9-foot creeker comparison

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countvoncount
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9-foot creeker comparison

Post by countvoncount » Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:12 pm

So the 9-foot "race creeker" craze has been in full swing for some years now and every major manufacturer has brought out one of more versions--and Wave Sport's and Zet's newest are about to be launched. I am curious to hear from people who have paddled several of them. How do they compare? Obviously I know/can look up the specs and I am not looking for better/worse comparsions. Rather I would love to know what people think the differences are on the water in terms of strenghts and weaknesses. Do they have very different feels? Do they call for different styles of paddling? Are some of these creekers much better at steep stuff, and some primarily for big water? And is the 9-footer here to stay or are we going to go back to 8-and-a-half foot (i.e. Machno, Delta V, Stout), because they are just that little bit more user friendly?

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Chris C
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Re: 9-foot creeker comparison

Post by Chris C » Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:08 pm

I liked the 9r, fast responsive super fun but some found it to be a bit lively, it suits me also the Ripper is fun as you can tailsquirt your hearts content down the rapid, splat anything. the best is try to paddle them and find out which works best for you. You also should ask yourself how many races do I enter? Is this for fun? which one has a 9ft max length that is running? Why not go full long boat? the 12r looks fun too then you could go race the green getting something that long on a plane could be interesting ;) I found the 9r and ripper better for general river running and creeking over the Machno personally if lots of big drops and huge rapids then the machno could be your bag it is more forgiving than ripper/9r best bet is to try them if you can think there will be a few demo boats at the Teifi Tour next weekend if that helps :)

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Re: 9-foot creeker comparison

Post by Spider22 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:29 pm

I really like smaller boats over most 9 footers, they fit my paddling style better. I find that 9 footers are made with racing in mind and they react well when they are moving fast which isn’t always ideal. I enjoy paddling boats which are a bit shorter move a little slower and don’t need the speed for good response but still need to be driven, boats such as raptor, granate, ace of spades etc. I have had a toro for the past 18 months but never 100% clicked with it. The other thing is for most UK rivers you don’t really need the high volume boats that seem to be about at them moment, they take a bit of the fun away in my opinion.

In the end it’s worth trying a couple and seeing what fits your paddling style.


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countvoncount
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Re: 9-foot creeker comparison

Post by countvoncount » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:23 pm

Thanks, Spider22 and Chris. I agree that the 9-footers seem overlong (and overkill) for most UK rivers, and that the boats you mention (say, Raptor and Granate) are just a little easier to put just where you want them. I also doubt all that many people are into serious racing (there aren't all that many races, for one thing). But I get the feeling that the latest generation of 9-foot boats are trying to emphasise maneuverability over pure speed and directionality: the Manta, the Five, the Nirvana all look like they are designed to turn really fast. The Five, which I have tried, really does turn on a dime; I found it to be more agile than something like the Machno and arguably even than something like the Axiom (which has quite a long water-line, despite being a lot shorter than the Five). But the length still means that one's angles of approach have to be precise and if one puts these boats sideways into a hole, one has a lot of boat to shift....
I guess I am just wondering whether people feel the speed is worth it, both on a fun level and on a safety/nail-the-line-thanks-to-your-speed-and-fly-over-stuff level. If I am not going to race, is there any point to them? And are there boats that are more race-focussed, and others that are more general use?

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Re: 9-foot creeker comparison

Post by DaveBland » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:47 pm

9R's speed is totally worth it. So much fun.

When you consider what was paddled in say Rotobats [same length?], it's hard to argue that the new boats are too long for UK ditches.
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Re: 9-foot creeker comparison

Post by jmmoxon » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:28 am

The rotobat was a short kayak at the time...

Fashion seems to be shifting back to river play boats.

Mike
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Re: 9-foot creeker comparison

Post by DaveBland » Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:06 pm

jmmoxon wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:28 am
The rotobat was a short kayak at the time...

Fashion seems to be shifting back to river play boats.

Mike
Absolutely. It all goes round in circles. A generation of paddlers push harder and harder, and boat design follows this. Paddlers then realize that running the gnar is dangerous and hurts and is not for everyone. Paddlers then decide to just have fun on the river and play. Boats reflect this. New generation of paddlers then discover running harder rivers and having adventures is fun, and start running the gnar again, but realize their play-focused boats aren't up to it, and round we go again.
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Re: 9-foot creeker comparison

Post by jmmoxon » Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:51 pm

Doesn't seem to have worked on the upper walkham...
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