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Day after tomorrow i head to Chile for my first time. I am so stoked, this is a place i have wanted to see for a long time. I have a month of traveling all around. I start off in Santiago and work my way to Pucon where i will be based out of. This is not only an awesome trip but its also the Whitewater Grand Prix. Last year the grand prix was in canada where it had both creek races and freestyle competitions. This year it is a little different, this year because it is based in chile they decided to have it all be creek races. And a month ago before we had the karma when i was still using the zen, the boat i had been using all year for everything from california to the green, and taking 2nd in the creek races in CO. I wasnt sure if i would want to go straight to the karma and take that to chile since i was so used to the zen. And i would only get a little bit of time in the karma beforehand. But i gotta say when i got in the karma for the first time on the russel fork i felt right at home. It was amazing how much the karma was truly based off the zen. It had all the fun factors of the zen, it had very similar speed, amazing carve-ability, great control. I never once felt like i had to force the boat around, especially when going over big boils and funky water, it just floated right over that stuff like there was nothing there. But with all the fun stuff, it also had that easy, confidence inspiring creeking side to it. I have gotten it on the russel fork and the green for a few runs on both. And i realized even the first day on the russel fork that it was not a challenge to get where i ¬†wanted to go on any of the rapids. I was most surprised that day on the russel fork when i was on the rapid Triple Drop. And if you have run the russel fork you know that triple drop is a very boily out of control almost intimidating rapid. And that was the mindset i had coming into it with the karma because i hadnt been on the russel fork in forever. And the first drop which is a slide into a pretty beefy hole i barely took a boof stroke and my bow stayed high and dry over it and carried my speed way downstream. And i was like “huh that was easy”. But the second drop is a big flume that all the water comes together and kind goes slightly steeper towards the bottom and crashes in a deep pool which causes a big crashing curler and massive boils that continue around 20 feet downstream. And from my memory your usually thinking “ok just try to keep you bow up but your probably gonna get swamped slightly by the curler and just paddle forward and hope you stay in the middle over the boils”. The funny thing about the second drop is that the river goes right after it, and it goes down a rapid on the right side with all the flow with some breaking waves. But if you go straight downstream after the 2nd drop, if you dont get pushed right down the main rapid. There is an epic boof. But it is always hard to get past the boils to get to it. That is what i was thinking going through the second drop, that i want to get that boof but it is always hard to get since i always get pushed right down the main flow. But i went through and i flew over the boils so quickly and easily that it blew my mind, because i was thinking it would be crazy and out of control. But i went over the boils afterwards like i was paddling over little ripples. I didnt even brace, just kept my speed up, and i was perfectly in line with the epic boof. And soared it. That was a moment that made me realize just how incredible this boat is. That everything i thought was hard all of a sudden became easy. Getting on the green with the karma showed me its bigger creeking side. I had been using the zen all the time on the green and so i was curious to see how the karma handled. The first day i hit all of the lines perfectly and couldnt decide whether or not it was the boat or if i just hit all of the lines. But the next day we went in and spent more time on the river, mainly on gorilla. I wound up doing 5 laps on gorilla. And 4 out of the 5 times my bow stayed high and dry over the speed trap. And i think maybe once or twice i had done that before. I couldnt believe it, and whats crazy is that the bow will get up over anything, but it will also keep your speed up after. Which made it perfect for the knotch, gorilla, all the slides afterwards. Just anything that has a hole. After the days i got in the karma which wasnt many, i was as comfortable as i could be in any boat. I felt confident in the boat enough i did gorilla at like 4 inches while it was dropping, i did every non normal line i could on the russel fork to throw me off balance. And there wasnt a moment where the boat didnt get me through with no hassle.

These are the key things i love about this boat-

Incredibly stable-Fast and controllable-Easy to maneuver-Boofs like a dream-Stays over holes and boils like nothing-Handles itself in smaller creeks and bigger water-Better feeling sitting in the water-Just a super fun boat to paddle-Nothing like it

I love this boat more than i expected, and i still have a deep love for the zen, but im taking the karma to chile and i couldnt be more stoked. I know the karma will have my back throughout the trip.