Boat choice

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Karl12347
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Boat choice

Post by Karl12347 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:07 am

Advice needed.

When i first started paddling about 4 month back I bought a Pyranha recoil kayak and found it to be a fairly edgy boat, i.e. it tips very easy and I was getting a little disheartened.

At the time I bought it as it seemed like a good fit between the 3 disciplines of playboating, river running and surfing.

At the moment I am mainly doing river running (class 2/3) with my local club and some of the coaches are saying that I should be using something with more volume.

This has got me debating selling the boat to get something bigger and solely a river running boat.

What are other peoples thoughts on this? Does a boat design directly impact the learning of white water kayaking.

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Re: Boat choice

Post by twopigs » Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:20 am

Boat design certainly has an influence on learning ..... I'm sure we've had this sort of discussion before. IMO big volume boats allow you to bimble along without forcing you to learn good technique. Something like the Recoil will demand that you learn to paddle in a certain way .... which you might not pick up quickly if you are only doing trips. Whether you should have a boat which is bigger is a different question - if you are over weight you'll make the boat sit lower in the water and you'll catch edges so much easier.

Neither of those responses implies that the Recoil is a poor design.
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Karl12347
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Re: Boat choice

Post by Karl12347 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:36 am

twopigs wrote:Something like the Recoil will demand that you learn to paddle in a certain way .... which you might not pick up quickly if you are only doing trips.
I think that statement is where the problem lies, however what other options do I have? The general advice is that you should not paddle alone on a river but I feel like I want to get on a Class 2 river and practice more and more of the basic stuff such as ferry gliding, eddy in and out by myself to really get some practice.

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Re: Boat choice

Post by davebrads » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:31 am

I haven't paddled a Recoil, but from the looks it is more of a pumped up playboat than a river runner, and is aimed at someone who wants to throw the boat around on a river. I think that a different boat would be a good move, but I would suggest that you don't go for a high-volume creeker for the reasons in twopigs post. A Pyranha Z-One or Dagger Axiom would fit the bill, or if you are looking for something a bit older the Dagger GT series would do. These will be more forgiving and should be more comfortable, while offering enough performance on lower grade rivers to allow you to develop your technique.
it's not a playboat, it's a river runner

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Re: Boat choice

Post by Chalky723 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:29 am

Karl12347 wrote:The general advice is that you should not paddle alone on a river but I feel like I want to get on a Class 2 river and practice more and more of the basic stuff such as ferry gliding, eddy in and out by myself to really get some practice.
Any artificial courses near you? They're good for getting the basics sorted in a no-consequence environment.

C
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Re: Boat choice

Post by Karl12347 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:28 pm

Chalky723 wrote: Any artificial courses near you? They're good for getting the basics sorted in a no-consequence environment.
C
Yes there is the tees barrage however that is a grade 3 course. I have been down there before but I kept coming out and it was very busy environment with lots of other paddlers about.
davebrads wrote:I haven't paddled a Recoil, but from the looks it is more of a pumped up playboat than a river runner, and is aimed at someone who wants to throw the boat around on a river. I think that a different boat would be a good move, but I would suggest that you don't go for a high-volume creeker for the reasons in twopigs post. A Pyranha Z-One or Dagger Axiom would fit the bill, or if you are looking for something a bit older the Dagger GT series would do. These will be more forgiving and should be more comfortable, while offering enough performance on lower grade rivers to allow you to develop your technique.
I did paddle the crake in the lakes last weekend in a Dagger GT club boat and did find that a bit better. Think i am in doubt whether I should continue on with the recoil or try and sell it to get something else.

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Re: Boat choice

Post by Ian Dallaway » Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:17 am

I owned a recoil for a number of years, thinking it would fit the bill of a surf boat and a fun boat for the likes of the Tryweryn etc.
It surfed ok, and played the Tryweryn features ok - but it was never brilliant. In fact it's best feature was that it was lighter to carry than my bigger river boats.

