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Boat Advice: 6'1" 165# Sz.9 Montana

2701 Views 12 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  MT4Runner
I've searched the forum and have a bunch of info swimming in my head.


I'm a novice. Sold my InaZone 230 in 2004 and have regretted it since. I haven't been in a WW kayak for 8 years, but could roll and had a day of lessons in Idaho. We recently moved to Bozeman, MT and my rental house came with a Wavesport XXX that I'm pretty sure I can't fit and wouldn't be the best option for getting back into the sport. I figure I can get ~$150 for it.

Low Budget:

At 6'1" 165# and sz.9 feet, I'm looking for a reasonably comfortable older boat to run class II or III. It must be reasonably forgiving and playful. My interests tend toward playing on smaller features and waves. Nothing that would kill me if I didn't make my line. ;) I have a bit of a phobia of drowning, but river running and playing appeal to me.

I'm looking in the $400 price range. (Way too many other hobbies... and kids). If price were not an issue, the JK Fun or the WS Fuse 56 look like good boats for what I want to do. My question is at my height and weight, what boats from the past should I be considering to get down to my price range?

Maybe the EZG 50?

Thanks all, Seth
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I've had a bunch of fun with my old Dagger RPM. Plays well and is a fairly forgiving boat, but it's pretty apt to turtle (go over only halfway: needing to be rolled twice to get up, once to get all the way over and again to roll fully), but I've never had any problems with it.


This boat gets mentioned a lot and there must be something to it. It does seem to be a legendary all around design. It sounds to me like it's easy to roll, fast and maneuverable, and pretty forgiving. It's also like 15 years old. Haven't designs improved quite significantly and aren't there better boats that are also easy to roll and good all around that are half the age?
Sorry, that came out wrong. It's not that I'm saying that the RPM is a bad choice... just wondering aloud if boat design hasn't developed to the point that there are better boat designs than the RPM but with the same likable features that made it so loved by paddlers? Basically, are there other newer legends, or is the RPM still so easy to recommend because it was really that much of a stand out?
You can probably get a Fun in your price range. Mine is a 2010 4fun and I can't imagine it's worth more than 350. I once paddled a big ez and while it was great at front surfing, my legs went to sleep within ten minutes. That might be because I am not very flexible. I think newer boats are more comfortable, so if you are going for an older one, make sure you can sit in it without discomfort.

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Thanks Lemsip

That's good advice. I'll have a sit in the boat for a good long while and see. I'm pretty flexible, but I have heard that newer boats are more comfortable.

That would be great to find a Fun in the $350 range. Exactly what I'm looking for I think. I noted you mentioned the Big EZ. That is a pretty old boat (2001-2006). The EZG that I mentioned is a generation newer (2005-2008). Don't know when they changed outfitting. I found the InaZone 230 to be uncomfortable for a couple hours and then I needed a stretch.
I'm about your size. Do yourself a favor and don't start in an RPM. I did, and I didn't really start progressing as a boater until I switched to a more modern planing hull boat. My second boat was a Wavesport EZG 50, and I had no idea what I had been missing with the RPM--I loved it in comparison to the RPM. I had more fun, I spent a lot less time unexpectedly upside down or vertical, the outfitting was MUCH better, and I progressed a lot faster -- learning to surf and use my edges to catch eddies and ferry across the river. Funs and Fuses are similarly great boats, similar to the EZG. Other brands have had similar models (Varun, Kingpin, CrossRiver, etc.). Larger planing hull boats (Mamba, Diesel, Hero, Remix) are also good to learn in.
Thanks Roberts, I figured the same, so it's good to hear from experience. I know that the outfitting and comfort has improved in recent years, but also I think getting used to a RPM hull before inevitably moving to a more modern and very different design wasn't what I wanted. Prices are low enough on more recent boats that are also made to be enabling for learning. I looked up reviews on the boats you mentioned and I'm impressed with the Varun--exactly what I'm looking for. A modern InaZone. A Varun, Fun, EZG, or Fuze seems to fit the bill.

That said, the RPM has some sort or legendary status and often comes up in threads like this. So lots of people do remember them fondly. I just don't think it's for me. Especially since I want to run smaller water and play on smaller features on my journey down stream.
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Forget the RPM, horrible boat. I paddled a big EZ one day and same experience. Legs went to sleep quickly. Nice boat but not comfy at all. The season is winding down and demos are selling at CKS and many other places. Should be a Jackson in there somewhere for sale if thats what you want. It sounds like you are thinking river play so the fun would be a good choice.
I'll have to see what shops are around Bozeman area (we just moved here) and ask about demos. Thanks for the feedback.

The EZG is newer I think than the Big EZ. Any idea if the comfort/outfitting is better?
Yes I believe it is quite a bit more comfy.
I have paddled most of the boats mentioned in this thread. When I first was learning I tried the RPM and absolutely hated it. I switched to Fun and never really looked back. I have also paddled an EZG and it is also a great boat that actually paddles very similar to a Fun (the older generation Funs anyway). As was mentioned by someone else, a planing hull river runner like a mamba or burn would also be a good choice.

You should definitely be able to find a used Fun for $400. The EZG is a fine boat too, and you should be able to find some cheap since they are so old.
I miss my Big EZ. I used to do all kinds of fun stuff in it.

But it put my legs to sleep and I'm 10 years older now. *sigh*
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