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Dagger RPM is scary on flatwater.

-- Last Updated: May-17-07 7:12 PM EST --

I got a used Dagger RPM. I wanted to use it on local smooth rivers and low class whitewater. I am new to a very short sea kayak like this at about 7 feet. A nice portage compared to my other playboat, the 16 plus foot Valley Avocet, I thought. I was hoping it'd have as much play as the Avocet, but fit better in my truck bed.


I tried it in my back pond with a Werner bent shaft Correyvrecken, 220cm, and all I did was whirl around. I get it going straight for about 10 strokes, then all I do is look the wrong way, and the thing "wipes out" in the water, turning nearly 360 degrees in a millisecond. I checked the back end, no place for a freaking rudder even if I buy one separately. I flipped it over: no skeg! I really don't see how anyone is expected to keep this thing going forward on a river if I can't get it going straight on flatwater. I question the hull design.

And man, don't try to edge this bad boy while it's turning like a dervish or the back end sinks in and I feel like I'm going to pitchpole.

If I wet exit on a long crossing, I really wonder if I can self rescue in this thing. It would probably be like trying to climb on the back of a greased pig.

Anyone else have issues with Dagger?




  • Are being serious
    That boat is NOT a short sea kayak it is more of a WW boat. You mentioned a RPM which is an inch shy of 9 feet long. In the picture you posted it is the RPM MAX which is a slightly larger version. You are trying to use a touring paddle with this boat and it is not going to work well. It is a great little boat, I use it in small surf (under 2 meters) and it's lots of fun. You paddle it like you would a WW boat. If it doesn't have foot pegs you can insert foam blocks. It is probably the easiest boat to roll on the planet.
  • Seriously?
    Kkayak, mine is not the Max, so yes, maybe it is closer to 8 feet. What length/size paddle should I use? How in the name of Sam Heck do you get it to track straight in 2 foot seas, may I please ask.
  • Its not meant to be paddled in the
    ocean. I own a RPM and a MAX and Animas all Dagger models. You paddle these boats it in fast moving waters like on rivers, or in surf, etc. Do you own any WW boats? You wouldn't use them as a touring boat would you? When I paddle the boat I use a 197cm lendal. Try the boat in some class 2 or 3 rivers if there are any near you.
  • cooldoctor, you just have to practice.
    Dagger WW boats are no different from other whitewater boats.

    Touring and rec kayaks are designed to go straight, and you have to learn to get them to turn enough, and in the right way, to get the job done. Whitewater boats are designed to turn.... to turn almost at a thought. You have to learn to get them to run straight. Once you get the hang of it, though, you won't be able to remember why you had such a problem.
  • paddling ww boats
    -- Last Updated: May-14-07 10:20 PM EST --

    It sounds like perfectly normal behavior for a ww boat. The RPM actually tracks better than some of the shorter planing hulls.

    The RPM was designed when stern squirts were considered a cool move, so there isn't much volume back there. If you do give it outside edge while leaning back at all it will slice under. That's normal for this boat. If you don't lean downcurrent it'll let you know...

    As for paddling straight: you need to lean forward and keep your strokes as far forward and as close to the hull as possible. Every stroke is a small correction. After a while it becomes automatic. Your paddle may be making it more difficult -- most ww paddles are in the 190-200 range.

    The only unassisted self-rescue that I've seen work with ww boats is a roll, or reenter & roll.

    Don't blame the boat. Pay attention to what it's telling you, and it'll make you a better paddler.

  • Options
    You can't be serious
    -- Last Updated: May-15-07 10:51 AM EST --

    Humor? First time in a ww boat? Ah, but it rolls so nicely.

    P.S. I added a skeg. I have an Outburst, which is like a stretched RPM. See the photo in my profile. The skeg is nice when you get tired.

  • When did you get this one?
    -- Last Updated: May-14-07 10:32 PM EST --

    In your AM e-mail today you didn't mention a thing about it.

    Have fun. If you can't paddle it you can donate it to some young parent for toilet training their child.

  • It will help your foreward stroke
    Keep at it. Paddle at the front, Try to get a shorter paddle. It will never paddle like a sea kayak but it will let you see turning forces you are putting into your stroke without knowing it.

    Should be good for bashing down shallow streams. I bought a 007 with the same idea but it really isn't comfortable for me, even after I moved the seat back an inch and it's really meant to be a play boat.
  • Pivot turns

    Use that slicy stern to your advantage.
  • ummmmmm
    "That boat is NOT a short sea kayak it is more of a WW boat."

