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Weighing in at 8 feet 0 inches and 72 gallons, the Karma Small is perfect for smaller boaters! As a small female boater, I’ve had a hard time finding a boat that fits me well. Some boats were too small, basically child sized, and sacrificed performance for lower volume and shorter length. Others were just too big. I enjoyed paddling the Villain S because of its speed and stability. I called it my “tank.” But that was the problem…it was just too big for me, making it sometimes difficult to control and hard to raise the bow on boofs.

But after paddling a bigger boat like the Villain S for so long, the Karma Small seemed very small at first sight. I was worried that it would be less stable and I wondered how it would handle punching through big holes. But I shouldn’t have been worried, not even a little bit.
I decided to test the Karma Small on the Green, because it has a little bit of everything: drops, slides, big holes, and awesome Class II-III boogie water. After zipping dry suits, grabbing helmets and paddles, our group began the hike-in. I quickly transferred my float bags, throw rope and pin kit from Villain to Karma, and trotted off after the guys. The first thing I noticed was the weight—it’s incredibly light! This made hiking with a boat much easier.
The Karma Small on Class II-III, Wave Trains, and Boogie Water:
The warm up section to the Green Narrows and the boogie water throughout the run is full of great wave trains and small boofs. The stability of the Karma Small gives you confidence to try some of the fun moves that can seem intimidating in a squirrely, slow, or difficult-to-control boat. But the effortless edge control and maneuverability of the Karma Small make these moves really fun! Wave trains are a blast with the Karma’s speed. It’s excellent secondary stability keeps you feeling calm, stable and in control, giving you the confidence to blast through the waves and boof away!
If you’re looking to improve skills such as boofing, eddy catching, ferries and peel-outs, the increased performance of this boat will allow you to progress quickly without sacrificing stability.
The Karma on Class IV-V, Drops, Slides, and Big Holes:
Like I’ve already said, the Karma Small’s speed, edges, maneuverability, and stability make it a great boat! I was extremely impressed by how the Karma Small keeps its speed after a drop. While other boats tend to max-out soon after landing, sometimes causing the bow to rise up sharply, the Karma Small carries its speed out and away, so you’re ready to continue charging down the rapid without worrying about back-endering or losing speed. If you sub-out, no worries! The Karma Small resurfaces quickly and predictably.
The edges make it easy to put the boat exactly where you want it. Bigger boats like the Villain S were difficult for me to control and kind of got away from me sometimes. But the manky lines and weird currents of the Green were no problem in the Karma Small. Ferrying is a breeze and catching eddies is super fun with all that speed. The Karma Small also accelerates quickly, so no worries if you eddy-out and then need to charge quickly.
I was also impressed with how the Karma punches through big holes. Zwick’s was no match for the Karma Small. After punching the hole, I was surprised to find myself speeding towards the second drop. But perhaps most surprising of all is how forgiving the Karma Small is. Even when careening down slides or bumping into rocks, I felt stable and in control.
Finally smaller creek boaters don’t have to sacrifice performance for a smaller boat! The Karma Small is definitely my new charger!
Hope to see you on the River,
Be safe out there!

AlexisGrace Jennings