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Best SOT whitewater boat…
Best SOT whitewater boat made!!!!!!
I love the Torrent! We used…
I love the Torrent! We used them for students on Outward Bound expeditions in desert canyons in Utah... Desolation Canyon, etc. I bought a used one from a rafting company for my wife and other non-kayakers to use. They love it. A little culture shock when they sit down and realize their butt will be wet all day. The hulls can keep up with whitewater kayaks and are great for learning peel-outs and side surfing in pour-overs. They are heavy for beginners to carry, so I usually let them carry my kayak while I carry the Torrent.
I bought my Torrent back in…
I bought my Torrent back in 2004 and was my first WW boat. I have taken it down a number of Class II / III runs without any problem except for the occasional swim & it doesn’t side surf very well. It is a very nice platform for warm days, but doesn’t have the body contact / control of a standard kayak. I have found that I get a lot of newby friends wanting to use it since it’s a SOT, but when they get on the water it’s a problem. They can’t get it to track since it’s designed to turn. I like it for this reason, but I end up doing a vertical forward stroke paddling class for them. When / if they master this, it is good for their future paddling life. I like to use it when going with inexperienced groups so I can jump off to show them a technique. It is also a good platform for photography & to collect wildlife samples with. The thing I like most about it is I can rest my legs in may different positions, so no cramping like in a standard hull after many hours on a stream. I also added bungee line in the stern for a cooler & dry bag & an after market seat. It really needs this for back comfort. I have recently purchased a LL Coupe SOT (review to follow after I’ve had it out a few more times), but I will be keeping my Torrent since it is much more maneuverable.
I reviewed the Torrent nearly…
I reviewed the Torrent nearly 10 years ago and still have that same original one that I use every season on WW up to low Class 4. In fact, I now have a second one I picked up used in VG condition for friends and getting my sons up to speed in WW. 2 paddling partners have one as well.
The Torrent is great for people who want to get into WW paddling without the learning curve and time required for doing so in a kayak and the self rescue, no entrapment risk, and the easy access and ability to stretch, etc. are a real plus. It surfs well and can punch holes with ease and turns fairly well after one gets some experience with it. It also seems pretty durable and can take a beating.
Of course, this is not a boat for tight creeks (it can be but one is really going to have to work) or Class 5 WW but I do not think anyone interested in this would buy one or is a target customer. Tie down locations on bow or stern would be a nice addition. The thigh straps and foot braces work fairly well.
Overall, a great learning boat and for those of us who cannot spend 30+ days paddling every season. I have taken people down Class 2-3 rivers who have no or very little WW experience and they have done fine. They get to experience WW without having to go through all the hassle of learning a roll, etc.
An easy 9 out of 10 for what it is intended to be.
Bought 2 Torrents and love…
Bought 2 Torrents and love them. Best boats out and for the money
The Torrent is a great intro…
The Torrent is a great intro whitewater boat, especially for big guys. I think Dagger is taking over this model in 2009, but I have two of the Perception models. The older is a lime green Andes Edition and the newer one is the basic yellow that looks exactly like the current models.
The Torrent and the discontinued Pegasus are somewhat similar, but the Dagger does track better. After I got used to paddling the Torrent in a straight line, I prefer it to the Pegasus on moving water. It's also great fun to paddler around with rec boaters with a kayak this maneuverable just to see their jaws dropping when you start to spin on a dime. One hard stroke can make a full 360.
The Torrent becomes a lot of fun on fast class I and class II rapids. How it stays upright, I don't always know, but it's a very forgiving design which also makes it a great loaner boat for that new guy that wants to try some easy whitewater. Just hand him a paddle and enjoy watching his expressions.
For a relatively new paddler in class I through III, I think the Torrent is a great learner boat. You get the feel for paddling rapids, learn what to look for, and generally get a lot of experience without having to roll or spend time dumping water out of your boat, or worrying with your sprayskirt, etc. You just hop on and paddle.
If you want to progress into more serious whitewater or learn the playboating tricks, you'll need a smaller ww kayak, but for river running and some fun surfing, the Torrent is a blast.
I've taken out two guys that were experienced with 17 and 18 foot sea kayaks and they just loved zipping around on the Torrent -- all smiles.
The rigging and storage is very minimal and you really don't want to add much if you are doing anything over class I. For the purpose they were designed for, these are the ideal SOT whitewater boat and I hope they continue to make them for when mine wear out.
Never having been on WW…
Never having been on WW before (only flat, slow-moving rivers), I was invited to The New River in WV and offered an SOT for the c-2's and 3 from Thurmond to Cunard. Turned out to be a Torrent. The owner forgot the thigh straps, so we rigged some NRS tie-down straps, which only worked partially. I swam the first hole under the RR bridge after failing to see it until too late and getting sucked in sideways. Then I started figuring the thing out in the proceeding wave trains for the next hour or so. I'm used to paddling non-stop, so in the flats as everyone in my group was passively floating, I was paddling circles around them getting a feel for the boat and to keep active.
