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PostPosted: March 11th, 2008, 2:06 pm 
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OK, budget aside, it's that time of year where I spend a lot of time telling myself I really want to do more whitewater paddling this year. So I've been poking around. Canoe Water Adventuring has a used Esquif Detonator listed and MKC has a used Esquif Paradigm listed (though that may be an old listing). I think I saw a used Zephyr listed somewhere too.

The solo boats that I've paddled are the Dagger Rival and Genesis.

Which boat should I be daydreaming most about?

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PostPosted: March 11th, 2008, 2:21 pm 
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The answer, of course, is "it depends". But to make a long story short... I'd guess Zephyr!

The Detonator is a good surf & play boat, but coming from a tripping background and a Genesis ans Rival, you'd probably be most comfortable in something with some hull speed and tracking.

Basically, I'd get a generalist boat in the 12' range first. And then you can decide if you want any specialist variations that are shorter, wetter, edgier, etc.

On the other hand, any boat that gets you on the river is a good boat!

Have fun, PY.

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PostPosted: March 11th, 2008, 7:59 pm 
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I paddle an (sl)Ovation which is similar to the Detonator, and a good beginer boat. One word of caution on the Detonator, at 10', it's probably not the best boat for heavier paddlers. The Zephyr is a popular boat, but you might find a little edgy - especially when comparing it to a Rival or Genesis.


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PostPosted: March 12th, 2008, 9:58 am 
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I talked to one of the guys at Adventure Guide last night who was quite enthusiastic about the Zephyr. Esquif is describing it as a beginner to intermediate boat as well. Catch is that QuickTax tells me that I only have 1/2 but budget I need, ;-)

Has anyone paddled the Paradigm? The fact that MKC is selling one that is only 2 years old makes me wonder how good it is, but Esquif does describe it as "a boat that the novice paddler can grow into and the seasoned boater will appreciate and have fun with."

I had been thinking that a Nitro would be a good starting point.

Whatever boat I (eventually) end up with, my hope is that some regular paddling will get me through any learning curve issues.

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PostPosted: March 12th, 2008, 10:56 am 
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The issue is we all start in different places....

The first evaluation has got to be whether you want edges or not. If you know you'll enjoy an edgy boat (ie: you've actually paddled one on whitewater)... then you should buy a boat with an edge you will grow into, and take your lumps as you learn to deal with edges. If you are going to spend the next 10 years growing... then buy a soft edged boat so you can gain confidence. In addition, if you are timid... buy a shoft edged boat.

I've not paddled the Zephyr, but it's not an overly edgy boat...The Ovation you mentioned is also not an edgy boat. The Paradigm is a Bob Foote boat... it does the stuff Bob likes boats to do. He likes boats to be fast for their length, and most of his boats are reasonably dry for their size. Though I've always thought the Prodigy is darn wet. You said you've been in a Genesis and a Rival. Did you like them? I personally had a great time paddling a Genesis, and I found the Rival incredibly stable in waves, but it doesn't like to play the way I do. But there are plenty of reviews on the Paradigm... and it comes down to that most OC-1 paddlers are interested in paddling different than what Bob designed this boat for. Bob designed the boat with a little harder edges than his prior boats... and I'm not sure that the design really suits what most hard edged paddlers want these days. That may be why it's up for sale. But if you liked the Genesis or the Rival you paddled... maybe you will like the Paradigm for the same reasons. I wouldn't reject the boat for the same reasons that others might... Ya gotta get it out there and try it.

PK


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 Post subject: First Boat
PostPosted: March 12th, 2008, 10:05 pm 
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I bought my first solo boat last fall and given the choice between a Zephyr and a Vertige I chose the Vertige.

I'm 6' tall and 200 lbs given that fact starting out with a more stable boat makes sense for me. Since I buy used, selling my Vertige and upgrade to something more responsive when I feel ready will be cheaper.

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PostPosted: March 13th, 2008, 8:37 am 
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Hmmm, the Vertige actually is about the same size as the Genesis. If I saw a used Vertige in my price range then I would consider it. Unfortunately I haven't seen many used whitewater solo boats available in southern Ontario.

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PostPosted: March 13th, 2008, 2:37 pm 
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Splake, I have a Vertige if you want to try it out sometime before you buy one.


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PostPosted: March 13th, 2008, 6:24 pm 
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Splake wrote:
Hmmm, the Vertige actually is about the same size as the Genesis. If I saw a used Vertige in my price range then I would consider it. Unfortunately I haven't seen many used whitewater solo boats available in southern Ontario.


If thats the case than you are not looking in the right place.

Anyway. Get a zephyr. You won't regret it. I have not met a paddler with skill levels between Paul Mason and my dog who didn't like it.

I call it a fat man's zoom. For a bigger paddler it is an easy to paddle aggressive forgiving boat. For a smaller paddler it is a REALLY forgiving boat. Its like a rival with edges. That means its fast, light, AND playful. Its also pretty damn dry for a 200lb guy who likes the wet lines. I just got back from tennesse, and I found the boats only weakness. Steep creeks with no water. I found the boat was a little too long for the Cheoa at 400cfs. That said, it is the perfect boat for any river in ontario, and most of the ones in quebec.

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PostPosted: March 13th, 2008, 6:38 pm 
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Dan, Glad to hear you had a safe trip back. Did the Tellico yesterday.....Emily ran Baby Falls.....sweet! I think we'll do it again on Friday, its just way too much fun to not run it twice. :wink:

If you want to try a Zephyr..... I've got five of them at home. Liz is paddling the Detonator demo boat down here.

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PostPosted: March 14th, 2008, 1:34 pm 
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DougB - I'd love to try out the Vertige - How soon is the Gorge warm enough to swim, errr, I mean paddle? My scuba wetsuit is warm, but not really flexible enough for paddling. Would an evening in May be an option?

Al - same thing with the Zephyr, only you're a bit further away. Have you thought about moving closer to Waterloo? :wink: Depending on whether my plans for a Petawawa trip work out, the weekend of May 31 might be open.

Dan - I don't recall seeing your dog paddling at MKC, he/she must have been in one of the more advanced groups. :-?

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