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Anyone who knows me knows that I love my Villain and that I am hard to impress and change my habits when it comes to a creek boat. I tend to prefer displacement hull creek boat for their predictability, rock friendliness, and quickness edge to edge. I also feel that a creek boat should make the hardest water you personally paddle easier for you. Pair all of that along with great boofability and hole punching and you know why I love my villain. Now that you have an idea of where I am coming from lets’ get to the Karma. When I first sat in the boat on dry land I felt tiny in it, which is saying something since I am 6’5” with a 36” inseam and size 13 feet. Do NOT let yourself be intimidated by the perceived size of the boat when you sit in it. It paddles true to size once on the water, and perhaps even more nimble. After a quick flat water warm up I decided to test the speed of the boat, and nothing lets you know how fast a boat is like attainments. I managed to get higher upstream than I have ever been able to attain in the start rapid of the Tobin section of the Feather River in the Karma.

Needless to say the Karma is fast in the speed department. The edge to edge transfer was way more fluid and quick than I have ever experienced in any planning hull creek boat. It felt very intuitive to me and the more you lean it on edge the more stability you got. The ability to spin the boat was a good bit better than my Villain due to the planning hull. It carves very crisp once you put it up on edge. It feels like it may take a tiny bit more edging to initiate a carve, than in my villain, but that could just be me learning a new boat that is a bit longer. Functionally the additional length was unnoticed other than the additional speed that it added to the hull. The boat boofs like a dream and is very rock friendly, just like my Villain. As you can tell in the photos I was not shy about making sure it could handle all of the granite that Cali has to offer. At the end of the day I made all of the same moves that I would do in my Villain with the same amount of success, and some moves even easier due to the added speed. Dave Knight did great job of blending the best performance components of a displacement hull and a planning hull creek boat all wrapped up in one new package. The ease of paddling this new design will appeal to newer creek boaters as well as experienced folks looking to step up their game to the next level. I look forward to my 2013 creeking season in my new Karma.

Later; Colin
Team JK