    It is NOT "more" of a white water boat...IT IS ONE!!!!!!!!!!!
    That is the Most popular whitewater boat ever sold/made.......

    it just happens to work great for rolling practice......it has a displacement hull-more like a sea kayak-rather than the now popular planing hull......it carves pretty well on a wave (we have had them up to 8' seasin Newport sufing them).....but does not do any 'new' tricks....
    believe it or not this thing tracks better than most of the other ww boats out there due to the hull shape....
  • Pirouette is easier to roll ;-)
    And from my experience and others, the easiest boat to roll might be a Piedra.
  • skeg

    See "Bonding a skeg to a polyethylene kayak"

    Learn to paddle it first, and THEN decide if you want to modify it.
  • Tracking
    BTW, my scratched up old Piedra is the easiest boat to roll...

    No WW boat is intended to track quite in the way of a touring boat, as in the paddler providing most of the propulsion. They are intended to follow moving water, or be able to stand solidly on edge and ferry against it. Used this way they handle surf fine, though it may take more like 3 feet of it to really have that come out.

    But the question on this boat is using it in slow rivers - while the RPM has more hull speed than the pure playboats, it still isn't a prime candidate for moving on flat water unless you feel like giving yourself a workout. If that's what you want to do with it it'll work fine. But if you are just looking for a slow river boat that will handle very lightweight moving water, you may want to look for something like a high end rec or barely-touring boat.
  • dude, you crack me up...
    -- Last Updated: May-15-07 10:34 AM EST --

    The hull is fine and don't even think about adding a skeg to it. Like many folks above have stated, it's a whitewater boat which means it has a lot of natural spin momentum built into the hull. It may be initially difficult to keep straight but it's ridiculously easy to do correction strokes once it starts wandering. Keep at it and I'd recommend a shorter paddle and more vertical strokes to help it to go straight. The RPM is actually a "river-runner" so it's pretty darn easy to keep it tracking as long as your technique is good. Keep working on it and if you ever have a chance, take an introductory whitewater course.

    As for long crossings, forget about it. It's not meant for it. Oh and get stern flotation bags for sure. With float bags you can cowboy scramble or reenter and roll if you have to but it will still be akin to paddling a submarine. Without float bags... you're screwed.

  • meet me at Clinton
    Lake again -- Sat AM - this time I'll buy YOUR boat cooldoc -- seriously, I'm in the market for a WW boat
  • How much?
    How much will you sell this defective kayak for?

    I have a friend who has been looking for a Max for about two years now. He's in CO, but we'll be driving through IL the second week of June.
  • Pamlico_14 lives on
    -- Last Updated: May-15-07 12:24 PM EST --

    cool doc is the new troll king!! Seriously, a buddy of mine does 12 mile river runs in a 5'9" Dagger and goes straighter than I do in my 13' Dagger Encore. I think it's just their canoes that veer off course, though my son would disagree, as his Reflection goes like an arrow.

  • Get A Prijon!
    -- Last Updated: May-15-07 4:12 PM EST --

    A Prijon white water boat will paddle like a sea kayak - straight and fast, hold a week's worth of gear, and still turn on a dime. Prijon ww boats are also known for nearly sculling and rolling themselves and yet stable up to class IV. And, don't forget that Prijon has got the best plastic on the market.

    That's what you get when you leave the cult, it's pure disappointment. You of all should understand that. ;)


  • Options
    you're damaging the sea kayaking industry by buying that plastic tub
  • Float bags
    You need more buoyancy in the front as well if you put float bags in the back. I've seen what happens to an RPM with just the float bags in the back and it ended up bow down with the tail in the air before the paddler could get back in.
  • And I've got the Prijon to prove it!!!
    Fast, tracks straight, super-stable, doesn't scratch, doesn't fade.

    Wait till you paddle it with a GP!!!!!!
  • Dude - - - - - This ain't right
    You realize your paddle may be longer than your boat - - - - -
  • Hook up with Team Dirt Clod..........

    They'll help you out with equipment/outfitting and some basic instruction and you can practice with them at Dead Carp Drop on the Sangamon over by Springfield.
  • Just paddle it
    an use body English. It will make you a better paddler. Dancers & Crossfires are better for long crossings though
  • Long Crossings With RPM...
    it's highly suggested by RPM experts that an electric bilge pump is just the thing... :) Probably more important than an add-on skeg or rudder.

  • ...agreed, one to be archived!!!
    -- Last Updated: May-16-07 11:26 AM EST --

    YES!!! CD, put a skeg on that bad puppy!!;-) ..and please post a link to it once you get images.
    Let your relaxed hips ride with the boat...and keep your weight over the boat....your balance WILL improve.

  • Can be done
    -- Last Updated: May-16-07 2:53 PM EST --

    I paddle with a kid that has used his in just about every condidtion. white water to flat and in between. the right paddle and butt time makes all the difrence. but to be fare the kid is a natural paddler. who was doing white water at 8 years old.

