I think it is whatever boat gets you to the bottom of the river easiest and in the most enjoyable way. I paddle a Critical Mass for my creek boat so it just makes lower grade runs(basically anything that I can take my playboat down) boring, just goes straight through everything and never gets and funky time so I am perfectly happy paddling my Fish down lots of things upto class4+. However, as stated earlier, it totally depends what type of river you are paddling and it works both ways. Now I only ever take my creek boat down the Etive because edges on my playboat just piss me off on any river with rocks you know are going to come into contact with your boat at some point(and if there are absolutley no rocks anywhere on the Etive I'm deffo wanting my CM!). Likewise, when has anyone ever run Hypoxia in a creekboat? Different strokes. I think Tom's point-
There is more room for cameras in creek boats, hence they are safer.
Is a very important one that should never be overlooked. I see so many people out paddling playboats with airbags in the back instead of food and filming equipment, whats that all about? Good example of a playboating river in UK is the Moriston as Banzer said-it is way more fun in playboats and the only part that really makes a difference as far as having a powerfull boat is the bottom stopper of the lower...it can be a bitch!
My 2pence worth
I have been paddling for a few years and have only enough money to buy a playboat - I have grown up with the boat passing everything from 1* - 3* and gaining level 2 coach (not all in the playboat) and I paddle evrything in my playboat (fluid flirt) never had any problems mentioned on here like pinning, back loops, not enough room for gear, getting caught because of my edges or anything like that.
But when I am coaching I will use a bigger boat, like an RPM as I am quite short and weigh very little and have small feet. A creek boat swamps me and have trouble paddling it - therefore I will paddle better in a playboat and be safer.
I am currently looking for a playboat type creeker any ideas??
- needs to not swamp me - 5'8 size 6 feet 9.5 stone with all gear.
Fluid Spice M... So over looked as a boat- you can blunt them, creek in them and you don't have to bare the shame of paddling a Pyranah-how cool is that!
Larger kayaks require more skill to perform an effective boof (except for some of the really high rockered designs) and require more paddler technique to catch eddies(in terms of tuurning into smaller eddies).
You need to try missing a boof with a big tow back in a playboat or takinga playboat down a pushy creek mate. This is an utterly stupid misconception that loads of people have. Instead of learning how to tail squirt on a class 2 eddy line why not learn how to paddle a propper boat properly, it won't take as much as you think and will undoutabley save your ass when it matters.