After 2 Knee replacements I had decided to sell my canoes (a 15ft and 17ft Nova Craft Prospector) and get a kayak. I had lots of mileage in both types of crafts but since I could no longer kneel while paddling I thought I would use only kayaks for the rest of my paddling years. It didn't take me but a few months to realize i was a canoeist at heart so I talked my wife into letting me sell the yak and get back into canoes. I was lucky enough to find 2 Royalex Canoes at Rutabaga in Madison, WI. They had a Nova Craft 15ft Prospector and a 14.5ft Esquif Pocket Canyon. I had already owned the Nova Craft but I thought that if the Pocket Canyon could track ok with a good J-stroke then it would be a more versatile boat since its whitewater performance was already well known. I took the Pocket Canyon for a test run and it did everything quite well. I have had it for almost a year now and I love the boat. I paddle it always from the seated position and find it to be plenty fast for a whitewater boat and a very good performer when maneuvering through narrow tricky places. I paddle it mostly solo (sitting in the bow seat with stern seat forward) but it also handles fine when paddling tandem. This boat is a lot of fun even for a 71yo geezer.
The boat is gorgeous and paddles like a dream. When solo I paddle Canadian style and use a Turtle Paddleworks Ottertail. With about a 70# Load and my 195# the boat handles beautifully. I have paddled it on Lake Mead with 2 ft waves and on the Colorado River with a light current. The boat steers effortlessly and glides well with each stroke. Fit and finish is excellent and a kneeling thwart was a great addition. Anyone who has trouble paddling this boat straight needs serious work on their J.
It's a great boat. I bought mine from Mr. Canoe's Paddlesports in Forestville, CA. They met me at a nearby lake for a demo and I was smitten by this fine boat within the first 10 minutes of paddling. Shane and Tom were great people to deal with and they absolutely know their stuff when it comes to canoeing. Go by and see them and while you are there have them treat you to the Bell Experience!