Flatwater in a WW kayak?

Maybe a crossover
Something like the Jackson AllWater ot the Remix XP9.

square one? Say it isn’t so…
I called a retail store and dug up some info. Min weight for a Mamba 8.0 is 160. And the 7.5 is described as “youth” size. Much less widely available. We’ll see which one it is. Hmmmmm. Maybe I could paddle the mamba and he could tool around in the corsica s. It’s a thought. Or I could just become a great paddler and stick it out with the crossfire on those flat river days. If he gets better than me, I will make him switch back! He doesn’t want to go to $400 right now, so the RPM must wait.

How many miles of flatwater?
I practice rolls and strokes in my 6’7" WW boat on the pond.

While I’ve paddled it for about 7 or 8 miles, it’s definitely a drag compared with paddling that distance in the sea kayak.

However, it CAN be paddled straight if there isn’t much wind. Wind makes things…interesting. Still good practice (using a lot of stern rudders) but the spray off that bow when heading INTO wind is something else! Sometimes I just backpaddle it to get the spray on my back instead of my face.

Your BF might need more practice more than another boat, but then again he has to be comfortable in it to want to practice. Chicken or egg. Can you rent a few boats before buying him another one that he might not like?

Think about Liquid Logic coupe
Great for moving waters up to class4. No slouch on flat water either with the retractable skeg. Add the comfy thigh braces and you’ve got a winner.

A Coupe in Class IV is a bit of a stretch. Could it be done? Maybe so, but it isn’t really the sweet spot for such a large boat. Class I and II, definitely; Easy Class III, okay sure.

To run a big boat through Class IV you’d want to be highly skilled and able to roll it. At that point a smaller whitewater boat is easier.

Yes it can be done
And we did it. I was just sad to turn over my boat to him since mine was easier. ( I kinda want mine back!) We were only tooling around for about 2 hours on a marshy section of the Potomac. Caught a little breeze. Not trying to go anywhere fast. Seeing birds is more important than speed.

We could both use a couple lessons. That will also give us the opportunity to try other boats. Inevitable, those will be better, more expensive newer boats that haven’t hit the (well)used market yet. That’s the thing. There are plenty of great newer boats for my cross(over) purposes! I am not looking for those, except in my dreams. I am just looking for an OK older one that is cheap. My '97 Corsica S: OK! 90’s Crossfire: not quite OK. It’s the difference between spinning out in a wind and spinning out in a little breeze.

Am I wrong or is there nothing since the corsica that was aimed at that all-around, beginners market until the recent Liquid Logic Remix and possibly the Mamba? It’s not the sexiest boat, but so great for beginners. I was not looking during the intervening years and hope I missed some hidden gem. Like the RPM. God help me: 10+ years old and still $400 used.

By the way, I do halfway expect I will be laughed at on the river (but I don’t care.)

It’s not the size of the Coupe in Cl. IV
It would be it’s ability to shed water quick enough without additional self-bailing scuppers. As found in high-end ww duckies, rafts, etc.

There are many
Many older WW K1 designs from the late 1980s and the 1990s had lengths of 10.5-11+ feet and widths of 24" or less. They have L/W ratios more favorable than all of today’s whitewater play boats and the modern crossover designs meaning they are much more pleasant to paddle on flat water.

Some models you might look out for are the Prijon T-Canyon, the Dagger Response, Outburst, Vortex, AQII, or Animas and the Perception Pirouette, or Corsica Matrix.

The Mamba is a good boat but it will be slower on flat water than your Corsica S.

One word of caution: many boats of that vintage (like the Crossfire) had cockpits considerably smaller than more modern WW K1s and this might be an issue if he is a bit claustrophobic. It might help if you mentioned his height and weight.

I think is missed something, does HE actually want to paddle class3 WW ? If not, a WW boat is a bad idea. If he has an interest, look into a crossover boat rather than an honest ww boat remix xp9, Jackson Rogue, Dagger Axiom(?)

If he does not want to get into WW, get a rec boat and let him be happy in it. If he develops a desire later, it is easy to find a good WW boat on the cheap.

Anyway,I paddled an rpm at 190 and fit fine. A max would be way too big for him.

Class IV
It does depend on the type of Class IV. Most everything in my area is small, creeky Class IV where you need a very maneuverable kayak to hit your lines and make quick adjustments. A big boat responds much slower and that can be a problem. Often the creeks are drop-pool, so you time to let it drain.

In big, high volume Class IV you might have a problem with it draining – especially if it’s big waves and fairly continuous.

I paddle a Torrent in Class II every so often and it’s a good river runner and a surfing machine. However, if you get it in a sticky hole, it can be a rough ride and you aren’t likely to get it out quickly. If you flip, it’s not the easiest thing to roll. With a reall WW boat, you at least have a chance to drive your stern in at the hole and ender out and rolling is a breeze.

one more time…

– Last Updated: Jul-28-11 7:50 AM EST –

Yes. He's 5'10 and 125 lb. So the Mamba 8.0 is a bit too big (haven't spied a used 7.5), my Corsica S seems perfect. The Crossfire is really a fine fit for him,...not too tight a squeeze in reality, but for someone's first time in a ww kayak, I can see how it would feel that way at first. I asked him if he could have better tracking OR more space which he would prefer and he said tracking. My first instinct on seeking out the older boats did make some sense, I just don't know that I picked the right one that time........

I doubt we'll be doing crazy ww anytime soon. He is more of a thrill-seeker than I, but the whole point is to be doing the same sport together on the same water. If he gets a rec boat, I won't see him on the flats. He is athletic and a fast learner and he will smoke me. And we won't both be able to run the fun beginner ww runs around here.

And thanks, I WILL keep an eye out for some of those older models you mentioned. Haven't seen them come up in the past two weeks but it could be worth the wait.

Totally agree! (nm)

– Last Updated: Jul-28-11 8:06 AM EST –


where are you?
Yes, he should fit the Crossfire pretty well. The original Crossfire, however, did have a fairly small cockpit. I am about 5’ 11" and found that I could barely get one knee up out of the boat while sitting, and that was after I moved the seat back about 3/4".

I believe that Dagger later made a new mold with a larger cockpit for the Crossfire, however.

If claustrophobia is not the issue with the Crossfire, I would encourage him to try it a few more times. The Crossfire is very rockered, so it might take a little practice figuring out how to make it go in a straight line.

If you are in the east and looking for something inexpensive, you might consider the Perception Dancer these folks are selling:


I bought a Pirouette from these folks a couple of years ago. At that time they had 2 Corsica S’s but they are gone now, unfortunately. I looked at the Dancer at that time, and it appeared to be in good condition.

The Dancer has the same width and just about the same volume as your Corsica S but it is a full 15" longer. It is somewhat less rockered than the Crossfire, but it does have a fairly small cockpit.

dancer vs crossfire

– Last Updated: Jul-28-11 7:28 PM EST –

So funny, we are kickin' it sooooo old school!

Isn't the dancer almost exactly like the crossfire? Or slightly better tracking? I would maybe go for it if I could be sure it would make a measurable difference. I would like to try out some of these different kayaks. I bet I would learn a lot, fast!

Thanks for the tip. We are in NoVa, though. Saw a dancer or two around........

They are quite different. The Dancer is 7" longer and 1/4" wider, slightly more volume (1 gallon) but more volume in the stern relative to the bow and less severely rockered.