Esquif Blast/Esquif Nitro

Have checked archives…nada.

Have checked reviews…nada.

Have checked their websites, and want more information than a sales blurb, measurements, and specifications.

Have you paddled either?

Do you own & paddle either?

What did you like/dislike?

Tracking? Peel outs? Eddy turns? Surfing/side surfing? Stability? Handle abuse? Overpriced?

How do they compare to similiar Dagger or Mad River whitewater solo?



I paddled a Nitro once. For comparison I clock in at 195 lbs and am 5’9".

Felt like I was a drunk in a beach ball.

I had a very hard time accelerating. Missed everything I tried to catch.

The intial stability is odd. Where my Outrage might be considered twitchy, this seemed to roll around alot. Where I can lean the Outrage just a bit to feel the secondary this would go quite a ways over before firming up. The secondary, once it kicks in, is solid.

The boat was very dry, I think due to the high sides. Those sides, along with the lack of accelleration made it feel like a much bigger boat than my Outrage even though they are almost the same legnth.

I’ve got a friend who paddles one and he seems to like it.

If you are looking for a playboat you might consider the Detonator. I’ve paddled that a few times and like it a lot. It’s much quicker than the Nitro, not as quick as the Outrage. It spins and surfs better than the Outrage and still carves quite nicely.

Two Words Bob


Re: Boat Shed
Hey Jack! The boat shed idea is something I am seriously considering. Sold 2 boats this year, but bought 2 others, so nothing changed. Have another addition to the fleet real soon(probably January), and will probably(whitewater buddies say I must)replace my whitewater solo before Spring. What can I say? It’s a sickness. But then I don’t drink to excess, not into drugs, don’t gamble, happily married, kid is self sufficient, Toyota only has 80,000 on it, no debt but mortgage. What’s a reasonably healthy, retired, river rat supposed to do? Sure hope I don’t see a Bell Merlin II, or a Swift Osprey offered at an obscenely low price any time soon.

Guess I could hang em from the ceiling in the living room? Wife might go ballistic! Thus possiblilty of shed…



Thanks Tommy
I owned an Outrage X, and have paddled a buddy’s Outrage a number of time, so I can appreciate that comparison. About what I figured the Nitro might be like. There is one for sale close to me, hardly used, and fully rigged, so I thought I’d seek some feedback before I even expressed any interest. Think I might be more interested in the Blast model. I’m more interested in a roomy, dry, stable ride while running class 3, than trying to do rodeo moves in a canoe.


boat sheds…
are better than snowmobile sheds, jetski sheds, gun sheds, sports car sheds, etc. whenever my lady friends bring up the issue of possibly “too many boats” this is what i tell them!

Hey Bob—sounds like our kind of
decor. But then, we’re not as refined as your lovely wife. I’d like to have a ‘canoe room’.

One of our instructors has a Nitro. He’s a big guy. I was in it once in a pool to try out the saddle. A very substantial boat. The guys with Outrages said it felt big. So it may be a better fit for the really big guys.

Well Bob, Happiness Is …
A boat shed for you, and a potting shed for JoAnne

Happy New Year

Happiness today …
Happiness today is putting a boat on the water.

Supposed to clear off later this morning & get up into the high 50s.

Paddling today with Dale; you met him on the Buffalo, paddles a MR Guide. Possibly paddling with the “boss”, Brian, and his wife on the Current this saturday if weather holds.

Life is good; especially when you get to paddle during the end of December.


Hi Bob,

If you’re thinking about a dry, stable, roomy river runner, the Blast might be the ticket - as long you’re not short with stubby little arms. A friend of mine just traded in his Genesis for a Blast, and he loves how easy it is easy to turn the Blast.


Have ruled out the Esquif Nitro. Am presently considering the Esquif Blast, and the Bell Prodigy X. No Esquif dealers close enough to me to test paddle any boats, unless I drive about 7 hours. Bell dealer is 3 hours away; I know him, could do a test paddle, and would probably get a deal I couldn’t get from Esquif. No worries on my size; I’m 6’4", 197 pounds, and have 37 inch sleeve length.




Here in New England the Esquif rep runs all over with a rack of demo boats. Friends of mine passed around the Detonator for two weeks. “Bring it back when your done.” That’s how I’ve been able to try that and the Nitro. Seems to work. Two of my friends bought Detonators and it’s on my short list.

But try to find anyone around here who stocks Bell solos let alone has demo boats. Hah! Man I sure would like to test paddle a Magic for a day or two.

dumb question…
Those of you who have actually talked to Esquif reps: what is the proper way to pronounce the company’s name?

Tommy, Given that the Detonator is the shorter boat, I’m surprised you preffered it to the Nitro based on speed. I figured the Nitro would be faster and make you feel less drunk.

Bob, Blast and Prodigy X are probably equally great choices. I wish I had more opportunities to try Bell canoes. I guy named Jan Detmer ?, maybe through Cboats ?, has a website with some great photos of Prodigy X’s in serious use.

Also, there’s threads to search on about Esquif’s Royalex and hull designs.



Nitro vs Detonator
Pat I agree that the Detonator, Nitro and Blast all look like variations on the same hull and based on that the shorter boat should be slower.

My friends who bought Detonators are not hotdog rodeo boaters. They had the same thought that I did ie the Det is a quicker more easily controlled boat. We have no data. It just feels easier to get somewhere in the Det than in the Nitro.

In the Det as in the Outrage and Slasher I can drop one chine, take a stroke or three and feel the hull start to accelerate and carve giving me good control. They are all a little different but for me easily adapted to.

The Nitro realy felt like a ball, always spinning away from the paddle and resisting accelleration. I’ve seen people paddle them well so there must be a way to do it but in the time I was in one I struggled.

It’s a good source of information for anyone interested in solo, and tandem whitewater canoes.