Select Page

By Darin McQuoid

The Hero, a brief essay on why it’s my favorite boat.

It’s fun to paddle in class II and III. This is not a common comment about a craft that handles just as well on expedition class V, but the flat bottom and crisp edges of the Hero make it a pleasure to paddle on a wide array of rivers. Just like a playboat it’s fun to charge into eddy lines with, going from full speed to stationary just slow enough to avoid whiplash.
The same edges make this the easiest to ferry creekboat I’ve ever paddled, I can’t count the times I have been halfway through a must make ferry and thought how happy I was to be in this boat, generally just a few strokes get it across the river in style.

It’s short, which is great for two things. The most obvious is that it’s nimble on the water, a character I love, but second is that it’s a joy to hike with…as much as any kayak can be a joy to hike with. The short length helps me avoid banging into rocks and getting snagged on trees during the arduous California multi-day season. Coupled with the short length is also light weight, enough so people complain that it’s not fair compared to their boats 🙂

While being a short boat, it still has enough room for me to pull off a ten day expedition, even while loaded down with a full camera kit too! I’m not quite sure how it all fits in (with a break-down paddle too) but it does. No other boat has ever felt so good while completing cross current boofs, I love the feeling of acceleration the Hero gives when you land on edge in swift current…thus the Hero remains my favorite go anywhere and do anything boat.

Darin McQuoid