Friday, June 6, 2008

Go Green!

This year, for some odd reason, the instructors have spent an incredible amount of time paddling upstream. Three to five times a week we hop in a river-runner, put in at the Outfitter’s store and attain up to Nantahala Falls. It’s a heck of a workout – at least until the Green Boat arrived two days ago. Now it’s not so hard, and has become significantly more fun.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first – it’s fast, real fast. It accelerates quickly and as you accelerate the bow of the boat rises slightly to maintain speed. The other nice thing about the Green Boat is it doesn’t slough its speed off like a typical river-runner. It starts fast and it stays fast. We also noticed that a well-timed stroke will lift the bow onto waves or holes before you get to them which further prevents the boat from losing speed.

The Green Boat derives part of its speed from its narrow width, so it feels more tippy than your typical creekboat. The advanced paddler (like the one racing the Green) won’t have any problems with the secondary stability, but there may be a bit of a learning curve for us mere mortals.

Additionally, this boat isn’t going to turn like other river-runners/creekers, but it wasn’t designed to turn. This boat was designed to lock in the line the paddler sets, and then drive through that line. This boat won’t be pushed around very easily.

Lastly, this boat is really fun to boof. I’d be giggling before I even got to the boof rock in anticipation of the air I was about to get. Even if you don’t ever plan on racing, do yourself a favor and demo this boat if you get a chance. It’s really fun – which is the reason we kayak in the first place.


PeterD said...

Of course, you could just use a sea kayak... 8-)

Captain Hank said...

We agree that the boat is awesome, but have slightly different impressions elsewhere.

I don't find it to be much of a tracker. It's surprising how well it does turn and I was able to carve up a wave as easily as I do in my river runner. Put it on edge and you can flat out spin.

It is narrow and tippy for a creeker. But, nothing an average ww paddler can't dial in. It'll make you a better paddler.

The speed is good, but the real asset is attainments, as you noted. When everyone else is getting blown back, you're going to make it up to the trough.

I think it would be a mistake to market this as a specialized boat, limiting the audience. It does enough things well to run almost anything.

And, it's freakin' awesome!