Nomad 8.5 vs Med Karma - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-19-2013   #1
 
Enfield, New Hampshire
Paddling Since: 1990
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Nomad 8.5 vs Med Karma

Which of these 2 has the potential to give more confidence running cl 3/4? i.e. easier to roll mid rapid, speed, maintain a line, and overall stability?
paddler wt 200lbs.Not planning on waterfalls.

Thanks,

Jimmy.

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Old 07-19-2013   #2
 
Boise, Idaho
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Why a medium karma?

My thoughts, having demoed both the Mamba and Karma L, is that the Mamba is WAYYY more confidence inspiring and easier to roll and maintain a line.

But the Karma offers far more performance and, to me, feels like it will advance you more. And it's way faster than the Mamba.

I bought a Karma L (I'm 6'1", 215lbs) and it does feel big, but I love it.
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Old 07-19-2013   #3
KSC
 
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Boulder, Colorado
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I've paddled them both but weigh a bit less than you. They're both pretty rad boats so you won't go too wrong. I find I prefer the Nomad slightly more overall. The outfitting is more comfortable for me, it holds a line better and feels more predictable coming through features. I think the Nomad has slightly better acceleration as well.

That said, if you're more of an intermediate boater looking to do 3/4, you might find the Karma easier to control and I think it might handle 200# better than the Nomad. The Karma M is super maneuverable so you can make last minute corrections really easily. Initially I found the edge balance on the Karma a little funny, but once you get used to it (1 day for me), I think the parting line and edge shape offers more stability and less susceptibility to squirrely and boily water than the Nomad does. I thought the Karma paddles loaded better than the Nomad. I think each has its advantages and disadvantages and it largely depends on what features you value more.

In terms of your questions:
Rolling and speed: I don't notice much difference
Maintaining a line: Nomad's a little better
Overall stability: Karma's better
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Old 07-19-2013   #4
 
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Lakewood, Colorado
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I concur with Kevin though I find the Karma a little easier to maneuver but the outfitting between the two couldn't be more different. That might be the tipping point for you.
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Old 07-19-2013   #5
 
Boise, Idaho
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I can't read, obviously.

Sigh.
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Old 07-20-2013   #6
 
Enfield, New Hampshire
Paddling Since: 1990
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re boats

So I was thinking of swapping my Mamba 8.6 for either of the above 2 boats as 90 g vol. is proving too much boat for just river running, but I have an offer to trade for a 2012 Burn.How would this compare?
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Old 07-23-2013   #7
 
Missoula, Montana
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I have both boats and love them each in their own right. I weigh about 190 lbs and am 6'.

The nomad is straight up confidence inspiring. Very forgiving, and durable. It's also very wet, but as a creek boat I don't really mind.

The Karma (medium) is relatively new to me and is impressing me more every time I paddle it. I tried the large but it was simply bigger than I felt comfortable in. It's very fast and has characteristics from both planning and displacement hulls.

I think both boats are easy to roll and are worth the price. You can't go wrong with either. That being said, I am loving my Karma and it's getting the nod as my starter from now on.
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Old 07-23-2013   #8
KSC
 
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Boulder, Colorado
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Just an FYI on the Nomad leakage. I was super frustrated with how much mine was leaking to the point where I really didn't like the boat on that point alone. Through process of elimination, I finally decided it was leaking due to the way my skirt sealed around the rim.

The cockpit has a funny shape with a dip in the middle of it that I think make a lot of skirts not fit well. Based on a recommendation I found through a web search I bought a Seals Pro Rand 1.4 skirt and this solved my problem almost completely. Yeah, I still get a little water in there after a while, but it's negligible. I also have a strip of weather seal below the cockpit rim, which I left there because I already had it on. That might help a little bit (not sure), but mainly it's the skirt.
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Old 07-23-2013   #9
 
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIMM View Post
Which of these 2 has the potential to give more confidence running cl 3/4? i.e. easier to roll mid rapid, speed, maintain a line, and overall stability?
paddler wt 200lbs.Not planning on waterfalls.

Thanks,

Jimmy.
----
Jimmy,

I own both a Villain S and a Karma M. IMHO they are the two best boat designs ever. The Villain is a more comparative design to the Nomad, but is superior. However, the Karma is much different. Frankly, it should be exactly what you say you are desiring. It performs superbly, but above all it is amazingly stable. Either by accident or on purpose, I have tried to experience how well it fairs through class IV and V. It has thus far always pushed through upright. Much to my surprise sometimes, I've not been knocked over yet. The primary and secondary stability is tremendous. Just so you know, I practice rolls and it rolls very easy. Still, the Karma has shown me that it is well designed to keep one upright.

On a personal note, I am at the low end of the weight range for the M (which took substantial customizing of the cockpit for me to fit securely in such a large volume boat for me) and that has me floating higher in the water than you will in the Karma M. Frankly, I personally wonder if I would have been even more impressed by a Karma S, which I would have been in the high end of the range for. But, as likely true for you in the Medium, I think the stability and performance would still be there. For your size the L could be considered, but the M is likely large enough, more sporty, and still rock-solid stable. You are definitely within its weight range. The Karma boats smaller than it looks, and the L looks huge. The M looks huge to me. Bottom line: I think the answer to your question is the Karma.

Best wishes,
Ken

PS: I'm suspecting that my Villain S will still be my go to for tight, manky, or slide type creeks. My Karma is getting all my boating attention for rivers at the moment, though. Oh, and the Karma seat position seems best towards the stern. I find it to perform best one notch away from all the way back for me.
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