C-boat for 120 lb 11 year old to learn - which to pick

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C-boat for 120 lb 11 year old to learn - which to pick

Post by wildwaterc2 »

My pretty big 11 year old son is ready to learn more of running his own boat (after years paddling a kiddie Thrillseeker following my daughter and me in our Mad River Howler, as well as a bit of time in a surfski in the ocean). I've got several C1s from which to pick for him and am trying to figure out the best learning boat and am interested in advice. He is 5'5 and 120 lbs and growing - I'm only 5'8" so he is not likely to grow a lot more height, but he is basically the size of a small adult now.

I'm pretty sure I will go with the Fanatic or some other sort of slalom boat, but I've not taught a kid to C1 before and I would welcome input from those of you who have. He will also C2 some with me in our Grokshark.

Top pick - a shortened Fanatic C1 that weighs <25 lbs. I cut the ends off where it looks sort of like the Millbrook Amoeba C1. This boat is light so he can easily move it, a fairly tough layup, and will respond well to his movements. He can easily carry it. It is pretty used but does not leak and is solid.

Option 1 - I've got a full cut Acrobat C1 that is pretty worn. But I think it would be a bit edgy overall though the size would not be too bad. If he were like 80 lbs it might be the choice. Maybe 30 lbs.

Option 2. A River Elf Storm Chaser, size medium. This boat is also light but is so rounded and full that I think it would sort of swallow him. It is shorter, slower, and more forgiving than the shortened Fanatic. If I had to pick a boat for him to try to survive a hard rapid in, this might be it, but I don't think it is a good learning boat for a small person.

Option 3. My venerable Gyramax. About 45 lbs. Tough, decent speed, modest edges. Pretty long, but not impossible.

Option 4. A full cut Viper. Maybe 35 lbs - a pretty stout layup and also in great condition. I don't see this helping him much and I really like to paddle it. I thought it was heavy until I got my Nirvana L and now the Viper seems pretty light.

Option 5. A "modern" (this century) converted kayak. While maybe fun it would be at least as heavy as my Gyramax and probably pretty slow.
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Re: C-boat for 120 lb 11 year old to learn - which to pick

Post by Sir Adam »

Cut down Fanatic sounds like the best choice.

A nice waterline without too much rocker (to help going straight and not be too frustrated), light weight, and fairly easy to roll.

Storm Chaser would be my second choice; perhaps put him in both and see which he appears more confident in?
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Re: C-boat for 120 lb 11 year old to learn - which to pick

Post by PAC »

Hummmm tough call. I'd put him in each and let me paddle about to see what he likes and looks to be a good fit. A lot is based off of what he is paddling (H2O wise) and his overall attitude to actually paddling.
Just remember whats good today might be stale tomorrow. :-) Good luck! Great great them out!
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