Sizing Opinions for Remix or Zen - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-31-2017   #1
Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 2
Sizing Opinions for Remix or Zen

Hey there, I'm looking for a Mamba, Remix, or Zen for my husband, and we can't decide on sizing. We are newer paddlers, looking for a stable user friendly boat that's not overly difficult to roll. I have a mamba 8.1 that has been great for me. He's kind of between sizes though. He fits better in the mamba 8.6, but isn't sure between the Remix 69 or 79, and the Zen medium or large. He is 6'2", 190 lbs, size 12 feet. He's sat in all of them but isn't sure, and we don't have the ability to paddle them as a demo on the river.

I'm looking for advice or recommendations between these boats or something entirely different! Thanks!

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Old 07-31-2017   #2
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 287
A friend of mine sized my son into a large and said that he preferred erring on the side of larger. I am overweight and paddle a Large. My opinion is that if he fits, the larger size is more dependent on weight than height (again, assuming his legs and feet fit in the boat comfortably). At 190 he should be able to paddle a Zen medium. If he is older (pushing or past 40) he is likely to put on some pounds and the Large might fit him longer.

If you live in Utah the Large also has more room for a tarp and a sleeping bag for self supported westwater overnights.

I would also seriously recommend that you take a drive and test paddle any boat before you buy. You said you can't, but I never buy a boat I haven't paddled. Sometimes you find out random things like the foot bulkheads pinch your toes, or the seat pinches your butt and makes your feet fall asleep. These are things you can only learn by paddling the boat.

Outfitting has comes light years since I started kayaking in 1986 and the differences in comfort can be more important to a beginner that the boat style.

If in doubt, pick up a cheap used boat for now and wait until you can get to somewhere like Denver, Durango, Salida or Fort Collins where there are shops that have lots of demos available and water close by. I don't know if there is a kayak shop in the Colorado/Eagle valley between Grand Junction and Vail, but I would try. believe there is a shop in Steamboat Springs where you can demo in town.

Best of luck,

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Old 07-31-2017   #3
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 12
I'm 6' tall and weigh 185 lbs. I currently paddle the large Zen and used to paddle a Remix 79 for roughly four years. I know of a few guys who are a little lighter than me (175ish) who paddle the Remix 69, but I don't know of anyone in your husbands weight and height range who paddles the 69 or a medium Zen. I'd definitely recommend the large in both boat models.
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Old 07-31-2017   #4
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 287
I would defer to our friend from Boise.
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Old 07-31-2017   #5
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,827
Large ZEn al the way. He'll fit in a medium, but wont benefit from it.

I am 6'-1", 200-205, and I can and have paddled my son's medium, but feel no reason to.

The large is more comfortable and ultimately more stable.

Used ones should be getting cheaper as everyone gravitates to the Nirvana, and on for that boat, the size question will be harder to answer. I fit pretty well in the Medium, but have ordered a large, even though I haven't seen one yet.

(seven two 0)-298-2242
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Old 07-31-2017   #6
tango's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 729
Remix 79 or Mamba 8.6, they're both rad.

I am 5'10" and 180lbs, and have owned and loved both boats.
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Old 07-31-2017   #7
Blairsville,, Georgia
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 3
I wear 12's as well. The 69 is a tight fit for me so I went to the 79. Also in a 9R which has a bit more foot room than the 69, imo. Depends on what hull feels best as those you mentioned are very different.
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Old 08-03-2017   #8
Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 2
Awesome, thanks so much for all the advice! I think the larger sizes are where we'll look. If nothing else we'd have more room for overnight trips!
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Old 08-03-2017   #9
Bisters, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 421
Im 6'4" 205# and have a large Zen. Its an awesome boat but for multi day trips I feel like I'm too heavy. The edges sit pretty deep in the water which makes the Zen's forgiving nature diminish somewhat. Might be my heavy overnight kit, but when the boat is empty its amazing...
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