river runners have become popular due to certain needs. Not everyone wants the hot rod, end o' end, aerial beast but also not looking to be "that dude in the cruise control" (please, fellow Controllers, I come in peace). Reasons I have seen the increase in river runner production.
1. A boat that is more forgiving for beginners
2. A boat that is more forgiving for experts.
I know these are the same but the reason is it is great for newbies to have an enjoyable experience their first few times out and not upside down all the time. They tend to hate that part of our sport. For the rippers they make great all arounders that they can run moderate burl in (by NO means should they ever be called or classified as a creeker) and at the same time stop and surf a wave, toss an end and throw a loop. I have been seeing some big loops in Mambas, Diesels, yadda... Just need a bigger meaner hole is all.
Another reason is schools. Schools want an easy boat to outfit their guests in and one that will allow them a stable learning platform. This also brings us to sizes. We are all different so the manufacturer needs to produce boats that will fit their paddling clientele. Schools as of lately have been going strong and they are seeing some real big folks and an equal dose of smalls. River runners in a few sizes work great here because they are stable, easy (for most) to roll, easy to turn (shorter but buoyant and semi-planning hulls), and they can learn that first BIG life changing move we all turned upstream and did for the first time!!!!!!!!!!!!..........front surf.
I work for Dagger, I paddle the Mamba. Why? I love safety kayaking in it. Plenty of volume, tons of grab points, flattish hull to surf, I can loop it here and there or at least think I am, and I can put some gear in it.
Hope this helps.
So what's your opinion on using these boats as creek boats? Surely it depends on the creek. Do you think these boats are outside of there intended use (safety and performance) when used on creeks? For example the Diesel or Mamba on Vallecito. Obviously it's always the boaters choice, but I'm interested in your thoughts.
just got a mamba 8.0 and took it down the upper box on saturday. It was awesome. super fast and the plaining hull didn't seem to catch on the low volume rocks at all. doesn't boof as well as some of the true creek boats but the speed made up for that. I was super impressed. Can't wait to take it down the embudo this spring. I'm sold on this design, reacts like a play boat which is nice when you are used to going from play one day to creeking the next. hope this helps, adios, atom...
All I can say is: its about time. There are many boaters out there that are discovering that taking a tinny creeker down larger volume creeks just isn't fun. Short creekers are great for steep shallow creeks, but they get pushed around in bigger water and are hard to control, no matter how good the boater. The result is reactive boating vs. a controlled decent. With recent trends, boaters only had two choices, but there are more than two types of rivers. What about rivers like the Black Canyon, Baily, or the Upper Yough. There isn't much play, but bobbing down in a potato isn't very challenging or aesthetic. Most people have forgotten what it is like to play a class V rapid. Now I don't mean loops and split-wheels, I mean eddy turns, S-turns, and attaining. I'm talking about making a gnarly rapid look smooth and controlled - almost hypnotizing. A lot of people have dealt with this by taking play boats down hard rivers. While this may make the boater look like a hero, is it necessarily fun? All it proves is how good a brace he/she has. I know I don't have fun taking a play boat down the Big Sandy (WV). Lastly, in my opinion, A boater that can control a longer boat is a better paddler. Then whenever the time comes to whip out the sausage, it is like riding tricycle.
I applaud the manufactures for getting away from the two boats fits all trend. Now old schoolers like me don't have to scrape around in sun faded Corsicas. Thats my soap box. I've been waiting for an opportunity to whip it out. :lol:
Maybe I misspoke, I am happy to see the new boats. I am looking for one of these type of boats to run things that I am not comfy running in my kingpin. It is however almost too many choices. I have my choices narrowed down to the MAC1, Mamba, Diesel, and heck more are popping up each day.
I thought the Mamba's hull was more like a displacement hull and more creeker than river runner. Hobie, your post suggests the opposite, which is it?
Why do I think they are inferior to a true creeker? The guts of a core creeker, to me, are rotomolded so they are stronger(seat, pillar, etc..). River runners tend to have thermoform innards' (my word, sorry) and they are not as strong. Some paddlers refuse to creek with a pillar as they think it is more prone for leg entrapment. I see their point but I however like the feel of roto molded seats when im taking a huge hipper that I did not see. I mean if you wanted to you could creek in a sit-on-top so saying anything to the effect of creeking in a RR shouldn't be done is wrong. I dig rotoe'd innards', shedding decks, & semi-displacement hulls for battle. It just so happens Dagger makes the Nomad and it suits me to a tee. Others will like something way different. God bless America.
OOPs, I had to edit this. I bypassed the question. The hull on the Mamba will surf better then the Nomad for sure. Is it a sick ole surfer....mmmmmm.... No. It will but again if you want even more detail toward a surfing RR then find an Outlaw. It's just a fine line between.
Nomad= Huck the biggest and take the wrath GRD creeker.
Mamba= run some goods that you are capable of. Turn it upstream for a quick surf. Carve the fun eddie hops on the Class IV + boof a bit. "Whooo-hooo" I love kayaking!
Not sure about the volume deal. Maybe the stroke of a wrong key. I paddled the 8.0 a bit as well as the big one. I liked the 8.0 more even though my recommended size was more toward the larger. Answer= not sure. Only way to REALLY find out is fill one.
I think that the sudden on slaught of all around boats is due to the public wanting a boat that can do it all. The average paddler just wants a kayak that will be comfortable and stable. The all around boat will give them exactly that. The average paddler (which is a BIG percentage of paddlers) doesn't care to have a boat that is going to get them down the knar or a boat that loops the biggest. I am glad to see kayak manufacturers smarten up and realize this! It's a prime example of why the "old" Riot company didn't really sell that many boats. Coran always designed and still does design boats that are all the raddest play machines out there...the problem with this is the average paddler gets there butt kicked in this type of design. Another example is the Space Cadet...great playboat...but average paddlers got their asses kicked!
As far as these all around boats getting down "the gnar" that becomes a personal choice. I creek in the Diesel 75...it got me down Lake Creek, Vallecito, etc. I paddled the Diesel 65 down Lower Meadow and it worked but it was a little bit to slow to resurface and a little squirrely(sP?) It wasn't the boats fault for this...it was my fault for being in a boat I was to heavy for. The point I am trying to make here is that if you are thinking of running some big stuff buy a boat that has plenty of volume. Maybe it's just my preference but I prefer to have a whole lot of boat when I am running something steep.
All in all- it's just what you prefer! The old school Riot boys(Jed Selby, Andre spino-Smith, Daniel Delavernge, etc) used to run USB, Vallecito, Lake Creek in their 007's. It worked and they made it down everything...just watch Buck Fever!
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