I would go for the nomad instead of the mamba. I paddled both, and while similar, the nomad has more rocker and less of a planing hull than the mamba. The mamba is more of a big river runner / semi creeker. I think that the nomad is a better creeker if thats what you are looking for. I felt that the nomad was more stable and more controlable than the mamba also (for me). The nomad rules. I just got one from CKS after doing a multiday demo in the southeast.
I spent quite awhile Sat. at Paddlefest bending the Dagger reps ear about boat design. What he told me about this topic is that the Mamba is an all around boat good for a beginner, a great big water riverrunner and a good light creeker. Meaning if your wanting to take it off big drops or on the 7 Rivers expedition you need to go with the Nomad.
If you are looking for a boat that will handle big water and light creeking go with the Mamba. If you want a straight on creeker go with the Nomad. With all the rocker on the Nomad that thing will not be as good for punching holes and will generally get pushed around more. However, the Mamba has a little less rocker than the average creek boat and a true planning hull which hurts on flat landings. With all these beefy river runners coming out it is more and more important to decide how much creeking you will be doing in relation to big water rivers. Come by the shop (Boulder Outdoor Center if it isn't blatantly obvious) and you can demo both a decide for yourself.
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