XP10 v. tourer in class II wave train? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-29-2011   #1
 
Jackson, Wyoming
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XP10 v. tourer in class II wave train?

Yet another XP10 question. I am enjoying thinking this through and learning a lot from y'all -- I appreciate it.
Would an XP10 be more stable (less likely to flip) in a class II/maybe II+ straightforward wave train than my 14' (x24") tourer? Here is my novice speculation: Due to its greater maneuverability, if one were to get off line (not T to waves), the xp10 would be much easier to get back on line. I'm actually pretty darn certain of that part! And it may be the most important difference.
However, once on line with the waves, would there be much difference between these boats (and what is it about the boat to account for that)?
More speculation: There wouldn't be a HUGE difference. Nine times out of 10, you'd just go splashing through the wave train per normal.
Other: the longer boat could reach across small holes better which could help avoid a flip. Also, It would reach the "next" wave sooner, so you wouldn't be as low in the trough (and is that even relevant to stability)? What about the V bow and stern of the tourer? -- I suppose that would slice through the waves a bit more -- not sure if that would actually affect stability. Seems like the V would be pushed around by the likely swirlies after the train more than the flatter bottom. Thoughts???
Thanks. While XP10 is in the subject line, this really is a bit broader -- my learning about boat shape and behavior in moving water. Thanks very much!

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Old 08-29-2011   #2
 
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Here's an XP10 going to work in a good sized wave train. The paddler thought that the boat was easy to keep on line, and the boat held enough momentum to punch one of the bigger holes in the Grand Canyon.
Running the meat in a Liquid Logic Remix XP10-Colorado Kayak Supply - YouTube
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Old 08-29-2011   #3
 
Jackson, Wyoming
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Anohter possibly significant difference: the speed (momentum) of the tourer might keep you moving on a wave that could stop the slower boat -- again, if true, not sure how much dfference that actually makes -- if get stopped, just dig into the green -- i guess while stopped there is some greater chance to flip. (Of course, having a good combat roll would make this whole discussion somewhat moot!)
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Old 08-29-2011   #4
 
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You won't really learn what a whitewater kayak is capable of until you paddle it through whitewater. Studying and thinking about performance is important, but you need to feel the boat to build up a set of basic skills that become instinctual. Have you considered taking a multi-day introductory whitewater kayaking class? There is no substitute for personal instruction from a certified whitewater instructor.
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Old 08-29-2011   #5
 
Jackson, Wyoming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nessy View Post
Have you considered taking a multi-day introductory whitewater kayaking class?
Yes, I actually took day 1 this weekend (lots of eddy turns in a Remix, not XP), but had to bag day 2 (long story); so didn't get to the type of wave train I brought up here. (Late day 1, just got introduced to bracing -- didn't get to really practice -- which I assume is one of those things that needs to become instinctual if taking an XP10 much beyond the "rec boat" end of its spectrum.)
Now that I have a dedicated lake boat (16.5' x 22'), I am leaning toward an XP10 largely to replace the river end of my "general purpose" tourer -- the class I and II sections of the river. I enjoy the maneuverability of the XP10 vs. the tourer. And per my earlier thread on XP10 v. std. Remix, I am convinced (from both discussion and experience) of the benefit of the skeg in the flatter water. But I still haven't demoed the XP (or Remix) in a class II wave train (where I have successfully taken my tourer); and late season sales are coming up!
Hence the question: will the XP10 be generally as stable as my tourer in such a wave train -- maybe more (and let's say even w/o yet learning the WW "instinctuals"). I suspect the answer is yes, the reviews/reports on the XP saying it is very stable. I do know the XP10 has serious WW capabilities beyond Class II; I may or may not develop the skills to take advantage of that. (Having an XP would let me practice some of the WW basics I learned in day 1!).
I bet the answer to the question in bold is: Even w/o additional skills, if I can take my tourer through a wave train, I can take an XP through the same wave train. Correct me if wrong.
As said, I also enjoy learning/hearing about boat shape and peformance -- hence some of the more detailed wonderings in the original post.
I appreciate the effort/suggestions to help me out/help me learn.
Thanks!
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Old 08-29-2011   #6
 
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I haven't been in a touring kayak in whitewater and I've never seen one in II/II+ water. I would imagine that the v-shaped hull would make a touring boat less stable due to its inability to perform quick direction changes. Negotiating eddies successfully, especially with a strong current, might be nearly impossible with a touring boat. If you were to ever get into strong funny water with your touring boat, you could get flipped very quickly. The bottom line here is, don't paddle a sea kayak in whitewater. You're asking for trouble if you do. BTW- The Remix you paddled on day 1 of your class will handle almost exactly like the XP10. Also, you should know that you missed out big time by not completing day 2 directly following day 1. You might consider going back for the full 2-day experience.
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Old 08-29-2011   #7
 
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I think that clip of a XP10 running Crystal down the meat speaks for itself as for as the boat's ability to run the gnar.
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Old 08-29-2011   #8
 
SW, Colorado
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Can't answer your question about the 2 specific boats but I do have some input on the general notions involved.

