Dagger Outburst vs. Santee 100 LT

I’m hoping to buy my boyfriend his first kayak for Christmas. I’m a little low on cash, but I’d like to get him a decent first vessel so I’m looking to buy used in my area. I found a Dagger Outburst for sale and have heard it’s a great whitewater boat and can be decent on open water. We live on the Gulf Coast so at the moment we’d only be on open water but I love WW and he’d love to try it out. Should I buy the Santee (recreational) or the Dagger? Both are a good deal, same price, and I can only really afford one for now.

I’d appreciate any views on either boat, or if anyone knows of any others I could buy in the New Orleans area for under $300 I’d appreciate it!

Very different boats
The Outburst was one of the first whitewater kayaks to migrate toward play with lower volume (buoyancy) and more rocker (tendency to turn instead of tracking straight). Designed for fast, twisty whitewater, it would be a chore to paddle any distance in a straight line without current propelling it. On the plus side, the outfitting facilitates control and it could be some fun to surf. With a beam of 24", it would require more skill than the Santee (30" beam) to remain upright, but is a lot easier to roll. Fit would be tight for a larger paddler.

With a length of 10" and a wide beam, the Santee wouldn’t be much easier for covering distance. But, it would track better. The outfitting doesn’t optimize control.

The Outburst is an older boat and the plastic could be brittle if it was stored outside exposed to sunlight. With skill development, it is a fun boat and would be my choice between the two if it’s in good shape. But, given your location, I’d go for something that’s more suitable for open waters and surfing, like a Dagger Alchemy.

Agree with above
WW boats are not remotely the same as boats designed for open water, and are especially frustrating for anyone just learning to paddle because you will spend a lot of time spinning in circles. Or going forward very slowly. This is not fun for most new paddlers. It doesn’t matter whether the WW boat in question is old or new - they are tuned for very different behaviors than you want for a flat water boat.

I second the idea of something like an Alchemy, which you might be able to find used for a fairly low price. We have a lot of new paddlers around here who have tried a lot of boats and landed on this as their first one. It is turny enough to make it easy to maneuver but still will go straight, and it will support a considerable amount of skill advancement if you want to go there. The only issue with the Alchemy is somewhat leaky hatches when you get to wet work like rolling, but water can be dumped out and there are dry bags for you stuff. For the money, one of these little sea kayaks is a great deal.


– Last Updated: Dec-02-13 5:28 PM EST –

Uh, so a 10ft rec boat or an 11ft 'old-school' whitewater boat? Do you plan to try surfing? Is this for fishing?

I think you just need to decide on the type of paddling he might do and then continue to watch for used boats on Craigslist...


(Yes, I own an Outburst)

I have an Animas which is close to
an Outburst with a fat bow. I paddle both in SE whitewater, and in Louisiana bayous.

The Outburst, like the Animas, doesn’t track well unless paddled properly with concentration. Not a bayou boat. Not a boat for open, exposed inlets.

Better look for a fast-cruising rec kayak. Later, you or he can watch for a more up-to-date ww kayak.

Used kayaks should be cheap, though sometimes you have to wait a bit before the seller realizes this. The only used boat I paid more than $400 for, was when I bought a slalom boat from an Olympic racer. Think cheap.

Hurricane Santee
If you’re talking about a Hurricane Santee, that’s a great boat, but not for whitewater. It’s too fragile for rivers where you might hit big rocks. What about a Liquid Logic XP 9 or 10?