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River Elf Storm Giant

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:29 pm
by Sir Adam
A few years ago after getting my Storm Chaser I commented to Chris that they should lengthen it and make a recreational C2 as it had great potential to be an awesome boat, and there really aren't many recreational C2's out there (Hydra Duet and Canoah Americana are the only two that come to mind in recent (past 40 years!) times. I told them if they made one I'd commit to purchasing one.

So, now that they did, I have, and received it the other day. GREAT looking boat, very well built, and exceptionally well packed for shipping north (if I ever decide to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel, I'm having them pack it!).

Unfortunately this time of year most of our water is of the solid variety (in the middle of a 12-18" snow storm right now), but come spring I very much look forward to getting out on the water!

In theory if we make it down to the North Branch for the last weekend in April the Storm Giant will be on the roof....

If anyone wants to check it (or the rest of the "museum") out I'm still in the Lake George / Saratoga region of upstate NY, right on the Hudson.

Re: River Elf Storm Giant

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:05 am
by River Elf C1s
Hey Adam - thanks so much for the recent order and all of your work here at cboats "keeping the C!" ;) - we appreciate the post and look forward to hearing how things go once the snow thaws. Thanks again!

Re: River Elf Storm Giant

Posted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 4:10 pm
by mkoeppe
My husband and I also have the new River Elf C2. We are just finishing outfitting it and will have it on the river next week. We also live in the north (Wisconsin) so have needed to wait for snow and ice to melt. It's a beautiful looking boat and extremely well built. Plan to take it on the Owyhee River in Oregon this spring for a 6 day trip (with an outfitter). I will post a review once we've had it out on the water a bit.

Re: River Elf Storm Giant

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:09 pm
by mkoeppe
IMG_4441 - resize.JPG
River Elf Storm Giant C2 - outfitting
IMG_4444 - resize.JPG
River Elf Storm Giant C2 - outfitting
Our new River Elf Storm Giant C2, getting it outfitted for our first river trip this week. See attached pictures. Love the royal blue color we picked!

Re: River Elf Storm Giant

Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:54 am
by Kelly-Rand
Looks real nice. Can't wait to hear how it paddles.

Re: River Elf Storm Giant

Posted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 3:33 pm
by mkoeppe
We paddled the Baraboo River (about 1 hour north of Madison, WI
Storm Giant3.JPG
) yesterday. It’s a Class 1 river, but with nice volume (~1400 cfs yesterday), so there were some nice places to practice ferries, eddy turns, peel outs and some surfing.

We absolutely love the boat! Here are some things that we noticed:
• Extremely comfortable and roomy both for bow and stern paddler.
• The trim seemed good.
• Even though it’s extremely short for a C2 it carries decent speed.
• Handling is a bit like our Vajda slalom C2 – it tracks well and snaps right into eddies with little to no sliding
• Seems like we need a bit less angle on ferries (compared to a slalom boat), but started to figure out that we needed to put the boat up on edge more if we started to lose the angle.
• Flat spins are easy and fast
• Extremely easy to paddle – just a dream!! Very forgiving.
• I think you could put a fairly inexperienced canoer in the bow and have a fun time on Class II rivers
• For me in the stern it was easy to bring it back to the right (I’m lefty stern) when the boat was angling too far left. That’s always been hard for me, but with this short boat, that seemed easier. Will find out more when we get on harder whitewater.
• Surfing is easy and fun!

My husband (bow) has his seat at 6.75 inches and the boat felt very stable. Can likely have an even higher seat. My seat height is 5.75 inches. The hip blocks are solid and give a very snug fit. We are using the Snap Dragon custom spray skirts which seal very well.

Re: River Elf Storm Giant

Posted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 3:36 pm
by mkoeppe
I would add that at 10'9" long, this C2 is amazing! We are looking forward to many many fun trips!

Re: River Elf Storm Giant

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:43 am
by River Elf C1s
You guys look great in that boat - thanks for the nice review Mary!

Re: River Elf Storm Giant

Posted: Sun May 05, 2019 9:32 pm
by jfkoeppe
Review: River Elf Storm Giant C2

This boat is a dream to paddle! We just finished paddling 50 miles on the Owyee River (Oregon) in this boat. The river was running between 3800 – 4300 cfs during our trip. We had numerous class II rapids, a good number of class III, and two class IV rapids on the stretch. We never felt like we were fighting cross currents or that we had to be afraid of boils. We had great fun on the river while paddling the Storm Giant.

The trip was led by Momentum Rafting and also Mary DeRiemer, who with her husband Phil leads many kayaking trips out west. Mary DeRiemer had seen us paddle the Rogue River in a Vajda, H4 C2 (full cut); and commented that she thought the River Elf boat made the rapids a whole number easier than in our Vajda boat.