I am one of several people who have paddled a sea kayak (16.5' long x 22" beam) on Class II+/III. It was a stupid thing to do for someone who had virtually no WW experience at the time but it was doable. This was on 2 sections of the Colorado (Dotsero to Bair Ranch one day, and Grizzly Creek to Two Rivers Park the next day) during a record-setting period of flows in mid-May 2003. While most of the river was pretty much just point-and-paddle straight down, there were a few intimidating places, in particular one spot where roaring 4' walls of white caromed off the suddenly-narrowed sides of the canyon, crashing together in the middle. Luckily, I knew to paddle hard, high-bracing on both sides in quick succession as the boat rocked violently from being slammed, and I made it through upright. If I had known how stupid it was, I wouldn't have gone, but I was too new to understand. I didn't even have a helmet, and the person in charge had not mentioned them.

You are right in that long boats have momentum to help carry through rough sections. Lots of speed potential. But you have to be able to get/keep it pointed where you need to go in the first place. Without that ability, you are likely to get broached and flipped a lot...HOW'S YOUR ROLL? And if you do get broached, a longer boat requires more river width to clear than a shorter boat does.

So the answer to the question of how suitable is a long boat in whitewater is partly, "IT DEPENDS ON YOUR SKILLS." But it is also partly a question of WHICH "TOURER" are you talking about. Some so-called tourers have lousy outfitting, which means that body contact/edging is insecure. Some are not meant for rough water at all, whereas real sea kayaks are intended to handle big, big rough water...assuming the paddler has the skills and the "engine."

Another thing you should consider is whether the long boat in question has sealed bulkheads. If it does not, stuff it with float bags. Long boats, when flooded, can go into what is known as the Cleopatra's Needle position. Without sealed compartments or lots of float bags, that's a tremendous amount of water at 8 lbs/gallon.

If anybody thinks that sea kayaks cannot be paddled well in waves and strong currents, I suggest that they view the 4-DVD series by Justine Curgenven, "This is the Sea" 1, 2, 3, and 4. Aside from lots of stunning videos of paddlers maneuvering in huge ocean waves and extremely strong/fast tidal races, the #4 DVD includes a piece showing two paddlers on the Ottawa River. You might be very surprised at what good paddlers can do with long, skinny boats in extremely rough water.

And learn to roll, because if you ever take your 16-footer to the ocean and there are waves, rips, or strong tidal flows, you will need it just as much as you do paddling a WW boat on a WW river. More, actually...because shoreline might be miles away. (Ever heard of kayak surfing--not just on a standing wave on a river but actually speeding forward? It can be done in either dedicated surf kayaks OR sea kayaks.)

If I were you, I would get the short boat and sell the 14-footer, simply because you have a 16-footer that can do whatever the 14-footer does, and probably more. Then find good instruction and practice, practice, practice in both the short boat and the long one.

Take the marketing descriptions of "stable" with a grain of salt. Of course they are going to say it's stable. If you can RENT the XP10, that would be a good thing to do before deciding to buy.
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Old 08-29-2011   #9
 
Jackson, Wyoming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okieboater View Post
I think that clip of a XP10 running Crystal down the meat speaks for itself as for as the boat's ability to run the gnar.
But running the gnar is a partnership between boat and boater.
I'm convinced of the boat's ability! To get my novice-ness into it, I asked if what I could run in my touring boat, I could run in the XP. The answer seems to be yes -- based largely on the extra manueverability and perhaps even extra stability of the XP in funky water. Being a novice, I'm open to being corrected.

P.S. As far as touring boats in class II, this particular section is rated by the local shop as class II but it is definitely doable in a touring kayak probably not for a first-timer, but w/o being any kind of expert (no tight eddy turns necessary, and the wave train is avoidable). I would hesitate with high water's powerful currents, eddylines, swirlies and general turbulent chaos, but I don't think it is especially nuts to run a touring kayak here otherwise. FYI, the wave train discussed is King Wave on the Snake in Wyoming below the confluence wth the Hoback. (The waves were pretty darn steep at 9.5K, steeper than at 25K and steeper than at 7.5K -- w/duckies so far this high water year.)
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Old 08-29-2011   #10
 
Jackson, Wyoming
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H2UhOh, thanks for the detailed reply. Glad you made it through those setions in your long, skinny boat! -- good story. And I am curious to see the DVDs you mentioned. I, for one, am not promoting touring boats in WW. I just happen to know this section and have been down it many times (and with others) in touring kayaks. FYI, boat is Necky Manitou 14 -- 2 sealed bulkheads, decklines. Yes, I am leaning toward your suggestion to get the short one and sell the 14' -- but guests feel good on the lakes in the 14' (being 24" wide). What I need is a bigger garage!
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