Help me decide between a Wave Destroyer or Legend. - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-08-2011   #1
 
Moscow, Idaho
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Help me decide between a Wave Destroyer or Legend.

I am shopping for a new, small solo cat, and I am having a hard time deciding between a Sotar Legend and an Aire Wave Destroyer. I will be keeping my 16' Jaguarundi for extended trips and carrying passengers. My highest priority is for day trips on class IV to V rivers with the option to step up to class V to V+ runs. My next priority is surfing ability. My least priority is for light weight extended trips probably no more than three days.

After a little research this is where I am at. A 12.5' Sotar Legend would be the most fun for the rivers that I normally do but I think it would be too small for me to step up to more class V and on to V+ runs. With Sotar, I could get a 14' Legend or customize a 14' or 12.5' boat to somewhere in between. After considering various length and tube diameter options I wondered if the Wave Destroyer (WD) was the better way to go. It appears that the WD has more rocker than Sotar, resulting in a shorter water line than a 14' Legend and I have heard that it is closer to the 12.5' Legend. The bow/stern design on the WD, with the steeper rise and quicker decreasing tube diameter, seems slightly more suited for large hydraulics than the Sotar. So, it looks to me like the WD has the length and design suited for big water but will still handle and play like a smaller boat.

I am aware that the 14' Legend is 10 pounds lighter than the 14' WD and that Sotar has better valve placement and more custom options than Aire, but at this time I am only interested in tube design. Any comments or recommendations would be appreciated.

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Old 01-09-2011   #2
 
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Correct on all your info. They are both superior tubes to anything else currently on the market. Can't go wrong with either. Blindfolded you probably would not be able to tell the difference. The aire tubes require a slightly shallower frame depth (i.e. no nrs) due to the welded seam on the interior interfering with lower placement of the d-ring. Aire told me that they could cheat it down about an inch for some extra coin. You won't need to, as most decent play frames seem to be pretty shallow. Hard to beat the super quick permanent peel and stick patches for the bladder. Top it off with a 10 no-fault warranty, and a legendary customer service record. I bought the WD's.
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Old 01-09-2011   #3
 
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Keep in mind that the 12.5 Legend is more comparable in size to the 14' WD, for many reasons. The legend is designed specifically for Class V rivers, you will actually see the vast majority of cat boaters on the NF of the Payette on Legends, and specifically the 12.5 ones. So I think you're off base with the assumption that it is not as good for a design for V/V+ water. However, you won't go wrong with either one (many passionate boaters on each side), although you can analyze it to death. My personal opinion right now is that the WD's are getting too "pencily" in the snouts (front and rear tube volume) for the big foamy drops, and tend to pencil in more. Their design is really close to the pre-Legend Sotar ST's if you line them up side by side.

Here's the cat parade from this fall's NF Rendezvous. They are so friendly even the NF Payette looks mild.

http://www.youtube.com/my_videos?feature=mhum

Have you seen Shelly's video? It's pretty good, and can just add to your confusion on which boat to go with. Keep in mind her 15' Aire was an early WD, kind of like a small Jag (bigger snouts/volume than current WD's), and her Sotar was really the first Legend, with bigger tubes than is standard now.

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Old 01-09-2011   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mttodd View Post
The aire tubes require a slightly shallower frame depth (i.e. no nrs) due to the welded seam on the interior interfering with lower placement of the d-ring.
Perhaps they are fixing this, or changing it. I know of a prototype 12' WD down in SW Colorado and the guy uses an NRS frame for it's breakdown functionality.
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Old 01-09-2011   #5
 
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Mania got his tubes before I ordered mine, so I'd be interested to see how the drop rail sits in relation to the bottom d-ring. Maybe he'll chime in. Every other wd with an unmodified nrs frame I've seen covers the d ring with the lower rail.
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Old 01-09-2011   #6
 
Moscow, Idaho
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Originally Posted by mttodd View Post
... Can't go wrong with either. Blindfolded you probably would not be able to tell the difference. The aire tubes require a slightly shallower frame depth (i.e. no nrs) due to the welded seam on the interior interfering with lower placement of the d-ring...
That's my problem deciding, I can't go wrong with either. Are the d-rings higher on the WD than on the Jaguarundi? I have a Jaguarundi with an NRS frame and, although the d-rings are higher than I would like, they work fine. Maybe the different tube diameter makes a difference. This will not be a problem, however, since I will be getting a custom made frame.
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Old 01-09-2011   #7
 
Moscow, Idaho
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Originally Posted by lhowemt View Post
Keep in mind that the 12.5 Legend is more comparable in size to the 14' WD, for many reasons. The legend is designed specifically for Class V rivers, you will actually see the vast majority of cat boaters on the NF of the Payette on Legends, and specifically the 12.5 ones. So I think you're off base with the assumption that it is not as good for a design for V/V+ water. ...
I had come to similar conclusion and agree that "the 12.5 Legend is more comparable in size to the 14' WD, for many reasons." But I am thinking that the WD will approach the performance of the 12.5 Legend while also having the advantages of a larger boat. I have the opportunity this year to do the NF of the Payette with someone with many years of experience on that river. As a first timer, if you could pick my boat for me, would you put me on, a 12.5 Legend or a 14' WD. I am hoping you pick the boat most likely to keep me upright.

