Need a creeker...suggestions? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 10-27-2010   #1
teletumbler's Avatar
Golden Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 187
Need a creeker...suggestions?

I need to upgrade my creeker for next season. I currently have the first generation Jackson Rocker(less). It has been a good boat but hard to boof and has few cracks now so time to move on. I am starting to break into class 5 creeks so want something that offers a performance upgrade.

I am 5'9" 165 pounds. I like the idea of a soft edge on a creeker like the villian and habitat have, would like to be able to multiday with it and want it to take the beating Colorado creeks dish out.

Here is my assessment so far:
Villian: seem to handle well, but storage is limited and hard to access and maybe some durability issues.
Jefe: very proven boat, but have has some difficulty dialing in the thigh brace to be comfy when I have demo'ed it.
Habitat: friend just got this boat, looks good but don't know much about it otherwise
Nomad: new design has great access, seems to handle well, very minor edge but high on my list. Thoughts on size for someone my size? I like to eddy hop and the large seems huge!

Thoughts? Personal experience? Other suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 10-27-2010   #2
Provo, Utah
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 115
What about the Burn?
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Old 10-27-2010   #3
smauk2's Avatar
Near water (hopefully), Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
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Posts: 770
Fluid Large Solo Expedition

That boat has softer edges and is tough as hell. The expedition model has the hatch in the back for easy packing/unpacking.
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Old 10-27-2010   #4
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
Gotta move Jefe seat forward thigh braces and the outfitting on new liquid logics is top of the line.. buy used. Villian looks decent, as does most boats in the market. But you say rocker is what you want, go with Jefe.
The fluid with cargo bin is retarded. Get dry bag store it inside without the added poundage the fluid with cargo bin isn't an upgrade...
The nomad is fast! The Jefe has better seconadry stability. The habitat is in the middle of these. Plastic on Jefe nomad and habitat can be rewelded. The jefe nomad and habitat have been around for a reason.
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Old 10-27-2010   #5
PattyNYCO's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 297
Pyranha Burn! You will love it!
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Old 10-27-2010   #6
JDHOG72's Avatar
Wolcott, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 432
I went from a Rocker to a Burn and love it. Many people will say anything is better then a Rocker. I liked my Rocker but the Burn is so much quicker, boofs well and I like having the edges. Demo'd Villans as well and like the Burn alot better. I weigh 170 and have a medium. Storage area on the medium is not very good. Would get a large if you are planning to do alot of overnights otherwise what do you need storage for?
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Old 10-27-2010   #7
hullflyer's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 191
Have had a few of these boats. Habitat not very easy to boof. Nomad handles great but 8.1 too small and 8.5 too big. Fluid Solo is justway too flippin' heavy to carry up Vallecito or into Panda's and the edge is a bit tricky. It's true the Jefe Doesn't hold a line as well as a Nomad but way more predictable and a more positive feel going through heavier WW. Jefe is hard to pack for more than a big day mission. (My only real gripe.) Have not paddled the Jacksons but have seen plenty of them here where I live and people really seem to like them. The Villian S would suit you I think. The Villian L is F-ing Huge! I currently paddle the Jefe and will do so until I break it. 4th season now. I have my seat all the way forward with the B-Bulkhead. I have the older outfitting and most of it just fit me out of the box. Part of being a paddler is fiddling with your kit and getting the most out of any boat. Using hip pads from a LL in a Jackson or making your thigh braces fit with some foam from your local paddle shop. Tweak it and make the boat yours. SYOTR

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Old 10-27-2010   #8
teletumbler's Avatar
Golden Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 187
Good stuff so far, thanks. I agree on the Solo, a friend has one and that thing is a tank.

Patty - Does Bart or RA have a Burn to demo? I have access to most of the others, but haven't paddled the Burn yet and it appears that I ought to.

As for outfitting, I have been spoiled with my Jacksons I am similar size to EJ so they fit like a dream and I love the knee pocket. Would definitely be planning on padding out the Jefe, jsut can't do it with the demo.

Thanks again, keep it coming.
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Old 10-27-2010   #9
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,102
I mostly have experience with the Jefe and Habitat 80. I weigh 5-10 lbs less than you and am a couple inches taller. In terms of performance I like the Habitat slightly better but it's pretty much a toss up. Jefe is more nimble and has that wonderful bow and rocker profile that make it easy to boof and stay on top of the water. The Habitat doesn't have anything outstanding like that but feels more well rounded to me. It holds a line better, feels more predictable resurfacing and in pushy water, and is easier to roll. I would say it's not hard to boof at all, though maybe relative to the Jefe it is.

For me the Habitat's outfitting is one of the biggest pluses. The access to the stern is much easier than the Jefe's, I have way more leg room (maybe not a problem for you), and the outfitting fits me better. In terms of volume, despite the specs, the Habitat 80 clearly has significantly more volume than the Jefe. I think the Jefe is more comparable to the 74.

I just did my first trip w/ overnight gear down the Black in the Habitat and it barely affected the performance on the water. The Jefe felt quite a bit different loaded, though part of my problem was I didn't have room to move the seat up. I also had a little more weight in the overnighter I did in the Jefe. I still think the Habitat 80 wins out for multi-days due to the extra volume and easier stern access and overall roomier fit.

Again, despite the specs, the Habitat 80 feels fairly heavy to me compared to the Jefe and a number of other creekboats - though still not as heavy as the Solo!

I've paddled the Nomad 8.5 once and liked it. It felt like a lot of volume but I'm currently a subscriber to the bigger is better philosophy. I paddled the Habitat 74 for several days but my memory is not as fresh. I remember it being more nimble, not as good at holding a line as the larger one.

I think all modern creekboats have good designs. Given that, my personal axioms are as follows in priority order:
1) If it's not comfortable, it's not good.
2) When in doubt, size up.
3) If they don't warranty it, I don't buy it.
4) Popular = good. (think rentals, borrowing, selling, buying used)
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Old 10-27-2010   #10
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Thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
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Posts: 231
Man, we weren't thinking this summer. You should have done something like Middle or Steven's down in my Nomad.

Didn't you try the Burn at the beginning of the summer when Will demo'ed?
You ARE a soul, you HAVE a body.

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