In the end I sold it and got a Z one instead. The Z one does everything much easier and better than the Recoil. It is a great boat to take out when you don't need that out and out creeker (though I do also have a creeker for when the rivers get steeper than is ideal for the Z one).

At the end of the day, each boat is a compromise. The best play boat will be a poor river runner...... You may end up with a fleet of kayaks to meet your needs.

Good luck in your quest!
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Re: Boat choice

Post by Strad » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:30 pm

davebrads wrote:... if you are looking for something a bit older the Dagger GT series would do. .
I couldn't agree more, great starter boats, you can find them second hand or low(ish) price for new ones. They will allow you to progress well on river and are not too awful on the surf (for a river boat).
Old School?? I miss my AQII..
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Re: Boat choice

Post by Junior » Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:46 pm

I started off (as did many others in my club) with a Dagger GT and all of us ended changing boats. Although it may be OK to someone with some experience in kayaking, I too found it very edgey which affected my confidence.

I decided to take the plunge and change my boat and went for a Wavesport Diesel 65 and have never looked back. Every time someone in our club wants boat recommendations I always suggest it as its a real confidence booster. Very stable, good amount of volume for river running and can surf a little bit too. Yes it may not be as agile as the GT, but newcomers don't want an agile boat. You want something you can forget about and concentrate on what your doing and where your going on the river and the diesel is perfect for that.

My confidence rocketed which honed my skills enough to go back to a more agile boat and be able to paddle it properly. I now paddle the Diesel on rivers and have an agile surf boat for the sea.

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Re: Boat choice

Post by gp.girl » Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:25 pm

I got the same advice and ended up with a small burn as well as my original GTS. The burn is better in bigger water and definately inspires confidence but the GT makes you work more. I now pick the boat depending on the river so Dart Loop = GTS and South Wales see whats running will be the burn. Did borrow a fluid solo for a while and you could get away with SO much. Confidence/natural ability/stubborness/drysuit help if you go the tippy route. Go try some boats and see what you like :)

Never had this bit of advise from professional coaches only club ones though. Is that just me?
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Re: Boat choice

Post by Franky » Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:54 pm

Junior wrote:I started off (as did many others in my club) with a Dagger GT and all of us ended changing boats. Although it may be OK to someone with some experience in kayaking, I too found it very edgey which affected my confidence.
GTs are great for flatwater and gentle white water. They are very responsive, quite fast on the flat, light, and cheap.

Ironically though, their image as "beginners'" white water kayaks is topsy-turvy. From my own experience, they're much more difficult to keep upright on grade 3 than Mambas or Burns. But they are probably more agile if you know what you're doing.

You'd think this would make GTs more popular with advanced paddlers, but beyond a certain point most paddlers seem to want to push their grades, rather than make the ones they're comfortable on more challenging.
I decided to take the plunge and change my boat and went for a Wavesport Diesel 65 and have never looked back. Every time someone in our club wants boat recommendations I always suggest it as its a real confidence booster. Very stable, good amount of volume for river running and can surf a little bit too. Yes it may not be as agile as the GT, but newcomers don't want an agile boat. You want something you can forget about and concentrate on what your doing and where your going on the river and the diesel is perfect for that.

My confidence rocketed which honed my skills enough to go back to a more agile boat and be able to paddle it properly. I now paddle the Diesel on rivers and have an agile surf boat for the sea.
When learning white water, is it better to paddle a forgiving boat or an unforgiving one? I've heard it suggested that to make proper progress, you should paddle an edgy, unforgiving boat... And yet in practice, you see very few people paddling GTs on grade 3+ rivers.

I paddled a GT on several white water trips and it was mostly fun, but I also capsized a lot, and in the days before I could roll, that wasn't fun.

Only when I paddled a Burn on the Upper Tryweryn did I realise how difficult I'd been making life for myself by paddling GTs!

