looking for playboat recommendations

I’m 5’8” tall and weigh 150 lbs. I currently paddle a Dagger GT 7.8 for river running and am looking to get more into playboating. This past weekend I got to try out the Kingpin Icon 6.1 for a couple days and loved how easily it squirted. (I’m 10 pounds over the recommended weight which helped a lot in terms of initiating the ends.) I loved the Kingpin put I didn’t like how much water it tended to take on and my feet were in some serious pain by the end of the day. I will demo a lot of boats before buying, but I’m just looking for some recommendations to narrow down the field. I’m looking for a boat that would fit me and facilitate flatwater tricks (stalls, squirts, cartwheels, and eventually loops). I know that boatertalk, mountainbuzz, boof, etc. are all more whitewater oriented forums, but I think the p-net community is the best one on the internet and wanted to bring this up here.

New or used?
If used, I strongly recommend the Riot Donimatrix series. I have a DOM 47 (you might want the next smaller size). It surfs very well, squirts and bow stalls easily, and is one of the easiest to flatwheel. It also rolls like a dream. You will learn a lot, have a ton of fun, and not pay much. New? Go to Bear Paw and try everything they have.

thanks dr. disco
I was hoping you’d chime into this discussion. I was actually staying at Bear Paw this past weekend and they were the ones who let me borrow the Kingpin. I’m definitely looking for a used boat (no more new boats for me!) and will see if I can find a Dominatrix that I can demo at some point. I have tried a couple other boats (Mr. Clean, Transformer, Scooter) and am still hoping to get some seat time in some Jackson boats sometime soon.

a follow up question
would it be better to try to get a used Dom for around $300-$400 or a used Kingpin or Transformer for around $600?

follow up anwser
You can get a used T2 for $350-$400 and they are readily available. I have never paddled one. I have paddled the EZ and did not like it although lots of people swear by it. Doms are hard to find, especially Dom 44’s. If you can’t find a Dom to try the T2 is a reasonable alternative. Shipping is cheap on WW boats so don’t hesitate to buy something from someone across the country. If that makes you uneasy, go on BT and ask someone to check it out for you.

Seems to be on the way to be a new “classic.” 44 gallons should fit you. The other precurser and slightly more volume is the Ace 4.7.

If you want aerial in the future, the shorter boats like the Kingpin, Necky Chronic, LL Pocket Rocket, or Pyranha FX series are the way to go.


Jackson All-Star
or Super-Star depending on the fit you desire.

Thanks everyone
I’ll be sure to get some seat time in on all those boats you mentioned. Luckily (with the exception of possibly the Dom), most of those boats are readily available and I should be able to find people who would let me demo them. I’m not in any big hurry as my whitewater season officially came to a close this past weekend. I’ll probably take my touring boat out throughout the winter but I most likely will not get on any sort of whitewater until the spring. It would be nice to have a playboat though for the winter pool sessions so that I could go out next spring and have some new play moves to try out on the river. Still, I should be able to get some time in a Scooter, Mr. Clean, or EZ at the pool (friends’ boats).

Update on my playboat hunt…
I ended up purchasing a Riot Dominatrix 44 Ultralight thanks to Dr. D’s recommnendation. I got a great deal on it and it’s in good shape and insanely light (25 lbs.) It is one of the most comfortable playboats that I have ever been in and I can sit in it for hours without my feet going numb. I’ve had it in the pool a couple times and it’s a lot of fun! It rolls pretty easily (although I can’t hand roll it yet) and it seems to be a great boat for me to learn stalls and cartwheels this summer. Thanks to the great advice on this forum I now have my 3rd boat in a years time. At this pace, I’ll have my own fleet in no time!