Boat of the Week - Esquif L'Edge

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Sir Adam
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Boat of the Week - Esquif L'Edge

Post by Sir Adam »

For our second installment of Boat of the Week we'll go for an open boat... and a fairly new one at that.

I had the pleasure of paddling a L'Edge for 5 days in Costa Rica with Esprit. As most of you know I'm primarily a decked boater, but I did start out in an OC2 3 decades ago.

I found the L'Edge to be a fun boat, and very forgiving, which was nice (different boat, different country, first time on whitewater in several months.. (ours is frozen right now).

It was easy to keep it <somewhat> dry, even for me, once I started to get in the right mindset. Quicker than I expected, though there are certainly faster boats out there (Spark, for instance). Where the L'Edge really excelled to me was comfort and stability - plenty of both primary and secondary stability. Tracked much better than I thought it would too, and yet turned easily for it's length. Craig did a great job designing it, and I'll also say that most of the comments folks have had on it on the board have been spot on - and others on the trip said the same thing - that the descriptions folks have posted match the boat well. Anyone paddling an OC who hasn't tried one of the newer boats (L'Edge, Option, etc...) may be pleasantly surprised hopping in one. I wish I could have paddled it back to back with a Rival, Outrage, Viper 12, etc... to compare directly. Hopefully some of you have and will post up about your findings.

My only complaint is the weight... but I say that about all plastic boats:) .

For the record the one I paddled had plastic gunnels, but the decks were partially removed. Worked well and cut down on a little weight... plus made draining the water out easier.

I know there are quite a few posts on the site about the L'Edge, but I'm hoping we can consolidate comments here - so if you own a L'Edge, or have paddle done enough you feel qualified to comment on it, please post! And yes, that includes you Craig, with any designer commentary you wish to have memorialized here.
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Re: Boat of the Week - Esquif L'Edge

Post by ELGOTTO »

I got my L'Edge late last summer and have only paddled it about a half dozen times on class 3 water and a good bit of flatwater working on rolling and strokes. It rolls well for me even though the bulkhead blocks the transfer of water pretty effectively. I think the transfer holes could be a good bit larger and it would make the roll a little quicker. Of course the weight is an issue for carrying a long ways or for lifting to put on the rack. The biggest thing for me is it doesnt seem to catch eddies as well as the boats I have always paddled. It seems so heavy that the momentum washes me right past the eddy or I don't hit the exact line that I want and I don't hit the eddyline right. I'm sure it is probably my lack of skill but the other boats I paddle...outrage, ocoee...never give me this problem. Now for just heading downstream busting through rapids and drops, surfing, stability, I love it. Plus the open version with wood gunnels is a beautiful little boat.
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eddyhops
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Re: Boat of the Week - Esquif L'Edge

Post by eddyhops »

ELGOTTO wrote: The biggest thing for me is it doesnt seem to catch eddies as well as the boats I have always paddled. It seems so heavy that the momentum washes me right past the eddy or I don't hit the exact line that I want and I don't hit the eddyline right.
Two almost counter-intuitive observations I've made... in spite of it's rocker, length and weight the boat (a) is faster than one would assume and (b) it really likes going straight. While I was getting dialed in on the boat I found myself running up on the bank more than once when trying to traditionally carve in an eddy on the inside edge... I'd just shoot straight across the eddy. I found in most cases I really have to snap the boat slalom style, on the outside edge to take sharp, tight eddy turns.

It's truly a great boat, almost too forgiving. I have consciously thought a few times over the past couple of years, "I feel I shouldn't 've gotten away with that..."
JD
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Craig Smerda
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Re: Boat of the Week - Esquif L'Edge

Post by Craig Smerda »

Weight 'til spring... :D

It's been a rewarding adventure and seeing so many pictures and videos of people out enjoying the boats the last couple of years always brings a smile to my face. I think we did a good thing for our little sport... and I look forward to what ever comes next. :wink:
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Cheeks
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Re: Boat of the Week - Esquif L'Edge

Post by Cheeks »

eddyhops wrote:It's truly a great boat, almost too forgiving. I have consciously thought a few times over the past couple of years, "I feel I shouldn't 've gotten away with that..."
^^This^^

There have been times with the Option, especially coming from an edgier boat - Viper 11 - where I say to myself, "he||fire, I shouldn't have been able to do that" A huge emergency rock spin on Sockem Dog comes to mind

But then again, every time I punch a huge hole in a long boat I say the same thing.
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Re: Boat of the Week - Esquif L'Edge

Post by Wendy »

I second all of the above and wish I was a younger, stronger woman to carry the regular L'Edge. Nothing boofs as well as this boat. I found as mentioned earlier eddy turns with the off side edge are very snappy. I also found that initially as I was not as far forward as I needed to be. Being short it is difficult to get the paddle up front without using too long a paddle. However putting the paddle as far forward as possible for the catch phase seems to help drive the boat with less effort- all short boats except the Ion (no need). I think if I got another one I would narrow the front thwarts a little and leave the back as is. Thanks Craig for a great boat. I have lots of pics where I am in the air flying like the one Louie posted yesterday. The L'Edge has wings. :D
Last edited by Wendy on Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Todhunter
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Re: Boat of the Week - Esquif L'Edge

Post by Todhunter »

What can I say? I love mine. Mine was originally decked but I chopped the top, put on wood gunwales, and pulled mine in a little. Yeah, it's heavier than I'd like to tote, but it's certainly comparable to the other PE boats in weight, and I'm not about to give up durability for weight savings based on the creeky runs I paddle. I'd say I have personally put between 110 and 130 runs on mine, and it was a demo boat at the NOC before I bought it from them. Still no cracks in the hull. I have broken gunwales 3 times - launching from the top of a van onto pavement, pitoning in a rapid, and tumbling down a rapid - but all 3 times the hull has held up great. I installed a pump in mine with a 4" square pass-through under the saddle and it rolls very well. This boat has been down everything from the Upper Hooch to the Green Narrows and performed exceedingly well across the board. I can't really compare or contrast it with other boats very well because the only other boats I've owned were a Dagger Encore and a Mohawk Maxim. Thanks for the design, Craig, and thanks for making it, Esquif!
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Walsh
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Re: Boat of the Week - Esquif L'Edge

Post by Walsh »

This deserves to be dug out: http://vimeo.com/14182040

Really cool idea to do a boat of the week.
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