Switch from Mamba 8.5 to Nomad 8.5....need some feedback. - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 11-23-2009   #1
 
Enfield, New Hampshire
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 390
Switch from Mamba 8.5 to Nomad 8.5....need some feedback.

Am thinking of switching from my Mamba to a Nomad, the only reason being that I hear the Nomad is faster and certainly easier to roll.Imay or may not get into creeking next spring, thats up in the air.
I need some opinions with re to the 2boats in that....
Does the Nomad hold a ferry angle better than the mamba,
How well does it track,
Does it at all front surf?
How is it in lower gradient but big volume water?

Thanx for your much appreciated help on this,
Jimmy.

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Old 11-23-2009   #2
 
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 586
Jimmy -
I have a Nomad and LOVE it.
But - it is not a boat for low-gradient, high-volume runs. It's a creek boat. It performs best on steep, low-volume stuff.
You can run a Nomad in big-water class 4 and it will do fine - but not better than a playboat. A lot of people have issues trying to get a Nomad to track and hold a line in big water, because that's not really what the boat is designed for.
Honestly, if you want to run low-gradient, big-volume stuff, I really think you're better off in a mid-size playboat - something with enough volume for your weight, but something that has edges. Maybe something like a LL CR or a Jackson Fun series ...
And a good roll should roll a Mamba just as well as a Nomad - a good roll will roll any boat as long as it fits you ...

-my 2 cents
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Old 11-23-2009   #3
 
Lakewood, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 509
FWIW, I recently paddled a Nomad after only ever paddling a Fun. This was on the Gauley; big water class IV. Granted I don't know how to paddle a displacement hull and the boat was probably too small for me (I'm 6' 180ish and I was in an 8.1), but I blew by just about every eddy I went for and couldn't ferry to save my life. Also, I took a swim after getting stuck in a hole that I probably could have extracted myself from in my Fun. I couldn't surf it, but I can barely surf a playboat so...

I would definitely demo it before you buy, but I would agree with ID and recommend something with more edge.
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Old 11-23-2009   #4
 
Aspen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 377
Jimm, if you are looking for a fast larger displacement hulled boat that ferries and surfs well, why not look at an old RPM. They roll very easily with the low volume rear deck and the slicey shape will feel shorter and more manueverable than a chubby creeker. Plus you can probably get one for $100.

I creek in a Nomad 8.5. It is a miserable boat to surf compared to any play boat. The fat stern will not slice the wave and you end up fighting getting type writered off the wave. think it will probably hold a ferry angle worse than the Mamba since it is more rockered. Like skis, there is no one boat quiver if you like a variety of boating. I would only get the Nomad if you were stepping up your creek boating. The Mamba will work fine for most class 4/5 boating, until it gets really tough.
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Old 11-24-2009   #5
 
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 491
Get a WS Diesel or a JK Hero
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Old 11-24-2009   #6
 
Lakewood, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 509
Hey Ken those are the exact two boats I'm looking at. I've paddled them both and they seem quite different. The Hero felt bigger and punched holes better while the Diesel was fast and nimble. I'm in between sizes on both. The Hero and 70 feel like a much better fit but it seems like everyone recommends the bigger size. I'm 6' and 180 lbs. The Super and 80 both feel enormous. I've seen you recommend these boats a few times; any suggestions? Is it that bad to be on the high end of the weight range?
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Old 11-25-2009   #7
 
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 491
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjpowhound View Post
Hey Ken those are the exact two boats I'm looking at. I've paddled them both and they seem quite different. The Hero felt bigger and punched holes better while the Diesel was fast and nimble. I'm in between sizes on both. The Hero and 70 feel like a much better fit but it seems like everyone recommends the bigger size. I'm 6' and 180 lbs. The Super and 80 both feel enormous. I've seen you recommend these boats a few times; any suggestions? Is it that bad to be on the high end of the weight range?
IMO I think the regular Hero should be a good size for you. It is a great performer and I don't think you are even close to overweighting its design. 75 gallons and a wide flat hull floats a lot. Reflecting on my personal experience, I am right at the very top recommended weight (165) for the Punk Rocker and think that boat performs perfectly for me. The Hero felt pretty huge on me. I could tell it is a great design. However, I think it would generally be better controlled by persons taller (more leverage and reach to get around its mass) or heavier than me. I have run my wife's Little Hero through some class IV that she wanted to walk around and found that, even though I am 15 lbs over its rating, it still boated much to my delight. So, I don't think it is bad to be near the upper end of the recommended weight range on the Jackson boats. They seem to perform supremely at their top weight range and probably even beyond. I do believe a person can have too much boat, which can deter the boater's control, endurance, confidence, and enjoyment.

Probably the Diesel's weight range is more sensitive. I love my 65, but think I wouldn't want to be too much heavier in it. I would think the old 75 would be great for you, though. Some people have told me they think the first generation diesels are better than the new generation. I haven't paddled the new to know myself (I would hope they would be even better). The old ones are great boats for sure! The new 70 is rated for your weight and may be ideal, but maybe the 80 is worth checking out since I generally feel that the Diesel's more sportier (frankly, I feel the 65 verges on playboat capability and yet I have enjoyed plenty of creeking in it) design lends to some performance decrease in the upper end of their suggested weight ranges. I have felt that Wave Sport boats do perform better in the lower to middle of their suggested weight ranges. Again, I don't have personal experience in the new ones to know for sure, though. Try them out is all I can advise.

Hope that helps you some. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and New Year!
Ken
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Old 11-25-2009   #8
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 34
Highly recommend the Diesel. I paddle an older 65 and am 5' 11" 165. I would say try the 70 instead of the 80. Technically I should be in a 75 but like you I felt it was just too big. I have paddled my Diesel on everything from big water on the Futa and the Upper Animas to beginner creeks like Castle Creek and SBC. It tracks and ferries great and is super easy to roll.
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Old 11-27-2009   #9
 
ashland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 222
The answer to all your ?'s are no. The Mamba was made for exactly the conditions you cite. Personally I'd keep the Mamba even though I'm sure the Hero and the Diesel would also be great for the things you say you're looking for in a boat . But the three are really just variations on the same theme. Unless you don't fit the boat ( you don't cite your weight & height) this could be a big factor in how the boat handels for you. IMHO, time spent in a boat is best way to have a boat that works for you.
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Old 11-28-2009   #10
 
Enfield, New Hampshire
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 390
Re fit...

I fit pretty well, inseam 32, wt 215, ht 5'11"s.
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