Best Kayak for the Grand Canyon - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-08-2009  
Duchesne, Utah
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 8
Best Kayak for the Grand Canyon

So I just landed a spot on a Grand Canyon permit for October 2010 and I need a boat to take down. I've paddled a wide varriety from the Corsica S, to the Wavesport Agent, and currently I creek boat mostly in an Eskamo Salto.
I'm interested in what the consensus is on the best boat to enjoy the big play and river running on the 21 day trip.

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Old 07-08-2009  
GoodTimes's Avatar
Eagle, Idaho
Paddling Since: '78
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 795
A wide variety of opinions on this one.....a yearly topic....check the bottom of the page and you'll see similar threads.

Personally, I took my LL CR250 a couple years ago and wish I had a faster boat. I was able to catch a lot of waves on the fly....but the really zen-like waves were sometimes out of reach. That or I'm a weak ass paddler.

When I do it again.....I'll be taking a slightly faster boat.....front surfers delight (since I ain't that good of a playboater anyway). Honestly....I think a WS X or Z would be SIK!!!
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Old 07-08-2009  
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 188
As Good Times said: A wide variety of opinions on this one.....

Depends what kind of boater you are. Our trip last Sept. had lots of >45 YO boaters, not so interested in play. We did a few long days to maximize side hiking, so less interested in throwing wave wheels all the way. To me comfort is key. My son took our JK Hero, did awesome on the big lines, blasted out of lots of things that made me cringe. I took a Necky Jive and was sad at how uncomfortable it was but I knew how it reacted at other big water. Lots of folks in Diesel, Prijon Hercules, etc. EJ says you have to do it in a playboat but I'm not sure I would have loved my Fun for 225 miles. When I go back, I'm taking the Hero.
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Old 07-08-2009  
Horserump, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 513
best GC boat

Get yourself an old RPM. It's big enough for long days on the river and it surfs the canyons waves great. (trip 14 is coming up in Sept for me)
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Old 07-08-2009  
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Silverdale, Washington
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 299
Nice job on landing that trip Scott. Does that mean less Colorado boating next year? Also, have you going to be around anytime soon or for the late summer / fall Gore season?
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Old 07-09-2009  
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 2
That's an awsome time of year for the Grand. I did it last Oct. My advice is get the most comfortable boat, that has the most room for your feet. Also a boat with rounded decks to keep you upright in the swirly water at the end of every big rapid. To me the excitment of running big rapids and the jaw dropping all day beauty of that place is why your there. Unless your a die hard playboater, those waves are really fast and hard to catch. Bring an extra drain plug! Enjoy
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Old 07-09-2009  
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1492
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 286
Jesus, Moran, you are gettin' old ;-) Try the Axxiom.

Originally Posted by yak1 View Post
Get yourself an old RPM. It's big enough for long days on the river and it surfs the canyons waves great. (trip 14 is coming up in Sept for me)
I just did a trip this spring, and ended up trying to decide between the SuperFun and the new Dagger Axxiom. Took the Axxiom 8.5 and LOVED it. It was like a cross between an RPM, X-Boat, and Sleek all mixed together, only much more comfortable. It was fast, stable, yet loose on a wave, and it was decent for chasing the occasional swimming rafter. The SuperFun would have sucked paddling across the pools, although it might have been slightly better at steep features.

I tried the 9.0 after I got back, and it is way too much boat. Make sure you get the right size for your weight but be at the very top of the weight range for it. I weigh 190 and the 8.5 turned out to be the better boat. Go try one, you'll be surprised at how much fun a long boat can be again.
So many rivers, so little time..........
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Old 07-09-2009  
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 105
With a longer boat, you can catch those glassy waves on the fly. Sometimes that's the only way to get on them. With a shorter boat you can surf the steep features. Either way, everyday you'll find at least one all-day wave. One you can just sit and play forever.

Rapids and riffles make up maybe 1/10 of the river miles. You'll be paddling a lot. If that thought makes you cringe, take the longer boat. But otherwise, I don't think it's that big of a deal. You'll always be faster than the rafts. You'll only fall behind when you find that all-day wave (I've missed lunch more than once).

You'll also be in your boat most of the day for 21 days. Make sure your feet fit and you have a little slop to shift around a bit.

One last tip: stash a 6-pack somewhere for when you "run out of beer" on day 19. When that happens, the rafters stop sharing.
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Old 07-09-2009  
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,107
Comfort is certainly key. Took and ezg 60 down the grand and loved it. Bigger than a playboat, so its comfy and my feet weren't crammed. You certainly want a boat you can sit in for several hours without agonizing pain. I like the smaller boats vs creekboat or long boat. Yes, you can't catch the fast glassy waves, but you can surf the monster breaking waves, wave wheel the big wave trains and get squirted out of monster rapids like a watermellon seed.

As long as you are comfy, it really doesn't matter a whole lot though. You will have a great time regardless.
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Old 07-09-2009  
Renaissance Redneck
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Huson, Montana
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,188
1996 Cruise Control was/is the perfect boat = huge stern squirt action and ripping surf on the big glassiess
"You're gonna be doin a lot of doobie rolling when youre LIVIN IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER"
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