You may be suprised once you put a couple days in her what she'll do for you. I would love her more in crosslink except on the hike in/portage but until a better plastic is available we will all have to make do.
By the way, not on the team. Just for your information.
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Old 04-08-2007   #9
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 316
I had a ZG that had some problems (oil canning) but they worked it out for me quite well.

Now I have a project and the plastic is as good as ever.

Questions is.... Do you think that Wavesport plastic will now be the same as Dagger plastic?
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Old 04-08-2007   #10
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1492
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 283
Maybe. If that's the case, then it might hold up fairly well. My Nomad 8.5 has done three seasons, with two Clark's Fork Box trips, two trips to Cali, several Popo Agie runs, and lots of other stuff, with only a slight "divot" under the seat. My main complaints about the Nomad are with the seat (not adjustable and too high in the back) and the backband (think the Flipswitch is pretty limited and prone to failure). I have heard all of the "economic" arguments from the boat makers' reps about plastic, but the simple fact is, it's our asses in the boats, and they need to be stronger and lighter. I'd pay another $300-$400 for a creeker that weighed 10-15 pounds less and was bullet-proof. That's what someboby needs to focus on. ****** Today was the end of lift-serviced skiing here in Jackson, so time to look to paddling and skiing some corn in the backcountry.

So many rivers, so little time..........
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