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Ocoee or Outrage as first WW OC-1?

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 1:34 pm
by jscottl67
I'm looking at these two boats as possible purchases, but wanted to see what you guys think of the boats. I am 6'3", and my weight is generally between 190 and 200 lbs. dressed for paddling.

I have paddled flatwater boats a lot for the past 5 or 6 years, a glass boat with a shallow arch. I've run it through enough whitewater that I've pretty much trashed the boat (3 patch jobs so far). I'm tall and long limbed, and I'm comfortable leaning way out of the boat to plant a duffolk to catch an eddy or surf (and yes, you can surf a 16ft tandem paddling solo :o ).

I've played a little in a few boats that friends have...a Genesis :(, an Impulse (very forgiving), and an Ovation (feels OK, but getting accustomed to harder chines was an adjustment). After being in the Impulse 5 minutes, I managed to hang on through a serious thrashing in the hole at Weldon Falls (2 1/2 360's before it swamped) so I feel very comfortable in that boat. I took the Ovation down Nantahala after being in it 5 minutes, and went swimming once at the surfing wave while playing (dang ghost chine caught me), but otherwise felt fine in it.

I'm also paddling a Cascade a little, but not accustomed to not being able to raise up on my knees and reach way out there and get a lot of leverage (feel more like I am sitting and not really able to use my legs and core). I guess it comes from paddling a big boat in places I'm not supposed to, but I'm used to muscling through a lot of prys, draws, sweeps, duffolks, to manuever and I don't freak if a gunnel dips to the waterline for a second. Maybe with time I'll get accustomed to {gasp} using a forward stroke the majority of the time in a rapid.

It looks like the Ocoee definitely has harder chines, so not sure how well it would handle being leaned way over as I tend to do. The Outrage seems to have a more progressive arch and probably would be more forgiving in that aspect, but not sure. What's your opinion?



P.S. Sorry for the novel, but figured the more you knew about my paddling, the easier it would be to answer. ;)

Get the Outrage

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 1:49 pm
by philinasheville
My advice would be to start with the Outrage. Paddle it for a year or two, and then move on to the Ocoee if you feel you need to.


Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 3:27 pm
by Steward

I started in the Ocoee, and it took me 1/2 a year to get use to the hard chines.

I purchased an Outrage for my wife as her first and she loves the boat, very forgiving and a good platform to learn on.

The outrage will let you grow into paddling with less time swimming/rolling.

That said, if your willing to put the time in and swim more often up front, the Ocoee is a fantastic boat once you get to know her.


You can learn to drive

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 3:40 pm
by Louie
on a VW or a Vett, but you're goin to end up wantin the vett

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 3:46 pm
by Aric
The Outrage would be a smaller step in getting used to a new boat, but with the Ocoee the edges you curse at first are so much fun to use once you figure them out. I wish I still had my ocoee, it was such a fun boat.


Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 7:31 pm
by billcanoes
My first boat was an outrage x- it was a nice boat and very forgiving, however, after a year of paddling I tried a Viper 12, and from that moment on I hated the outrage x- from the sounds of your paddling you too will eventually want the ocoee- its just do you want to replace the boat in a year or spend a little more time in the water now-

btw- if you do go with the ocoee let me know who has the outrage- a friend of mine wants one.


Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:02 pm
by jscottl67
Thanks for the input I've received so far. I'm still kind of pondering my decision on this one. I know that in the long run, I'll probably want the Ocoee.

Two things I forgot to mention: 1) I live in eastern NC, so I have about 1.5 - 2 hours to drive to get on any white water, and about 5 to 6 hours to get to "good" ww. 2) I have a 20 m.o. daughter, so the number of days on the water right now are pretty limited. :cry:

I'm sure that I would figure out the Ocoee, but wondering how long it will take to learn the boat with the frequency that I can get on the water. For those who are suggesting the Ocoee, how big of a learning curve is the Ocoee? :oops:


Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:19 pm
by Louie
What are you comin out of ?

Re: ?

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:47 pm
by jscottl67
Louie wrote:What are you comin out of ?
I've paddled an Ovation and an Impulse more than anything else as far as WW goes, and played a little bit with a Cascade. I've got a strong sense of balance and I'm pretty athletic (I run 1/2 marathons) and I don't mind a challenge or an ocassional swim.