I'm used to a 14' day-touring kayak, so this was quite different. But in no time I was able to track straight and get some good speed. I loved that I could plant my paddle off the bow and do a 180 turn in seconds. That was fun compared to a straight gliding long boat. I found that it was tough to stay behind my group, mostly in SINK ww playboats. When they weren't paddling all out, I had to backpaddle once in awhile to keep from overtaking them. But I also had to keep paddling to keep it straight, like someone else stated below. This yak won't glide in a straight line for 2 seconds before it's spinning. Nothing wrong with that, as that's what it's designed to do, ie, be very maneuverable.
I ended up learning this boat within a couple of hours, stayed on it through a class 3 rapid (Surprise), and ended up swimming the last rapid again before the take out at Cunard when I got slammed between two standing waves coming together. I think lack of proper thigh straps did me in on that one. But self-rescue is easy on it, the beauty of an SOT.
I really liked this boat; enough so that I bought a used one in perfect condition for $250. Don't know that I'll ever be able to roll it like some can, but I'll at least try to learn that, and look forward to more time in it in some more technical stuff. It will never replace my longer SINK's, but has it's place.
One thing I plan to do is add some bungee lines on the bow and stern to hold dry bags, and at bare minimum, a backstrap. Although I was comfortable in this boat while paddling, sitting in one place for any time at all was murder on my back with no support. For that, lack of factory-installed bungees, and it being no real comparison to real WW playboats, I give this boat a 7. But make no mistake, for someone w/o a roll, wanting to experience some mild WW with virtually no learning curve and easy self-rescuing, this boat's a 10.
I love this boat. I bought my…
I love this boat. I bought my first one 5 years ago. I now own 3 of them, and am always looking for another. I use it mostly for whitewater, but also use for surf, and sometimes short trips on lakes. I have several other boats for that(lakes). I work in the school system and use it for teaching. This is a great boat for many uses. I will have a trailer load of them before I am through. I have several friends that have bought one after using mine. It is a good all around play boat and safe for kids. Try one you'll love it. Have fun!
After spending far to much…
After spending far to much time on rivers in boats that were not rated for white water I decided that I wanted a boat that would get through a few rapids. There isn’t enough water yet for that so I decided to get the feel of the boat on a small local lake. The boat has to be paddled any time it is moving it you are not at a full stop it will likely do a 180º turn if you stop paddling. It is 10 feet long but most of that 10 feet is no in the water. That plus lots of rocker makes it easy to turn. If it were any easier you would be spinning all the time. With work it did go straight. It will side slip. It is very stable. I had it tilted around 30º and it didn’t seem unstable. I can’t wait for the spring floods.
I first bought this boat in…
I first bought this boat in 1996 for my son who is very tall ( 6'8"). Our party picked it up at the Natnahala river. At first, everyone made fun of it, but as the day progressed, they were begging for a chance to paddle it. It's served us well over the years in some really BIG whitewater as well as ocean surf. With the advent of the Wavesport Super EZ, my son now has a boat he can fit in, but we kept the Torrent. After twenty years of paddling OC1 and C1, my knees are GONE and I'm getting old and fat. Looks like the perfect boat for me!
I rented the torrent for the…
I rented the torrent for the July 4th weekend. My husband and I had never used a kayak before. We took them down the Rio Grande race course and had a thrilling time. Very responsive.
Bought on closeout ($420) at…
Bought on closeout ($420) at paddlefest 2004 at mountainman in old forge. Have not tried it in a river yet, is terrible to paddle on flat water as it is designed to turn quickly, it will not track without constant corrections. Very stable though. Will update review after a river run.
Rented the Torrent for a…
Rented the Torrent for a weekend sea kayak/camping trip. I know your thinking WHAT?? We were only paddling for a couple of hours and this was the only sit on top the shop had for rent. I really wanted to try a sit on top yak as I also like to fish.
I managed to stuff about six 2 liter bottles, tent, beer etc down the small center hatch all connected on tether strings. I bungied on a waterproof cooler box onto the back deck. Fixed my
thermarest camping seat in and away I went.
Not a problem! The Torrent handled this abuse like a champion. Even with the cooler box upping the center of gravity it remained stable. The Torrent seems bullet proof.
The boat runs fairly dry and tracks well for what it is...a river/surf boat.
It was quite fast, not the fastest in our group but not the slowest. I managed to keep up with the sea kayaks on the second day...maybe they were just tired.