Looking back at my own progress, such as it is, I think it's better to be easy on yourself to start with. Who ever learned to ride a pedal bike without starting with stabilisers? When you're a half-competent paddler, you can then choose between sticking at your current grades in a less forgiving but more agile boat, or upping your grades in a forgiving boat... Or even both.

I've been pleased with my Mamba, but when surfing at the local sluice, I prefer to use a club GT, as it doesn't get flushed off the wave so easily.

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Re: Boat choice

Post by Junior » Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:44 pm

Franky wrote:
Looking back at my own progress, such as it is, I think it's better to be easy on yourself to start with. Who ever learned to ride a pedal bike without starting with stabilisers? When you're a half-competent paddler, you can then choose between sticking at your current grades in a less forgiving but more agile boat, or upping your grades in a forgiving boat... Or even both.
Exactly! It's quite possible to learn without stabilizers, but it's opens up a lot more room for error and can be very frustrating/demoralizing.

Starting off with a forgiving boat can allow you to concentrate on the river, where you should be and the angle of attack etc. Once you've got those skills honed, you can then progress onto a more agile boat.

I think most people choose a boat based on where they want to be rather than where they are now in terms of skill level. Boats are an expensive business so changing frequently is not always affordable. My best advice is to buy second hand cheap, that way if you do need to change later, you've got a better chance of getting back near to what you paid.

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Re: Boat choice

Post by davebrads » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:32 am

Franky wrote:Who ever learned to ride a pedal bike without starting with stabilisers?
Loads of people! In fact the evidence is that stabilisers drastically increase the amount of time it takes to teach a kid how to ride a bike, which is why they're selling those balance bikes these days.

I know what you mean though. I think it depends upon where you are paddling on a regular basis. If all you are paddling is grade 2 you are soon going to run out of ways to push yourself in a creek boat, and if you don't push yourself you are going to stop learning. Plus it gets boring very quickly. If you are leaning on grade 3 then it makes sense to have something that is going to look after you a bit more.
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Re: Boat choice

Post by SimonMW » Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:32 pm

Definitely depends on the person. Foe some the constant swimming of a more grabby boat could put them off kayaking, or make them think that they'll never improve. I think the newer boats like the 2015 Jackson Fun are fantastic though. Sporty enough to help learning, but not so grabby that they destroy confidence. I'd like one myself because I'm not going to be an ace play boater, but I am paddling lower grades at the moment with my girlfriend and I spend a lot of time at Cardiff.

We assume that everyone loves the water. Some, like me, had to grow to love the water, having started kayaking in my mid 30's after a lifetime of being sh*t scared of it.

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Re: Boat choice

Post by DaveBland » Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:36 pm

davebrads wrote:I think it depends upon where you are paddling on a regular basis. If all you are paddling is grade 2 you are soon going to run out of ways to push yourself in a creek boat, and if you don't push yourself you are going to stop learning. Plus it gets boring very quickly. If you are leaning on grade 3 then it makes sense to have something that is going to look after you a bit more.
Absolutely agree. For complete beginners, you need a stable, easy boat, but as soon as the initial control is mastered, an edgy challenging boat will teach better skills and lasting technique, safely.
If you are learning on say grade 3, then again, use an easy, stable type boat to get basic control on grade 3 then move into an edgier boat again and learn from that on grade 3 before moving up to the next grade.

Personally, I wish everyone could learn slalom as a beginner. It should be compulsory like a pole-based National Service for paddlers!
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Re: Boat choice

Post by Strad » Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:02 pm

As you would note from above I thought a slightly grabbier boat was good - developing good boat control early (as I learnt in the pre-plastic days when our club had a tendency to quickly move into slalom boats I may have a bias that way).

One thing I can't help but wonder is whether we have different thoughts of what a beginner is and I also wonder whether we tend to push newbies up the grades too quickly.
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Re: Boat choice

Post by Franky » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:11 pm

Strad wrote:As you would note from above I thought a slightly grabbier boat was good - developing good boat control early (as I learnt in the pre-plastic days when our club had a tendency to quickly move into slalom boats I may have a bias that way).
Perhaps it depends on the paddler and their psychology.

