wildfire composite vs. royalex yellowsto

Thinking about picking up another solo canoe soon. Choices are Bell Wildfire in wg or Bell Yellowstone in Royalex. Anyone paddle both? How is the yellowstone for speed with the differential rocker? Does the composite wildfire match up due to its finer entry? I sold my Swift Osprey, miss it and would buy another but the wait time for Swift may be too long.


Differential rocker does not have a
strong relationship to speed. Anyway, I do not notice a practical difference between my ABS MR Guide, which is symmetrical, and most of my other boats, which are asymmetrical.

I think the big issues for you are the lowere weight, finer handling and modest speed advantage of the white glass Wildfire, versus the durability and lower cost of the Yellowstone. If you are not using the boat in ways that make durability an issue, then I would certainly go for the Wildfire.

this may be good timing
I’m selling a Swift Osprey that I no longer use since I got my Shearwater. I can arrange shipping, too.

Oh, that was shameless, wasn’t it?

To answer your question, yes, I’ve paddled both of them. I owned a Wildfire White Gold which I sold and wish I had it back. I owned the YS solo for exactly 2 miles around the lake and put it back on my truck and sold it for what I paid for it. IMHO the YS solo is too narrow in the chines for good kneeling, the seat is too low to fit my feet under, it’s slow, sluggish, un-inspiring. The WF Composite on the other hand is fast, nimble, graceful, excellent for kneeling, and a real joy to paddle. It has a rep as a canoe dancing boat, but it is far more than that, it is very capable as a tripper and river runner. Of course, this is all just my opinion, others on this board are solidly convinced of the YS solo’s superiority. If I sell my Osprey I’ll buy a Wildfire composite in a heartbeat so I can get back in to Freestyle paddling, but I wouldn’t even walk across the street to look at another YS solo either in Royalex or Composite.

Jes my 2 cents

how much?
are you asking for the Osprey. As I remember it’s Ultra-light Kev two tone blue? I will need to know that before I start convincing (aka begging/nagging) the wife.

hey tn
check your pm

Them boats
The Yost Wildfire is a pivotal boat. Almost as fast as his ACA combined class Dragonfly, and turns as well and much more stable. Of course medium sized folks with decent balanceprefder FlashFire.

Yellowstone is a detuned Wild: stern skegged so less experienced paddlers will arrive at their destination.

Osprey is a neat boat; bigger and slower to skid/turn than Wild; kind of a bigger, wider Wild for really big folks, or big ones with balance issues.

Royalex YS
I had a Rx YS for a short time. It was dull, dull, and more dull. I didn’t like the seat placement (which was difficult to adjust), it didn’t turn terribly quickly or run very fast. Nothing really remarkable about it. Construction was good, and it did what it needed to do, but not in a way that was particularly inspiring.

I’ve heard the Wildfire composite is everything the YS is not. Obviously, both are much smaller than your Osprey.

for all your responses. Once again the info here is priceless and rarely available through manufacturers or dealers. My gut tells me to go with the wg Wildfire. Not a big fan of royalex and the rivers I paddle here in Florida are twisty, log strewn, sometimes fast but relatively benign regarding hull damage. Wg is a nice laminate. I do have a bg Northstar that I paddle on the same areas with my kids and apart from the chicken scratch design it has held up fine. Thanks again for all the help.


Nothng wrong with Rx YS
If you can afford composite and durability is not an issue, I would go with the composite Wildfire.

Having said that, I think the Rx YS gets a bit of a bump rap in this post. Its tough to compare a rolayex boat to its composite cousin. I’ve had a Rx YS for three years and love it. It may be slower than a composite Widfire, but it certainly isn’t slow. I have no trouble keeping up with the longer “faster” boats in my group. With its differential rocker I wouldn’t describe the YS as a freestyle boat. Still, with a bit of a lean, it turns just fine. The seat may not be easy to adjust, but how often do you need to adjust the seat? I use the high seat drops and kneel very comfortably.

No parent thinks his kid is ugly, so take my comments with that in mind. Still, nothing wrong with a Rx YS.

My 2 cents
The composite Wildfire is a noticably nicer paddling boat than the royalex boat.

But as much as I like the the Wildfire it’s no match for the Osprey. The Osprey will do more and do it better.