Which boat for the soca?

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eeonz
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Which boat for the soca?

Post by eeonz » Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:51 am

So I've managed to get a job rafting on the soca this summer - which kayak would be most appropriate to take out there? I'm aware of the siphon canyon section, which probably warrants a big boat, but otherwise are there many features for freestyle? Is it more of a Loki/z one river?

I'm hoping to be able to scrounge a creek boat if I end up photoboating, but which type of boat would be best for free time paddling?

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Mark Dixon
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Re: Which boat for the soca?

Post by Mark Dixon » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:15 pm

I'm struggling with same dilemna this year, we went last year and apparently it was high, I paddled a creeker whilst my son paddled an RPM, he done quite a few solo trip of the grade 3/4 Otana section but did use my creek boat for the Syphon Canyon though. My RPM would have been fine. If your paddling is generally good I'd take a smaller boat as Slovenia is pretty tame in comparison to France or Austria.
I am spending a fair bit of time leading this year so could do with a creeker but my heart tells me to to take something that is more fun.

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Simon Westgarth
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Re: Which boat for the soca?

Post by Simon Westgarth » Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:47 pm

Nearly all the locals paddle creek boats or river runners. There are not many play spots, eddies lines yes, one OK wave at higher flows and 2 play holes in the middle of sections. Personally I liked my Axiom 9 on there, but it is not my go to Siphon Canyon boat.

Something like an Axiom or Prijon Curve or old Jackson Zen is cool, more slalom like, as the moves there are more play the river slalom style than play spots, with your play boat.

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boater rich
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Re: Which boat for the soca?

Post by boater rich » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:09 pm

Definitely agree with the play the river description. Soca is perfect for stern squirts, pop-outs, rock splats/spins and generally playing with the river rather than sitting in a playspot. Old school playboat or a newer playful river runner will be ideal.

Syphon canyon is one section for which you can probably borrow an appropriate boat.

There are other rivers nearby - the Sava Bohinjca over towards Lake Bled is good fun (gr 3) and combines well with an afternoon at Bled.

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Re: Which boat for the soca?

Post by Catastronaut » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:30 pm

Haven't been for a long time, but would support the creeker/big volume river runner for the siphon canyon and slalomesque river runner (Axiom, Mullet etc) or longer old school playboat for the rest. These guys seem to enjoy a longer modern playboat on the soca: Just be very aware that the soca features siphons on all sections, not only on the siphon canyon. Play safe and get to know the spots not to splat...

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Re: Which boat for the soca?

Post by Jim » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:08 pm

Loving the advice to go for something slalomesque to play the river - did you know that in cheapest glass/diolen construction* most slalom boats will cost less than a plastic boat and weigh around half as much?
Plus you could probably squeeze one on next to your creek boat....

*not all manufacturers offer basic construction

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Re: Which boat for the soca?

Post by Adrian Cooper » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:18 pm

Most of it goes well in a trad canoe but I would duck out of syphon canyon in this.

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Re: Which boat for the soca?

Post by feedbackproblem » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:55 pm

I'll offer a similar recommendation to everyone else but from a completely different perspective in that I'm a much less experienced/capable paddler than everyone else who has commented so far (if you want to pitch my ability then I'd say if Simon were running an Intermediate course then I'd be in the target audience).

I took a Varun to the Soca in May a couple of years ago and although I wasn't confident enough to paddle it and upsized to a river runner, there were sections where I would have used the Varun had we revisited them again later in the week. In fact, with the exception of the slalom site (which I found very pushy and had a lengthy swim which knocked my confidence) and the bottom section below Siphon Canyon which is probably the biggest water I've ever run (and included a stopper that I'd still be in if I'd been in my Varun) I think I'd have been happy pretty much everywhere else in the Varun had I scouted the river in advance so I don't think you'd have to be a much better paddler than me to get good value out of a more playful boat.

As for Siphon Canyon, I've no idea what you should opt for because I've never been. It sounds horrific, I'm highly unlikely to ever want to paddle a bit of water that has either "siphon" or "canyon" in its name, let alone both.

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Re: Which boat for the soca?

Post by andy g » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:15 pm

We do a club trip every year to the Soca in early June , and have enjoyed everything from huge water to very low.

Under normal conditions most competent paddlers would probably enjoy it more in a small river runner or playboat (Dagger Juice, InaZone, Sub 7 etc) , and will run most of the sections in them. We don't run Siphon Canyon.

The Slalom Site and Otana runs can be very pushy under high water conditions, but a good paddler who is on form will have few problems.

Some of the canoe shops in the area hire boats locally, so if you feel you need a creeker you can easily rent one.

Boater Rich, we would love to have a look at the Sava Bohinjca , do you have any further details about this one?

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Re: Which boat for the soca?

Post by eeonz » Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:58 am

Thanks all. It looks like I'll try to get my hands on a z one if possible then. But of a long shot... But is there much of a second hand market out there?
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Re: Which boat for the soca?

Post by boater rich » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:08 pm

I'll try and dig out some more details but Google translate on the following was where I found my info originally

https://4-paddlers.com/gewaesser/abschn ... 01501.html

It's a great resource for a lot of paddling in Europe if you can cope with German.

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Re: Which boat for the soca?

Post by harry.fettes » Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:27 pm

Late plan to head out to Soca mid July. I'd guess a 2010 4Fun will be good but is there any must do stuff enroute to and from Dunkirk runnable in July that would warrant taking a bigger boat in addition to the fun?

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Re: Which boat for the soca?

Post by Simon Westgarth » Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:49 pm

Lofer Gorge, Augsberg and lots of stuff around Lienz. 4Fun, is slow but OK for low water Soča.

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Re: Which boat for the soca?

Post by harry.fettes » Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:02 pm

Slow, Why would I want to go fast? I love the 2010 4fun. It's my goto boat upto and including grade 4. Plays all the way down and then pick it up with 1 hand climb up the bank and throw it in the back of the car. Probably not so good in high volume runs but we ain't seen much of that in Scotland recently.
The Ausberg Lienz stuff does that need a creeker in July?

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Re: Which boat for the soca?

Post by Simon Westgarth » Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:39 am

Augsburg is the man made slalom course from the 1972 Olympics, no creeker needed. Several Class III/IV runs in Lienz, a good play hole too. On the side creeks, you may want a creeker though.

As for slow, nearly every new kayak released in the last 3 years is fast or faster, because people appear to want speed through the white water of late. My comment regarding a near 2m kayak is that it is slow and certainly slow to what most others may wish to paddle.

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Re: Which boat for the soca?

Post by harry.fettes » Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:10 am

Thanks Simon. It will likely just be me and my river god 12 year old (he's been paddling since 4) so the faster I go the more I have to shuttle which will be by bike. Slow is good :-)

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Re: Which boat for the soca?

Post by Mark Dixon » Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:31 pm

Just got back from Slovenia today, levels were a lot lower than this time last year, I had space to take my LL Braap as well as the creeker and ditched the creek boat after day 1 in favour of the Braap, there was plenty of surf opportunitys on small fun waves, lots of tailsquirt areas, rock splats, good grade3 moves to warrant having a smaller boat. I was a bit nervous on the Otona to start as my Braap is a new toy but I simply cba to carry a creek boat down all those steps. I dont think a playboat would be a good boat but Axiom, or Z1 type of boat would be ideal.

Mark

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