Mountain Buzz banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Input please: I am 6'4/200# and and have only paddles class II in AL and TN since May, but am confident there. Rolling is coming along well but untested in whitewater to date. I currently paddle a Karma, which feels a bit like a SUV. I like the idea of a half slice such as a Ripper II, Antix 2 or Rewind (if I can find one).... need some advice from more experienced paddlers... stay with the Karma for a while longer? Easy transition to the half slice? or Better to try something like a Machno?
Thanks....
Abacosol...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Half slices are a lot less forgiving. Spend a season in your Karma in actual whitewater before making any changes. The skills you learn and ingrain in the creeker are important to trust before removing stern volume.
Thanks... I head was telling me this too, but my ego is saying otherwise. LOL.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Impossible to say for sure based on the limited info here. First off, what exactly do you want that the Karma is not providing? It sounds like you’ve got the stoke and are just excited to delve deeper maybe? Personally the only time I have ever bought a new boat was because I tried one that I just had to have. That has added up to way too many boats as it is! Every boat has lots to teach, whether it’s in the form of being kind and nurturing of certain errors, or demanding and exacting of more precise technique. Each boat has its pluses and minuses, but as a new paddler the only thing that really is key imo is a good fit. The rest starts getting subjective in terms of what you want, where you’re paddling, and how much you’re paddling.

Half slice boats are cool, and I have enjoyed several over the years. They are not the only direction to go in terms of furthering the performance and enjoyment of kayaking though. Hard to say what your experiences would be, and the boats you list are distinct from one another. I love only one out those listed, mostly due to fit issues, so your mileage will likely be different. I strongly agree about test driving one first.

In terms of your inferred questions about skill set and any adjustments needed, the biggest difference that is easily addressed would be edge control. Slicey sterns, low edges, sharper edges, less rocker, edges closer to the ends of the boat, etc will all translate to a need for more active and precise edge control. They will also test your roll a bit more for sure, especially when you are newer. That can be a good part of a paddlers development, but it can also be problematic. Hope that gives you a bit more to chew on and consider.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Are you in a large Karma or a medium? The answer could influence any guidance for you. The large Karma is huge . . like 103 gallons huge. I can understand how that could feel like paddling a barge.

I agree with others that its more important at this stage to get out in some class III and develop more skill and boat awareness versus getting an edgier boat and using that on more class II water to "advance" things.

That said, I can also understand the appeal of a different boat. Especially if you are paddling a large Karma. But rather than set your eyes on the half-slice model de jour, I'd look for one of many inexpensive used models that aren't hard to find, boats that are different enough from a Karma to help your skills (and enjoyment) but without the super-edgy (and super expensive) characteristics of some half-slices. Buying, using and reselling used boats can be a cheap way to check out different boat feels, with minimal cost of ownership per boat.
A large Zen gen 2 can often be found for $400-ish, is 89 gal (versus 103 large Zen), will still offer stability to be comfortable on difficult (for you) water, but a tad smaller and more fun to move around, surf a bit, etc. Or a Remix 79. A Diesel 80. Maybe a Mamba 8.6. Even an earlier half-slice like a large Axiom might be found for $400-500, and provide plenty of learning potential without price of newer boats. Hell, even an RPM Max could be argued a necessary stop on one's whitewater boat learning curve!

I'm about your size, fwiw, so one thing I'd warn about is making sure you can comfortably fit in an boat your pursue. Asking to sit in strangers' boats at put-ins/take-outs can help identify yes/no/maybe of various models.

Lastly, if you think there is a chance you'll become a longterm, skilled WW paddler with multiple boats, I'd hold onto the Karma. Maybe one day it will be your go-to boat for class IV/V creeks. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
You can never have too many boats. Each boat will teach you new skills. Get a half slice and it will feel like a fast slalom boat, let you do dip turns, stern squirts, etc. Today’s playboats resemble a bathtub and are pretty sad for playing on the river compared to a half slice.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top