Lightest Whitewater River Running Kayak

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FreddieK
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Lightest Whitewater River Running Kayak

Post by FreddieK »

Hi everyone,
Would anyone know what the lightest whitewater river running kayak is in a medium or large size?
To give it some context I had major abdominal surgery this year and now have a a stoma. This puts me at a high risk of developing a hernia it I lift anything heavy. The lighter kayak then the less chance I have of getting a hernia when lifting it.
I currently have a Dagger Juice 6.9 which is about 15kg and I realise I may not get any lighter.
I weigh about 80kg and 5 foot 11 tall.
Looking to paddle grade 3/4 mainly.
Cheers for any responses! Much appreciated.
Freddie
Franky
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Re: Lightest Whitewater River Running Kayak

Post by Franky »

Since no one else has replied, I'll stick my oar in...

There are lighter boats than the Dagger Juice, but for anything significantly lighter you'd be looking at a full playboat. Even then, you'd only be talking about a kilogram or two compared to the Juice. (E.g. Jackson Rockstar 4.0, medium - 13.2 kg.)

You don't mention how much experience you have, so it's difficult to advise. Most seasoned paddlers know that the lightest boats are playboats, and paddling Grade 4 in a playboat requires pretty solid white water skills. If you're worried about getting a hernia carrying your boat in, I'd also consider the risk of injury from taking a small boat onto difficult rapids.

The weight of a boat is determined primarily by its size. There is a limit to how thin the plastic of a white water boat can be before it dents or splits on every impact.

Personally, in your place, I'd buy a bigger boat, and get a friend to help me carry it to the water. Your first consideration should be the boat's suitability for the water you'll be paddling, not its weight. As regards getting it to the water, where there's a will there's a way.

There are also little trolleys that you can buy to pull your kayak.

Sorry if this is saying things you already know, but on the information given, it's the only answer I can think of :\
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Re: Lightest Whitewater River Running Kayak

Post by ike »

Franky’s reply is excellent.
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Jim
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Re: Lightest Whitewater River Running Kayak

Post by Jim »

Is paddling grade 3/4 realistic post -op?

That probably comes accross as condescending, but hear me out, what I mean is, if you decide, or later discover that it isn't, and need to drop your paddling a grade or 2, seriously have a look at slalom boats.

If you paddle carefully on rocky or low rivers you will find that modern slalom boats are much tougher than a lot of people think and you will probably pickup less damage than many racers do, because we usually hit stuff at maximum effort. Minimum boat weight was raised to 9kg a few years ago, and most manufacturers have no problem hitting the minimum with normal sized boats, 80kg is about the top of the normal size range, so expect to be able to get a 9kg boat. You probably want to put airbags in which will add about a kg, so 10kg useful weight. The only problem is that boats for 80kg are more adult sized than kid sized, and adults don't grow out of boats like kids do, so boats for 80kg and up are hard to find second hand so you would probably be looking at new prices. In which case I would suggest you check out the British manufacturers, TJ Composites and JEM Racing, their prices are usually a lot less than the European built boats, and you should easily be able to arrange to meet up and demo their boats. You can also arrange to demo Galasport through Canoe Tec and Vajda through CK Central.

The older I get the less I want to paddle grade 4 and 5 anyway, I'm actually much happier messing around in slalom boats and WWR boats these days, kind of wish I'd started earlier so I had a chance to be any good!
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Re: Lightest Whitewater River Running Kayak

Post by Chris Bolton »

Slalom boats are an interesting point, Jim, and have prompted another thought. In the early 1980's, everybody thought you needed a kayak that was at least 4m long, with pointed ends, to paddle whitewater. Shorter boats with rounded ends were only used in swimming baths (BAT = Baths Advanced Trainer). Then Pyranha brought out the Rotobat, people discovered it worked well on rivers, and the world changed. Rather than a slalom boat, it would also be worth considering a polo boat. I haven't played polo for decades but I suspect polo kayaks are basically slalom kayaks with rounded ends. They are built quite tough, and I'm sure a builder would make an extra tough one and maybe add a bit of volume on the seam. In the 1990's some German paddlers were using bats with 6 layers of carbon-kevlar to run grade 6.
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Jim
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Re: Lightest Whitewater River Running Kayak

Post by Jim »

Hi Chris, Polo boats used to be cut down slalom boats, but have diverged over the years. The main reason I didn't suggest a polo boat, is that I find polo boats more squirty than slalom boats - that might at first seem counterintuitive, but a polo boat is designed to pivot turn easily on still water, where a modern slalom boat is designed to be controllable in a pivot turn in quite violent water. It is also tactically useful to be able to dive your bow under an opponent, where a slalom bow is designed to be skipped over stoppers. This is not just theory, I have tried my polo boat on a slalom course, and my slalom boat is much more forgiving! Admittedly my polo boat is not as modern a design, but it is one that is basically still in production with as far as I can tell relatively minor tweaks.
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Re: Lightest Whitewater River Running Kayak

Post by FreddieK »

Hi guys, thanks very much for the replies - really appreciate you taking the time out.

In terms of ability pre-op I was paddling grade 4 confidently with the occasional easier 5 if it felt like a good day.

Franky’s response of getting a friend to help lift seems the most realistic option at the moment so I don’t need to splash cash. I’ve got a Jackson Karma so I’ll maybe try using that on easier water and try make more difficult moves.

Think I was going to be a bit reluctant for a full play boat given the unforgiving nature of them and that all the twisting and rolling might not be too gentle on my stoma.

Will also have a look at Slalom boats (thanks Jim). They sound very interesting and probably a great option if the whitewater boats don’t seem to work.

Cheers everyone!
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Re: Lightest Whitewater River Running Kayak

Post by kayak1 »

Some older Eskimo boats are very light..e.g Kendo, Salto and the bigger models etc..
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Phil Hk
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Re: Lightest Whitewater River Running Kayak

Post by Phil Hk »

Hi Freddie

This is a relatively minimal tweak rather than alternative suggestion re boat. I am about the same weight and height as you and also paddle a Dagger Juice - although it is the 7.1 model. My wife and daughter share use of a 6.9 so I have a good working / paddling basis for comparison. You may well find the slightly increased volume helps with river running when it comes to running grade 4?

Cheers .. and best wishes for the future

Phil
FreddieK
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Re: Lightest Whitewater River Running Kayak

Post by FreddieK »

Hi Phil,
Sorry for the late reply.
That’s really good to know!
Thanks so much for taking the time out to reply.
Freddie
Raf
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Re: Lightest Whitewater River Running Kayak

Post by Raf »

Hi Freddie
Apol for a late response, but have you considered a packraft as the weight is in the single digit kg. I have an alpacka expedition and rated upto class 4. Its ideal for my river trips. Hope it helps
Raf
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Re: Lightest Whitewater River Running Kayak

Post by purelandexpeditions.com »

Just seen this thread and its very interesting.

I would urge you to consider a composite creeker - perhaps one of the soul boats, or an Apex ringer or perhaps a Lettmann. This will be much lighter than a plastic boat.
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