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looking for some boat suggestions from those who are more "in the know" than i might be at this point...

i kayaked for a few years while living on the poudre, and really enjoyed it. never got much better than the filter plant or mish run- primarily class III. most of the time there, i was learning in an old crossfire or borrowing a friend's rpm. when i moved to the idaho springs area, i picked up a 3D, but never got out in it much, as clear creek was always far more intimidating than the poudre due to its' unforgiving nature.

i've been a raft guide for years, and over the course of some multi-days, i've gotten back into friend's kayaks and played through several class III rapids- which has served to light up my fire to want to get back into kayaking. i'd love to be able to lash the kayak to the raft and occasionally hop out while my wife rows the rapids and paddler my kayak alongside.

as a result then, i'm looking for something that will offer me the stability i need to gain confidence again, but i'd also like to start learning to play a bit more. i'm about 5'11, 200 pounds. i'm drawn to a big EZ or super EZ, but i've been "out of the loop" in terms of the "new boats" world for a few years, so i'm hoping to get some other suggestions. further, if you have a boat you think fits the bill and are looking to sell, please let me know. i've got an ad in the "wanted" section of the swap.

thanks for your advice!
 

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Just about every manufacturer has a great boat and it really comes down to what's most comfortable to you. But I'll plug Liquid Logic.....I'd always been a WS guy but I sat in the CR250 last year and was sold. CR (cross river) is a great all around boat, I felt comforable running just about anything (minus wicked class V creeks) and it played really well for me.

I'm 6'2", about 220......and comfort was always an issue. My CR cured that and it performed great, down-river and play.
 

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Every boat manufacturer makes some kind of downriver/playboat hybrid. I've been in several of them and these are the ones I'd suggest (in order):

Jackson Fun series (either the 4Fun or Fun for you)
http://www.jacksonkayak.com/kayaks/product.cfm?product=funseries

Wavesport EZG 60
http://www.wavesport.com/kayaks/ezg/60.php

LiquidLogic CrossRiver 250
http://liquidlogiccrossriver.blogspot.com/

Dagger RX 6.9
http://www.dagger.com/product.asp?BoatType=WWKayak&BoatID=326

SIZE:
Key thing to understand about the dr/pb hybrid is they make different sizes for different types of people. So you have a lot of choices when getting one. For instance if you want more play than riverrunning then you'd let a lesser volume for your size. If you want more stability and less play you'd get your size or one up (if possible).

OUTFITTING:
Every company has a different solution for outfitting. Jackson has some of the best/worst outfitting out there depending on who you talk to (I like many of their ideas). It comes down to what YOU like. Keep this in mind, outfitting has come a long way sense the RPM days. There is no reason you should be uncomfortable in your boat. There is very little reason for any part of your body to fall asleep. If you're uncomfortable something is wrong with the outfitting. You should be able to spend a full day in your boat comfortably.

DEMO:
Above all, get in the boats you can and see what you like and don't like. The best would be to get on a river, but a pool will work, and even sitting in the different boats in the store will give you more of an idea of what you like and don't.

Good luck
 
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