  • Actually, I think the problem
    is that these boats are supposed to be sold in pairs, and you connect them via a sailing rig and cargo hammock, much like the Hobie Catamarans.

  • don't forget the drain plug
    in the middle at the bottom of the hull like your sea yak!

    And make sure you talk to Renata before doing anything.

    You are a prince Cooldoctor. we really appreciate you around here.

  • Please do not
    drill holes in the RPM. It does not need them. It is a great boat to learn to roll as well as being a good river runner and surf boat.
  • Options
    ...you need help.
    -- Last Updated: May-18-07 5:33 AM EST --

    Well, I appreciate the replies. Your thoughts and suggestions have really made an impression on me. I have decided that, maybe indeed it is not the Dagger brand that is so "off", and maybe this pony just takes a little more modification and seat time. For what it is worth, your input has made me (a) cancel my no reserve eBay auction for the Dagger RPM, and (b) delete my 2/10 rating Pnet review of this boat.

    One thing to know about me: I am not a quitter. In this spirit, I have made some modifications that will help the Dagger appreciate me, and me appreciate it.

    I have deep cut with a razor knife and created a dry hatch to store food and supplies:
    I tried the front deck, but then realized I need that space, so decided to cut into the rear deck and popped on a wicked dry Valley hatch cover.

    I next outfitted the foredeck with crucial rescue and navigational equipment: bilge, etc.
    Trust me, getting that Ritchie compass secured to the blunt snout on this baby was like training a disobedient seal to balance a beachball on his nose. Can you say 1/8 inch self-tapping drill bit and a wingnut? Don't try that on a live seal, though. (Hardee har har. I kill myself sometimes)

    Feeling less buyer's remorse already at this point, the boat was starting to come together nicely and I am readying for a paddle float rescue trial. It is looking, if I do say so myself, very sharp.

    Finally, many of you mentioned the Werner Corryvrecken as too much paddle for this tiny seayak. So, with a little ingenuity and plenty of brain power (I have a headache now, if that tells you anything), I coupled a GP with the RPM for a Q T 3.14159 (that's cutie-pie) combo!

    I really appreciate your "talking me down". I'll admit it, I was pretty pissed after that inaugural paddle. You all saw my frustration here on this original post, but you should see the elbow indentation in my garage drywall! Your advice is kind, and it means a lot to me. You're all right, and I learned from you.

    Bless you and happy paddling--I'm off to the lake to earn some seat time in my new buddy boat.

    ADDENDUM! I put a couple of Hershey's and a Pabst Blue Ribbon 24 ouncer in my dry hatch, and I am not 50 feet from shore and the groceries come rolling up to my feet! This damned boat has no dry hatch wall! The hatch hole I cut goes right into an empty cavity behind my seat with nothing to stop everything from coming out in the cockpit. Damned cost-cutting Dagger brand!

  • You crack me up!
    Your're drinking PBR? No wonder you expect a whitewater boat to have bulkheads.
  • Not cool, but definitely doctored. *NM*
  • Options
    Everyone needs to lighten up.
    -- Last Updated: May-18-07 1:02 AM EST --

    Laugh. Cooldoctor certainly is at all of the responses.

  • I'm trying, but............
    I keep eating ice cream.
  • Options
    funniest kayaking photo I've ever seen

  • Have You Consider...
    a career change? Some of the boat manufacturers are looking for the next great boat designer. I think you're doing as well as some of the current folks getting paid to do what you did for fun. :)

  • That's Exactly What We Are Doin'!
    CD is proving that "laughter is the best medicine!"

  • Thanks
    Great photos. Love to see you figure out a knee tube tho'
  • Options
    mm hmm
    And foot pump and skeg box. You've pulled off what p140 could not...thanks for the laughs!

    Anxiously awaiting more photos!
  • This thread is a riot- CD maybe there
    is an opportunity for you in an alternative branch of medicine:

  • ....I hope you live to post.....
    some more CD!

  • Options
    So you took a whitewater kayak and tried to transform it into a 9' touring boat.

    I have the RPM Max and and I can self rescue...I just climb up the back til I'm sitting over the cockpit and then get my legs in. Your hatch in the rear might make that hard though.

    There's no bulkheads because the RPM isn't made to have dryhatches, its a WW boat! It seems like you bought this thinking it was a 16' touring kayak and then got mad at Dagger for being cheap with it. They do have touring kayaks you know, with bulkheads, storage hatches, and deck rigging for all of your toys.
  • Options
    new or sumthin?
    R u new 2 paddling? I mean, it is a WW boat, a creeker @ that. It is SUPPOSED to turn and carve like that. You have to turn real fast runnin rivers. Did you buy it to paddle flatwater? You should have done more research if u did
  • Options
    the rpm is for whitewater???
    not the ocean??? it is a great first boat for learning to navigate and play in a river.
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