Here are some comments after six days on the Owyhee:
• The boat is stable, even in big waves and cross currents.
• You don’t feel like an edge is going to get sucked down when paddling through boils – and we had a number of them with the river at this level.
• The boat eddy turns well and quickly, and doesn’t seem to slide during or after the turn.
• It has good speed, even though it is designed as a river runner and weighs about 39 ½ lbs outfitted. (We have paddled slalom C2s for years, so anything short of a down-river boat seems a tad slow in comparison.)
• It holds ferry angles well, although you may need to put the boat up on edge a bit more than in a slalom boat. (The larger volume in the bow gets grabbed some more than a slalom design, so I’m still getting used to that.)
• I can’t comment too much on how well it surfs for several reasons. It was early in the year and the river was high, so we didn’t try to surf a lot and there weren’t many eddies close to surfing waves.
• Again, I’m used to surfing in a slalom boat, so it will take a bit of adjustment – things like
o A little less hull speed for getting out onto a wave
o You can be further forward or down in the wave with a Storm Giant without having to worry much about the nose being sucked down and the blown off the wave

Anyone who paddles C2 should consider getting this boat for river running. I would also suggest that OC-2 paddlers would like this boat. I say this for a few reasons:
• You wouldn’t have to worry about bailing at the bottom of the rapids.
• The cockpits are big and roomy, so a big person will still easily fit in the boat. (I’m 5’ 11” and about 180-185 lbs.) Snap Dragon has the form for the Storm Giant C2 cockpit and will make a spray skirt that fits great. We used Snap Dragon skirts on this trip.
• Open boaters might think they can’t kneel low enough to be in a C2. This boat has enough volume that with my seat height is 6 ¾”, my wife and I felt very comfortable and stable in the boat. I’m sure that my seat could be at 7” and still be stable. I’m pretty sure it would still be ok at 7.5”. Past that height, it might be ok – but I wouldn’t want to guess at that.

This review is already long enough, so I’ll stop here. If you have questions, feel free to message me, and I’ll get back to you.

- John

Re: River Elf Storm Giant

Posted: Sun May 05, 2019 10:15 pm
by Sir Adam
Thank you for the full report! I'll add a few comments, though your review is much more complete than mine will be at this point (and the two of you have far more time in C2's!)

I've had my Storm Giant out once now (North Branch of the Potomac) and it performed well. Stable, and amazingly comfortable (I think the wide seats make a big difference). I had my daughter up in the bow, so there was a 110 lb weight difference between the two of us (and I'm "only" 170 ;) ), so even with other gear up front the boat wasn't trimmed out perfectly (not the boats fault). I used my Mentor skits, which were tight (needed help to get them on); I will likely end up contacting Snap Dragon or someone to make skirts for the boat.

I've paddled a Gemini V, and also have a Tomahawk C2. After paddling the Storm Giant I'm seriously considering selling the Tomahawk - it is a great boat, but I'd only use it for slalom races at this point as the Storm Giant is much better for recreational paddling.

Re: River Elf Storm Giant

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 12:46 am
by jfkoeppe
This is for anyone who has or gets a Storm Giant C2. Snap Dragon does indeed make a skirt that fits the Storm Giant just great. However, when I called Snap Dragon about 6 weeks ago, they said that they no longer sell directly to customers. (At least that is what I was told.)

You can get Snap Dragon skirts through River Elf - which is what we did prior to our trip to the Owyhee. I'm sure that Chris at River Elf would be very helpful if you want to go that route.

Re: River Elf Storm Giant

Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:56 pm
by mkoeppe
My husband and I just got back from a trip to northern Wisconsin and paddled the May's Ledges section of the Bois Brule at high water levels (400 cfs). It's a small river with several ledges that are maybe 2-5 feet with long rapids below each ledge. So fairly technical and approaching Class III. The Storm Giant C2 handled beautifully and extremely stable going over the drops. This C2 does feel a bit like a slalom boat as we were able to hit some tight lines, do quick hole turns and ferries and make some pretty tight lines through the rapids. Also, because this is a short boat and with blunt ends, no worries about hitting the stern going over drops. No worries about bow pins either. The boat rides high. We also ran two sections of the Wolf River which was running around 1000 cfs and has Class II boulder garden type rapids. Again we were able to make tight moves and snap into really small eddies. Having such a short C2 (10'9") helped tremendously in maneuvering through some tight spots and getting into those small eddies.

So far we would recommend the Storm Giant for big water (ran the Owyhee River in Oregon at 4000 cfs) and very small rivers with ledges (Bois Brule) and boulder garden type rivers. We did some scraping in places, but only had cosmetic scratches to the gel coat. Very solidly built.

Will give more reports as we get out on more different rivers.