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Name: Peter_K

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Carbon Straight shaft, durable light enough, live the indexing (very positive even through gloves). Tough enough for surf without a second thought.

I like it very much. I have the new kickstand and it works. I'd like mine more if it had one inch more padding on each of the foam pads. (I have to move them occasionally. I am using it on roads and paths and over small curbs not had it on super soft sand. It carrys everything from my romany explorer to my pamlico, Cannot fit into the explorer hatches fits fin into vcp ovals etc.

I paddled an Epic full carbon (no gelcoat) boat today. First thing is I was very comfy in it and I have big thighs. No extra room but I was comfy. Second thing: it is fast.. third thing I found it quite stable. Note: I only paddled in on flat water in about 15 knot gusts) I did play on the edge quite a bit, and found it easy to work there.

Carved turns surprisingly well but the rudder was a big help in the wind. Once turning had started the boat wanted to keep turning even when brought back to an even keel. This boat was easier to turn for me than the CD caribou but did not stop turning as crisply, or track as well. If I get this boat I will get a rudder and the trim tab adjustment and use it exclusively. I also need to raise the pedal height but that is down to me not Epic. I wonder if I could get the trim tab and leave the toe pilots out ( I know it is not standard design but... I will paddle this boat soon in conditions, and if I decide I need a fast sit in boat it's likely to be purchased.

Seat back is quite sad but what do you expect. It is way too tall and way to flimsy. I doubt that seat backs are a big concern of Greg or Oscar. The boat rolled OK but did not pop up like the romany explorer does (few boats do.) Weathercocking was noticable but not outrageous. The reason I would get a rudder is because of the boats tendancy to keep turning. I was very pleased with the lack of drag fron the sealline rudder.

Overall, I was quite pleased, and very pleasantly surprised at the boats ability to carve I weigh 225 have snort legs and have been working at improving my paddling skills for about 4 years three of them year round.

The saddles work well for soft chine boats, not so well for hard chines, but OK. I use rugular straps and go under the bat in the middle so that if a saddle failed the boat would still be attached to the bar. I deducted for the fact that the original design did not have pads, and was sold to carry boats and was not fit for that purpose without modification. If someone sells me something, and says "yes it could do tht job" and it does not, it is no "10". So there are lots of folks out there who do not find this system a 10. Please understand anything 7 or above I would do again if I had a need.

Well, something not yet mentioned about the explorer. It can pick up very small swell. I was coming in after a long days paddle in small surf. The Explorer gave me good rides even at a fairly off angle to the waves. Then as we came into the bay I stopped with some of my buddies to BS. All of a sudden, (really a while, but we were busy talking) half of our party was way ahead about 200 yards or so. I said "lets catch them" my buds said "yeah right", then I hopped on ths 12-18 inch swell and made incredible speed. No one except me believed it but I know the Explorer.

Mine is one of the early ones, she is very heavy, and very solid. In places where a boat with more primary would have made me nervous (or upside down)she just lets the little stuff go and the secondary is a dream. Slower than some 18 foot boats I have owned. I weigh 235 and paddle the standard version. I love the rope skeg, every skeg boat I've paddled has been annoying to my knee except those equipped with a rear rope skeg. She doesn't need it much unless I'm feeling lazy. She will ship water if I practice an over the back deck rescue, but if you cannot roll this boat you cannot roll. Yeah, the usual niggles, needs a foam seat and different backband. I've yet to paddle the T 170 or anything from Mariner, but for right now in rough water she is THE THING, with a bag of chips, salsa, and 4 gigs of RAM. I love the day hatch and keep my cell phone (in dry case), thermos of ginger tea, first aid kit, (need Dramamine or got blisters anyone), some boat repair stuff and other tricks in there. Radio and flares are on me.

It is easy to have a problem with this thing. The first time you assemble this, you have to really concentrate on the angles of the holes and such because the pieces are made asymmetrically. If you get it right the forces tend to spread the bars out. Then lable it for quick reassembly, Sharpie marker works well. I've had no problems with mine. Yes you have to anchor it against something, In front of a hatch lip or something but it has been OK with me, Not for rough terrain. I've turned it over a couple of times. PVC tube in the center is a great idea!!! My rating of 8 incorporates the fact that it is 1/2 the price of many carts.

Great value, this paddle offers the smoothes pull once in the water that I have ever felt. The company is in a bit of transition so delivery might be a bit messed up. Worth the wait, unless you want to throw down for an Epic full carbon (twice as much $, more flutter, but ahh, that super smooth entry of an Epic)

$30 fuzzyrubber survival hood. I always carry a spare in my pfd, and often am wearing my primary. Used in cold water temps for short exposure, and for other paddlers who have gotten cold. (My roll is usually OK, for extended exposure or extreme conditions I use a Henderson Hyperstretch.) Nicer than a fuzzyrubber cap because the neck is protected. Not as easy as a cap to put on a partially incapacitated paddler because it has to go over his head, instead of strapping it on. It works for me unless it is below 20 degrees. I would like it even more if it was designed to cover all the way to the lower lip, but that would make the design more complex.

Princeton Tec Aurora. Light output is fantastic!!! Alas, the clamshell case has proved less that waterproof for me. Even when sealed with the greatest of care, the pressures of it being in a PFD pocket during an over the back deck rescue results in water in the case. I bought two of the early models; perhaps they have improved the design. I now always have a Princeton Tec Attitude on a Jakstrap system II headlamp strap, (Jakstrap II is fantastic) as back up in my PFD pocket. I use an Ultra 7 (seven led headlamp) if I am planning on paddling at night. Both have been absolutely bombproof.

I own the full carbon model standard carbon shaft, (burgundy) with length lock. When I test paddled this I laughed with delight. Very, very smooth entry, well balanced forward pull (very little flutter, none with good technique), great for side work, (postioning for duffek stroke, sculling etc). The back of the paddle is very niceley shaped, not blocky. This contributes to the smooth entry. The length lock feature is great, no play between halves. Shorten for surfing, lengthen for paddling the tandem. I think this is the best paddling non wing straight shaft large bladed paddle in the world. Expensive, but what did you expect? Did I mention that it is very light?