Karnali vs. Jefe - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-22-2009   #1
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Karnali vs. Jefe

I'm thinking about getting either a new Karnali or Jefe and was wondering what people thought about the two boats. I've got a small Burn now and I'd like to get something a little bigger because I'm in the upper weight range for the small. I'd really like to step up my creeking game and was wondering what anyone thought about boat choice. I love my Burn so I might even just get a medium. Any thoughts?

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Old 05-22-2009   #2
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Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 295
The Jefe is extremely forgiving. The transition from the Burn to the Jefe will take a few trips down the river, but it's an easy one.

Think about trying to stay in a really turbulent eddy on the river... a boat with edges like the burn will have the tendency to react more to the "funny" water. Hanging out in tricky eddies is a breeze with the Jefe because of its lack of edges.

One thing I do find in the Jefe is the increased difficulty of ferries. Initial setup is strong in the Jefe...but the Burn and Karnilli transition a little smoother and calculated.

In addition the rounded hull of the Jefe and pronounced bow and stern rocker make the boat extremely maneuverable and boofable! Landings from vertical are also smoother and safer with the Jefe's displacement hull.

I think you're creeking game will increase two fold with the addition of the Jefe to your quiver
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Old 05-22-2009   #3
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
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I tried them both (ended up getting a Fluid Solo and love it).

The Jefe is a full creeker. Full displacement hull. So coming from a planing hull like the Burn you'll feel that it paddles funny and it hard to make it go in a straight line (at least I did). Also being a displacement hull it won't carve so grabbing an eddie might need more muscle. Also the Jefe is a bit hard to roll (for a creeker, not compared to a playboat).

On the other hand the Karnali is a river runner with no edges. So it will be easier to paddle straight and catch the eddie. The chine placement makes it track really well, and since it doesn't have an edge it won't be so affected by the water under you. It also rolls very easy. I liked it a lot. Probably would have bought it if I hadn't got the Solo.

You'll probably feel better the first day on the Karnali than on the Jefe. Once you've paddled 3 or 4 times you'll love then just the same.

Also check out the Solo M or L (just to get you more confused)

Summary. To run more technical creeks Jefe. To run big water Karnali. But I don't think there's anything one of these boats can do that the other one doesn't.
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Old 08-11-2009   #4
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 7

You went with the Solo and obviously endorse it. Where does it fit into the scheme of things? does it have more edges than the Karnali? Which one tracks better? I am going to replace my Y with something more modern, but like very much the way it paddles (read: tracks well). Just from looks, both the Karnali and the Solo look like candidates. Thanks,

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Old 08-11-2009   #5
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Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
jefe kicks ass. its not as hard as some say to keep straight just takes a couple trips to dial it in and plus the outfitting=sitting on the couch while kayaking which is pretty unbeatable.like rastaman says, there isn't one of these boats that can do what the other can't. if you are comfy with edges and want to keep it that way get one with a little edge. if you want full on creek boat that can take some funny drops at the perfect angles without having to worry about catching or stopping on the middle of a drop the jefe is the answer. the peel outs and ferries can be a little tricky in the jefe. i noticed you have to initiate your edging and leans a little more to "carve" the boat but it still performs wonderfully. when the jefe is weighted with all your gear its like a semi truck. little harder to not keep straight. so i think you could load up with all your nessecary creeking gear and not have a problem controlling the boat. i have to say the jefe is the most comfortable creek boat/ river runner i have ever paddled. and it works in big water to. i have a bias vote for the jefe only cause i haven't paddled the karnali but out of the two when i was looking i picked up the jefe. and i need to throw up that Obie with the warranty department at Liquid Logic kicks ass. have my replacement hull on order. broke it during the second season and only cost 250 for new hull+shipping. great deal, great service, great boat, i have not one complaint except to throw in a akegerator and glasses in the back. awsome kayak for sure.
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Old 08-11-2009   #6
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The High Ground, Colorado
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Originally Posted by caspermike View Post
Obie with the warranty department at Liquid Logic kicks ass.
What he said. +1
"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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Old 08-11-2009   #7
pnw, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
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I was very happy with my Pyranha warranty experience.
"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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Old 08-11-2009   #8
Ft. Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 141
As someone who spends about 85% of the time in a playboat with chines and the other 15% creeking I found I liked the chined hull of the burn better than a true displacement hull. I could get used to a displacement hull and see its advantages but like Mike said the displacement hull boats handle a little differently than the chined hull boats and I found myself always trying to get used to the displacement hull at the beginning of a challenging run after being in the playboat for the past 15 runs. Easier to switch back and forth between playboat-burn than playboat-jefe or other displacement hull creeker, IMO.
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Old 08-11-2009   #9
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dropzone, Colorado
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totally worthless post

think anyone wants a roundhouse kick to the face when [you're in one of these] bad boys:

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Old 08-11-2009   #10
Join Date: Aug 2006
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rex kwon do

forget about it
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