What kind of boat do I want? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-23-2011   #1
Calgary, Alberta
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3
What kind of boat do I want?

I'm looking for any advice anybody wants to give me. I am new to kayaking this season, but am fairly aggressive with a reasonable roll. I am 5'6 and 160lbs so in the awkward range of boats. I am looking to buy a boat but am not sure what kind. River-runnin/Play boats are being suggested, such as the fuse 56, varun, and the freeride 57. If i were to buy one of these, would I want something different right away as my ability improves? What would be the disadvantages of possibly getting a play boat right away as I see that is the direction I will likely be going? Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated!

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Old 08-23-2011   #2
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Salmon, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 102
jackson all star. There's one in swap for 350 right now. There's definitely people who will tell you that as a beginner you should buy a river runner, but in my opinion you're better off to go with more of a pure playboat. The best thing about the allstar for you? You'll be flipping... ALOT, and that will give you an opportunity to practice that roll some more.
Keep it Steep
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Old 08-23-2011   #3
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 161
I don't think your size is that awkward. Especially for the Jackson boats. EJ is not too differently sized from you and he builds boats for himself.
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Old 08-26-2011   #4
Haley Station, Ontario
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 82
All depends on where/what type of stuff you want to paddle! Do the rivers you paddle have lots of flatwater? Park and play? Deep waves, shallow holes..... The best advice I can give is try (actually paddle) as many boats as you can. It's truly the only way to know if you are going to like the boat.

Just my opinion,

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Old 08-26-2011   #5
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In a Van, Down By the River
Paddling Since: 91
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 517
Get a full on newer playboat. But there really is not a "one boat does it all" boat out there. That jackson boat mentioned above seems like about sweetness at a good price. But don't get all hung up on the "perfect boat" any newer play boat can rock it up. No matter what boat you buy, you'll get hooked and buy a different one in a year or so. Not because you out grew it but because you will just know more about what you want out of a boat. In the long run you will need multiple boats. after you get the play, you're gona need a creek boat. A soild play boat and creek boat will cover most of the water.. Don't do some inbetweener "fuse" type boat. They dosen't creek well or play well. They just kinda do the river running/play thing OK. You'll allways wish you had more performance.
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Old 08-26-2011   #6
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,113
Since you say you're aggressive and I assume willing to take some licks, a full on playboat is a decent choice. The Allstar certainly seems to be the most popular choice. I picked one up this year because I figured 100 people in the eddy can't be wrong.

If you picked up a Fuse, Fun or something in the river runner/playboat category you will not go wrong either. Many people use this as their only playboat, esp. those who don't do much park and play but like to do downriver play. You won't "outgrow' a boat like this. You can throw most any trick a full on playboat can throw, it will just take a little more effort. It will be more forgiving downriver (more speed, less edgy), which will be especially noticeable your first couple years of boating, but many people keep a boat like this around forever for downriver play.

FYI - I'm close to your weight and have the EZG50 (50 gallon) and Allstar and I think I'm in the sweet spot size-wise for both of those. The sizes available often help dictate what boat to get.

Bottom line: you won't go wrong either way. If you're jonesing to spend your days at your favorite park and play spot, you may lean towards a full on playboat. If you're more about doing runs down the canyon, then you may lean towards the river running/playboat. Eventually you will want a creekboat, but playboats will take you into class IV no problem and probably force you to graduate the next class when you're truly ready for it.
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