Creek boat dilemma: What to paddle now? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 05-12-2008   #1
 
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1492
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Creek boat dilemma: What to paddle now?

Well, I'm now in the market for a new creek boat. Sold my Nomad 8.5 , and test-drove both the Jefe Grande and the Pyranha Everest over this past weekend.
The Everest feels like a pretty good design: turns a little slower than my Nomad, and has tons of room for gear in the back. BUT, the outfitting sucks and I can flex the whole side of that giant cockpit with my thighs, no problem. Feels like having shitty soft ski boots on: wasting energy to turn the boat. Can't believe they made the cockpit even bigger than on the large Burn. I also did two minor shallow boofs with a brand new boat and left the dent evidence in the hull immediately. VERY disappointing.
The Jefe Grande felt much more like my Nomad, though a little less crisp in the handling, no doubt due to the super-round bow. It surfaces like a champ, turns on a dime yet still tracks well if you keep strokes in the water. BUT, for as big as it is, it's a pain in the ass to get anything of decent size in behind that new "BadAss" outfitting. The back of my old Nomad seemed bigger, and it didn't have the newer lowback seat. Also, the Grande is a TANK. By far the heaviest empty boat I've ever paddled.
So, I'm thinking about just getting a new Nomad 8.5 with the lower seat. Hope they haven't changed the plastic.... It's still the most responsive yet predictable boat of the three. Otherwise:
Anybody have any thoughts on the new Riot Magnum 80??????? Would love to see and paddle one, but none up here in Jackson. How about the MegaRocker????? I'm 6'3" and 195 right now, so the Rocker is probably too small. The Mega looks like an old Wave Sport "Descente" to me: way too round to catch many eddies at high speed, but I could be way wrong on that. What are thoughts from the MegaRocker paddlers? Would welcome any feedback. Thanks.

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Old 05-12-2008   #2
 
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Thought-criminal, Colorado
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I haven't had the megarocker out on anything very hardcore yet but from paddling it on 3/4 to see how it handled I noticed that it was more difficult to catch eddies than in my old Blunt, esp. since the boat is so long it's usually moving very fast. You do feal like you could plow through anything with all that boat, though, and with all that volume even at 200lbs I float way up on top of the water.

Granted, I'm a pretty dicey class 5 paddler at best. Maybe somebody with better boat skills has a different opinion.
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Old 05-12-2008   #3
 
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the Mega takes a bit more lean when catching eddies. I too had an initial difficult time catching tight eddies with my mega, but with some minor adjustments (due to a fully displaced hull) I can now catch an eddy with a snap strong enough to knock the corn off my cob!
Bottom line, the Mega is unreal with the boof, paddles amazingly well/fast for a guy that is 200 (me) and gives me all the confidence in the world.
That being said... DEMO DEMO DEMO...

Craw
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Old 05-13-2008   #4
 
Jackson, Wyoming
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Thanks. That's kind of what I thought watching a guy paddle one last year. How does it handle with multi-day gear in it? Seems like the most heavily rockered boats really suffer when you load them up. How have the MegaRockers been so far for breakage?
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Old 05-13-2008   #5
 
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I just did a 3 day overnighter on the Mid Feather in Cali last week and although the boat was heavy to carry on the shoulder, it never was even slightly compromised on performance. Seemed at times it even boofed better...
The Hero is a fantastic boat too (or maybe super hero in your case). This is my breakdown of the differences in a Rocker or Hero.
The Rocker series is really a true creeker. Many boats these days are incorporating other attributes (hard chines, sharp edges, planing hulls) to their creekers and although that has pushed offerings by manufacturers in some fantastic directions, I personally feel they aren't as great for genuine steep creek, water fall type paddling. The Rockers don't get hung up in bad places (sharp/shallow rock), they truly provide a "No surprise" (I don't know what happened?) experience, their secondary stability is second to none, great gear/safety equip storage, and in my humble opinion they are the most comfy boats on the market. Also important to mention is the "unishock" bulk head that virtually eliminates the broken ankle when pitoning your brains out.
The Hero series on the other hand incorporates many of the variances to creekboats I mention above. It is a river runner with a strong lean towards creeking. It has hard chines, (actually the same hull as the 4fun), and adds a bit more in trackability, steering, and all that you get with a more planing hull that has harder chine.
Both are fantastic in variable conditions and both are worthy of the almighty requirement of DEMO, DEMO, DEMO before you buy.
I get the opportunity to have our whole line at my home, so I can use either based on the creek/river of the day. Most people don't get that option, so be sure to check out not just different brands, but different lines in each. Boats these days are very high end and have fantastic attributes that address any paddlers needs.
2008 is going to be soooooo good here in Colorado!!!
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Old 05-13-2008   #6
 
Denver, Colorado
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Why did you sell the nomad?

I cratered my second nomad 8.5 and went shopping around and demoed some boats. In the end I came back to the nomad. I'm used to the hull, its very predicable, and its the perfect combo of length and volume for me. I'm about the same weight, but shorter. I found the jefe grande to be a bit big and sluggish to turn vs. the nomad for me. I don't really need a boat bigger or slower to turn than the nomad. I tried the prijon hercules and it didn't fit for me. I did not demo a jackson boat, although I would like to try one out eventually.

The new nomads have the seat issue fixed and its really easy to get stuff behind the seat now.
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Old 05-13-2008   #7
 
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I'm with deepsouth. I paddled a mega on the green and loved its beef (and comfort), but it weighs a ton and felt a little less nimble than my nomad. both are great boats, but the 8.5 does it all for me just a bit better.
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Old 05-13-2008   #8
 
Ft Collins, Colorado
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good move

selling your nomad was a good move ... for the buyer!
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Old 05-13-2008   #9
 
Jackson, Wyoming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepsouthpaddler View Post
Why did you sell the nomad?

I cratered my second nomad 8.5 and went shopping around and demoed some boats. In the end I came back to the nomad. I'm used to the hull, its very predicable, and its the perfect combo of length and volume for me. I'm about the same weight, but shorter. I found the jefe grande to be a bit big and sluggish to turn vs. the nomad for me. I don't really need a boat bigger or slower to turn than the nomad. I tried the prijon hercules and it didn't fit for me. I did not demo a jackson boat, although I would like to try one out eventually.

The new nomads have the seat issue fixed and its really easy to get stuff behind the seat now.
Good question, and one I thought pretty hard about. First, it was 4 hard seasons old, maybe getting a little thin under the seat, and time to give it to a beginning creeker for its later years. Second, moving the seat forward really makes it difficult for me to just jump up out of the cockpit (I have 36" inseam and size 12's). It had nothing to do with not liking how the Nomad paddles. I agree completely with you other Nomad paddlers. Very few used ones around, for good reason. I would buy new, as I still qualify as pretty hard-core creeker. Definitely going to keep DEMOING as often as possible. Luckily, the Jackson boats are available here in Jackson Am really disappointed in how "flexy" the super-sized cockpit made the sides of the Everest, because I think I could get used to how it paddles. Have broken more than my fair share of Pyranhas, though. Will give the Mega and the SuperHero some time on the water next. Thanks for all the input, and the reinforcement about the Nomad. Still winter up here, not much really rising yet.
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