The success of the Mamba.

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The success of the Mamba.

Post by Kayak-Bloke »

If there's one thing I've noticed it's that paddlers have very definite ideas of what they like to paddle and what they don't.
There's a lot of folk out there (and on here!) bad mouthing the Mamba but there's non denying Mambas are bloody everywhere.

A couple of years back the Ford Focus (prolific) boat was the Burn. Paddle any popular stretch and you'd see Burns all over the shop.
Lately, I've noticed the post 2012 Mamba has inched ahead. Every group I bump into there's one (or more) Mambas.

So given the very strong opinions folk on here and on river banks all over are expressing why is the Mamba so popular?

Good marketing or Good boat?


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Re: The success of the Mamba.

Post by Mark Dixon »

I think with change in technology recently the Mamba's had the edge on the Burns and IMO a much better boat than the mark 1 and 2 Burn. I am lucky enough to have the new Mark 3 which IMO has the edge on the Mamba, Its a little longer which may be where the advantage is, I wont sell my Mamba as its a good boat and has a little more volume for when I need to take all my kit rather than share it out.
Both Dagger and Pyranha have a very good name and good design teams so will always compete against each other.

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Re: The success of the Mamba.

Post by hun »

Must be marketing.

9 out of 10 Mamba paddlers wobble like hell...
They buy the Mamba because some hardcore paddlers make it look good.
Let's face it. It's a rather difficult boat to paddle well and most people can't do it. All respect to those who can.

I feel a rant coming...
I adored my Nomad. When it broke, I just couldn't make myself by another Dagger boat because of the colours.
Hotdog... Mustard yellow with ketchup squirted over it...
Glacier... All wobbly paddler's first choice...
Snot green... Well... It's snot green...

So it's marketing.

Now let the abuse start!
Turtleback. We'll take you there

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Patrick Clissold
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Re: The success of the Mamba.

Post by Patrick Clissold »

You can get just block colours for the Nomad too. I got a new red one not long ago.

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janet brown
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Re: The success of the Mamba.

Post by janet brown »

I used an old small Mamba for a few months prior to paddling one in Nepal (usually paddle a Zet Veloc).
The Mamba was OK as long as I remembered to speak Mamba to it. Mainly, when turning into eddies, I had to remember to lean forwards to engage the front rails and get it to turn!
I am now happily reunited with my Veloc...


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Re: The success of the Mamba.

Post by Lancs_lad »

hun wrote:Must be marketing.

9 out of 10 Mamba paddlers wobble like hell...
They buy the Mamba because some hardcore paddlers make it look good.
Let's face it. It's a rather difficult boat to paddle well and most people can't do it. All respect to those who can.
Is it? I think all boats are equally difficult to paddle "properly"! Again I think it is the individual not the boat at fault. These "wobblers" would probably wobble in any boat.

People are too quick to blame their kit. I guess without this the boat companies wouldn't have half the sales they do tho. I buy boats when I break my previous one. However, I know personally several people that get a new boat every 6 months like they are searching for a magic solution.

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Re: The success of the Mamba.

Post by Strad »

The mamba is a good boat, so is the burn, just paddle the one that brings the bigger smile to your face.
Old School?? I miss my AQII..
Graham Stradling

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Re: The success of the Mamba.

Post by Mark Dixon »

I brought a smile this Mamba's owner once I had it clipped up yesterday ... /lightbox/

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Re: The success of the Mamba.

Post by SimonMW »

It's a well made boat. Like any boat though, the real skill comes from the paddler. Look at a load of the DragoRossi and Riot boats from the past that many found almost impossible to paddle, yet Corran Addison made them fly. He still seems, from interviews, to think that the best kayak is one that most would find hard to paddle, and that almost all modern boats are a design compromise to allow beginners the ability to paddle them.

Given the capability of modern boats, my own opinion is that any deficiency is usually down to the paddler.

I tried a Mamba 8.1 last year and didn't like it. I felt that it was hard to keep on line. But I have since come to the conclusion that the reason I didn't like it was because I hadn't had time to dial into it and paddle it in a way that takes advantage of its design. I'm simply not at a level where I can feel for a boats idiosyncrasies and adapt quickly. So I would actually like to try one again.

However also there are many factors involved in how a boat handles, such as the paddler weight. I might get into one boat and think it is superb, punching through holes etc. But then someone else who is heavier might get into the same boat, but still be well within the weight range, and dislike it because they got back looped or whatever. Was it their weight that tipped the balance? Or was it their paddling style? Who knows, but it illustrates the point that whether a boat is good or not is subjective. The best boat is the one that you like paddling.

The Burn has always had a good rep. But I think one of the big reasons that boats get popular is word of mouth, especially in clubs. There might well be other boats from other manufacturers that are just as good, but people are always generally going to be drawn to buy something familiar that someone they know says is good, or has let them have a go in.

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Re: The success of the Mamba.

Post by nick 16 »

I paddled Everests for years but time to replace came and I tried a mamba on demo for a week or so but I couldn't get on with it as the out fitting just didn't feel right I tried the large and I couldn't get the feeling that I was in the boat rather than I was sat on it,I just wasn't connected. But saying this I found it faster than my Everest and pretty forgiving I think this is where it has the edge over the pyranhas as the edges on their boats are agressive and now I fell the are a bit OTT. I now paddle liquidlogics, at the mo a remix which I like for big water and now I fancy a nomad for my local Welsh rivers which are generally steep pushy and tight I probably won't look at the mamba as its a bit more all round a bit of creeker a bit of river runner and I want creek full on creeker but this is where it will have appeal as a boat to do allsorts of rivers in
Nicholas Ball

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Re: The success of the Mamba.

