New to whitewater canoeing, looking for some advice.

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New to whitewater canoeing, looking for some advice.

Post by photocodo »

I am new to this forum but I am enjoying it so far. I tried my hand at Kayaking when I was in my teens and enjoyed it for about a year but stopped paddling after I had a pretty good scare on the river. My brother and sister-in-law are avid kayakers and are on the river quite a bit. I love rivers and have always wanted to get back on them, I was just freaked out by kayaking. I have spent a lot of time in lake canoes (by no means do I think lake canoeing and whitewater canoeing are even closely related) and have become very comfortable with paddling and the posture it requires. Recently I have been getting an itch to get back on the river and decided that whitewater canoeing might be the way for me to go. I live in Hendersonville, NC so I have direct access to the upper and lower green (I have access to the narrows too but Ive seen enough guys run that to stay away from it for a VERY long time) and I can get to the pigeon and nantahala pretty easily. I don't have a boat yet but have been looking on craigslist and browsing the forum and it seems like there are some good deals out there. Does anyone have any suggestions for me as a beginner about gear to get and rivers to run to help myself get more comfortable in the boat and on the river. I also don't have anyone to paddle with so if there is anyone out there who would be willing to show me a few things I would be more than grateful. I guess I'm just looking for a push in the right direction with this new endeavor. Thanks for everything in advance and I am loving this forum so far.

Also, when I do start looking for a boat, what should I look for. I am about 6ft 3in and weigh in at about 220lb. I definitely would like a boat I can grow into because I would like to eventually be comfortable paddling III's and IV's, maybe some small drops and I would like something small enough that I can surf easily. I love the look of the shorter boats (esquif L'edge, Mohawk rodeo etc) but I fear they are too advanced of a boat for me right now. I want something as stable as possible to start out with.


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Re: New to whitewater canoeing, looking for some advice.

Post by KNeal »

Hi, Cody. Glad you're here and enjoying all things cboats related. See if you can join any of the canoers in your area and try out their boats. I hear what you're saying about concern over advanced boat designs and some models do require better skills so see what you can try out. The ones you mentioned may actually be good choices for you. Many like the Outrage (X) model from Mad River also so you may want to add that to your "to try" list. A simple start is to acquire an older/cheaper boat and start there (such as a Probe, XL 13/14, Genesis, and the list goes on). Have fun with your time on the water and please keep us up-to-date how your search and progression is going.
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Re: New to whitewater canoeing, looking for some advice.

Post by canotrouge »

For your hight and weight, I think I would get a viper 12, probe 12, Ocoee.... The last one being my first choice... but harder to get.... They are all great boat to start with and that you can grow with!!
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Re: New to whitewater canoeing, looking for some advice.

Post by iRolled »

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Re: New to whitewater canoeing, looking for some advice.

Post by RobG4 »

I started WW canoeing this year as well, and have been paddling a Mohawk Probe 12. I like it so far. I'm almost your exact size/weight.

I also tried an older boat, a Dagger Impulse with a Perception saddle. I found it very forgiving and easy to paddle as a newbie. I instantly felt more in control of it. It's longer than some of the boats you mention, but is extremely forgiving. I almost traded my Probe for it, but my paddling companions urged me to stick with the Probe as they think I will grow into it.

Keep an eye on places like Gearscan & Sierra Trading Post for gear, and of course cboats & Craigslist. Get a good Craigslist search tool like Search Tempest and set up an RSS feed to Google Reader on your smartphone (if you have one). Good Craigslist deals on canoes go very fast, so with the RSS feed you can get instant updates on your phone or computer.

Also, you could make a road trip to Chattanooga to visit Mohawk boats and demo some of their stuff straight from the workshop. My first boat was an Odyssey 14 from the factory.

Local canoe clubs are great for instruction and paddling buddies. Carolina Canoe Club is in your area.
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Re: New to whitewater canoeing, looking for some advice.

Post by Danny »

Ledge has been an awesome beginner/ intermediate boat for me. I was away from whitewater for years and needed a boat to get back into it. At 6'4" 220lbs the Ledge is perfect. Forgiving and the plastic hull is great when I fail at missing a rock or 3! Interesting boat since it's great for a beginner and the top OC guys love it too.
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Re: New to whitewater canoeing, looking for some advice.

Post by Eli »

I hope you have already found something fun to paddle, but if not, I live in Buncombe County and could let you demo a L'edge or a Vertige.
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