Whitewater SOT?

Does anyone have a good little whitewater SOT for I-III NC creeks and rivers they like, or does this old 6’1" 190# dog get a SINK, bit more courage, and learn to roll and play well? Be great if it could double as an easy-moderate surf toy. Thinking Cobra Strike but not sure of its a viable WW boat too.

You could get a Torrent, or you might
consider an inflatable like an Aire Force.

I don’t think a Strike is a good choice.
I use my Strike to play in rebounding waves off of a sea wall and I have used it in rock gardens. It works but it is not as stable as a boat designed for whitewater. I spend a lot of time in my Strike, and am used to how it handles. I don’t think I would try serious whitewater in it for fun. I’d use my Necky Jive. SOTs that would work are the Twister (maybe) , yahoo, or Torrent would be better bets. I think the local outfitter here uses Torrents or old yahoos for whitewater classes.

If you can find
an old Dagger Pegasus, they’re good boats also. Similar to a Torrent but narrower if I remember correctly.

SINK for WW is better IMO
Not an exper by any means, but IMO a sit on top is not good for WW for at least two reasons, may be three that I can think:

  • In fast moving water, you can’t remount back. You will get bashed around till you get in the calm enough water again. With a sit in you can roll back much sooner. You can roll a SOT with straps (on thighs or hips) but it is harder than a sit in.
  • Less stable than sit-in: you are sitting higher in a SOT and will capsize more often (straps or no straps).
  • Sit-in offers more protection for you: half of you is inside -:wink:

Peguses or torrent

– Last Updated: Aug-02-08 12:05 AM EST –

Both are good ww sots. BUT any thing above low class three is going to be hairy/scary a couple has used has them(peguses) and had them in 3+ some interesting stories have been told. low 3 oe less not so many storys. i hadd both and i agree that for anything obove low 3 go sink. be that as it may both are nice choices.

Torrent is very stable
I can understand where you get the impression, but I don’t think that’s the case. The cockpit of an SOT is recessed, lowering the paddler’s center of gravity, and a ww sit-in has a raised seat. So the difference may be less than you suspect.

The Torrent is over 30" wide, much more so than a sit-in. And, that beam extends over a greater length, providing significantly more stability. I started out paddling ww in a Torrent and it was very resistant to capsize. Like a raft (and unlike many sit-ins) the ends aren’t slicy and subject to getting caught by currents. In fact, the Torrent is much like a “hard raft.”

I paddle only sit-ins on ww now. But a SOT is a good way to ease into ww and gain experience and confidence.

Some points
Inagree a stable SOT makes it easy, but only in easy water, not really WW. Under no circumstances would I want to be in one in a strong current with many rocs.

I must disagree with the seat height. I have yet to see a SOT that puts my seat and most of my legs under the water level. Simple physics - if it did, it would flood. Most sit in have seats that are about 1" raised at the lowest point. And much of the legs are also under water level and notbraised at all = more favorable center of gravity.

Don’t get me wrong though. SOT is just fine and indeed a good way to get in the water, but IMO only in waters where a capsize is tolerable. I flipped in a SOT in water where a sit-in would have rolled-up fast with no ill conseqences. Instead, I could not remount in the strong currentband rocks and ended-up with significant bruises by the time the current spat me out 200 feet further down…

Secret to Flipping on SOT in Moving H20
Is to wear well adjusted thigh straps, if you have good technique and well designed boat for rough water you can usually brace up with out having to actually roll. IF you go over, you stay with the boat keep a hand on the paddle and straps and pull your self quickly onto the boat. Just like anything it takes lots of practice.

The wide stable versions of SOTs as stated are like rafts, very stable until they reach a point of no return. A sit in side whitewater kayak can be leaned 90 degrees in rough water with a brace or paddle slap and is not going to tip over. Not true of the boats like the twister or torrent.

Think about an inflatable, too
There are some high performance inflatables like the Thrillseeker that work well in WW.


Not true of the Twister
Yeah, it can be leaned some (with thigh straps) but not as far as 90 degrees. It’s like standing a card on end (OK, not quite as extreme)–it just flops over suddenly. Same thing if you can roll it–it suddenly flops back upright, as long as you can get it to that magical point where gravity does all the work. I could do it but my success rate was not good, and it just plain felt gawky. Definitely not graceful.

