Whitwater Canoe

I am going to get a whitewater canoe this spring and I am looking for some information. I am 6’ and 280 and have never paddled one before. I spent last summer in a 12’ rec. kayak on class II/III rivers so I am not totally new to whitewater. I will eventually want to step it up to class IV but will wait until skills develop. I am looking in the 14’ range for a solo boat. My current selection group is : Probe 14, Bell Nexus, Esquif Vertage X, possibly Mad River Caption if I can figure out if that even exists. Any boats I should add to this list? Anyone out there paddle any of these? I saw that the NOC has a couple of these to demo (Bell, Esquif) anyone know where I can Demo the others around North GA, western NC, SE Tennessee? Thanks for any help.

– Last Updated: Feb-23-07 8:42 PM EST –

Ditto on Prodigy X.
Check out http://www.cboats.net for refs, lots of ww people over there as well.


14’ is pretty big, even though you are too.

Instead of something like the VertigeX (which I have, including having it rigged for solo too) I’d recommend the Esquif Blast as a solo for big dudes.

There’s also older boats like the H2Pro and Genesis, and I think you’d be fine in a Rival or Outrage X too.


the big open boaters
I know are all very partial to the Probe 14.

A Mad River ME would be a good choice too, if you can find one. It’s a bit bigger (15’), but still very popular among old-school WW canoeists.

Thanks for the replies. I will probably try to test paddle some 13’ boats based on this. I figure I will be at the top end of the weight range but maybe if I paddle it enough I will drop some of this weight!

If you’re going to paddle big water, or if you’re just going to run rivers straight without much playing, or if you want to take the boat on trips with gear, then a Caption/Vertige/Probe14 is probably a good bet.

If you want to paddle more technical rivers, catch all the eddies and surf and play, then try something more like the Blast.

I’m 220lbs and paddle a 12’ Outrage. I know lots of big skinny guys in 10’ boats, and lots of burly guys guys in 13’.

As well as your objectives/interests, some of it depends on your comfort level and your balance, and where/how you carry your weight.

Try a variety of boats, even some small ones (if you can find outfitting that you can get into), and see what feels right.


…my initial thoughts…

– Last Updated: Feb-24-07 4:42 PM EST –

Hi awelch,
Hey, my initial thoughts were, as yarnellboats hints to...go as small as possible while remaining stable(initial/secondary) in a boat.
The ProdigyX isn't a barge, however give as many of the mentioned boats their due demo time! It really comes down to just how stable can a paddler go.
A used model that "works" for you will be a lot more fun than a new , but unfriendly ww-boat.


You said, “A used model that “works” for you will be a lot more fun than a new , but unfriendly ww-boat.” Could you expound on this a little?


Big boats

– Last Updated: Feb-25-07 2:40 PM EST –

I liked my 12' Outrage better when I was about 170 lbs. I go 200 lbs these days and feel like I'm out on the high end in that boat. My buds 13' Outrage X feels like it floats over more and is certainly dryer.
The bigger guys I know who run bigger water are paddling Captions and Probe 14's, Vertige X's and Whitsell Pyranah's. Oh Yeah and most of them play harder than I do!



Give it a try…
If you can find one near you; I suggest that you give the Outrage X a try.

I’m a two hundred pounder, and mine sat so high on the water, I sometimes felt like I was riding a cork. I have little doubt it will carry you with ease.