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GT 7.8

by Dagger

Reviews

I bought the GT used a few months ago and I've loved…

Submitted by: on

I bought the GT used a few months ago and I've loved every day in it. It's an awesome boat for a beginner for river running and a bit of playing. I would suggest a shorter boat if you are interested in mostly playboating though.

This boat is basically a modern day (planing hull) version of the…

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This boat is basically a modern day (planing hull) version of the classic RPM. It has enough volume to give confidence on the water and is pretty stable. It is a great river runner and the outfitting is unbelievable. Dagger has done a wonderful job with the cockpit setup and this boat fits like a glove. Although I'm still a whitewater beginner, I have paddled a fair number of whitewater boats and this boat is on par with some of the better boats out there. The GT series probably is tailored more toward the beginner-intermediate level paddler and I expect to have fun and be challenged by it for many years to come. The GT rolls extremely easily (although not as easily as an RPM or a Necky Jive) and is a fairly forgiving boat. I have not noticed any catchiness in terms of the edges as the previous reviewer noticed but that may just be due to the differences in paddler weight or style of paddling. I'm 5'8" and 150 lbs. which makes me a good fit in this boat. The GT series comes in a 7.6 and a 8.0 model as well to tailor to the various sized paddlers. Although I'm sure there are equally good river runners out there (Riot Booster, Necky Jive, Pyrahna Inazone, etc.), this is a very respectable addition to the Dagger fleet and a wonderful boat to paddle.

Well, it doesn't rate a ten but all in all it's a…

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Well, it doesn't rate a ten but all in all it's a pretty good boat.I don't believe the "slow hull speed" remark though. Once you get the hang of it it move along pretty fast even on flatwater. I've had other boaters remark about how fast they are. The hull is a bit grabby and my boat has given me a few adrenalin moments and they aren't as easy to roll as say my Necky Jive but they are very comfortable. They are pretty forgiving. I've gone through some places I'd rather not have gone and the boat served me well.

Dagger bills this boat as a river runner; however, you have to…

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Dagger bills this boat as a river runner; however, you have to take that designation with a grain of salt. It may be more river-worthy than a low volume playboat, but it's still a short, planing hull boat, which translates to a lot of work getting from point A to point B. The GT also requires a fair bit of effort to keep it on line. For example, ferrying across a fast moving stretch of flatwater requires numerous forward and correction strokes to avoid losing ground. In an older style boat, this would have been a "no effort" move--set the angle, take a stroke, and let the river do the work. In general, I would say that it took probably 3 or 4 strokes in the GT for every one I would have needed in an RPM when doing the basic moves of running a rapid. When Dagger gives the GT a 5 out of 5 for hull speed, I would guess they are comparing it only to other flat hulled boats. It sure isn't fast in my book!

Of course, this style of boat also has its benefits. The GT carves into eddies quickly and precisely. It front and side surfs easily, and it's very forgiving of too much angle when starting a ferry. The boat presents more resistance to rolling than a displacement hull boat, but it's quite easy compared to something like an Id or even a Booster.

If your tastes lean toward hole surfing and playing, then this would be a nice beginner boat. If you like running the river between playspots as much or more than the actual playing, go with something with more hull speed like an RPM.