This Product Has Been Discontinued
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If you can still find one...
If you can still find one of these in good condition, it deserves serious consideration by the whitewater paddler. In my opinion, the Ovation is good for beginners due to its initial and secondary stability, and its quick response -- it likes to stay right side up and it's easy to turn, (albeit a little slow moving forward). For the intermediate to experienced paddler, this boat will serve you well on big water. At just 11' 2" you can put it in tight quarters. The flared bow keeps you drier as it rides over, not through big waves, and the flat bottom makes for excellent surfing. Just be sure to punch through those waves and holes that you don't intend to surf:)
I consider myself a...
I consider myself a novice/intermediate paddler, and was looking for something lighter, shorter, and dryer than the Probe 12/13 I've been paddling for a few years. I found an Ovation and it accomplished all 3.
I find it to be plenty stable even for my 200+ pound weight, very maneuverable, and also very dry. The Probe would plow through waves, but the Ovation will ride over them. I haven't explored the ghost chine yet, but it seems that should enable quick turning.
Due to its length and very blunt bow and flare, it isn't a fast boat. However, I don't find it to be much slower than the Probe which is almost 2 feet longer.
I own four dagger...
I own four dagger whitewater OC's and this one is the most predictable of them all. It does almost everything well. Surfs and plays great, is very dry for its length, excels on creeky water, and is extremely manuverable. Only negative, it can be a bit slow which can make upstream moves a bit more difficult. Would work for a beginner to grow into but is a great and fun boat for the experienced boater.
I've owned 4 whitewater...
I've owned 4 whitewater boats and the Ovation is my all-around favorite. It surfs backwards and forwards like a dream. It's great in holes. Turns on a dime with the "ghost chine" engaged. Takes care of the paddler in big water. It's drawback is slower acceleration, but good form and edging minimize the problem. Great boat!!
This is a great...
This is a great beginner/intermediate whitewater canoe. Good initial and secondary stability. The canoe is very responsive, though no great shakes in the acceleration department--which is what you'd expect from a playboat. I find it great for surfing and its blunted bow makes it a dry boat. Too bad they're not making them anymore.
The Ovation to me at first...
The Ovation to me at first seemed like a slow boat compared to the rival I had been paddling for years. I like the turning speed of the ovation, fast. Also it is a very dry boat and is outstanding in a surf. It takes some getting used to, but to turn it on a surfing wave the boat needs to be heeled over onto its "Ghost Chine" where then it will give you a whiplash it turns so fast. I have made some hard upstream obtainments in this boat, a bit harder than the Rival but is definitely doable with perfect paddling technique.
A great oc-1 for someone...
A great oc-1 for someone hoe has paddled in the past and wants to to be introduced into thr ww scene. surfs well and is great for some playing in small holes. Great stability on moving water but flat water for get it.