There’s boat characteristics and
– Last Updated: Feb-20-06 1:00 PM EST –
there's paddler training.
I'm guessing from your list that you have more experience with a single-bladed paddle. With a double bladed paddle "on side" and "off side" in a sweep isn't as important. (I stand ready for the wave of contempt about to be directed my way by dissenters!)
For instance, I couldn't do a duffek in any boat, because I don't know how to do a duffek.
However, I can do a low brace or a high brace and a few of the other strokes and moves you listed in my Perception America - which is pretty much just your boat on steroids (it's a foot longer and a couple inches wider but with the same lines).
Roll? Well, I suppose if you have a really strong roll, you could do it, but recreational kayaks by and large are not intended to be rolled.
Now responsiveness is a different issue. If I do an easy backstroke in my WaveSport Diesel in still water, I pretty much spin 180 degrees. If I do an easy backstroke in my Perception America in still water, I get a minor course correction.
The Acacia is a decent boat, well suited for fishing and recreation, and a good value for the money. For Class I water, no worries. For Class II, you should really consider a skirt (even a nylon skirt helps a lot) and some flotation bags to take up space. For non-technical Class II, you should be able to run in that boat. The Acacia is not made for playing in rapids, but you should be able to run through non-technical rapids up to Class II and keep the people side up more often than not. Please remember that anytime you're in rapids, right down to Class I, in any kind of boat, there is always the risk of a capsize. As one wise fellow told me, "If it'll float, it can flip." Plan accordingly.
- Big D