Hi: Thinking of purchasing a 14’ Wildfire canoe. I am 5’ 10" and 205 lbs. Am I too big for this size canoe. I really like a 14’ canoe and this one would be a composite. I need a lighter canoe and a shorter one for the small twisty inlet creeks. I have paddled this model before a couple of times. I liked the quick response, but, it feels somewhat twitchy when moving around. I am used to a larger and flatter bottom. Others have told me that I am too big for the canoe? Just wondering what more experienced canoeists might have to say. Thanks
Not too big
You are not too big for a Bell/Placid/Colden Wildfire canoe.
If you don’t want it let me know
I have 20 lbs. on you, and I’d buy it in a minute. I paddle a Yellowstone Solo now (similar size boat), and it is fine. Go for it.
Thank You, for your quick response.
Its perfect for folks your size
With time on the water you will be able to move around without feeling like a potential ejecteed.
It’s going to help you fine tune your forward stroke too.
Wild can be heeled to the shoulder and it will hold… not a great deal of primary stability but it is wonderful in waves …rock solid.
I was out on Sebago Lake last weekend in mine and even two foot wakes from crazy boat traffic ( from all directions) didn’t scare me.
Not too big…
Have been paddling a Wildfire for the best part of 10 years. I am 6'4'" tall, and weigh about 220 lbs.
It is not too small for you or for me. It is one of my favorite canoes; it is NOT too "twitchy" for a good paddler.
If my memory serves me; I have dumped mine once. I high centered on a rock in a fast water shoal, while looking back upstream to check on the progress (or lack of progress) of my lollygagging wife. So I blame her.
If it feels twitchy to you; get a kneeling pad. Kneeling will help some with stability until you have more seat time in the Wildfire. You can also lower your seat to gain a little stability. If you lower your seat, and plan on kneeling; make sure you can easily free your feet if you do capsize.
I am 250#
And it is my favorite canoe of the over 30 I have owned over a lifetime. Even with my weight it turns on a dime when heeled. Tracks nicely for a 14 foot canoe if you have the requisite skills. Just a fabulous all around canoe. Buy it. It will make you a better paddler. Instruction is certainly worth it if you need it.
Best canoe for what you wish to do
In my 35 years of canoeing it is the best solo I have ever paddled. Use a composite Wildfire in the tight streams of Florida and love its ability to turn around obstacles. Surprisingly fast in open water. Initial stability can be scary at first but you will soon get used to it and the finial stability is great.
The great thing about Wildfire’s besides there handling and speed is there resale value. If you do not like it you will be able to resell easy. About the only canoe that might be better for you is a Flashfire. Both Wild fire and Flashfire are still being made Colden canoe. A wise man once told me Wildfire and Northstar canoe models are the best of there type and are mostly only sold when the owner dies or can no longer canoe. Get them when you can and say a prayer for the previous owner.