Most Recent Reviews
The Axiom 9.0 is a great intermediate/advanced WW boat for a larger paddler. (I'm 6' and 230 pounds.) I started with a Dagger Mamba 8.5, The Mamba is a great beginner boat--utterly bomb-proof. But the Mamba is relatively slow, hard to control, and lousy for attaining. The Axiom definitely is an improvement in all of those areas. I'm able to do moves in the Axiom I just couldn't do in the Mamba. The Axiom is what my kayak instructor paddles.
Also, you can surf and do tricks in the Axiom, which just ain't gonna happen in the Mamba.
Here are the negatives:
-Daggers, in general, tend to be a bit leaky. But hey, it's a water sport. -The Axiom has a flat, edgy, low volume stern, so it is much less forgiving than the Mamba. If you don't have good posture and you sit back too far, you likely will find yourself practicing your squirts unintentionally. The Axiom also is more likely to catch an edge and flip you. When upgrading to an Axiom, have a solid roll or a buddy available for a bow rescue. - The new Daggers have a poorly-designed seat-adjustment mechanism. Unlike my Mamba that bolts the seat at discrete positions, my Axiom has a screw-locking mechanism that locks the seat into position on a continuous track. I have found the seat to push backwards when I push too hard on the foot rests while trying to roll. This design problem can be mooted by putting a PVC tube or the like into the seat-adjustment track to prevent the seat from slipping backwards. -I had a pretty solid roll in my Mamba. I'm basically starting over learning my roll again in the Axiom. As mentioned, the Axiom is less forgiving of bad posture.
This is a great beginner WW boat for larger paddlers. (I'm 6 foot, 230 lbs.) It is solid on both primary and secondary stability. It's pretty much bomb-proof. It will plow through wave trains, and it's rather forgiving of bad posture. Dagger has comfortable outfitting and the foredeck has lots of room so you don't have to take yoga stretch classes to prevent your legs from falling asleep. Daggers are infinitely more comfortable than old boats.
I recently bought a Dagger Axiom 9.0, which has better control than the Mamba, but the Mamba is less edgy, more forgiving, and infinitely easier to roll--at least so far.
Here are the negatives:
-The Mamba is slow, especially on flat water. You have to paddle hard to keep up with your friends.
-Steering is more like suggesting. The boar generally will go where the river--not you--wants it to go.
-The Mamba is great for practicing attaining and ferrying in that it is stable so you won't flip, but you won't get the requisite speed to attain even moderate elevator moves, and your ferrying will likely end up turning into an unintended peel-out. Forget the hairy ferry. -Dagger boats tend to be leaky. Also, due to the stern's large volume, you're going to want to have two stern float bags instead of one. It can be a challenge, especially after a swim, to drag the Mamba 8.5 out and onto shore when it is full of water.