I did not mean to imply that the Sotar "is not as good a design for V/V+ water." And the statement "The bow/stern design on the WD, ..., seems slightly more suited for large hydraulics" could have been better worded. But there is a difference in bow/stern design and I can not help myself from trying to analyze this difference.

My only tool to analyze the bow/stern design is my imagination and this is what I have come up with. Please point out any errors in my thinking. For any wave face or hole reversal, there is a large component of the force of that water moving opposite the direction of the current. To keep it simple lets ignore other forces including the upward component that will only help my analysis. When the bow of the boat, moving in the direction of the current, hits that water, there will be an opposing force applied to the bow of the boat. Since the bow is curved up, that force will tend to push the boat upward. Increasing the rocker should increase this force. Also, since the diameter of the tubes decrease toward the tip, there is more surface area near the bottom, resulting in more force pushing on the bottom of the tubes and a resulting upward force. This would be true for both the Legend and WD. I assume that penciling in to the opposing water is countered by the upward slope, rocker, height and decreasing diameter of the bow and has little to do with how pointy the tubes are. Does any of this appear plausible? Is there a better explanation of this interaction of bow and water?
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Old 01-09-2011   #8
 
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Lee-

I think all of your analysis is sound, as far as analysis goes. The main difference is taking it to the water and just going by how the boat performs. I also put a LOT of value into what boaters whom I respect think and boat themselves. That brought me to the Legend, and I don't think twice about recommending it to anyone who wants to get into catboating, and especially for Class V water. Keep in mind, I have some good friends who are super cat boaters and would say the same thing about their WD's. The one difference, is that I can really only talk about my experience and that is having no idea how to cat boat (I hadn't really even done a lot of solid Class IV, I certainly wouldn't lead it), getting a Legend, and running the Lower V on the NF within 3.5 months. This is extremely fast, and not something I recommend to others, it just worked out for me. Check this out, I like to go back and read it, it only got better fast at the Lochsa rocked that spring:

https://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f...e-24432-2.html

I don't want to discount the WD's, I understand Todd really likes his and I have another friend doing Lochsa boating and got one last year and rocked it. Some say everyone loves the boat or mfg they have, and that is mostly true. I still go back to thinking the Legend is the better design based on my experience, the experience of many others, and the degree to which most of the Class V catboaters I know run one variant of it or another. Many are starting to use a 11' model.

The Legend has a very long flat bottom section, making a short boat perform long. I think this means it turns into a tank over 12.5 feet, I DON'T recommend that boat if you have Class V in your sights. I do have a friend that got one this year, and uses it for carrying a passenger or lots of gear on multi-days, and for that it is good since it is stable. The WD's bottom line curves much faster, making it a better large boat. However they have been lengthening that over the years making it more and more like a late ST.

I can go on 7 day trips with my 12.5', but I just go lightish.

Do a search for threads, there have been a LOT on this subject. I usually reply using WD, so search for both Wave Destroyer and that, or also Legend. The last one someone went on and on about how the Legend was more flippy. A good example how a theoretical analysis doesn't really play out on the water. I love the Legend on IV and V. You do point out the one more accepted ways a Legend can flip, which is submarining the rear tips because of the volume. That which helps float you when you hit the foamy bottom of a big drop can be detrimental on the backside. The smaller tube of the WD avoids that rear flip but dives deeper in the front. Either way, you can analyze it to death, but I love my boat and recommend the Legend for your needs.

What boating do you have in mind for this spring? If you go for a Legend, you better order it now! What frame, surely a Madcatr since you're so close, right? His lead-time is often long also.

Lastly you'll need to make sure to hit the Lochsa this Memorial Weekend, it's sort of an unofficial cat-boat rendezvous and the best time to meet and boat with some of the best boaters out there. They are a welcoming group, and love to teach newbies (and especially watch their carnage). Reserved camps are sold out and I think you almost have to get there Wednesday to get a first-come first serve spot. There are bootleg spots all up and down the highway but Wilderness Gateway is fun that weekend. There's even a movie night from videos taken that weekend. I'm there most weekends in the spring except this spring I hope to be on SF Clearwater-Golden and Mickey Mouse a bunch before things come up.

Feel free to keep the questions coming, I know all the kayakers are LOVING another WD/Legend thread!

Laura
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Old 01-09-2011   #9
 
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The debate can go to great lengths. Buy what you are comfortable affording. Just be happy that the two choices you have are damn near pepsi and coke as far as real world performance. I was astonished by the performance of my tubes when I first ran them. It's almost like cheating. If you make it to the lochsa mem day you could probably squeeze in with our crew as we have two campsites. You are welcome to take my wd and ripoff madcatr frame for a run.
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Old 01-09-2011   #10
 
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the difference between a WD and Legend will be minimal to all but the most solid class V boaters, both are rocking boats, I'd go with the cheaper option, you will definitely not feel remorse buying either one. Both will maneuver like a sports car and take big hits like a tank.

Go with the cheapest option and spend the extra $$ on a frame.

I can say i wish my legend came with a extra layer on the bottom.....
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