Thanks for Great WW SINK vs SOT Comments
As usual no simple answer :-), but great stuff to consider. Think I’ll try and find some pro lessons in all types in NC before I get too many self-made bad habits, and see what works best for me. Maybe at the new Charlotte WW Center. Inflatable would be a convenient travel boat for me also. Hope to see you all on the water some day. Thanks again and play scary safe. Rick

Paddled both
I used to own a Cobra Strike and played with it out in the ocean surf and Delaware Bay. I found it very unstable for several reasons. Number one, I was about 30 pounds over their recommended weight range and two, I was fairly new to that ocean surf environment. It would be interesting to try one again now that I have dropped 35 pounds and have more experience in playing in the surf. I think that I would find it much more stable and fun.

This past weekend I was up on the Lehigh River in PA. It was a dam-release weekend but the section that we were on was really only Class I and II stuff. Maybe (and that is a BIG maybe) one set of rapids was briefly Class III. I had never been on a Torrent prior to that day but I found it extremely user-friendly. Very stable and very maneuverable. I had a blast! I would not hesitate recommending a Torrent to someone in those conditions.

As a point of reference, I am 6’2 and 230 pounds. My background is geared much more toward paddling long sea kayaks and so being able to spin on a dime in a controlled manner was rediculously easy on the Torrent. It was easy to maneuver the boat in and around obstacles while in the rapids while never having to really worry about falling out of the boat. It did have the thigh straps and they were quite useful.

Cobra revision
It depends on where you live in NC.

I think the cobra revision might be better for most of your paddling in NC. It will be better than most ww boats on the class 1 and class 2 stuff around NC.

Also most of the class 3 stuff around here is really class 2 with and occasional class 3 drop followed by a calmer pool.

Unless you are going to run the Nanty a lot, I’d check out the revision. It’ll be fun in the most relible white water places in the state as well, which are the Damn release controlled Watauga and the NC coast.


I might have seen you

– Last Updated: Aug-04-08 4:55 PM EST –

I might have seen you if you where there on Sat.

A few people were on Torrents (maybe, even a few of the rafting company staff).

The Torrents are big boats, compared to the little WW sinks!


– Last Updated: Aug-04-08 5:54 PM EST –

We did the section of the Lehigh from Jim Thorpe down to Bowmanstown take-out. We had four rafts and three guides: two were in SINK playboats and the female guide was on a SOT that was very similar to the Torrent that I was using. Her boat did not have thigh straps installed on it. We were on the river from roughly 12:30 to about 5:00 or so. I had my JSSKA blue rash guard on. And yes, the Torrent is 10 feet long; pretty long compared to the playboats.

What stretch were you doing that day? Did you miss the thunderstorms?

Jeff P.

That was my theory
Bought a Revision and tried it on ww, but it failed for the same reasons you don’t see surf sit-ins on ww. The ends were slicy and edges way too catchy. It was a handful, especially on eddylines and converging waves. It’s also narrow for a ww SOT.

Just got a Torrent and it’s a fun boat
Just bought it from Boyscout and tried it out it some moving water (almost class I). I think it’s an ideal ww boat up to class II. It’s rated up to class IV, but you’d need to be an experienced ww paddler to take this thing down class III or better.

Can’t wait to get it out in some real ww.


I Am An SOT Only Boater, But
I am a die hard SOT only boater, but when I did WW I paddled an inflatable.

An SOT would be good up to a certain point, but an inflatable can handle much bigger water, and its a lot more comfortable. Also a lot more fun as a pool toy at those nice secluded swimming beaches.

Gotta correct that.
I’ve never been on any ww before this past weekend, period. Got invited to New River, it was running at 7000 cfs on Saturday, and I was put into a Torrent for the Thurmond to Cunard run. Not being used to it, I flipped when I slipped into a hole on the first rapid, but self-rescued pretty quick and played in the flats water to get used to it. Ended up making it through Surprise, which, I’m told is a pretty solid class 3. I didn’t skirt it or anything else, straight down the middle. I also flipped in a hole on the last rapid before Cunard when my thigh strap again slipped off and I got a little sideways, but the first and last rapid were my only swims of the day.

This was also my first experience in an SOT (I own SINK recs), and the owner forgot the thigh straps, so we rigged up some tie-down straps, which slipped off half the time.

Whoever said the Torrent needs a back-brace wasn’t kidding though . . . .