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Thoughts on Esquif Blast??

Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:32 pm

So, the Blast has been out for a long time, but for some reason, I've never seen one in person.

So, obviously, I've never paddled one.

I'm looking for a new boat, and I like long, fast boats. I'm big, 6.5/6.6 240/250 lbs, and I've paddled Encores and Outrage X's on every type of water, and although I've spent time in dozens of boats, and liked a bunch of them, I keep coming back to the long, fast, slalom-esque boats.

I would like something with a bit more edge to it, so I've been trying to hunt down a Viper 12, but this Blast thing looks like it has some edges to it.

But I can't even find a review anywhere on the internet that talks much about the Blast (that isn't a sales blurb), so I was hoping someone on here could let me know what they think of the Blast as a solo.

Thanks in advance!


Re: Thoughts on Esquif Blast??

Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:37 pm

I have not paddled a Blast either. I have been around them at slalom races. They were all paddled OC2; I have never seen one fitted solo.

I would say, for someone at 250# looking for a long fast slalom-like boat, you've made two good choices: Encore and Outrage X. I suggest, the next two boats to try would be the Ocoee and Howler. Both of those boats are actually raced, and feel sporty to me at 230#.

My observations of the Bast suggest it will be a crazy-dry and spinny solo boat. I would be worried that you will find it slow.

That "fast, slalom-like" feel you are after actually requires some hull speed.


Re: Thoughts on Esquif Blast??

Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:48 pm

im a bit more fat than valhallalongboats im 6'1" and 230 and i do love my MT canoes SS (caption) - which has 3 saddles for oc2 or oc1.
i am looking for a little smaller boat that would still stay relatively fast. i have an octane 91 and i really like that boat, but feel that i am slower around the river than im my composite SS, but i find that the smaller boat is much easier to deal with in tighter situations . would an ocoee suit someone that weighs in around 230+ and be faster than an octane 91? i assume that you would loose a lot of the benefits of an ocoee with my large arse!!! am i right?

Re: Thoughts on Esquif Blast??

Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:05 pm

heavy d wrote:would an ocoee suit someone that weighs in around 230+ and be faster than an octane 91? i assume that you would loose a lot of the benefits of an ocoee with my large arse!!! am i right?

A vast array of body types paddle Ocoees. I expect someone will be on here in a minute saying 230# works well. While I have paddled Occoees occasionally, at >= 220#, I don't think of them as ideal at that weight. You draw a lot of water, and loose too much rocker (the stems are down in the water).

I have paddled Kevlar Captions a lot OC2 and a bit OC1. I did not suggest the Caption to the OP because I feel they are too wide to make an excellent solo boat for all but the super-big (both weight and height).

If I were you, I would try to borrow an Ocoee, and take it for a spin.

I find the Howler to be an excellent solo boat for me at 230#. I know, conventional wisdom suggests a 15' boat can't be fun, sporty, and spinny. But, for me, it is all those things. It is also skinny enough to allow for very effective cross strokes.


Re: Thoughts on Esquif Blast??

Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:46 am

I love the Octane 91. For more speed at your weight a Covert 10.5 would be fantastic. I own one and bought it for trips on Western runs, but live in the East. The Blast is also an excellent boat at your weight and is a surfing machine, faster than the 91, but does not spin as easily.

Re: Thoughts on Esquif Blast??

Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:07 pm

I raced a Blast tandem once and felt completely out of my element. It felt like there was zero initial stability. That said a buddy and his wife have been racing one successfully for years.

Re: Thoughts on Esquif Blast??

Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:14 am

We bought a Blast that was outfitted solo and immediately converted it to a tandem. My solo boat is generally an Ocoee. We are fans of the twisty-turnies and occasionally venture out on some bigger water. As a tandem team we are combined at about 325. As a solo boater I push 200.

The Blast does, on the surface, look kinda like a longer Ocoee but it isn't. It's a hoot with 325 pounds in it on lower volume twisty streams as we can really carve it into eddies. With less weight in it I can't say whether it would carve as well or not. It's a different sort of chine with the Esquif double-corner where the Ocoee has a single chine that's not quite as sharp. Both boats have more rocker than a lot of designs and hence less speed.

On bigger water, tandem, we have a heckuva time keeping water out of the Blast. We're also a little stern heavy so if we let the river catch up to us then it's everything I have to keep the stern behind the bow. It's still a lot of fun, but it's a lot of work too.

At 200 I feel a little big for an Ocoee. It works for me especially on the more creeky stuff but I look at the ladies paddling Ocoee's at, say, 125, and envy the glide that I don't have. In bigger water I am really working hard.

Any boats of this general shape are going to feel tippy at first. You get used to it.

At 250 I can only guess but am thinking you would like the Blast and not the Ocoee.

Re: Thoughts on Esquif Blast??

Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:40 am

Thanks for the info, all who commented. I think I'll look somewhere besides a blast for a solo boat.
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