On the back deck there is a place to add another hatch and there seems to be quite a bit of room under there. This would add to the boats useability. I would also say to add a seat or back rest as my thermarest camp seat really improved the boats fit. With it and the leg straps tight I could really motor along. I ended up buying a "sit in" kayak mainly because of protection from sunburn etc, but if the Torrent is still there at the end of the season and the price is right I will buy it.
It was so much fun. All in all it was a great boat.
I rented a Torrent from an…
I rented a Torrent from an outfitter on the Cartecay River this past weekend. I had a great time on the river and didn't get beat up at all. They said I paddled it faster than anyone they've seen in a while, so the rig must be fast. I would consider buying one in the future.
Great Boat - I've had mine…
Great Boat - I've had mine the past 3 months and living by the sea in bournemouth UK its seen is share of surf. I agree with most of the things said here - stable, reliable, versitile but can be a little uncomfortable - will invest in a seat and see if that helps.
Good rocker helps it spin…
Good rocker helps it spin like any other whitewater boat. By the same token, a wide beam makes it a little more difficult to maintain a vertical stroke and go straight, but a longer paddle will help you with this. That beam and high volume make this a very forgiving boat, and one that'll carry a heavy paddler well in whitewater. It refuses to dive or be buried. Ample scuppers empty it quickly. The adjustable footpegs help you attain that perfect position. I did not find the seat well comfortable (felt like it leaned me back), so I added a seat. The thigh straps came with it. Storage is limited to a 6" port between the knees. The grab loop handles are solid and comfortable. Build quality is average. It's no rodeo boat, but if you want a kayak that inspires confidence in running the frothy stuff and is just plain fun, this is it.
Had it since it came out. …
Had it since it came out. Big boat with lots of fun packed in. Mine is about 7 years old now and it is standing up. This is not a performance boat but a fun boat. If you only have one boat for the family it should be this one. From kids on a lake to ocean surfing to river running this :Exxon Valdes" does it all.
A great boat. The best…
A great boat. The best description I can think of is the one below which mentions, "...make a mistake, and surprise, you're still on it." In other words, it's extremely forgiving. The thigh straps make it very responsive to leaning. If it had more storage room (access to storage in the stern, perhaps), it might be perfect. A bit heavy, but worth the carry.
Out of all the kayaks I…
Out of all the kayaks I tried, the Torrent was the one I liked. In 3-5 foot swells on nearby lake mead it handled suberbly. My only concern with it was that in the wind it can't track worth a crap. running the animas river 2 weeks later the torrent lived up to perception's description. It out ran almost all the boats on the river. I am now a proud owner.
This boat is great. We have…
This boat is great. We have paddled numerous central texas rivers.
Despite claims this boat is…
Despite claims this boat is slow - it will easily outrun most white water kayaks. I found it to be very smooth paddling, turns on a dime and can be rolled (My friend can, I however don't have the muscle to bring it around). I found this boat to be the number 1 crowd pleaser at public demo's. You can comfortably stand on it, use as a diving platform and haul a couple kids sitting on it - who may be too small to enjoy a boat on their own. It tends to run over smaller rapids that keep regular whitewater boats, this translates to a good white water primer and possibly for use rescue situations. Great Boat!
The best ocean surfing and…
The best ocean surfing and river sit-on-top in our stable. Customers love it's stability, comfort, design, control and quality of construction. Far exceeds the yahoo. Great play and teaching boat. highly recommend them.
Great boat for people who…
Great boat for people who want to kayak but don't want to have to learn to roll and/or worry about entrampent and some of the other dangers of kayaks. Not a real fast boat but fairly maneuverable and very forgiving. Very stable and good for surfing in modest holes. Overall a boat I would recommend for a first timer or someone who has grown tired of just paddling a canoe and wants to try something different. The price is certainly attractive when compared to other types of boats. Not very good back support unless one buys the optional back rest.
Had a blast in a Torrent last…
Had a blast in a Torrent last summer as an add-on toy to my raft trips - mostly class 2 through 4 on western rivers. We took the Torrent instead of an inflatable. I hadn't 'kayaked' in 15 years and found the Torrent fun for playing in the waves or for relaxing and cruising. The rest of our group had to drag me away so they could share in the fun. I like the accessibility and the forgiveness of sit-on-tops, and this one is no exception. Climb on at the shore or climb on in deep water; make a mistake and, surprise, you're still on it. We'll be playing in these every year instead of the inflatables.
Terribly slow, but has plenty…
Terribly slow, but has plenty of room for big-assed paddlers. The inverted keel lines (to protect the self-bailing holes) are very grabby in rock gardens. I love sit on tops...this one is heavy duty but not nearly as fun (or cheap) as my Ocean Kayak Yahoo!