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Discussion Starter #1
I have about a dozen days on the river under my belt starting with a Diesel 80 and then recently paddling an Axiom 8.5 (I'm 6', 190 lbs). I originally got the Diesel as my primary boat and thought the Axiom would be good for paddling easy class I-II stuff with my 10 y/o as I thought it would be above my limits on the harder stuff. However, I'm finding that I'm always wanting to paddle the Axiom as the Diesel feels like such a pig now. I also hate how it (Diesel) seems like such a "busy" boat to paddle where the bow will dart to the side if I stop paddling for even a second. It just hates tracking straight so I have to fight it all the way down the river!



For a new paddler, how much gnarlier would a downriver play boat like a Loki or the new LL Homeslice be compared to my Axiom (which I find rather stable)? When crossing strong eddy lines or trying to learn how to stern squirt the Axiom definitely gives me more combat roll practice which is fun so is it a whole other ballgame when you have a slicey bow as well? My combat roll has been solid on both sides but I haven't had a set back yet where I've had to swim and lose my confidence so I don't want to get too cocky.



My thoughts are to start using the Axiom on all III and III+ runs and get an even more playful boat for when paddling easy stuff with my son but I don't want it to be so above my limits that it turns into a shitshow when I move in to help him if he flips.



I'm also concerned about comfort as I've heard the Loki is brutal unless you are lucky enough to have it fit you just right. The Homeslice sounds like it's much more comfortable and I'm going to swing by the LL factory this week to sit in one. Thanks!
 

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If you can handle it, a play boat would be a lot of fun, and give you good combat roll practice. If you like the Axiom, paddle it.

I do have one concern about moving away from the more difficult to control creek boat (Diesel in this case), and that is because those skills are needed when you use a creek boat for challenging water. Play boats are great for teaching you a lot of things, but the one thing they are terrible at, is teaching good paddling strokes. They pivot so easy, that you don't have to properly paddle to keep them going straight. Every time I paddle my play boat, I have to retrain myself to properly paddle my creek boat.

And to be clear, I don't mean you shouldn't paddle those other kayaks, only that you should also paddle a proper creek boat as well. Those paddle skills are important to learn. It's also important to realize that your paddle should always be in the water, even if you aren't paddling. This is to maintain control of the kayak and add stability.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you can handle it, a play boat would be a lot of fun, and give you good combat roll practice. If you like the Axiom, paddle it.

I do have one concern about moving away from the more difficult to control creek boat (Diesel in this case), and that is because those skills are needed when you use a creek boat for challenging water. Play boats are great for teaching you a lot of things, but the one thing they are terrible at, is teaching good paddling strokes. They pivot so easy, that you don't have to properly paddle to keep them going straight. Every time I paddle my play boat, I have to retrain myself to properly paddle my creek boat.

And to be clear, I don't mean you shouldn't paddle those other kayaks, only that you should also paddle a proper creek boat as well. Those paddle skills are important to learn. It's also important to realize that your paddle should always be in the water, even if you aren't paddling. This is to maintain control of the kayak and add stability.

That's a good point! I will definitely keep a big boat in the quiver.


Having never been in a play boat, my main question is about how much more challenging would a boat that's slicey on both ends be compared to my Axiom? The transition from my creeker to the Axiom was easier than I thought and I think the width of the Axiom (25.5") makes it fairly stable. The Homeslice is 26" wide (same width as my Diesel) and 55 Gal vs the 63 Gal Axiom. The Loki is 24.75" wide.
 

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That's a good point! I will definitely keep a big boat in the quiver.


Having never been in a play boat, my main question is about how much more challenging would a boat that's slicey on both ends be compared to my Axiom? The transition from my creeker to the Axiom was easier than I thought and I think the width of the Axiom (25.5") makes it fairly stable. The Homeslice is 26" wide (same width as my Diesel) and 55 Gal vs the 63 Gal Axiom. The Loki is 24.75" wide.
I've not paddled an Axiom style boat (I should), but when it comes to a playboat like a Rockstar, Jed(i), Jitsu, etc. the problem isn't that both ends are slicey, but they are much shorter. The sub 6 foot style boats are much tippier front to back. The slicey bow shouldn't pose that much of a difference, other than allowing you to bow stall, and submarine holes. Although there are a few times that the bow might catch some water, it's mostly the stern that gives new boaters difficulties when crossing eddy lines.
 
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