help on picking a WW boat

I’m getting ready to buy a WW boat, and within my price range and availability situation I’ve got 3 choices.

A dagger Green boat

A dagger Mamba 8.5

A wavesport diesel 75

All boats are new and similarly priced, as for me I’m about 6 feet 200lbs

I’m looking at something for class III-IV water, mostly big water, maybe a little creeking, not really into playboating or rodeo style moves, just looking for something that will handle well as I start attempting bigger water this year.

Right now I’m leaning toward the green boat because it seems like its length would be faster on open and flat water, and I’ll generally go on 10-15 miles trips that will have pockets of big water every other mile or so. Or something I could also use for occasional shorter flatwater outings.

Anyone familiar with the pros and cons of these boats? I’ll be demoing them all in a week or two but I’m just wondering if there is anything I should consider beforehand given the size of the boats as compared to my height and weight, and what I’d plan on using it for.

Thanks in advance

A question
What do the people you paddle with have? There isn’t much point in choosing a boat because it is faster on the flats if you have to slow down to stay with your group.

I haven’t paddled the green boat but the mamba and diesel are both good, I don’t think you would go wrong with either of them.

Kind of agree with Kelvin. The Green
Boat is less maneuverable than your stated alternatives, and its speed advantage won’t matter if you’re with a bunch of short kayaks and whitewater OC-1s. I think you will learn whitewater skills much faster in the shorter boats. Also consider the LL Remix series, the 69 or 79.

Completely different boats
Forget the Green boat unless you want to do down river racing. The other two are good boats and similar. Test drive if you can. Consider posting your question on

Pros and cons
I use a Green Boat for runs similar to what you describe. It has the added bonus of space to pack gear for short overnighters. It is heavily rockered, so it is more maneuverable but slower than one might think. Keep in mind that it was designed to optimize race performance and may not be as stable as you like.

I’ve owned the Mamba and have paddled the Diesel. Both very predictable performers. I wound up with the Remix as my mid-range ww boat because I prefer its narrow beam, maneuverability and surfing traits. For longer trips, the outfitting is hard to beat for comfort.

others in my group
The people I paddle with have an wavesport exg 60, a pyrana H3 and and a Pyrana I3.

I guess there is a point in that there isn’t a big point in speed if one if going to outpace the group.

After reading through this the Mamba 8.5 is starting to look better, but do you think it or the diesel might be a bit too big for me at 6 feet 200lbs?

I have seen the Green boats on the Ocoee and it is fast but seems a little limited in what you can do with it. It looks like fun but it seems to have a narrow purpose. The other ones you mentioned are much more popular on that river.

Mamba is a huge boat
Unless they changed the design, the Mamba 8.5 is massive. At 6’ and 200 lbs, you’d probably feel small in it. Diesel 75 is probably a better bet at your size…

I have an I3 and a Diesel 75
I am 6 foot and 185 pounds. I have an I3 and a Diesel 75. You really don’t need a Green Boat to paddle with someone in an I3. The Diesel is already much faster downriver than an I3. (The I3 is faster laterally and will surf much smaller waves)

The Diesel 75 is my all round and most often paddled ww boat. It is very forgiving and has ample speed to attain. I’ve often paddled with folk in Mambas and they are well liked boats. They do seem bigger than Diesel 75s and closer to being Creekers.

Mamba 8.5 is big
I was about your weight and sold it because it was a bit voluminous for most of my usage. On the other hand, I paddled an outfitter’s 8.0 on some really big water and could’ve used some extra buoyancy.

my $0.02
The Green boat was designed for one purpose: to go as fast as possible on the green narrows for the race. unless you are looking to do creek racing or multi-day expedition paddling, there are far better choices. it isn’t designed to be maneuverable, it’s designed to be as fast as possible but just maneuverable enough for a good paddler to still manage class V.

The other two choices are both good ones. The Mamba will be a little faster, the Diesel slightly more playful (but definitely far from a playboat).

help on picking a WW boat
One possible disadvantage to the green boat is that at least at first you may have trouble maintaining your ferry angle if you have learned in a shorter boat. When I got into a remix 79 I had to start with an angle more upstream and then open it up. If I opened up too much it was much harder to recover from.

That may have been me, but the best thing is to try paddling all of them and form your own impressions.

The diesel 75 is no longer the current model, so you may be able to get a better deal on it. I know a few people with the Mamba who really like them. You can also get them with creek outfitting which lowers the seat a bit(and will change the feel of how it paddles).

If you are looking for other boats to try, check out the pyranha burn & karnali and the jackson hero & villain series.

Karnali is an excellent suggestion.
I watched a competent paddler in a Green Boat attacking the practice slalom course features below NOC on the Nantahala. It was clear that the boat was a handfull and was taking him places he hadn’t planned.

There were other “long” boats that were a little slower but more capable on an easy slalom course than the Green Boat. The Perception Pirouette was a favorite of amateur “citizen racers.”

Perception Pirouette was a favorite
The Pirouette is a classic. However, not as much fun in moving water as many newer boats - though I have enjoyed every time I’ve paddled a Pirouette :wink:

Depends on what you want to do on
moving water. Most of today’s shorter boats don’t do the slalomish moves that are meaningful to me on moving water. Even the Karnali and the Liquid Logic Remix series are a bit short. There were very good reasons to design and market short kayaks, but they weren’t my reasons. Meanwhile, with everyone thinking boats had to be short, design of longer kayaks ceased to evolve. The only recent >somewhat< long kayak to appear is the Dagger Axiom, 9 feet in the longest version. I don’t fit comfortably in it. I tried on a Prijon Athlete when they were available. After I took out the foot pillar and virtually all the cockpit outfitting, I could barely fit, with my toes pointed in the bow. And, I was too heavy for it. The new 9’ Eskimo Cerro is a possibility, but I don’t think it will be a handler.

There are some kinds of moving around on the water that short boats just cannot do well, regardless of their playing and creeking virtues. The delighted reports of people who have tried the LL Remix, the Karnali, and the Dagger Axiom are an indication that some great things can still be had from longer boats.