My second white water trip was only on grade 2 and yet I swam 6 times. I was so discouraged, embarrassed and exhausted after my second swim that I just kept messing things up after that.

I was in a GT. If I'd been in a Burn or a Mamba, I'd probably only have swum a couple of times, and that would have helped increase my confidence.

This was before I could roll, even in a swimming pool.

The turning point for me in terms of confidence was doing the Upper Tryweryn in a Burn and only swimming once (this was still before I could roll on moving water).

So for me, paddling a less tippy boat in fairly challenging water was the turning point. If I'd done the Upper Tryweryn in a GT, I'd have swum 2 or 3 times, and probably never wanted to try it again.

I'm also absent-minded. Even now, I occasionally roll because I'm looking at the scenery instead of the river :( ) I see some new paddlers who don't have problems with being distracted.
One thing I can't help but wonder is whether we have different thoughts of what a beginner is and I also wonder whether we tend to push newbies up the grades too quickly.
Probably depends on the group or the club. If the club has regular beginners' trips, newbies have the option of progressing at their own pace.

As for what a beginner is... A lot of that's in the mind. Sometimes it takes somebody to tell you you're an intermediate to stop thinking of yourself as a beginner.

I think my private definition of the transition from beginner to intermediate - applied to myself - was "Not swimming on every grade 3 trip" :)

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Re: Boat choice

Post by DaveBland » Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:17 pm

Franky wrote:I'm also absent-minded. Even now, I occasionally roll because I'm looking at the scenery instead of the river
Phew, thank goodness – I thought it was just me...
Maybe this is a 'thing' then? ...Anyone else?
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Re: Boat choice

Post by TechnoEngineer » Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:12 pm

Franky wrote:GTs are great for flatwater and gentle white water.
I've seen so many people struggle to paddle a GT in a straight line on flatwater that I would suggest it's a poor choice for flatwater or surfing. It seems to be trimmed bow-heavy which is ideal for whitewater, where the water is "overtaking" you.

To the OP, I would suggest you keep the recoil if you have room, and go back to it after a couple of years. In the meantime, paddle something like a Diesel, Burn or Mamba.
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Re: Boat choice

Post by davebrads » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:46 pm

TechnoEngineer wrote:
Franky wrote:GTs are great for flatwater and gentle white water.
I've seen so many people struggle to paddle a GT in a straight line on flatwater that I would suggest it's a poor choice for flatwater or surfing. It seems to be trimmed bow-heavy which is ideal for whitewater, where the water is "overtaking" you
The GT is a fine surf boat. It's also ok on the flat, if a bit slow. If people are struggling with it they have more to learn.
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Re: Boat choice

Post by Terryg » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:51 pm

I have no trouble paddling my GT in a straight line on the flat. I am also more than happy paddling on Grade 3 rivers. probably not the best boat for a beginner though.

I would not recommend a Mamba for someone starting out, it is a bit lively.

As mentioned earlier, the Axiom is a good all-round boat for getting started. Not too difficult to learn the basics, and capable of doing most things as you progress.

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Re: Boat choice

Post by gp.girl » Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:58 am

Terryg wrote:I have no trouble paddling my GT in a straight line on the flat. I am also more than happy paddling on Grade 3 rivers. probably not the best boat for a beginner though.

I would not recommend a Mamba for someone starting out, it is a bit lively.

As mentioned earlier, the Axiom is a good all-round boat for getting started. Not too difficult to learn the basics, and capable of doing most things as you progress.
Same here, I actually prefer the GTS to the Burn on the flat - its faster! Know one guy who bought an Axiom on the reveiws and really didn't get on with it so its a totally personal thing. In the end what we like doesn't matter so back to demoing :)
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