I've seen a friend wrestle with learning on the wrong boat (an Esquif Detonator)..way too much boat for him at this point.

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 10:13 pm
by Aric
I had three days in a genesis before I bought my ocoee, but it was a deal I coudn't refuse, and I was guiding rafts at the time, so I was in the boat 3 days a week at least. There is a learning curve, but if you're running pool drop class 3 in NC what are a few swims until you learn to roll?

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:04 am
by Nessmuk
I paddle an Outrage, and just recently picked up an Ocoee. I also have a Quake, and I've spent a bit of time in all the boats you've mentioned (except the Cascade).

The Outrage will be a noticeable step up from the Genesis and the Ovation. I went into the Outrage after a couple of years in an Encore (similar to the Genesis), and suddenly found myself counting a lot more fish. ;) It took me the better part of a season before i really started to feel comfortable in the Outrage.

My introduction to the Ocoee has not been as wet as my switch to the Outrage, but the Ocoee is significantly less stable and less forgiving. I think the Ocoee would have really been a handful (for me anyway) if I had jumped into it from the Encore.

But I don't think the performance difference between the Ocoee and the Outrage is as clear as some think. The Ocoee is much more responsive, and a better playboat, but the Outrage is drier and much faster. Both qualities have their place, depending on what kind of paddling you'll be doing.

Having said that, the Outrage still has plenty of performance. It front surfs and side surfs well, it's easy to roll, and it really carves a turn when you heel it over.

Some really good open boaters- like Tom Foster and Jim Michaud - paddle Outrages, and it doesn't seem to hold them back.

I really don't see the point of starting out in an unforgiving boat like the Ocoee- the learning curve will make paddling it much less enjoyable. You'll spend a lot of time just learning how to stay upright, and that will just make you reluctant to try more challenging rivers and moves.

Looking at where you're coming from, I think you'll find the Outrage challenging enough, and I think it will be at least a few years (if ever) before you "grow out of it".

If some time in the future you decide you want to go into a hard-chined boat (and not all paddlers do) you won't have any trouble selling your Outrage.

One piece of advice- it you do get an Outrage, don't get the factory installed saddle! I got the factory outfit when I bought mine (four years ago) and it was very sloppy (d-rings out of alignment and poorly glued) and the footpegs (plastic!) were cheap (one of mine broke the second time I paddled it). I've heard similar stories from others with the factory saddle.

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:24 am
by msims
I'd have to agree with the Ocoee. I can understand your concern in getting into the wrong boat... but at 200 lbs, you're not too heavy. My 'first' boat was a "mohawk maxim" - i tried it once and it scared me away for a summer. But honestly, i really don't think the Ocoee is pushing it for you... you'll be a lot happier in the long run. sounds like you have a bunch of experience in open boats, so personally i wouldnt consider the outrage your "first boat"...

Paddle one a couple times, you'll really get to love it :-)

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 4:39 am
by Alan B
I'd have to agree with 'msims'... I still think it is THE boat and you don't sound timid about the swimming, so go for it! My height and weight are a match of yours and the Ocoee is enough of a platform. You'll love those edges for eddy turns and surfing. I went from a Caper to a Millbrook Defiant (which I still paddle) to the Ocoee in '99. I bought a second one to stash but have not outfitted it yet. That has been a problem the last 2 years as my teenage daughter prefers the Ocoee to the Defiant. She made every gate in the Ocoee at Jonquiere this year.... and unlike me, she has a life outside of paddling. All that being said, I like the Outrage just fine. It is comperable to the Defiant, just heavier. Try to paddle both boats on a busy class II, the same day if possible. Good luck.

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 12:34 pm
by jscottl67
OK...pretty much made up my mind early this morning after thinking about it all night, and confirmed it this morning when I found out the Outrage was sold :( . Definitely gonna go with the Ocoee :) :lol: I've swam part of Double Z on the New, so the swims around here should be a piece of cake (where's that little looking up at the fish emoticon?) :o checking around for boats, found this Dagger Ovation on e-bay, wood gunnels, un-outfitted, supposedly never in the water and it's in SC. ... dZViewItem


Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 12:37 pm
by Mike W.
Hey Jeff, I can't help as I've never paddled either boat.

2 1/2 360's is impressive in the dumpster :D Let me know when you're paddling up here again. Water temp is 62 this morning :D