looking to buy my first whitewater kayak. I want to be able to paddle between rapids and use the boat to float down other rivers that are flat but have currant. Any help on what to look at would be great. Thank you
Crossover probably best
Unless the current in the flat parts of those rivers is decent. Way slow in flat water.
A whitewater boat, and a touring boat. I know a few guys who started off in crossovers, and transitioned into a whitewater boat once they caught the bug. Then again, tdainel has stuck with a crossover.
What do I know, I paddle a canoe
Liquidlogic Remix XP 10
The Remix XP10 might strike the right balance for you. I know several folks who take theirs on flat water with current as well as Class II & easy Class III whitewater and do just fine. There is also an XP 9. Check this link:
jackson traverse, dagger katana, pyranha fusion- google is your friend
my liquid logic remix xp is versatile as well but pretty slow on the flats compared to newer models
I know there are better boats for specific situations but if you want versatility and ww the crossovers do give you that.
I particularly like mine in the winter. It's big, stable, and a bit drier in ww on days when its below freezing and you want to stay dry . I also like it in the swamps with current- I can still stretch out in mine yet dodge stumps and trees easily. For ww river running it does just fine- boating for dummies I call it. They are slower than some types of boats in the flats but a bit quicker than many ww boats so it just depends on where you're going as to the amount of energy you exert. They don't hold as much gear as one might think. You really have to pack light and well for anything multi-day.
I picked my boat up used at gauley fest- 3 werner rio kayak paddles and the boat all for 700.00. It had already seen quite a bit of love (a Riversport rental). I've beat it up pretty good as well, broke the tab on the hatchcover (lower gauley lunch spot), broke the skeg in half shoving it in the back of a pick up (upper meadow takeout), stomped hard (paint creek) on the footpegs (so now I have to duct tape the left peg to keep it from sliding off the track) and I'm pretty sure its still full of twigs and leaves from my last swamp adventure. It was pretty much my go to boat for three or four hundred days of paddling. Something nobody tells you about the xp is how well it front surfs- really easy to catch waves and small holes.
Now the drawbacks- there are better boats than crossovers for just ww or for paddling just flatwater. Won't be good against a lot of wind (big open bays), or against a tide. Crossovers tend to be heavier- more weight to carry to the put in or takeout, load up on the car, or bulldoze to shore if you swim ( but still a whole lot better than a rec boat). They are wider so they tend to be a little harder to roll, some extra flexibility helps to get in the set up position. Kind of hard for a fat old man like me to roll but then I haven't needed to do so. Like I said before- boating for dummies- so you shouldn't flip much. While they have drain plugs they are incorporated in front of hatch so they drain slower.
Happy boat hunting.
the wolf river . Oconto river and other in WI. thank you for the replies
be sure to check out american whitewater
river info page on wisconsin if you haven’t already done so- looks like a lot of good class I-III water
this looks fun
you guys are cool
cool youtube vid. lots of water like that in wi. Just want to get started right. My 8 yr old daughter thinks the trip between Pulcifer and BB bridge is awesome it is just some riffles and fast water. Now she looks up whitewater on you tube. This is going to be a fun summer with kayak classes at the park in Wausau and then finding other places to go. This site is a great resource Thanks everyone