Space Cadet

9 out of 10

I'm 6'2", 180 lbs, size 13 feet, 34" inseam. Expert playboater, crappy creeker.

River Running: This boat is SHORT. I never thought the day would come when I would be taller than my kayak. It's slow due to its length but while losing speed it gains maneuverability. SUPER fun for downriver tricks. The right combination of weight placement and timing can give up tricks that you probably could never do in your longer boat. Wave wheels and macho moves for days! Eddy lines like to play havoc with this boat. As do bigger water runs. I'd say class IV is as big as this boat's capable of. Save your money and buy a creek boat. It's more fun than running the hair in a playboat anyways.

Playboating: This is where the caddy shines! Hole performance isn't quite as good as wave performance, but i'm better at wave moves than holes so naturally I'm a little prejudiced. Blunts come effortlessly; as do pan-ams and flip turns after you get tired of blunting. The hull releases nicely for spins. Clean spins are just a head turn away. It'll windowshade you like a punk if you don't pay attention to your edges. This boat wants to be driven hard. It gets tons of pop out of the hole. Loops and space godzillas are the name of the game. Linked cartwheels are fairly tricky though. The ends tend to come around faster than I can keep up. One of my fave parts of the boat is the stern. It's slightly longer than the bow with alot more slice. Stern loops and mcnasty's! Yes!

Ocean surf: Two words: hold on! Short boats are a double edged sword in the surf. They're great once you get through the chop, but it's a bitch getting out. The caddy carves surprisingly well for being finless and gets loads of hop on the green face. The first time I took the cadet out i nailed my first clean air blunts. First donkey flip: same day.

Overall: This boat is fantastic for the intermediate freestyle paddler whose ready to start getting serious about learning new moves and perfecting the old ones. It's a demanding boat though. It's tough to roll and is pretty hard on my feet. Like all playboats, you've gotta shop around and find the perfect fit. What works for one person might be another's nightmare. Peace!

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