changing from kayak to OC1 (whitewater)

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changing from kayak to OC1 (whitewater)

Post by ml1850 »

Hi all, thinking of getting a whitewater OC1 for a change from kayaking,am based on the Isere river in the Savoie, rapids class 2,3,4. Would welcome any input on the suitability of either a Covert 9.3 or Hou dropzone. I'm 6'2 and 90kg. Given I'm starting from scratch any advice welcome. Thanks.

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Re: changing from kayak to OC1 (whitewater)

Post by Jim »

Dropzone should be fine for you, it is unbelievably forgiving and designed with steeper stuff in mind, I found it a bit wide for my paddle stroke but at 6'2" you will probably fit it better in that respect.
Still not paddled either SB Covert, but on paper the 10.2 should be more suited to your weight, however the new SB Agent is the more direct equivalent of the dropzone (i.e. full on creeker) and would probably be the slightly better boat for running the slalom course at Bourg from what I remember of how steep it is.
You probably shouldn't rule out the Esquif L'edge (or L'edge lite) which you should be able to arrange a demo of through Canoe Diffusion in Reims.

My advice for a complete beginner would be:
- Learn to paddle on both sides and to switch sides smoothly at convenient times (I have been paddling right side only for far too long to learn to paddle on the left side now).
- For cross deck strokes try to fully rotate first before you get the blade in - if you watch someone good their shoulder line will be pretty close to parallel to the centreline of the boat. you may need to work on your rotation a bit.
- When you are paddling rapids and not sure whether an on side or cross deck stroke would be better, don't pause to think about it, get an active blade in the water, a blade on the wrong side is more useful than no blade at all, and you will soon get a feel for what works best.

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