As a beginner canoer, have only tried the rival and found it very forgiving for a small paddler. Since i am having difficulty finding a Rival by Dagger to purchase, was wondering if there is a compatible canoe i could try.
If you haven't already done so, you might post your question over on cboats.com. You will get lots of opinions there.
If you aren't going to be creeking with the boat, really want a Rival, and have the cash, John Kazimierczyk at Millbrook Boats will build you a very sweet composite Rival at 28 lbs:
Assuming you are looking for a Royalex boat, a couple of boats that are considered fairly user-friendly and decent for smaller paddlers are the Mad River Outrage and the Mohawk Probe 12. The Outrage especially since it has a relatively narrow gunwale width, although I would consider it a bit less friendly than the Rival (but not much). Dagger Impulses are pretty friendly. Somewhat bigger and not as good a boat as the Rival IMO, but if one shows up on the radar you might give it a try.
Esquif Nitros and Detonators also seem pretty well-regarded, but I don't have any experience with them.
I don’t know where you are located but I know of a Rival in upstate NY that may be available. If interested, send me a private message.
There may be one available in northern Illlinois also.
Hah! I finally caught Pete out on something
The Bell Prodigy is IMO the most Rival like OC1. I know a few folks who happily replaced worn out Rivals with Prodigys. I don’t know if those are any easier to find. But they will certainly be more recent.
Personally I prefer the Outrage for it’s superior turning and comparable speed. But I also know some beginners who consider the Outrage squirrely.