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C1 & C2 Boating

Posted: Tue May 14, 2019 12:22 am
by Kelly-Rand
I'm interested in hearing about C-boaters experience with a new decked boat of theirs. I've been paddling C-boats since about 2000, starting with a Gyromax and quickly graduating to an Atom and Frachella Viper, which are still used by me. I have now since 2015 a River Elf Storm Chaser that I have been learning its character, which is much different from my edgier boats, for these past 3 seasons. I've taken the SC on a variety of runs and find I like it best on creaky runs with lots of switchbacks and micro eddies. I've taken it on larger water and its been rock solid but I like the jet ferries I can achieve with the atom and viper on that bigger water. I also paddle a Vajda Magma 420 which is one of the shortest slalom C2's at 13'4" in production at the time of its manufacture in 2006. It is a hoot to paddle, one of the best attaining boats I've ever been in and it loves to surf. It's only drawback is I can only be in it for 3 hours before knee strain takes its toll.

Anyway, like to hear other's experience.

Re: C1 & C2 Boating

Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:23 pm
by serpensphile
Well often times "bad experience" helps to impart wisdom- so here it goes.

Background: I've been an open boater, C1er, and kayaker from 12 to around 30 years old (paddled a gyromax C1 for years)--skip +25 years--I'm 53 now and getting back into it. I have a couple of open boats I LOVE. Also, I'm 5'8" and 180 lbs.

Okay here it is: I wanted a C1 to play in. I used the Kayak to C1 conversion kit to convert into a Wavesport EZ. I got it on the pool and omg I could barely paddle in a straight line. Did NOT like the boat (but I loved the conversion kit!!!). So I fitted the kit into a Wavesport X and got back into the pool. VAST improvement and it was wonderful. Tracked well and rolled like a dream-- I even perfected my back deck roll. Couldn't get totally vertical in flat water but was excited to try it on moving water.

Two week ago got it on a Class I-II river. UGH. I felt like a NOVICE. SO UNSTABLE. Needless to say we didn't bond but I learned a LOT about slicey boats and boat design. I did a postmortem on the situation.

1) I was too heavy for that boat (literature states for paddler 80 - 200 lbs; with all my gear, water, etc I was probably at 200 lbs). Because of that the edges STAYED engaged (every ripple and current pushed me through the water and I felt I have very little control) and my stern was under water a lot even in the small eddies). I also was not used to boat with planning hull and hard chines (read almost square bottom)!!!!
2) I was seated too high up- I need to lower my seat at LEAST two inches.
3) My paddle was probably too short for the C1 (for my canoe it is great).

I THINK I would do better on something less slicey and had softer chines. Again, I did NOT like that the edges stayed engaged the whole time (but that could be a weight/volume thing too). I'm used to having to "lean" to engage the edges and like that type of boat. I'm thinking I would like to try something like a Dagger Axiom or equivalent. Softer chines but it still has edges. Slicey stern but good for down river running.

With that- any wisdom that comes from MY trials and struggles would be to get a boat that fits YOU (proper size) and fits your style/needs/likes/dreams!!!

Hope this helps!


Re: C1 & C2 Boating

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:56 pm
by Kelly-Rand
Nice tale David, I hope that it continues to evolve. I was 48 when I switched from OC to C1 and my first boat was a Gyromax. It took me two years to get comfortable and have a roll, and then I was not satisfied with the G-max any more. It was fine as a down river runner but cross current moves and catching small eddies were not satisfying so I test drove an Atom and it fit the bill. I've only paddled one conversion kayak on a course in France and it didn't fit me well.

Re: C1 & C2 Boating

Posted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:52 am
by Kelly-Rand
Well continuing on my monologue here I recently picked up a new boat that is completely out of my paddling experience, a play boat C1. It is the Wheelboy recently listed here. I have no idea whether it will become a regular in my boat rotation. I do know that it is easy to roll and surprisingly stable, at least on the pond. The things I like are when you rock or plough the bow down it stays reasonably square to the surface which is very encouraging for progression into a full bow stall. I'm proceeding very cautiously as one of the things that is not to my liking is the small cockpit opening which is very tight for my 36" inseam. I have tested the wet exit and that went well, it is good that rolling it has been consistently successful. Paddling forward, edging the boat, and doing quick turns are all pretty familiar in execution. It is slower and takes a bit of coordination to keep from ploughing in the bow.
I do have plans to use this boat to help my grandkids get familiar with boating and comfortable falling out. Well I hope to progress and get it out on a river soon.
Talking of play boating, I was running the Farmington in Tariffville Ct. and came upon a group of C1'rs including a couple of women in play boats, both could consistently do a stern stall and one was doing cartwheels in the playhole as good as anyone I've seen do so. Along with them was a guy who just started C1ing two months ago, so there is life in the decked c-boating world.
I can't wait to get back on the water. I now have four days a week I can boat so maybe I can expand my comfort zone.

Re: C1 & C2 Boating

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:00 pm
by djolk
I got into a C1 after paddling open boats (Mostly vipers and a spark, but also a Blackfly Delta). There is a pretty decent play hole downtown whitehorse, for part of the year which often coincides with the not many places to paddle time of year. I used to take my long open boats in it but it was just a trash fest. Fun, but limited. I got a hold of the Delta and that was much better, but on a feature guaranteed to fill you with water instantly I wanted to get into a decked boat.
I converted an old piranha storm, it was OK, I really liked not emptying my boat so I bought a used, already converted All Star and was suddenly able to surf usefully, not tip over all the time, and maybe entertain the notion of learning some freestyle moves. Did I say I liked not emptying my boat? I started to do some wetter runs locally and decided I was going to get a 'big' C1 so I bought another pre-converted boat, a bliss stick mystic. Then, ran it for a couple years on creek style runs and few bigger rivers. But it was slow. I missed the carving and jet surfing from my open boats. I also found myself paddling places where I was lacking in confidence and the mystic was pretty 'sporty' as a C1 Creeker. Kind of Old school nowadays too.
I bit the bullet and brought a brand new Zet Raptor. I can't believe I 'wasted' all that time in the mystic. My confidence is up, this boat moves when it needs to, punches through things the mystic would flounder on. On runs I would be upside down at the end of major features, I am upright. The raptor has edges where it needs them, none where they are a problem, accelerates and stays fast, etc. Really the only problem is if I take it on a class 2 run it's a bit boring...
I still paddle the all star around town. It's fun for park and play and pretending that freestyle is a thing I do. I've also got my hands on a centrifuge which, if I am feeling committed to being upside, is good fun.

Re: C1 & C2 Boating

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:01 pm
by djolk
My river elf experience mirrors yours. There is one in town. It's fun. Light, fast, zippy, but hard to jet surf, also without any edges it's a bit fraught keeping it ferrying in pushy waters...