Good River Runner?????????


I am thinking about getting a new river runner. I am a novice whitewater paddler and currently have an RPM. I like the boat with two exceptions: first I can’t get comfortable in it (in order to get a secure fit it is painful—if I loosen things up to get comfortable then I am too loose in the boat). Next, I really don’t like the low volume stern. It catches on me all the time giving me lots of rolling practice.

I am looking for something comfortable, stable, and easy to roll-----can’t have a low volume stern. I’m not interested in play characteristics. I like displacement hulls…but I guess that there are no more on the market other than the RPM.

I have heard good things about the WaveSport Diesel and it is popular around here.

Any thoughts???



In the Same Boat
Matt, I am in the exact same place as you right now. I have the older brother to your RPM, a Dagger Animas, and I too get my butt kicked every time the water gets a little dicey. Now, I admit that most of that is user malfunction, but the slicey stern does not help. On a trip to the Nantahala last month, I rented a Pyranha H3-255 for a day and I was amazed at how well it carried me over the rough stuff. My roll sucks and most of the time is non-existant so this is really important. I am currently looking at the H3-255, the Wavesport Diesel 75 and the Pyranha Micro-250. I am a big guy and would appreciate any advise as well regarding these three choices or a better option.

Good luck to you Matt.


I owned an H2 255 for a bit but did not like it. It was super stable but I found it hard to roll becuase the hull is so deep. It was difficult for me to get my paddle up in the right position.

I also found it very “squirelly” in rough water—hard to maintain your direction.


Demo, demo, demo…
…I have a Prijon Performance that I dearly love.

It’s a discontinued model, but the Prijon F265

(or a name quite similar to that) deserves a

look-see. It’s quite similar to the Performance.

Semi-planing hull, stable, easy to roll. NOT a play boat.

coming to Gauley Fest in a couple of weeks? Should be something there to demo.

River runners

– Last Updated: Sep-10-05 4:04 PM EST –

Displacement hull boats like the RPM and Animas are not good boats for beginners. There are a number of reasons why but you seem to have discovered some of them yourself. The list of boats to try instead is not particularly long. The Wave Sport Diesel is certainly on the list. Other boats in the same class are the Riot Booster 60, the LL Hoss, the Inazone 240/242, the Dagger GT and the Dragorossi Pintail. These boats are superior in virtually every way to an RPM including more stable, easier to control, and better outfitting. None of them are playboats although all of them will surf just fine if you want to do that.

Popular boats out here include:
Pyranha I:3/I:4, wavesport Big EZ, Bliss Stick Flip Stick. These are all about 6.5 - 7.5 foot long boats. Also Wavesport Z…which is around 8foot plus i believe.

I started out in the son of the RPM; the Redline and after a couple of years went to the Big EZ. The Big EZ is more of a playboat than my skills but it is certainly stable, easy to spin and fine to roll. One negative is it is slow for upstream movements as many small boats can be. I am now thinking of going to the Pyranah 1:4 as it is slightly longer and narrower. I would like to also try a Necky Mission and Riot Booster which you can to your list. See you on the river.

Jackson Superhero. I have not
paddled it, but it seems to have all the characteristics of a great river runner. Plenty of room in the bow for your feet, deep hull for your knees, non-catchy stern.

I am puzzled as to why some find the stern on the RPM and the Animas “catchy.” One makes use of a low volume stern for certain kinds of turns. But then, I paddle a slalom C-1 part of the time, and I am so inept that I almost never succeed in “catching” the stern unexpectedly.

The edges on a planing hull boat are “catchy” in some ways. I guess one learns to compensate in order to reap the advantages of edges.

Edges, low volume sterns… some COMPETENCE is needed in order to reap the advantages without suffering the disadvantages.

I think the…
…difficulties noted with the RPM are far more

pronounced for new paddlers. The criticism is

that noviceses consider it to be unforgiving and

tempermental at a time in a paddler’s life when

they need forgiveness the most.

You should know that forgiveness is a grace--

gift freely given–and the RPM is not considered


Liquid Logic
Trigger or Lil Joe, depending on your size, are good river runners. I think they are nicely thought out designs for beginning ww folks.


Lil’ Joe

I have an almost new Liquid Logic Lil’ Joe for sale if you are interested. Contact me via e-mail.


Yup, I LOVE my
Trigger but found that I couldn’t use the hip pads at all-caused me major problems getting in and out on land and major problems with my one foot-I can’t bend my right foot due to previous surgery (ya I know, I’m screwed up at that end too HAHA!!)and because of this my foot would be stuck in one position without the possibility of even wiggling it to keep circulation going. By the time I had to get out of my yak I almost couldn’t stand up-so we cut them out-my yak fits quite well wihout them anyway and I was able to roll her…a well put together yak!

displacement/semi displacement hulls
Since you said you like displacement hulls, check out the Liquid Logic Gus. It’s a creekboat, but it’s got a lot of old school in it’s heritage. I’d say it handles similarly to an RPM but without the low volume stern. Same thing with a Diesel, though that’ll be a bit slower.