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Option

by Blackfly Canoes

Reviews

The Option is a sweet, tough whitewater playboat. But, it is slow…

Submitted by: on

The Option is a sweet, tough whitewater playboat. But, it is slow. It's a lot like an Esquif L'edge that way. A stroke will accelerate it quickly enough, but there is no glide. Of course what do you expect with an 8'8" canoe? You are supposed to use this boat on whitewater runs with lots of current. There it shines. With its short length, it's easy to fit into small eddies. What's more, designed by an open boat freestyle champ, the Option is a great canoe for surfing. It handles quite a range of waves and with its short length, if you start to carve off a wave, it's easy to bring the boat back around.

The Option's plastic is thick and sturdy. This seems like a boat that will last. I had some cracking trouble with Esquif Preludes (another canoe I love that has more speed), which is why I decided to try an Option. For rocky, creeky, class 3+/4 runs, the Option is the boat. It's even fun on the class 2 runs as long as there isn't too many flat sections.

The boat has great primary stability. This is a feature I'm growing to like. The Prelude has zip primary, which makes it a fun, responsive canoe. The advantage of the Option's primary stability is you don't have to be so much on your toes when you hit some big boils at the end of a rapid. The Option also has excellent secondary. If you like a stable boat, you'll like this canoe. Truth in advertising: I'm a 5'11", 160-pound guy. A heavier person may have a different opinion.

All in all, I'm very happy with this boat and have been paddling it for about half a year now.

The Option is a great design for whitewater creeking and river running…

Submitted by: on

The Option is a great design for whitewater creeking and river running. Molded out of very durable PE, it can take a lot more abuse than boats fabricated from Royalex. It is billed as stable and forgiving, and it more than lives up to that billing.

One small drawback is the amount of carving I had to do to fit comfortably into the boat. Foam is easy to shape so its not a huge deal.

The Option is quite nimble on the water. It snaps into small eddies easily. She likes to be driven from the front, but does not punish me much when I toss in strokes from the rear. For a craft of less than 9' it paddles more like a long boat than I expected. It comes up to speed quickly, but a short boat like the Option does lack the glide of a long boat.

Overall impressions are very positive--this is a fun boat to paddle.