Well I have been at work all day and got to come back to four pages of posts, so thank you all.
To address some things...
A CC is in fact not that much more heavy than a raft. It has the same amount of chambers, but quite a bit more floatation. The red white and blue CC that you can see me using in my videos (Cipactli) weighs around 145 pounds. Add in the 20-30 pounds for frame and oars and it's as light and manageable as a raft when it is on the water - think of center-framing a raft, you get the idea.
As for CC's lacking grace and style, sure, they look a bit goofy going down the river with their big top bobbing back and forth with every wave. And we paint faces on the front of them. And they come in all different colors and schemes (wait til I finally get my design built, haha!) so there is no real consistency. But it is unreasonable to me to think that there is a lack of style involved in running a CC. I have styled many lines, in some incredibly difficult water (see the Aratiatia video for a good example) and made many crux moves above big drops, back surfed waves to ferry to better parts of the river, clipped edges of holes with the deliberate intention of turning to face upstream, caught countless surfs, and made many necessary micro corrections just before going into big holes and hydraulics. And yes I have even done some intentional flips and barrel rolls dropping sideways into enormous shit just to go for the ride.
That being said, as an answer to some of these other posts, THEY ARE NOT DIFFICULT TO MANEUVER. Do you remember that first day you were on the guide stick in the back of the raft? the first time you took a kayak out? or any other boat? YOU SUCKED, and your boat wasn't difficult to maneuver, it was that you hadn't the know-how to do it efficiently and with minimal effort. Now that you are a kickass raft guide or a gnar kayaker, that boat goes wherever you want it to, right? Same thing in a CC, so the people who tell me 'yeah I did it once but it was hard to drive' might as well add 'so I never did it again'. I drive that boat EVERYWHERE.
Yes, headwind is a bitch in a CC.
Yes CC will do custom builds for customers (pretty much every CC is a custom build, but there are standards in place), but the costs involved are usually the reason most people don't follow through with it.
Sorry Jens, I don't have that clip of the barrel roll in Osterizer on hand otherwise I would post it to youtube for you.
Skillkilla, CC is located in Grand Junction, u can friend us on facebook and I can get you in a boat if you really want to try, we usually do a July run at high water through Cross Mountain. In 2011 we had 12k CFS and it was a blast to camp out and run it for three days.
BarryDingle, I'd love to run the Sky sometime with you man, how about a November run at 11k plus? That would be sweet.
Glenn I feel made a very good point in his post: "Maybe it's just an image thing; the overwhelming amount of footage I have seen, and others as well, of CC's involves at least one if not multiple CC's in a group routing shitty lines with little control. In every other discipline that results in a big slice of humble pie. I believe this treatment is a large reason why our community is so tight-knit. Everyone remembers what it's like to have a bad day and we help each other out as a result. The CC represents a fundamental departure from that shared experience." While I would adamantly disagree with the idea of CC'ers not helping each other out, the other point here (about the humble pie) is not lost. Thank you for your input.
And slickhorn makes another good one: "All we are seeing here is people of various levels of "purist" instinct react, not because CC require little skill, or reduce consequence, but because when someone can do one day 1 something you took 4 years to master, well, you just don't feel they earned it. And that cheapens the purists sense of pride/superiority. And so they look down on those folks who "didn't earn it." As if CC'ers have never used other boats.
It says a lot more about the purist than it does about the CC'er." To which I completely agree.
I'll end this post before it gets too long-winded, thanks for all the responses everyone.