Post by roo »

I heard somewhere that: "The dagger mamba wasn't a spade....but most people dig it......" Having never paddled one, that is all I can add to this

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Re: The success of the Mamba.

Post by Peter Brown »

I think that the average padder who gets out once a week is not discerning enough to properly tell the difference between similar boats. Consider all the other variables: river, level, weather, group, tiredness... They will prefer the one they are used to. Blaming the boat for stuffing up a g4 line is a cop out. Thinking one is great because you managed that boof that you normally mess up is kidding yourself. It's the same with bikes, although the scope for bad setup is greater here.

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Re: The success of the Mamba.

Post by Mark Dixon »

It may be that the majority of people paddle it in conditions that it wasnt really designed for so reacts differently from expectations. I really liked paddling it on the Lyn yet struggle with it on lesser rivers, during the testing process it would be interesting the market and water they were testing it for.
When I had a Raptor it needed big water to be worth paddling, ideal in 250 cumecs but not as good in 10 cumecs (1 of reasons I sold it).
There is quite a lot of volume (Mamba) around the thighs and rear has been increased which to me shows bigger water staying on the surface, not an ideal grade 3 boat then which is the majority of paddlers??

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Re: The success of the Mamba.

Post by AndrewR »

Without being a keyboard warrior...

Its very quick to get going again if you get slowed going through a stopper. I find other boats take more strokes to build up speed again.

Rides high over the water and boofs great!

I feel far more confidence in staying upright in this boat then in any other I have paddled, very forgiving on advanced whitewater.

Once you get used to the bucket seat system in the mamba, nomad or recon there is no going back I am afraid, it is amazing. I do a lot of freestyle and this is the only river runner I've felt the same control and connection as I feel in my playboat.

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Re: The success of the Mamba.

Post by davebrads »

I had an old Mamba for a short period last year and didn't get on with it at all. I found it very hard to turn, yet it wanted to break out at the merest sniff of an eddyline and very difficult to keep the bow up when breaking into the current. Worst of all I found it very susceptible to back looping in holes, catching me out badly on three occasions (once on the Goyt for ****'s sake), which is about as often as I took it out (bear in mind I came to the Mamba from an I3 so I should have been able to deal with tail happy boats). I started to get a bit more out of it playing at Lee Valley, but in the end I decided I didn't want to change the way I paddled that much and changed it for a MKII Burn.

I chose the Burn partly because I was missing my edges and the added responsiveness they gave, but also the other boats I was considering such as the Remix and the Karma worked fine for me in the small size, but much less well in the medium.

The new Mamba has significantly more volume in the stern which should help with the tail squirting, but I haven't paddled it yet so I can't comment on the overall handling.
it's not a playboat, it's a river runner

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Re: The success of the Mamba.

Post by davedraperdesign »

I have only owned the old mamba... I owned a small and paddled the medium occassionally. Small was very prone to backlooping (my increasing weight didnt help that!) but the medium felt great for my weight (approx 11 stone). I have since moved to a small nomad, of which I have had two, and still love them! I went for the nomad because of the backlooping issue with the old mamba. The dagger outfitting has always suited me well, but I miss the flip band backbands... why move to ratchets!?!?! The new outfitting kit, which looks to be the same as the enw wavesport boats, looks even better. I would def recommend the creek seat in the boats... makes the hull a lot stiffer than the river set-up.

I would be very tempted to a new Mamba (8.1) if I were to get a new boat but would obviously like to try. I always felt the old mamba was a very responsive, yet forgiving boat. I am excited to try the new boat which after all the tweaks should be excellent! Hope I am not disapointed!

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Re: The success of the Mamba.

Post by Mikers »

I tried the new and old Mamba and bought the old. (An MX 8 but with the 2010 Mamba creek outfitting).

I'm used to paddling a Project X, before that I had a Vengeance and before that an Enigma, all of which I used as grade 3 river runners. So my preference is for small responsive boats.

I bought a larger volume boat as I want to step up the grades a bit and I recognise that I'm just good enough to be dangerous in a small boat on bigger water. :) What I didn't want was to sacrifice the responsiveness of the smaller boats.

Personally, I found that the Mamba was a great boat. I've never paddled such a large boat that still responds so well to paddler trim. It seems to convert subtle body movements in a way that I find sublime. It's still a big boat, but it doesn't do everything for you in the way that the MK1 Burn did.

I found the 2013 Mamba to be ever so slightly slower and more stable than the 2010 boat. No doubt a direct result of the extra width and volume of the newer boat. I wasn't able to detect any difference afforded to the newer boat by the redesigned rails.

In the end, I picked the MX over the new Mamba because of price. I was able to get an MX fitted with the 2010 Mamba Creek seat and airbags (rather than the awful club seat normally in the MX) for £550. A comparable 2013 Mamba with river outfitting retails for £850.

While both boats are very capable, I couldn't see that the newer boat was worth half as much again as the older boat. There simply isn't that much difference between the two.

Whilst my MX did come with the creek seat, it didn't come with an adjustable backrest. That was fixed with a tenners worth of parts from ebay. I now have a Jackson style adjustable backrest.

I'm 11 stone, if that helps anyone looking at a Mamba / MX.
And yeah, I bought "white with snot".

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