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For those paddlers that are at the lower end of the weight or height range, there are many questions about which boat they should choose when considering the small Antix vs the medium Antix vs the small Zen.

My answer is always “it depends” …

Like any other boat decision, it depends on:
• what kind of rivers you will be paddling and what you want your experience to be on those rivers
• can you afford to purchase two boats or if this is your single boat that needs to do everything
• will you be loading any additional gear into your boat?
• where are you on the weight / height scale


I am long and lean in physique (photo is Tim and Brooks and they are neither), which means that my weight fits the small boat range and my height (and leg length) fit the medium boat range. As part of being long and lean, I also don’t have huge upper body strength to power a larger boat – I tried this theory out with a medium Nirvana and failed miserably. It’s a lovely boat for going fast but you need the raw strength to get the momentum started.

Having paddled a small Antix, a medium Antix and a small Zen, here are my thoughts on the “it depends…”

Small Antix2:
• great if you love river play and generally play on class two and three rivers
• great for a broader range of river running if you are on the lower end of the weight/height range as it becomes a larger volume boat
• super fun for surfing and stern squirts as you can have greater edge control

Medium Antix2:
• solid boat for river play on class two and three rivers but might be harder to initiate stern squirts due to the paddler weight vs boat volume ratio. Takes more technical skill to make it happen
• has space (physical and volume wise) to pack additional items for longer trips
• can be used as a higher volume creek boat if you are at the lower end of the weight/height range (aim to have your seat in the middle or one forward for increased stability)

Small Zen3:
• feels just like the small Antix (high degree of control) but has a more solid stern to increase stability in larger volume water (no tail grabs)
• has more volume in the stern to pack additional items and can absorb the weight

Here is a comparison of the various metrics of all three boats:

All three boats are fantastic on the river. I hope the above helps you make a more confident boat choice.

Lee Vincent
Vincent Family