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  Washington Kayak Club
Fun and safe kayaking through trips, education, skill development, and conservation

River Discussion

Creeker vs. River Runner?
Matt H.
I am a new kayaker who entered the sport via a playboat.  

I want to do whitewater in a wide variety of settings and classifications.  I can probably only get one more boat.  

The question is - creeker or river runner?  

My play boat is a slicey Pyranha S8 235.  I am a big guy - 6 foot 2, weighing 220 pounds.  Looking at Jackson Karma and Jackson Zen - and boats like them in the river runner and creeker type varieties.  So most likely a large sized boat.  I also like the idea of it being truly big enough to where I can extend the bulkhead and relax legs without getting out of the boat.  My current play boat is tough to stay in very long without legs going to sleep.  


I'm new to the sport but love it - and am into adventure sports so probably will be rather adventurous with kayaking as i progress.  

Richard Purcell
I started in a playboat as well. I'd go with a creeker because it's at the other end of the spectrum. Between your playboat and creeker you'll be able to learn and get different experiences on the same river. The displacement hull of a creeker for me is more forgiving.
Matt H.
Yes - I hear what you are saying about the creeker - and it being forgiving and on the other end of the spectrum.  
In my limited experience, I did paddle a Jackson Rocker which is a medium sized creeker - a tad small for me - had to have the bulkhead extended all the way to fit in it, but man did it feel forgiving.  But it was also on the small side.  If I had one long enough that I could extend the bulkhead while still in the boat (like it is capable of doing) to relax my legs/feet without getting out of the boat, if it would not feel too big.  Haven't tried large size creeker.  Haven't tried river runner at all though either.  I hear the NEW 2015 Jackson Zen (river runner) is taller and has more volume than prior model and is a tad more forgiving like a creeker for some things.  Perhaps the most agonizing decision ever made.  

I currently am really nervous about hitting rocks especially sideways but I expect that to wear off as I gain experience.  I know creeker would be confidence boosting but - what about when there are demands to paddle or carve fast?  Dunno.  Don't want to get a river runner and wish it was still more forgiving.  But perhaps large adequately sized river runner? I just don't know.  Wish I did.

PS.  Sorry - meant to reply publicly not privately - resent this post publicly.  
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