Advice on safest, best kayak for class IV - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 10-26-2013   #1
 
Ft. Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 57
Advice on safest, best kayak for class IV

Hi all:

I am a class 2-3 kayaker looking for the the best and safest kayak to do class IV runs.

My background is that I run class 2-3 stuff (Bridges at low water for example) with a wavesport EZG 42(river runner/playboat). I get really intimidated if I run something like Bridges at higher water or Arkansas Browns canyon run with the EZG. I also have an old 1990's perception corsica overflow that I use for Bridges at high water and its is more stable for me. The hardest thing I have run is Poudre park and the brown's canyon at low water.

I have mediocre skills (advanced beginner?). I can usually do a combat role with the perception overflow, with the EZG it is more difficult and sometimes I have to try two or three times or wet exit.

I am about 5-5 138 pound male. My prerequisites are:

1) very safe
2) easy to roll - at least as easy as the perception corsica and maybe easier if possible
3) I am not sure if I want one with displacement hull or planing hull
4) I will probably never run class V - but interested in being able to run Poudre Park (pine view falls), Browns Canyon, Northgate Canyon on N. Platte and some other runs might include things like Avalanche to BRB on the Crystal River and the Lower Taos Box on the rio grande.

Would you recommend a creek boat or river runner (I am going to keep my small playboat for easy runs) for the runs the mentioned above?

Displacement or planning hull?

Any boats you would recommend for me - I will probably get a used boat. Also I saw a good deal on a Jackson Punk Rocker - does that sound a good boat for me.

Thanks a lot,

Chris

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Old 10-26-2013   #2
 
Nessy's Avatar
 
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 271
Displacement hulls are generally for steep creaking. They're less edgy and easier to control in pushy, complex hydraulics. You want a planing hull with good edges for carving through fast big water class IV. I haven't paddled the Jackson Zen, but it's received a LOT of hype for being an outstanding hybrid design perfect for the type of water you're moving up to. I paddle the Prion Hercules. It's taken a long time for me to learn how this boat performs and I'm hooked. Hope this helps. Any long boat will be easier to roll.
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Old 10-26-2013   #3
tytanr
 
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 115
class 4 boat

Once you get done with your research on boats. I have a like new Dagger Mamba 7.5 that our family isn't using anymore. It is a great boat for what you are looking to step up to and the specs for it are in your height and weight range. Looking to get $550 for it. Let me know if it is something you might be interested in.
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Old 10-26-2013   #4
 
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bc, CA
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I second the Mamba 7.5. Just got one myself and it is really forgiving and super easy to roll.
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Old 10-27-2013   #5
 
Ft. Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Oct 2011
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Thanks

Hi Nessy Ty and Brenda:

Thanks for the comments.

Ty - How old is that Mamba? Is it considered1st generation? I might be interested in it but I will probably do some research for a couple of weeks or so. What is the difference between the original Mamba 7.5 and the current Mamba 7.6 river runner and the 7.6 mamba creeker? Was the original 7.5 a hybrid between their new 7.6 creeker and river runner?


Thanks again all,
chris
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Old 10-27-2013   #6
 
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Quote:
What is the difference between the original Mamba 7.5 and the current Mamba 7.6 river runner and the 7.6 mamba creeker? Was the original 7.5 a hybrid between their new 7.6 creeker and river runner?
The newer Mamba (7.6) is a bit creekier than the 7.5. They are both very stable and easy to paddle, but the 7.6 has a bit more volume (64 gallons vs. 57 gallons) in the stern and knee area. The hull has some more rocker to it as well. It's still a planing hull boat with rounded edges on the bow to keep from catching edges...

The place that you will notice the difference is in the stern. The additional volume does better in bigger water, and leaves you less likely to get squirted. The boat also has a higher parting water line which means that it sits higher out of the water - the edge of the boat is less likely to snag on a tricky current...

The creek version Mamba's hav the creek seat and the "step out" center wall. The center wall of the creek version is made of roto mold plastic (as opposed to foam which is in the play version), which means that the boat is stiffer in a broach situation. The step out wall is also meant to be used as a step to kick out of if you need to leave the boat in a hurry.
Also, the newer (2013-14) creek seat has a wider plastic bottom on the seat that distributes hull impact. It strengthens the hull, but also adds some weight...

The 7.5 sounds like a great deal for $550. You're not that heavy, and do not have to have all of the extra features - but from what you said in your question, you may want to take a look at the new 7.6 because it is a whole step up in beefiness...

Also - check out the new 2014 Pyranha Burn III. It will be available in 4 sizes; you'd probably want the small. It is a fast, planing hull river runner that will be super fun on Colorado class III/IV and IV.

I paddle a lot of the same stuff, and love the Mamba and Burn for that...They are 2 of the best boats out there.
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Old 10-28-2013   #7
tytanr
 
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 115
Mamba

Silverbullet explained the differences pretty well. I've posted the boat and pictures under the "creek" boats for sale. It is practically a brand new 2010 7.5 Creeker model. Has only been on the water 3 times. Let me know if it peaks your interest.
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Old 10-29-2013   #8
 
Ft. Collins, Colorado
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Posts: 57
Silver bullet -thanks for the great summary, much appreciated.


Ty -thanks for info - I'll take a look at your pics.
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Old 10-30-2013   #9
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
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The Mamba is a good option and $550 is a fair price for a 2010 model if it's in like new condition.... another option I would look at are the older Burns. Sure, if you want to drop $1000 a 2014 Burn would be awesome, but there are plenty around that are a few years old and could be acquired for a reasonable price. Tough at this time of the year, but I would suggest demo'ing a few before committing.
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Old 11-01-2013   #10
 
Ft. Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Oct 2011
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Hi Imyers:

Thanks for the info - I'll look at the Burns. Yes I should probably demo, but I buying used and that makes things more difficult.

Ty - if I can think of an excuse to come down Grand Junction maybe I will check out your boat - I'm in Fort Collins.

I guess no one is very keen on the Jackson Punk Rocker - I saw one craig's list for $300?

Thanks all,

Chris
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