Outgrowing my Impulse

This boat has been a good one for me for some years but I would like one about the same size that turns better. Hard to demo any of these out west but I am looking at the Vertige (not x), Wenonah Recon, Prodigy X or the Mohawk 13. Day use and 4 to 5 day lightly loaded river trips up to class III. Thanks for any input.

Any reason you passed up the OutrageX?
A paddling friend loves his Prodigy X, but is Bell making them now? They had been in suspended animation.

Heard that it
is a slow boat and I’ve already got a slow one.

no clue but,
I think the friends at cboats.net have great knowlegde of those boats. I am 160 pounds and have a pe creeker oc. so not sure how I can help. I think that on gr 1 2 I paddle my homebuilds osprey. on gr 3 or more plastic is great…

Slow compared to what?
The Impulse is not much as a whitewater playboat.

No dedicated whitewater canoe is fast though. I consider the Outrage and it’s big brother the X pretty fast for a whitewater canoe. Still nothing I’d care to push across a lot of flatwater.

And G2d before you start, I’m using playboat in the Kent Ford, Wayne Dickert, Bob Foote “Solo Plyboating” sense, not in the Rodeo sense. Rodeo boats are REALLY slow.

To the OP If you are looking for a down river tripper capable of class III+ I’d suggest an old Dagger Encore. That has roughly the same volume as the Impulse but is a much more capable hull. Not as fast as an Outrage X though.

The two boats I like for mixed whitewater and flatwater tripping are the Swift Osprey and the Hemlock SRT. Those handle lakes pretty well and rivers too. I’m pushing my luck in easy class III in my Osprey though.

If you go with the Recon I’d love to hear your review.

Prodigy X
The Prodigy X would be a great boat to fill your needs if you can find one. The new Recon sounds interesting but I haven’t seen or met anyone who has paddled one yet.

doubt you are going to do a lot better
Although the Impulse is not a nimble play boat by today’s standards, I always thought it to be a good white water tripping boat for those in the sub-13 foot length range. I suspect you are not going to gain a lot of maneuverability in a boat of that approximate size without giving up some speed.

I have paddled the Mohawk XL 13 extensively but not for many years. I demoed an Bell Prodigy X once on the Nantahala. I don’t think either boat is going to feel that much more maneuverable than the Impulse. The Prodigy X has quite asymmetrical rocker, which some folks like, but has never been my cup of tea for river canoes.

I agree with Tommy that a Dagger Encore might fit your needs. I own an Encore and have owned an Impulse in the past. The Encore is only a little longer than the Impulse but considerably more sporty. Although I was told that Steve Scarborough maintained that the Impulse was faster than an Encore, it never felt that way to me.

Another Dagger boat that you might consider if you come across one would be a Genesis. It is over an inch narrower at the waterline than the Impulse, is more heavily rockered, and 10 inches longer, but it too has asymmetrical rocker and a somewhat skegged stern, which you may or may not like.

The Outrage X is also about 1.25" narrower at the waterline than the Impulse, a little longer, and more heavily rockered. I have an Outrage but have not paddled an Outrage X. I have heard that some who like the Outrage don’t like the Outrage X. The Outrage is definitely more nimble than the Impulse and its narrower width makes it feel quicker. I’m doubtful it is truly faster, though.

If your priority is not so much play boating as river tripping with the ability to carry a load, it might make sense to go with a river cruising boat that is not a full-on whitewater boat. The SRT and Osprey were mentioned. Of the two, the SRT I think is more whitewater capable. Another consideration would be the Wenonah Rendezvous.

The Wenonah Recon is new this year. I doubt you will find many who have paddled it who have also paddled an Impulse.

I paddled an Outrage X on an easy
slalom course, and it did not seem “slow.”

thanks for the suggestions folks
Used whitewater canoes are rare to non-existant on the west coast (think kayak land). Mad River dealers have disappeared and nobody wants to deal with Bell anymore. I am demoing a Wenonah Recon side by side with my Impulse in Bend,OR as soon as it gets here. I will send a review! At 67 yrs my back doesn’t like yanking the Impulse around in a class III. Just looking for a whitewater boat of similar size that will turn well and carry gear too. Time waits for no one does it.

Whitewater Canoes and speed
I think all of the boats listed in the OP would be worth trying. I would include the Outrage X which IMO will only be slower than the Prodigy…maybe.

I’ve paddled both the Outrage and the X and I’ve found them to be quite similar with the X providing a bit more boyancy at the expense of the extra foot of hull.

When I think of speed in a whitewater canoe I think of how well I can get from one side or feature of a larger river to the other, how well I can attain back upstream and how well I can hold an upstream ferry without getting washed down. By those standards I’d say there is a significant difference between the slower Impulse and the faster Outrage and Prodigy.

Mohwak Viper 12
I’d consider that one too. It’s quite fast, and fun.

Anyone paddle a
Vertige (not X)?

I have not
but I have read positive comments about it on cboats.net, specifically regarding its use as a whitewater boat for a larger paddler or a solo whitewater tripping boat. I would post a query over on that site.

If you have the facility to demo Esquif boats, you might want to give the Zephyr a try. It has a reputation for being a pretty fast whitewater OC-1, but it is a bit smaller than the Impulse or the Vertige, and some have had issues with the Twin-tex laminate. It also has a bit of edge to it, although not as much as a Mohawk Viper 12.

jbudz trips with a Vertige
he’s over on npmb.com. I have his e-mail and will send him a heads up. Nice boat.

WW Boat for Tripping?
I’ve got a Vertige, it got me through my first trip just fine, but it is really slow in the flatwater and death in the wind. It handles better when loaded, but you can’t switch sides, have to apply constant J strokes to go anywhere. It is way overkill for Class II, but is very handy in Class III and above. It would be a great boat for a mythical 100 mile river that has continuous I/II with a few III’s (I would love to know of such a river).

The OP didn’t say if he was looking for “speed to make WW moves” or “speed to eat up flatwater miles”. Having a few trips under my belt, I would rather sacrifice WW performance for flatwater speed. Windage and carrying capacity are also important considerations. I’ve been very happy in my Yellowstone Solo for mixed tripping, but am really enjoying my new OT Appalachian: more capacity and freeboard for Whitewater, but less speed, turning…

I don’t think I’ll be taking my Vertige tripping again unless I find trip with continuous, challanging whitewater.

I’ve taken my MR Synergy on the
San Juan canyons, and through Slickrock Canyon on the Dolores. Most of the rapids on both rivers don’t exceed class 2, usually less, separated by long stretches of swiftwater.

I didn’t have any trouble keeping up with the flatwater boats on the San Juan. I was by myself on the Dolores, and while I could have used my MR Guide Solo, the extra agility of the Synergy was often useful, especially for spinning to take pictures.

You may find yourself giving up the J stroke as time goes on. I get my stroke done by the time the blade passes my hip, and I seldom have to J or rudder. Wind is less of a problem when you’re pulling the boat forward by its nose.

Did you ever demo the Recon?
It’s one of only two whitewater canoes in the Paddling magazine Buyers Guide (along with the L’Edge - two nice boats, but still slim pickings for WW open boaters). The Recon might be a little narrower, but otherwise it looks an awful lot like my old Encore.

The boat hasn’t arrived yet. Probaby demo it in the snow!