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By Stephen Wright

At 5’4", 145 lbs, I’m rarely the exact target weight or size for any kayak that’s made in 3 or 4 sizes. Maybe you have the same problem on the small side, or on the big size at 190 lbs. Except for the 2 Fun for me and the 4 Fun for you, there aren’t many designs where we’re the target size. Hopefully my experience as an "in betweener" can help you decided with creek boat will make you happiest.

I’ve been paddling the 07 Rocker all season, with a double beans Sweet Cheeks to lift me up, and more hip pad shims than you could count on both hands. I’ve generally found it to be ridiculously easy to paddle, and a very confidence-inspiring amount of volume. I’ve never felt like it was too big or long, and it turns with ease. I was certainly glad to be in it on a run like Mann’s Creek at a good flow, where there are just a lot moves around evil rocks for a few hours straight, and a few pushier (but fun) rapids. I’ve found that I like the Rocker best when I sit a little back of center-it just seems to keep the bow up easier and holds a line easier for me.

I had the opportunity to paddle a Punk Rocker for 4 runs of a low-water North Fork Feather Toban (Cali)this past week. At that level, the Toban run is a fun class 4 technical run with several 3-6 foot boofy drops. Before this, my only experience with the Punk was at Rock Island, where I concluded that it was too small, and unstable for me. I had followed my normal procedure of sitting somewhere forward of center, and sitting a little higher with the Sweet Cheeks. My bow kept trying to pearl and I kept having to brace into eddies.yuck! This time, though, I learned from my mistakes and moved the seat all the way back, and got myself nice and low with the Sweet Cheeks. Sitting farther back and lower, I felt stable, and the bow stayed up nicely. It was a FUN ride! I’d like to paddle the Punk a good bit more on lower-water, less pushy steep stuff. It’s just so easy to drive, boof, and get up onto rocks!


If you’re in between sizes on the Rocker series, ask yourself what kind of boating you’re likely to be doing. If you’re looking for an all-out stable and confidence-inspiring ride that won’t get pushed around much, go big. That goes for those of you who are planning to put lots of gear in your boat for overnighters or ropes for rappelling, etc. If you’re mostly going to be enjoying low-volume runs with enough steep, but not a lot of push (or runs with big walk-ins and outs-5 lbs lighter each size down!), consider going small. Make sure that you get low and try it out sitting a bit farther back than you’d expect. I really feel like either boat paddles like the best creek boat I’ve ever used at my size. The 07 Rocker series is easy to switch-out from a playboat and have an immediately fun day with no surprises and very little adjustment time necessary.

Live from the Gauley,

Stephen Wright