Old School WW Boats?

I’m looking for a boat for creeking and starting to develop some WW skills. Something like the Perception Pirouette S would seem to be a good, used, inexpensive way to get started, but I haven’t seen many of these old boats for sale. Does anyone have any suggestions on similar boats by other manufacturers?

I’m 5’7", 150 lbs, and fit nicely in an Eddyline Merlin LT. And, at age 58, I seem to fit the website average profile.

are you sure you mean creeking?
“Creeking” in whitewater lingo means paddling steep and technical drops which are typically class IV-V+. Since you’re looking to develop whitewater skills, can I safely assume that you are referring to paddling down a quite creek rather than creeking?

Where are you?
I’m pretty sure there’s a Pirouette for sale at the Boston Craigslist.


Look at Gearswap on Boatertalk
There is a Pirouette S in Houston for $175. There are lots of older boats that would serve to introduce you to whitewater. There is a plentiful supply of older Dagger boats like the Crossfire and Animas just to name a couple of others.

Pirouettes are NOT creeking boats.
Creeking, in WW circles, means steep creeking and nothing else. Pirouettes are not suitable for serious creeking.

Rather than looking for an old-school boat, save your money and get a Jackson Hero or SuperHero. Relatively fast, good for big water, and OK for creeking.

I was also looking at
longish ww boats with a displacement hull (like the Pirouette) and thought the Prijon Chopper looked pretty good. I’m not a ww paddler (yet) so don’t listen to me, though.

Thanks for setting me straight
on the definition of “creeking.” Another successful learning experience on PNet. Here in Iowa, we don’t have much of that extreme WW creeking environment, but some folks do try to run very small streams during spring runoff or immediately after a heavy downpour. Since it’s mostly straight-ahead, it would seem that the older WW boat might be more appropriate than the shorter play boats. Thanks for the feedback.

Perception Dancer is a similar boat.

Prijon Invader is another.

Make sure you demo/rent/take class in a nice fairly recent “river runner” type boat with planing hull before you buy an old school boat – Dagger GT series or Mamba, Wave Sport Diesel, Riot Booster, Pyranha H3/G3, Liquid Logic Little Joe/ Hoss, etc.

All of these would probably be more stable, more maneuverable, safer, easier, comfier than most old school boats.

or if you don’t …
at least try to get a planing hulled older boat like the Necky Jive, once you get used to it, you’ll probably appreciate the difference over older displacement hulled boats. More importantly, you’ll learn edge/boat control that will apply to the vast majority of recent and current WW kayaks :slight_smile:

(and hey, you can always surf those famous Iowa waves better with a planing hulled boat)

See if you can locate a
Percption Corsica.

I had the “S” model.

There should be a bunch of them hanging around here and there.

I saw one last year and the kid that had it said that it was given to him. Naturally it was beat to hell and the nose had probably a full role of duct tape on it, but he was having a ball with it.

That is the first boat where I learned the cardinal rule; “Don’t tuck the spray skirt grab loop under the skirt”



Yeah, they’re all wonderfully SLOW
and totally hopeless on a slalom course. Doesn’t that suggest you have missed something? I like planing too, but with the possible exception of the Jackson Hero/Superhero, so-called planing boats are so hopeless at making fast moves around the river that I will not consider them. If you want some planing and some edging and some speed and some real handling, get a slalom boat.

Do not get a slalom boat.

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It would not serve your purposes at all. It would not help you learn WW skills, and is not appropriate for smaller streams in Spring runoff. Slalom boats are very specialized craft and slalom boating is a very specialized activity that only a tiny majority of people enjoy. Probably the best boat out there now for river running with play is the Dragorossi Pintail. It is also fast and has wonderful control. But it is also expensive. So unless you have just won the Lotto look at the boats recommended by shaunotter. Or get the Pirouette.

sounds like your just starting. Consider
some lessons and demoing lots of boats. I am with Dr Disco and who ever it was in recommendations of boat types. There are other just as worthy boats outthere but as said try demoing. See you downstream.

Pirouette is a decent citizen racer for

– Last Updated: Jan-15-06 10:57 PM EST –

slalom courses. Slalom is the logical extension of moving around efficiently on whitewater. Slalom boats are not any more specialized than are planing playboats. While Dr. Disco is squiggling around a hole or a wave, as playboaters will do, a slalom boater is hammering and sailing from eddy to eddy, across the waves, attaining back upstream, etc. A Pirouette will do this, though with much less finesse. A Jackson Superhero will do it, though with less finesse and less speed. Various modern playboats just really don't cut it. They squiggle, but they don't cut, they don't sail, they don't fly. Short skis are great for learning, for moguls, and for air stunts, but for downhill, Super G, and Slalom, you get longer skis.

I watched one of the Slalom Nationals competitors matching or showing up several playboats at the wave/hole of Smelter Rapid in Durango. He showed how well a slalom boat can perform in experienced hands.

I'm not suggesting a slalom boat, although if you can fit in one, you really should try it out. But I wouldn't suggest anything pokier than a SuperHero.

what’s the appeal of speed?
In whitewater, control is much more important than speed (especially for a beginner). Speed only means you reach the strainer/hole/boulder faster. A good planning hull boat would make ferries easier, make catching eddies/peeling out easier, improve boat control, etc. I classify slalom kayaking with creeking and playboating. All are specialized forms of whitewater which require a high level of skill and boats which are typically not optimal for beginners. Speed is for downriver racers. River running is about control rather than barrelling down the river at full speed.

Wildwater boats are for barelling
downstream at full speed. But then, you knew that. A slalom boat will not be faster at full speed than, say, a Pirouette. Slalom boats are actually very easy to paddle in easier whitewater, like the Nantahala, and will make moves from point to point, from eddy to eddy, across waves and through (many) holes, more easily and with less effort than new school planing hulls. Go to jacksonkayak.com and ask Eric Jackson, a playboat champion, former high ranked slalom paddler, and designer of one of the best modern all-purpose boats, the Hero/Superhero.

Dr. Disco has not paddled a modern slalom boat. Have you?

so Gstark… did you get a
an answer that helped you, and have you made a choice?

Hate to throw this out there but

– Last Updated: Jan-17-06 9:06 AM EST –

old school boats are just fine if you want a river runner that handles resonably well and won't kill you to paddle a couple of miles in slower current. This is really true if you plan on paddling with a group of WW canoes and other old school boats as you would be hard put to keep up in a lot of newer designs. Most of the newer designs have been created with the "park and play " crowd in mind, meaning that they are basically the aquatic versions of skateboards. Thats what sells so thats whats made. Very few, even though they may be marketed as river runners are much fun to paddle over any great distance.

yes and no…
I’ve paddled a modern slalom boat in a pool slalom but not out on a river. I have also whitewater raced using an “old school” faster kayak (Outburst). I agree that slalom boats have some distinct advantages over standard river runners but I also think that slalom boats are specialized kayaks which you move into rather than start in.

As for the Hero/Superhero, although I haven’t tried it, I’m a huge fan of Jackson kayaks so I’m sure it’s a nice design. Is that the river runner/creeker hybrid? If it is anything like the WS Diesel, I’m sure it’s a nice confidence inspiring boat to start running rivers on even though it is a bit overkill. I personally wouldn’t enjoy running the scrapy technical rock garden rivers that I have around me in a bigger boat like that although I’m sure I’d love in the bigger water runs and rivers with bigger drops.