Diesel 75

9 out of 10

Just for an idea of padder weight and performance, I'm right around 165 lbs., and I paddle the Diesel 75 (the larger of the two).

I've been waiting to post anything about this boat until I had a chance to really get a feel for its performance. Over the last couple of weeks I've been testing her out on some Northwest classics and local runs near Eugene, OR.

First of all, this is probably one of the most comfortable boats I have ever paddled. It took me about 10 minutes to outfit (the F.A.T. system is rad). I feel like I can sit in the boat all day, which is great for long days on the river and will be sweet for overnighters.

The boat feels nice on the water. The playboat-style hull combined w/ the secondary stability of a creeker makes this thing an ideal river-runner. For people who are used to paddling planing hulled boats, there is almost no adjustment time needed to get used to the feel.

I have been paddling a Mutant as my sole creeker for the last couple of years, and the extra volume in the stern of the Diesel is a notable asset. The boat sits higher on the water and is not as prone to "subbing out" in the middle of drops. The Diesel is also remarkably faster than the Mutant (longer, planing hull, less rocker), but not much is sacrificed in the way of maneuverability or boofing. I found the boat to be agile in tight, technical situations, yet fast enough to power through big holes and stay in control in bigger water rapids.

Really my only complaint with the boat is that the hull is a bit flat for the style of creeking I like to do (launching big boofs/big waterfalls). The Mutant landed so soft off of drops that I felt comfortable landing flat (leaning forward of course) off of aerated drops +/- 25 feet. However, I am quickly adjusting my technique to preserve my spine and I imagine I will probably be better off for it in the long run. I have found that landing off of drops just short of flat is equally as fun, and the Diesel is large/stable enough that landings are always controlled and predictable.

The Diesel has been super fun on everything from average flows on the Little White Salmon, to juicy boulder garden runs, to super low volume runs on our local steep run, Sweet Creek. I'll give an update on its self-contained overnight performance next week after a trip to the Sierras (I think it's going to be hot!).


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