Large boats for small paddlers? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-20-2011   #1
yakkeranna's Avatar
Canberra, OZ
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 168
Large boats for small paddlers?

So I demo'ed a Big Dog DropZone this past weekend and LOVED it. I've been paddling a Prijon Creeker 225 (v. small) for the past 2 seasons and was really wanting more volume and a bigger boat, and I think I'm finally strong enough to be able to paddle one. The Drop Zone is about as big as a LL Jefe (or maybe in between the Jefe and Grande?). I'm 5'6'' and ~135 lbs.

My question is- have any other chicas tried to paddle boats rated for heavier paddlers (the Drop Zone is stated for paddler weight 155-290 lbs)? Are there any cons to paddling a bigger boat if you're strong enough to maneuver it anyway?

I'm planning on demo-ing a large boat again this weekend to make sure I can handle it, but I wanted to see if anyone else had some firsthand experience...

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Old 04-20-2011   #2
Denver, Colorado
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Hole bait. If you go too big, you'll find yourself getting surfed a lot more often.
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Old 04-20-2011   #3
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Near water (hopefully), Colorado
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I'm no chica but I'm 140 and paddle a LL Jefe. If you are strong enough I say do it. Sure you might get surfed more, but its worth having the extra volume overall. Just boof those holes!
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Old 04-20-2011   #4
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Indian Hills, Colorado
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Depends on the river. Time to fill your quiver. In big water with big holes, I like to be more in the middle of the weight range (more melt through the holes). In creeks, I like to be on the lower end of the weight range to stay on top and not get pushed around as much.
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Old 04-20-2011   #5
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bc, CA
Paddling Since: 2007
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I paddled my husbands Hero and loved it too...but I am way to small for it. The only problem is, if you do a long run you will get extremely tired. It's easy to throw the boat around when you are fresh...and yes you will get surfed like crazy in holes. I found that out the hard way (scarey!) I now paddle a Little Hero which is more my size and am very happy.
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Old 04-20-2011   #6
Kayak, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 49
I would go with a Jefe or a Jefe Chico...
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Old 04-21-2011   #7
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2011
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I'm 150 and I paddle a Nomad 8.5.. the lowest weight rating is 150 for the boat so im barely there. Im more comfortable, and I sit higher so i can see more of the rapids which helps, and I bought it because I felt I was strong enough to use a bigger boat. The only thing that's a little more difficult is the roll so take that into consideration. So much more of the boat sticks out of the water when you're upside down, that you have to really be aggressive on your rolls. I hope this helps, I like my big boat but I would think about down sizing.. It all goes
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Old 04-21-2011   #8
ashland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Dec 2008
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No Chica here either, so I hope you don't mind my two cents. Getting something bigger than a Prijon Creeker doesn't mean you have to get something too big. Creekers and river runners in general have all gotten bigger over the last few years and it's been a good thing to my mind; better comfort and more storage.
At 135#'s I'd check out the smaller creekers like the; Jefe Chico, Nomad 8.1, Habitat 74, Villain ect... Before pulling the trigger on something with a recommended weight range above your weight first. I bet not only are these more comfy and have more storage room than a Prijon Creeker they most likely also turn and paddle better (no doubt they won't last as long though).
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Old 04-21-2011   #9
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
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My wife and two daughters each own JK Punk Rockers and love them. They are a bit difficult to find for sale, because they are so well liked. If you can find one you should buy it.
No risk, no reward. It is not that we have to, it is that we get to. Preparation and education are essential to self-confidence and success. - KV
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