your paddlesports destination

Ariel

by Blackhawk

Reviews

I was fortunate to find an Ariel a few years ago.…

Submitted by: on

I was fortunate to find an Ariel a few years ago. I looked at it and immediately had to turn away. Anything that smooth-looking would seduce me as soon as I took the first paddle-stroke. I didn't need another boat, but its siren song drew me back in less than a week. It replaced my Mad River Independence for use on small rivers. It's both steady and lively, leans easily and firms up solid.

When paddled flat, the long, narrow stern section makes it track with little correction.

What really sold me on it was when I leaned it, it suddenly became remarkably responsive - and when I leveled it back down it tracked again, on its own. This is unlike any other solo boat I've paddled. Also, the stern was designed to break loose and skid sideways when leaned to the offside, which it does promptly and without feeling insecure.

I'd give it a 10 but for the weight (a good 50#) and its limited speed.

Mine was fiberglass with ash and mahogany trim...with an especially nice contoured…

Submitted by: on

Mine was fiberglass with ash and mahogany trim...with an especially nice contoured seat with a mahogany leading edge. Nice details! Compared to the Blackhawk Zephyr the Ariel is not as quick nor as efficient...it's more of a gentleman's boat - considerably more comfortable and roomy than a Zephyr. This boat is super efficient at low to medium speeds like most Blackhawks, but if you push it real hard it runs into a wall and refuses to go faster. I liked mine with the extra weight of the dog...it seems to like a load. The rear end can be a bit sticky for freestyle but it still works very well. It's a bit narrow and therefore a bit tippy for its length. The overall cruising efficiency is better than a Wildfire and about the same - or a touch better - than an Osprey or Shearwater. It's not quite as efficient as a Merlin II. Super well made boat...never squeaked and never loosens up. Excellent craftsmanship. Mine was a bit heavy...high 40's for sure.