habitat? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 01-10-2011   #1
montuckyhuck's Avatar
The Bitterroot, Montana
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 471

Ok so the Jeffe and Nomad obviosly have huge following, so what's the reason the Habitat doesn't seem to be as talked about/loved? I know I need to demo one but its winter and I just wanted to see what folks had to say. The out fitting is WS is great and it certainly is easyer to get gear in/out of the stern than the badass outfitting. Do you have one? Love it, hate it, or just wish you got a villian instead?

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Old 01-11-2011   #2
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 6
I already had a WS Diesel 80 and wanted a second boat. I knew I wanted a creeker so I looked at all my options for three months. I kept coming back to the Habitat 74. I finally bought it brand new. 2011 Inferno. I paddled it on New Years day and loved it. I noticed right away that it holds a line you put it on. I think it might be a while before I hop back into the diesel.
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Old 01-11-2011   #3
Bruneau, Idaho
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 10
Good boat

I run a Habitat 80 (170#, 6') and really like it. It works great on everything from creeking to flood water type stuff. I have used it a few days on 4-5 day self support and had alot easier time packing than a burn and a rocker. The plastic seems a little lighter than the Pyrahna and LL, but the outfitting makes up for it to me.
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Old 01-11-2011   #4
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 572
When I demoed one I loved the way it handled and the outfitting, but the plastic became more than mildly deformed from just cam straps on the rack. I went with the Bliss-Stick Mystic for its similar shape and performance, but much stouter plastic.
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Old 01-11-2011   #5
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,102
The answer to your question is mainly poor marketing. To my taste it's as good or better than the Nomad or Jefe. It's predictable, comfortable, easy to roll, versatile - not perfect, but as good a compromise in characteristics as I've paddled. Seems like you see more of them in California (my casual observation). I think there were some plastic scares in the beginning but I've gotten 1 busy CO season so far on mine without any major damage, which is better than I've done on Jefes in the past (I don't think it's any worse than most other brands of linear plastic). I haven't had to use it yet, but I've heard a couple favorable reports on warranty experiences. I paddled once with overnight gear and it did great.

No reason to shun it because you don't see as many on the water. I'm pretty sure that now that people are beginning to see me paddling a Habitat, you're going to see a lot more of them around.
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Old 01-11-2011   #6
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: May 2004
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Originally Posted by montuckyhuck View Post
Habitat -- Do you have one? Love it, hate it, or just wish you got a villian instead?
The Habitat should be considered a very worthy boat. I was completely happy with mine for one and a half seasons and had somewhat regreted selling it. I did buy a Villain S several months later and eventually figured out the seat positioning to like it as much and more than the Habitat. However, the Habitat does have the advantage of more stern storage and easier access to it. In retrospect ... for what little I sold my Habitat for I could have been just as content had I kept it. Although, the Villain does get my vote for the best creeker to buy if paying up for new.

In my opinion: WS boats always feel and perform excellent. Jackson keeps achieving top performance with their designs and provides an excellent warranty. Pyranha is a very close third rank overall. And, Prijon has always had the bomber plastic. Nonetheless, regardless of rankings, there pretty much have been no bad boat designed in the last 5 years. Still, I hold Jackson and Wave Sport as the two best bets for my hard earned cash.
No risk, no reward. It is not that we have to, it is that we get to. Preparation and education are essential to self-confidence and success. - KV
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Old 01-11-2011   #7
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Eagle, Idaho
Paddling Since: '78
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 795
Absolutely LOVE my habitat 80. I had some concern with the plastic when I first bought the boat...I bought it the first season it came out...which wasn't long after the EZG debaucle.

It has stood up through 3 pretty hard seasons with minimal (in my opinion) wear. Numerous Big South trips, OBJ, Daisy, Escalante.....not-friendly-on-the-plastic-runs and the boat is holding up great.

Can't say enough about how it feels to paddle....
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Old 01-11-2011   #8
B.V., Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 192
I like my Habitat 80 too. I came from a Jefe, and it paddles similar but with a little more edge. Still stays above the 'funny' water when crossing multiple currents like the Jefe does. Gear bags easily go in and out of the back, getting myself in and out also seems easy. The villain looked appealing for it's speed but I found a great deal before I got a chance to demo one. Verdict is still out on the WS plastic, so far so good. The boat does feel heavy, I haven't weighed myself but the specs say 42 lbs, I call BS on that. Shouldering the boat isn't as natural for me as the Jefe was, it just seems to dig into my shoulder awkwardly, no biggie though. So far volume seems large enough, I'm about 6' 190lbs, and would have purchased the Grande if I went LL for better overnight performance, but it seems to handle the load just great.
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Old 01-12-2011   #9
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The High Ground, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2008
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The guys who have them really like them and since I have a Fuse, when I look for another big boat I'll demo a Habitat for the outfitting.

One thing though is I have two friends, both red boats, that have thin plastic and cracking under the rim of the outside of the cockpit. Almost looks like somebody nearly penetrated them with a hole punch. Small circles of thin plastic, some through and through. One didn't know they were there until I pointed them out from my other friends boat.

Not sure what to make of it. If you have one, take a look and let me know if you have the same issue.
"Let us cross the river to the other side and rest beneath the shade of the trees." ~ Last words of Thomas Jonathan ''Stonewall' Jackson
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