9 out of 10

Wavesport EZ

Ok, everyone has heard all of the rumors about the EZ so I decided to demo paddle on on the Nantahala last weekend. I went up to Endless Rivers and talked to Ken. He knew quite a bit about the boat and helped me get it outfitted properly. (That was my thank-you to him)

Me: 5'8"
187 lbs
9 1/2 shoes
Intermediate river runner, beginner/intermediate playboater

Boat: 6'9" Long
25" Wide
31.8cm Deep
47 gal Volume

Initial Impression:
The outfitting was great. Just about everything is customizable. I was a little unsure about using velcro until I saw how it was done. The outfitting is very securely tied down with cinch straps. This boat can be quickly trimmed and fitted to multiple paddlers. I have pretty short legs for my torso size and usually my feet don't come anywhere near the footbumps in other boats. In the EZ, they were right in the middle of them. Now that I was nice and comfy, it was time to hit the river.

On the water:
Everything I heard about the river running ability of the EZ I put to the test in the first 200 yards of the trip. I tried ferries, eddy turns and boofing waves. The EZ excells in running Appalachian whitewater. If I lived out west and ran 70' holes and 200' waves, I would want another boat simply because of the short nature of the boat but I would run the New River Gorge confidently in this boat. Having said that, I was worried about the "playability" of the boat.

Flatwater play:
The boat is extremely playful in flatwater. The stubbyness is not an issue. The boat stalls on bow or stern easily and once up, is stable. I was getting the longest stalls of my life. Now I have paddled many different boats but have never been able to flatwater cartwheel. I know the motions but could never make the boat respond. In the EZ, I can consistently throw 2 or 3 point wheels. The boat is a marvel of design.

In the eddy:
Stern squirts - super easy. The stern looks like it would be a bear to get into a stable squirt but it is actually cake. The boat will actuall bow squirt, nice! Up until paddling the EZ I could get maybe 2 point eddy wheels. In the EZ I can throw 3 or 4 points with ease.

On a wave:
In my opinion the most important place for a boat to shine is on the wave. The EZ does this. The bottom of the boat is a departure from WS's normal hull. The largest area is actually not flat! A playboat without a flat bottom!? Yep, the bottom is slightly rounded. "But that means no flatspins!" Wrong. Because of the hull design, the water rushing through the channels on the sides causes a flat area to develop. This difference in water velocity allows the boat to be very loose on a wave. The boat is not Riot loose but does rival Dagger or Perception boats. Now, this only happens while you are surfing. If you are moving at the speed of the water, the boat demonstrates amazing stability. Carving. This boat wants to carve, so let it. Its short size keeps the bow out of the trough and surfing on steep waves.

I have never rated a boat a 10. That is a perfect score and I have never paddled a perfect boat. The EZ does come as close to perfect as I have ever experienced though. After paddling the demo, I whipped out the plastic and picked up a sky blue model. My reccomendation, if you live in the South East or paddle the rivers here quite a bit, sell your boat, car, house, wife, whatever and get yourself an EZ. Your playboating will thank you!

If you want to get in touch with me:

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