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Old 04-05-2014   #21
Ft Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 198
"Typically, Pyranha is known for performance paddling - meaning that their boats are crisp." That is from the guy I quoted above, who is in charge of product reviews at one of the biggest online WW retailers. Am I making a mistake by associating being "crisp" with being "responsive"?

Maybe Volvo's are responsive, but a Volvo dump truck will never handle like a sports car. And the Burn is the dump truck of the line - it's made to be stable, surface quickly, be predictable, etc. I'd say a Burn is crisp relative to a Hero, but for playing, it's a dog relative to a Remix or RPM or a rodeo boat.

And listen to GH - the traits I like in the RPM may be precisely what he despises. Most modern boats are really good. IMHO, it's mostly a matter of getting a boat that's good for the rivers you run, fits well, and suits your style. There's a huge range in all those factors. Regardless, try to get a good deal, and if the boat doesn't work for you, sell it and get another.

I'd also think carefully about sharing a boat with your wife. I spend a lot of time outfitting my boats so they fit like a ski boot. It's hard to imagine the same outfitting, seat position, etc. will work nearly as well for someone 5' 3" and 6'. Unless you're just floating, it's really critical that you wear the boat - not just sit in it.

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Old 04-06-2014   #22
gdtrfb8's Avatar
Silverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 67
Great stuff everyone! I really appreciate the honest feedback and the variety of opinions.

johng, I pretty much agree with you on the boat-sharing thing. I too like to spend considerable time outfitting my boat to get things just right. My skinny frame needs lot of hip shims (usually 3 per side), I have inserted extra foam behind the stock knee foam on most of my boats to bring the knee in and tighter to the thigh hooks (the only weak point on the Jackson outfitting, IMO - I know others disagree). The last one is a real pain, as it involves heating the stock foam, slowly peeling it back, getting the new foam positioned just right, then getting Mondo Bond in there to reapply the stock foam, applying pressure via dowels, sticks, etc, and allowing it to dry.

Anyway, I agree. My wife paddles her 2Fun a lot, but when she gets in one of our RR/Creek boats, she basically has to deal with MY outfitting, hence my desire to let her have exclusive rights to our new Karma S. Though for what it's worth, that Karma is the first boat I've owned that feels (while sitting in it, I haven't paddled it yet), like it is truly ready to go with no modifications other than shimming the hips.

"This river don't go to Aintry."
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Old 04-06-2014   #23
Ft Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 198
Originally Posted by gdtrfb8 View Post
... as it involves heating the stock foam, slowly peeling it back, ...
Yea, us skinny guys suffer. Good idea on the heating - I've always just ripped/scraped the stuff off. I've also gotten away with using double-sided carpet tape for near-permanent foam installations. Not as good as contact cement, but a lot faster and easier.
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Old 04-16-2014   #24
boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 9
zen 65 vs burn

i just wanted to chime in on the pros of the zen 65.....
FAST!!! this boat is a racing machine. the edges on it are sharp and really zip you wherever u want to go. I have not paddled the new burn but have paddled the last two versions. Burns are great boats but feel heavy and a bit slower to me. burns have a bit more stern volume so stern squirts will be fewer and farther between also. I love my zens speed and ability to make moves my old villan S could only dream of pulling off. The zen 65 fits me very well at 5'9'' and 160lbs. The zen has a full planning hull which is great for surfing and zipping in and out of eddies. No displacement hull can come near the carving ability of the zen. Where the Zen is lacking is the rocker. This is a problem only when worried about pitons. Not a problem though as it will have enough speed to slice through all but the most hungry holes. IMO the only reason for a displacement hull is needed is when running really shallow rocky runs. Displacement hulls let you choose the angle of your boat as it slides on rocks, where the planning hull will adhere to whatever shape the rock is and can pitch you off line. I love the uni-shock bulkhead in my jackson boats too. how nice is it to be able to adjust my footrest without any tools or even getting out of my boat.... AWESOME feature! I also love having a dry boat when i get out... (jackson boats have NO HOLES to allow water in. If your skirt fits the cockpit u will remain bone dry!)

just my two cents... go w jackson...

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