Wavehopper vs. Speeder - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 05-08-2009   #1
 
Bethesda, Maryland
Join Date: Sep 2008
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Wavehopper vs. Speeder

Any thoughts on how these boats compare? I want to get one of these and I am not sure how they may perform differently. Thanks, Matt

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Old 05-08-2009   #2
 
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Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
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I have one of each. The Speeder is faster in flat water, is a little longer, has less rocker so it is a little less maneuverable. The Speeder is a better option if you are interested in the boat as a cross over touring/whitewater/fitness. I did a self support overnight out of it last year and had a blast. I am planning to do more this year.

The Wavehopper, which is not commercially available in the US anymore, is basically a plastic wildwater boat. It is a little more maneuverable, better in bigger whitewater because it sheds water more effectively and can be turned a little more quickly. Wavehoppers are slower in flat water or on rivers with little whitewater, than the Speeder and does not track anywhere near as well as the Speeder. Wavehoppers tend to waggle a little down the river. The Wavehopper does not have the dry hatch so it is not as good for overnighters. For pure wildwater paddling the Wavehopper is a better choice. If you can buy one used it is a good choice just becuase they are so hard to find these days. They still make them in the UK, I wish they would bring them back to the US as well.

I trained wildwater all winter and paddled the Wavehopper mostly becuase it performed the most like my composite boat. However if I was just choosing one for a variety of options including wildwater and flat water touring I would go with the Speeder. Hope that helps.
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Old 05-08-2009   #3
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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If you are training for Wildwater/down river racing get the Wavehopper and buy yourself a wing paddle. You won't regret it. I take my wavehopper out when the river is low and rocky. I also use it when the river is too high for my comfort level in my DR boat.

but I agree with Mike on Selfsupport prowess of the speeder. also good luck finding a wavehopper.

Mike are you hitting the Fibark races?
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Old 05-08-2009   #4
 
Bethesda, Maryland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Harvey View Post
I have one of each. The Speeder is faster in flat water, is a little longer, has less rocker so it is a little less maneuverable. The Speeder is a better option if you are interested in the boat as a cross over touring/whitewater/fitness. I did a self support overnight out of it last year and had a blast. I am planning to do more this year.

The Wavehopper, which is not commercially available in the US anymore, is basically a plastic wildwater boat. It is a little more maneuverable, better in bigger whitewater because it sheds water more effectively and can be turned a little more quickly. Wavehoppers are slower in flat water or on rivers with little whitewater, than the Speeder and does not track anywhere near as well as the Speeder. Wavehoppers tend to waggle a little down the river. The Wavehopper does not have the dry hatch so it is not as good for overnighters. For pure wildwater paddling the Wavehopper is a better choice. If you can buy one used it is a good choice just becuase they are so hard to find these days. They still make them in the UK, I wish they would bring them back to the US as well.

I trained wildwater all winter and paddled the Wavehopper mostly becuase it performed the most like my composite boat. However if I was just choosing one for a variety of options including wildwater and flat water touring I would go with the Speeder. Hope that helps.


Thanks. That is perfect. I assume that the Speeder is a lot more comfotable on long paddles? What about ease of rolling and making attainments?

I have been paddleing for several years and want to paddle downriver for fun and fitness and enter some downriver races (I/II/III) when I get the hang of it.
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Old 05-08-2009   #5
 
Bethesda, Maryland
Join Date: Sep 2008
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Wing Paddle

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Originally Posted by sward View Post
If you are training for Wildwater/down river racing get the Wavehopper and buy yourself a wing paddle. You won't regret it. I take my wavehopper out when the river is low and rocky. I also use it when the river is too high for my comfort level in my DR boat.

but I agree with Mike on Selfsupport prowess of the speeder. also good luck finding a wavehopper.

Mike are you hitting the Fibark races?
What does the wing paddle do exactly?
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Old 05-08-2009   #6
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Wing paddles provide a forward "lift" to the paddle using the Bernoulli effect, same as an airplane wing. They take a while to get used to, but are essential for the next step.... yes, they will make you fast.

I have a medium Burton:
Zástěra composites
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Old 05-08-2009   #7
 
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Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sward View Post

Mike are you hitting the Fibark races?
for sure. Nationals and then the marathon. All that cold, lonely paddling January-March has to be for something right?

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Originally Posted by mattskayaking View Post
Thanks. That is perfect. I assume that the Speeder is a lot more comfotable on long paddles? What about ease of rolling and making attainments?
The Speeder is really stable. You can sit still in a river and not paddle and not get the sketchy feeling you get in a wildwater boat. The Wavehopper is pretty stable as well. The Speeder rolls as easily as a regular whitewater boat. The Wavehopper rolls more easily than a wildwater boat but not as easily as a creek boat or the Speeder. I think the Speeder is very comfortable. The outfitting is great.

Attainment in both boats is challenging at first until you learn how to control something that turns so slowly, but it is a great skill enhancer to attain and will improve your skills in either boat quickly. I don't know how to compare them though because I always do attainment workouts in my wildwater boat.
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Old 05-08-2009   #8
EZ
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Wildwater boat?

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Originally Posted by Mike Harvey View Post
for sure. Nationals and then the marathon. All that cold, lonely paddling January-March has to be for something right?



The Speeder is really stable. You can sit still in a river and not paddle and not get the sketchy feeling you get in a wildwater boat. The Wavehopper is pretty stable as well. The Speeder rolls as easily as a regular whitewater boat. The Wavehopper rolls more easily than a wildwater boat but not as easily as a creek boat or the Speeder. I think the Speeder is very comfortable. The outfitting is great.

Attainment in both boats is challenging at first until you learn how to control something that turns so slowly, but it is a great skill enhancer to attain and will improve your skills in either boat quickly. I don't know how to compare them though because I always do attainment workouts in my wildwater boat.
Mike, what is a good example of a pure Wildwater boat? (Not a Wavehopper).

Also, what is that big Hump on the Wavehopper for?

Thanks!
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #9
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
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Wavehopper Kayak

I've run a lot of rivers with the Wavehopper since 1999... I've owned 3 different boats and this kayak is definitively my absolute preferred kayak !
Of course not recommended for creeking or low water... But with it I've run in Italy the Nera gorges, the Mastallone and Sermenza gorges, and all the Sesia runs (included Salto di Piode, Alpin run and Balmuccia Rapid and gorges). It is a race model, but very stable and easy to run... Next trip with the Wavehooper should be the Colorado Gran Canyon next September 2019.
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