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Discussion Starter #1
I've been paddling a Nomad 8.1 (the old version) the past week on a local IV+ - V- river near my house the past week and I'm diggin' it.

Unfortunately I'm gonna have to return it pretty soon and I need to get a creek boat for myself. I can't drop $1200 for a new Nomad though and I can't find any used ones for sale. The Mamba seems to be quite a bit cheaper *new* but I haven't paddled it so I'm curious as to what you all think of the two side-by-side.

Please let me know your thoughts on the two boats (compare and contrast).

thanks,
Burrito
 

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Classic planning vs displacement hull decision. Nomad is the tried and true stable displacement hull that is easy to boof but slow. Mamba's planning hull is much sportier in and out of eddies and accelerates better, but hard edges could trip you up in steep/shallow rapids. I prefer planning hulls so my choice would be mamba, but that is based on the types of runs I prefer. Since the brand new nomad is off the table, you are still only choosing between displacement vs planning hull...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Appreciate the feedback. What I want in my old age is something that's super stable and forgiving and the Nomad this last week has proven to be just that.

I can handle something a little edgier and it sounds like the Mamba would be so, but that's not a huge concern.

My big concern in my golden years is to not stress about getting worked over when I pound a good size hole. The Nomad seems to just ride over them effortlessly. I assume that's just a function of volume and that the Mamba would perform the same?

The boat I've been paddling for creeking prior to giving this borrowed Nomad a spin is a 20+ year old Pyranha Acrobat 270 which has a relatively low volume stern (compared to the Nomad anyway) and suffice it to say, it does not just bounce over big holes with the silky smoothness that the Nomad does.
 

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From by pov, it a boils down to how much rock bashing your doing. If ur sliding over shallow slabs, boofing boulders, and bouncing off rocks in the runs your on then its Nomad all the way. If your running water that is deeper and your not too worried about hitting shit all the way down the river then its Mamba. If you like to try to catch waves, Mamba. If you just want to punch every thing the Nomad. So, it basically comes down to type of river and style.

IMHO, You really only need a Nomad if your dropping manky 75+ feet per mile runs. That is were the Nomad shines more the the Mamba.
 

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Agree with the above sentiment. Nomad performs better in lower volume creeks, Mamba better in bigger water and river running. That's why everybody in the state of WA has a Mamba and the Nomad is more popular in Colorado.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
my local river is more or less a Northfork-style run (on a smaller scale). No big straight vertical drops, or boofs, or slides, just continuous waves/holes.

sounds like it's right in the Mamba's wheelhouse.
 

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How tall/fat are you? The nomad 8.5 is only about 78 gallons, small compared to most current creek boats, but goddamn that boat has taken me over the river and through the woods on some legit good times. Get the 8.5.
 

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I've owned both of these and run them down the V's in Cali, Idaho, Colorado, and NM. I bought the Mamba as a Stikine boat and it performed fantastically as it excels in big water pushy situations. Last summer I returned to the Middle Fork of the Kings with the Mamba having last run it in the Nomad. On steep, ledgy, and clutch boof rapids the Nomad is better. But, as the volume picked up on the Kings the Mamba came into it's own and was a joy to paddle.
Another plus for the Mamba is the easy stern access and huge carrying capacity which I really enjoyed on a 17 day river trip in Peru.
I will be getting another Mamba for this CO season.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks Will, that's very helpful.

It's looking more and more like the Mamba is gonna be the boat for me. I might be able to line one up to try out later this week to find out for sure.
 

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The only thing I really found I didn't like about the 8.6 Mamba was the cockpit is huge in the knee area, way bigger than the 8.5 Nomad. It felt huge when rolling. I don't know if the same could be said for the medium sized Mamba/Nomads. Try one first because you don't want to always be wishing for a Nomad afterwards....


Sent from my iPhone using Mountain Buzz
 

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Discussion Starter #12
sorry to throw this thread for a loop. But a Liquidlogic Remix 69 just came up and wondering how that would fit into the mix?
 

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sorry to throw this thread for a loop. But a Liquidlogic Remix 69 just came up and wondering how that would fit into the mix?
Remix is a decent river runner, but the 69 is only 69 gallons.... the Nomad 8.5 is 78. The Remix is going to be too small for you unless your 5'4 and 130 lbs...
 

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It feels like somewhere in about 2010 boat manufacturers decided to tweak the way they measure gallons so they wouldn't be accused of being small... because I have a Mamba 8.1 (released ~2012) which is supposedly 77 gallons, and a Nomad 8.5 (released ~2003) which is supposedly 78 gallons, and the Nomad is obviously bigger than than the Mamba any way you look at it. I remember seeing a Mamba 8.1, Nomad 8.5, and Mamba 8.6 at Confluence and the 8.5 was clearly in between the two Mamba's size-wise. And it boats that way. The new Nomad 8.6 seems to be about the same size as the Nomad 8.5 or a little narrower, and it supposedly has 86 gallons, which I think confirms my suspicions of a new "standard". Anyhow, Volume measurements seem to have some subjectivity and isn't the best measurement. Look at the recommended weight ranges and make sure you're in the bottom half of the range if you're creeking.
 
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