Dagger Mamba 8.1 size - Mountain Buzz

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Old 09-10-2015   #1
raleigh, North Carolina
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 1
Dagger Mamba 8.1 size

I am new to kayaking and just purchased my first kayak a Mamba 8.1 based on reviews online and recommendations from the people at the store that is was a good beginner kayak. Had a couple questions first I am 5'10" 180 is the 8.1 too small? Based on Daggers website I am right in the middle of the paddler weight specs but see people posting on forums much lighter than me getting the 8.6. Next question is as I'm setting up my kayak how should my legs fit in the kayak I have the bulkhead as far forward as it will go how much leg room should I have. Thanks

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Old 09-12-2015   #2
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 26
I honestly would solicit the advice of the people at your shop when it comes to how you should be sitting and how you should fit. They might even have a book or two you could reference or purchase. You want to be balance center, knees secure, with the bulkhead resting under your feet to ensure a nice fit.

I think the boat is a good fit for you, creeker version or not. The people who have purchased the 8.6 might have got it for other reasons like volume, a good price, gear storage, or personal preference. I would say the mamba is a versatile choice for a new boater because it's easy to roll, has strong rails, and a flat planning hull.

Good luck.
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Old 09-12-2015   #3
Roseburg, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2015
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 90
I paddle an 8.6 and Im 6 foot 155lb. Well below the recommended weight limit. Still paddles like a dream,rolls good.Plus the more volume the better. In my Mamba having my seat just a little forward worked best for me. Made the stern less squirty.
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Old 09-12-2015   #4
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 152
I am your size, basically. 5'11", 180 pounds and Mamba 8.1 has been my main creeker and river runner. I love the 8.1.

At our weight, the Mamba 8.1 is perfect for learning, and for running everything up to Class IV creeking, and is great on bigger water of any rating.

Especially starting out, I would stick with it--plenty of volume to run everything you'll be running for a few years. If you progress to a point where you're running IV+ steep creeks, you'll probably want a bigger boat.

For me, the 8.1 has felt too small on two occasions, and that was 11Mile Canyon at very high flows (class IV creek) and on Lower Poudre Narrows (steep creek, V-) at higher than average flows. I've run other class IV creeks (Boulder Canyon, Lower Clear Creek, etc.) and its been fine. I don't currently run class V creeks and I'd like to get a Mamba 8.6 or a Nomad 8.5 or 8.6 (or similar sized creeker) for those occasions where I'm on a challenging creek or stepping up. But will be keeping the 8.1 for everything else.

To answer your second question, your feet should be solid and flat against the bulkhead without a lot of wiggle room. Your foot brace should push your knees comfortably up into the knee pads and you should have to push hard on your feet to get your knees out. Between the backband, hip pads, thigh braces, knee pads and bulkhead, you should be as snug as possible in your boat without things falling asleep or cutting off circulation. You should find that even when you're snugged in, you still come out of your boat just fine when you need to but it will be a bit tricky to get in to your boat initially. I would recommend putting at least 2 of the layers of foam that came with your foot bulkhead if not all 3, so you have some cushion for the pushin.

Also from my experience, you'll want your seat forward of the center point so start with that and set your foot position accordingly. I have ended up with my seat all the way forward so I can sort of lean back against my backbrace and still be fairly balanced. If you have better posture you may not need it all the way forward.
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Old 09-22-2015   #5
El Dorado Hills, California
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 28
Try to set up your outfitting like a running shoe- snug but not too tight or too loose, but most importantly comfortable
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