Paddler Weight / Gallon ratio for playboating? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 01-13-2011   #1
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 350
Paddler Weight / Gallon ratio for playboating?

I was wondering. I know that more volume is better for loops, and less volume is best for cartwheels, but people do both in the same boat, so I'm thinking if you hit the right sweet spot in gallons/weight with a modern-design playboat it should hit that sweet spot that can do it all, right? Yes, I fully intend to demo boats, but not knowing any tricks, my demoing will at first be limited to rolling, bracing, ferrying, eddy-turns, and mediocore rodeo-rolls, and I can do all that with a boat that's too big or too small.

I weigh 145lbs, and I believe I am looking at boats that are from 47-55 gallons. I don't plan on packing lots of gear or anything when I use the boat, either. This'll mainly be my after-work play-park sessions.

I don't know if I can get a more exact gallon-range than 47-55 (or if I'm completely off), but maybe if someone has either figured out this equation, or someone who's experienced with my weight range might have some recommendations? Keep in mind, I don't know how to playboat. The closest I've been is surfing, and filling my boat with water and practicing the squirt/stall positions at the pool. I've received some good advice already, I think, but would like further input. Also, I've found that a company's official paddler-weight listing is hit-or-miss, but maybe there's at least 1 or 2 companies that are more accurate in this regard.

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Old 01-13-2011   #2
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 818
The problem with your question is that different manufacturers measure volume differently, or they just completely make it up. For instance, a "55 gallon" All Star is way smaller than a "54 gallon" ZG54. Just get in the boat. If it feels like it fits, it fits. Don't worry about the volume figure. Any medium sized playboat will fit you fine and you should be able to throw it around with decent technique.
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Old 01-13-2011   #3
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BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,493
Shape of the boat is as important as the volume for tricks. Newer boats can carwheel and loop because of how they are shaped with respect to the volume and paddler weight. Follow the manufacturer guides and get a boat that you fit in properly.
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Old 01-13-2011   #4
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 350
Thanks, I appreciate the feedback. It's good to know about the volume thing too; didn't think for a moment that they would be inaccurate about that as well. Sounds like I'm a little too focused on number crunching, when I should just go with what the MFG recommends for my weight range, plus what ever I seem to fit in alright.
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