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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.

Re: Thoughts on Esquif Blast??

Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:14 pm

I'm a little late to the thread... but Blast is excellent for paddling with a smaller paddler in your bow ie:kids. Willa and I ran big water as well as creekier stuff in the blast. Now that mine kids are grown up I'm selling my blast if anyone is interested. send me an email pmp@magma.ca

Re: Thoughts on Esquif Blast??

Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:44 pm

Nobody has mentioned a Millbrook Defiant (AKA Fat Boy). Or a Millbrook Outrage (not X) for that matter. (I've paddled and loved them both...)

Re: Thoughts on Esquif Blast??

Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:55 pm

Hah, looks like folks have weighed in (...intended) on the Defiant in another thread...great boat! I've also paddled the Howler solo...

Re: Thoughts on Esquif Blast??

Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:47 pm

Based on the original post... sounds like you should consider ordering a Condor from Blackfly - due out this summer. Edgy long boat, that supposedly may work as a tandem - so 250lbs shouldn't be an issue.

Re: Thoughts on Esquif Blast??

Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:02 pm

Alright, I'll throw in my 2 cents. You need a 20/20 from Millbrook Boats.
10'4" long, but it's fast and dry. Check the facebook page for pics.
We also make the Outrage in composite, and of course the Defiant for maximum slalom-like speed.
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