AIRE vs SOTAR - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-17-2011   #1
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 427

Came to an epiphany this weekend. I have been a total aire head for some time now and realized, after some carnage of course, that these two boats are not so similar. While my ocelot tracks well, is very durable and easy to repair, has a killer warranty and is a very versatile design, it is definitely skinnier, heavier, and while some say this means better tracking and less flipping, I see it as less buoyant and less maneuverable. Don't get me wrong, it's a great boat that I will have for 30 years. But when hitting lines and making moves may be the most important thing during rapids, being able to break out and cover some water is crucial. In terms of being lighter, fatter, more buoyant and more maneuverable, I will have to say advantage SOTAR. My aire tubes were half the cost no doubt, but before I hit any length of continuous class V, I will be leaning heavily toward the design that started it all...the legend.

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Old 07-17-2011   #2
Costa Mesa, California
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 148
Sotar is better than any other boat out there.
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Old 07-17-2011   #3
Medford, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2
I concur. A little biased since I only live 20 minutes from the SOTAR shop though.
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Old 07-18-2011   #4
Gumbydamnit's Avatar
DURANGO, 81301
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 146
I got a Legend this year after rafting for years and now I'm looking at rapids in a whole new light. The legend is so fast and maneuverable. Dropping into a steep and deep hole, the boat stays on top instead of torpedoing down. Worth every penny!
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Old 07-18-2011   #5
slavetotheflyrod's Avatar
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 98
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 387
Sotar ain't all that.

Don't get me wrong, they're nice boats - I've owned a few myself, but they're not leaps and bounds better than an Aire or any other brand made here in the US.

That said, I've never had a de-lam on an Aire...

jus sayin'
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Old 07-19-2011   #6
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,606
Didn't you put a monster pig-weight frame on that thing? Didn't we tell you to get a WD?

Anyways, just did a Class V multiday with a bunch of cats, all Aire's and Sotars. Some older aires (minimal tip rise), even an ocelot (although I think it is slightly custom with more tip rise), and they all do great. I still think the Legend is THE boat, but if you think you went wrong with an Aire....
Living in Montana, boating in Idaho
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Old 07-19-2011   #7
Avatard's Avatar
portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,191
both are good boats. Both manufacturers put a lot of research and development into whitewater. Lets save our boat bashing for the marketers who sell the products that they select from flea markets in asia ...
Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it "guaranteed", I will. I got spare time.
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Old 07-19-2011   #8
Boy Howdy!
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Colotucky, USA
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,064
I love my Aire! I can fit 3 of your sisters and my girlfreind and 3 dogs + 2 geese. Just sayin....
Who's your monkey?
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Old 07-19-2011   #9
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Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 296
dude needs to change his name to Rafterbater
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Old 07-19-2011   #10
dgosn's Avatar
San Juans, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 487
I recently got to row a 14' WD with the same frame, load, oars, etc.. as my 12.5 legend. I found the WD was faster in the flats and tracked better, but seemed to get a tad bit more surfed/pulled back in big holes. Even those differences were minor. I did like how the WD seemed to a lot quicker in the current, but for a class V boat, flat water speed isn't really a concern to me.

I'm no catboating expert, but to me they are very similar boats, the only reason I like the Legend better is because it is shorter yet has the same carry capacity; it makes it nice on super tight techy stuff, but for more open rivers I would be happy with either one....
Sport Climbing is Neither
--The Verm
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