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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a beginner and recently purchased a Dagger Mamba 8.0 (probably a 2006 or so, not the creeker version). I just got in it and played with the outfitting. I'm 6'0 and 185 pounds and have long legs for my height. I felt a little strange inside the boat. I felt cramped a little and kinda felt like my feet weren't sitting right on the foot rests (only my toes were touching). Does anybody know what size person this boat is supposed to accommodate?
 

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Should be fine weight wise but you will have to paddle it to see where the seat position should be with your leg size. If the stern feels grabby move the seat ahead a notch at a time until the grabby feeling is reduced or eliminated. Foot pegs should adjust forward as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm wondering how my feet should sit inside the boat. I have size 11 or 12 feet and, the way I sit in the boat now, my feet have to sit with my toes pointing slightly forward. Does this mean that I'm too big for my boat? I was imagining that my feet would sit flat on the foot pegs / bulkhead.
 

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Ryan...does the boat have foot pegs or a foam bulkhead. I have a 7.5 mamba. My toes always point a little forward - but out to the sides...does this make sense? I think it would be quite uncomfortable for me to have them completely flat. Just make sure your foot cannot get stuck behind anything in the boat.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have the seat as far back as it goes and the foot pegs almost as far up as they will go. My heels (in socks) are an inch or two apart behind the foam and my feet point slightly forward with my toes bent and the front part of my feet resting on the foot pegs. It doesn't seem like it would be too difficult to get out of the boat and there isn't anything blocking me, although I wonder what it would be like with booties on. I tried to get in with my tennis shoes on and couldn't get into the boat.
 

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My husband has the same problem. In that case you will need to buy a pair of paddling socks and just wear those, then keep a pair of light runners or something behind your seat for portages and getting to and from the river. You can get neoprene socks with thin rubber on the bottom so they last longer. The mamba is a great boat.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I wonder if the problem might be solved if I sold the boat and bought a larger Mamba? Then again, I might not be able to find the deal on a larger one that I found on this one.
 

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You are in the right weight range for this boat, but the 8.5 would be longer.
Dagger Kayaks - Discontinued Models - Mamba 8.0

If you are new to paddling it is not un-natural to feel very cramped in a boat. It is so different than anything else we do. I love feeling tight in my boats. Makes me feel more in control. Yup...I did say boats. Some women buy purses and shoes. I buy boats. Ha Ha.
 

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If your legs are longer than average, the cockpit may be too small for you. The 8.5 would probably solve this for you, but it's a slug of a boat. It's not a bad boat, it's just not a very responsive design.

You said that your foot board is almost all the way forward. Try moving the board all the way up and get back in the boat while wearing your river shoes. It's ok for the fit to be a little snug. You'll want your thighs to brace up snugly into the thigh braces. It will feel awkward at first.

Have you been out on the river with your boat yet? If not, I would recommend signing up with a club or a commercial operation that specializes in teaching beginner kayaking skills before you go and buy another boat. Or, go with a friend who is willing to instruct you. This is an essential part of learning to kayak. These folks can help you get fitted to your boat while you are learning. A commercial operation might even have other boats for you to try out as part of their package of instruction.

Welcome to the wild and crazy world of whitewater kayaking!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think I'm going to fit into the boat, although it isn't as comfortable as I was hoping / expecting. That seems to be par for the course, though. No matter how I set things up, I seem to have cramped feet. I probably won't be able to tell whether my booties will fit in until I buy them. (The New Balance 574s I was trying to get in with probably aren't comparable, I'm thinking).

I'm definitely planning on taking lessons this offseason before ever trying to get on the water. I'm planning on joining Colorado Whitewater Association, taking their lessons and going on their cruises to get started.
 

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I think Nessy nailed it. Speaking from experience as a newer paddler myself, the first year of paddling I spent too much time trying new boats instead of just staying in 1 to learn rolling and river basics. The crammed feeling you are experiencing is kinda necessary for whitewater paddling offering more boat control,etc...plus if you are loose in the boat during a roll you will slip out of position easy in the cockpit. If your knees can go farther out to sides then they should be out there for leverage. I have seen 6' + dudes crammed into kid size playboats (for fun) without the foamblocks and they still float. So your 8 could be outfitted to fit you by shimming or shaving what is required. But definitely get on the lessons/pool sessions this winter.
 

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My Two Cents. That boat is too small for you. The mamba is a classic design that is battle proven. It's actually the first boat that dagger has ever made a radically redesigned second gen version of. But, the 8.0 is still too small for you.
A boat that is too small, will get tripped up on eddies lines, will be harder to turn than the larger size, and you may even find it next to impossible to boof. Further, paddling a boat without shoes on is unacceptable, unless you are from the southeast.
My advice, flip it and buy a bigger boat.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
After adjusting the boat some more, I think that the boat may fit me. I'm having a hard time figuring out whether the cramped feeling I'm getting is due to the boat being too small or to my adjusting to how tightly you fit in a kayak. I'm going to seek some professional, in-person, advice on the subject.
 

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Good idea to wait until someone with knowledge can see how you have outfitted the boat and how well you fit. Pool sessions would also be a great way to get comfortable with the whole paddling scenario. Much nicer to flip upside-down for the first time in warm water.
 

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Ethos Ten

I had an am having the same trouble. I have the WaveSport Ethos Ten, a very big boat ! I also have the Remix 69, great boat!! But very tight for me, I am 6'6" 200lbs, Needless to say I have had trouble finding a good one for my height . But what I did was go to the nearest outdoor center near you an demo the boats they have . Most will have the latest brands an will let you ride them before you buy. This will help you place your self in the right boat for you. I go the the NOC the Nantahala Outdoor Center. The also have classes for beginners , and a very good video called the Kayakers Toolbox. This is the best one I have found. Hands down! Very detailed on every thing. Just my experience as a new comer too. Good luck an have fun. I personally love this sport !! ..
 
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