Class 1 & 2 Rapids

Could a Necky Zoar Sport handle class 1 & 2 rapids?

Before we get into that, can Drex handle class 1 and 2 rapids?

Yes, a Necky Zoar would do just fine on Class I and II. You’d definitely want a spray skirt for Class II, though.

@Overstreet said:
Before we get into that, can Drex handle class 1 and 2 rapids?

Hahaha! Yes Drex can handle class 1 and 2 rapids. I have done them multiple times with rentals. I have just never taken a 14’ before. I wasn’t sure if it could handle it. Thanks for wanting to keep me safe though!

I’ve taken my 15’ Venture Easky (similar to the Zoar) on open Class 1 and 2 with no problem (definitely with a spray skirt). By “open” I mean on wider streams with decent depth and not a lot of tight rock gardens or narrow chutes that required quick turns.

Mid length touring kayaks can be fun in fast bouncy rapids, but not so much in narrow rocky streams and definitely not in Class 3… Though I do know some local crazies (“hair boaters”) who take beat up full sized touring kayaks down the Class 4 Youghiogheny and the Class 5 Cheat River, but they are a special kind of lunatic.

If you go to 0:50 on this video you can see a couple of guys taking longer touring boats through Zoar Gap (class 3).

Racers take long boats through rapids all the time, and there is a day when they take rec boats down the Dryway (class 4). Boats don’t handle rapids, boaters handle rapids.

Erickson When was that video shot, after Irene? Or am l just not seeing right? Pretty sure l saw the oh shit rock on the left but word was that had not been affected.

But Zoar is so short and pretty straightforward… It really is annoying to see tubers beer in hand bounce down it then me in a ww kayak, spin out on that middle rock as someone shut off the water.

Class II covers a lot of ground. I’m sure it would do well in many relatively unobstructed Class II rapids. Some Class II water involves tight maneuvering through narrow slots and quick turns into and out of eddies. In such water, a 14’ kayak may have somewhat less maneuverability than you would like.

As others have been saying, it is more the paddler than the boat.

A paddler doing class II in a long boat should know how to roll, should have experience making the bast turn fast (involves edging), and have plenty of experience in class I water with the boat to build up to the Class II.

On that boat, the seat back should be set as low as possible so that you can fit a skirt on it. The skirt should be tight fitting (probably neoprene), and if you have not used skirts before, you should practice wet exits in flat water before taking it to the river. If the boat has a rudder on it, you should not be using it in the rapids - turning with rudder is much slower than turning with paddles, plus having to deployed increases the chance of it being ripped off by rocks (which even when not deployed, could happen if you swim in a rapid).

I ran a chute on the Chattahoochee in my original 12’ Perception Acadia. Great fun but I didn’t see the wide rock in the middle. I hit it square and bounced backwards several feet.
I braced just before impact and for a couple of days felt like I’d been in a wreck.