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Paddling Mag: Best Whitewater Canoes for 2022

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Wow, what garbage! They say the Jensen WWII is one of the best WW boats?? Maybe if you're racing (30 years ago?), and there are no rocks. I know it's won a lot of races BITD, but for today's (clueless) modern paddler? Their specs say : "Intended Waterway: Lakes, Ponds & Inshore, Whitewater (Class III+)". Yeah, Class 3+ in a WWII. OK. I've done a lot of WW in the solo version of the boat (WWC1), and while it's deep enough to keep some water out, it's not what anyone (other than DR racers) would consider a WW boat. And then they include the PakBoats. I've spend a lot of time in WW in PakBoats, and while they are very capable there, I wouldn't recommend them as a WW boat other than for fly-in expeditions (where they really excel)--bouncing off rocks is not their forte. You'll be replacing a lot of parts. Including such boats with Esquifs, which actually are designed for real WW, is absurd. Especially without adequate justification. Ok, maybe I had too much coffee.....
 

Glenn MacGrady

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Old Town, Mad River, Dagger, Perception, Blue Hole, Mohawk . . . "those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end."

No mention of the brand that has dominated open canoe whitewater slalom for 50 years, and of course is used by many river cruisers: Millbrook Boats.


 
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Wow, what garbage! They say the Jensen WWII is one of the best WW boats?? Maybe if you're racing (30 years ago?), and there are no rocks. I know it's won a lot of races BITD, but for today's (clueless) modern paddler? Their specs say : "Intended Waterway: Lakes, Ponds & Inshore, Whitewater (Class III+)". Yeah, Class 3+ in a WWII. OK. I've done a lot of WW in the solo version of the boat (WWC1), and while it's deep enough to keep some water out, it's not what anyone (other than DR racers) would consider a WW boat. And then they include the PakBoats. I've spend a lot of time in WW in PakBoats, and while they are very capable there, I wouldn't recommend them as a WW boat other than for fly-in expeditions (where they really excel)--bouncing off rocks is not their forte. You'll be replacing a lot of parts. Including such boats with Esquifs, which actually are designed for real WW, is absurd. Especially without adequate justification. Ok, maybe I had too much coffee.....
Well, the WWII like the WWC1 is a downriver racing design. Very unlike whitewater river runners or whitewater play boats. The priority for downriver boats is to get downstream as quickly as possible. They require significant depth to help keep water out as much as possible because water in the boat slows you down. But they are not built for quick eddy turns or other maneuvers because eddying out is the last thing you want to do in a downriver race.

But that is part of the problem with this list. It is a complete hodgepodge of solo canoes, tandem canoes, whitewater play boats and down river boats. And as for whitewater playboats goes, it leaves off some very serious contenders including designs from Silverbirch, Blackfly, the composite Ocoee now offered by Northwater Canoe, and others. If you want a T-formex whitewater river runner or play boat these days you are pretty much limited to Esquif.
 
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I'm guessing this article is like nearly all the other "best of 2020, 2021, 2022, etc" articles that proliferate the web. Other than the initial intro I don't think they're even written by actual people but are rather done by some sort of algorithm that searches out reviews and manufacturer info. There's never any indication the "author" has any experience with whatever he/she/it is recommending.

One thing is for certain about these articles - They're very good at getting forums worked up.

Alan
 
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Well, the WWII like the WWC1 is a downriver racing design. Very unlike whitewater river runners or whitewater play boats. The priority for downriver boats is to get downstream as quickly as possible. They require significant depth to help keep water out as much as possible because water in the boat slows you down. But they are not built for quick eddy turns or other maneuvers because eddying out is the last thing you want to do in a downriver race.
Right, that's what I said. DR boats. Do people even do that anymore?
 
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Sure they do. Whitewater open canoe downriver racing and wildwater racing is still alive and well.
Good to hear. I've been out of the racing scene for a long time, and never see reference of the boats used for DR anymore. The last DR OC race I saw (2016) had two entrants, and one was paddling a MR Explorer solo. I figured OC was on its last legs.
 
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Most of the “best of” “articles” are utter refuse. So many read like boiler plate in which you can switch the subject from one object to another without changing the meaning (or utter lack thereof) of the “article”. It’s bad enough you could sub “canoe” for “skillet” and it would read comparably badly for both products. I blame this on the proliferation of Amazon associate websites. Buying the product through the link on an associate site makes the page-owner some small amount, so the more offal sites they grunt out the more money they make off the unsuspecting.

The net is very much caveat emptor. Anyone can “contribute” to the wasteland. But thankfully, islands like CanoeTripping.net exist as well!
 
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