Reviewer: Age 33, paddling ~12 years but the past few years have been pretty sporadic. Weight of 170, shoe size 9, inseam 32”, height of 5’9”.
So, admittedly, this is a review based on one day of paddling, but I’ll give you my thoughts as a few things stood out.
The boat is really comfortable. It fit me perfectly however it came from the factory. No adjustments other than the back band. It was really comfy and like most modern outfitting (unlike Jackson) is based on a ratchet system with lifts for the legs, adjustments for hips and back. Big cushy footblock. Lots of storage space. Its a Confluence boat so it is very similarly outfitted to the Daggers.
Once on the water, I found it comfortable. Like a natural fit. Moving the boat across eddy lines felt right. Not overly abrupt but not too sloppy either. You sit in the boat fairly deep, particularly compared to some of the Jacksons and there is a substantial sidewall at the hips. Some may like this, others may hate it. It is a displacement hull. The boat seemed to float me very well. The larger 93 would definitely be too large and the 73 would likely be too small, but could make for a sporty ride for those who want a creek boat hull but don’t want too much boat to move around. I would guess that the weight range would go from 170 – 200 in this boat, with 180 probably the sweet spot.
It tracked well. Easy to keep straight but you do need to drive it. When you let up, or get lazy I found the bow starting to drift. It feels like this boat has a lot of rocker. I haven’t compared it against others, but it does have that feel. fast and easy to pivot, but that comes at a price (as I mentioned earlier) with a bit of drift when you don’t have a paddle in the water. The other compromise in lots of rocker is flat out speed. This isn’t a boat that will win you any races; its isn’t slow, but it does take effort to get it up to speed and to keep it there.
It moves over holes and obstacles easily. Lots of rockers and a nice big bow will do that. (A friend paddles the 93 at ~180 lbs and he says the same thing.) The boat resurfaces fast and stable. Bow rides high over waves and eddy lines.
Pros: Boofs well, moves around the river well, easy turning provided you’re an aggressive paddler who can take full advantage of the boat’s hull. Displacement hull. A true creek boat. Great outfitting, but Im not sure about the durability of the “white”.
Cons: Not the fastest boat. It may be the heaviest creekboat I have every lifted. Not a beginner boat.
Paddlers: Experienced creekers who are looking for something to replace their Nomad (or other true creek boats). I think it would be an awkward transition for a playboater to jump into the Recon, unless they are already accustomed to the performance traits of a boat like this.