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If I had to live in a world where I could only have one boat, this is that boat. It has displaced my beloved Fun Runner from that position. If you have paddled any of the previous fun series iterations and find yourself liking the style of boat, you are in for a treat. The down river capacity of the new ’15 has been greatly enhanced over the ’10 fun series. The addition of some stern volume is one of the first things you will notice as you paddle down river. It feels more like a river runner as you paddle down pushy water, opposed to the ’10 series which felt a bit more like a play boat down river. I don’t say this as if it is a bad thing, because play boats down river are a blast. Think of it more as a an extra level of predictability and a security blanket, while you get to maintain the exceptional maneuverability of a shorter boat. I can not wait for my annual trip back east to take the new 4 Fun down Great Falls on my home river of the Potomac and of course the Gauley! In my world I can not imagine river running with out some play. I think play is what you make of it. In my Fun Runner it was stern squirts, splats, and and chill wave surfing. In the ’15 Fun it is going to be all of that and then some.

Add in wave wheels, loops, cartwheels, and a whole lot more. I look at the Fun as a down river boat that is playable opposed to a play boat that you can take down river. This gets back to that security blanket I spoke about before. I can not remember a boat that had this much forgiveness that is so playable. I had the opportunity to take the fun into our play park here in Reno, with low water levels. When it is low the features become much more finicky and require a bit more skill and efficiency to stay retentive. Since I was testing the Fun size boat and I am going to actually be spot on in the 4 Fun, I was shocked to see how well it took care of me in these demanding conditions. The first feature I got to play on was a wave that is only about a foot high. The Fun is very quick edge to edge, fast, and surprisingly loose. I say surprisingly, because I am way out of the ideal weight range for the boat. I can only imagine how easy spinning will be in my size. On the more intermediate range of play, this boat blunts like a dream! After that I moved down to test out its ability to play in hole. Cartwheels were super balanced end to end and easy to get initiated. The levels were low enough that looping was out of the question, so I will have to check back in on that once I get mine on a deeper feature. Last but certainly not least it rolls like a dream. No matter what style of roll you prefer it is predictable and easy. If your technique is a bit off or you are in a stressed situation, that forgiveness comes back into play to help you out. Considering all of the above I expect to see a bunch of new boaters looking to the new Fun as their first boat that will let them test out all that paddling has to offer, ranging from river running to play.

Having said that don’t let it fool all you experienced boaters out there into thinking it is not a boat for you. Take it for a test drive and you will see. After a few decades of boating I am looking towards it as a new tool to play my way down some classic runs that I have run countless times, in a new exciting way.

Later ; Colin
Team JK