Thanks to the good folks at Western Canoe and Kayak in Abbotsford I got to try out a Prijon Pure this weekend. I'm not going to call this a review since I only used it a weekend, which I don't think is long enough for a comprehensive review, but I feel like I got a good feel for how it works at my level none-the-less.
It was a cold weekend to try out a new boat, but I got out both days as usual. The temperature hovered around 0 Saturday as we met at the canyon, it was Dave's first canyon run with myself and Merick along for support and guiding. Much like in my Magnum, I had a difficult time getting comfortable in the boat (this is not due to the boat, this is me having a hard time setting up in creekers). Every Eddy we hit I had to stretch my legs with my knees sticking out the cockpit to keep my feet awake. It worked out well since we were describing and running Dave through the easier lines on the run anyway. I'm not even going to count Saturday as a review day, though I did roll the boat into the freezing water to try it out and found it extremely easy to roll, even easier than The Magnum. Dave did great on his first canyon run not even needing to roll!
Sunday was a different and much better story altogether, besides the -4 temps! We had a strong group out of about 9 boats and 10 paddlers with the tandem canoe on the river. In an odd twist, most of the people usually in smaller boats had bigger boats and vice versa, leading to a good chance for some action!
Let me tell you, this boat is a boof machine! I was instantly comfortable this time around after positioning my feet differently and putting an inflatable baloon between my arches giving my feet a more natural forward facing position, this made all the difference. I have never been so aggressive and sure of my boating, I was hitting everything, things I would hit only the odd time or think about in The Medievil I was running with ease in this boat. Every rock in sight I was trying to boof running across the river like a madman (using more energy than I had in awhile!) looking for the perfect ferry, boof and combo move. I was tying things together like never before, hitting a boof into an eddy, ferrying upstream across, and jetting across a hole to the next boof and so on, with ease like I never had before. Even on rocks where your boof stroke isn't bang on the boat would seem to auto boof, and if you nailed your stroke off a larger drop you would find yourself propelled through the air, landing well clear of the hole at the bottom.
It did feel like The Magnum in that it would grab the flow of water to 'auto-eddy', that is if you were going forward, especially in a defensive position and hit any water going upstream you would find yourself turning around off your line, or at the least it would affect your line, hit an eddy and you'd find yourself instantly facing upstream. But lean forward and plant your strokes at your bow and use some smart draw strokes and rudders when needed and you'd find yourself staying on line, it was not as extreme in this regard as The Magnum either as it had softer, but similar edges.
This boat makes you feel incredibly aggressive but at the same time incredibly stable as it seems to keep you stable and afloat in any situation. Another thing to consider is that it is a very long boat at 8'6", about 8" longer than The Magnum for example, but it feels much smaller! I fall well withing the 187 lb weight range as well. But despair not differently sized people, soon there is an XL and S version coming out (like within a couple months!).
Not to mention Prijon has been making boats of the best plastics in the industry for over 40 years, HTP blowmolded designs give their boats 8 more molecules per strain in the plastic, making their boats thinner and lighter (5 lbs or so compared to Villain S and Nomad 8.5). That all combined with a 5 year limited warranty and these are the best built boats you can find. If you want a boat for the long term it's not a bad idea to consider these strongly. I intend to boat up to 150 days + per year in my creek boat each year, so this makes it very attractive to me. Another thing to consider is a replaceable nosecap it comes with...and speed, let me tell you, this boat is fast, so fast that if you are driving forward not paying attention you could potentially get yourself into trouble!
I strongly recommend taking a look at this boat, especially if you do a lot of boating and want to be a good creek boater, or anyone who wants a boat that will simply last, you could conceivably get this boat to start your training and run it through for many years of advancing your skills if you wanted!
It'll be hard to top it.
Western Canoe and Kayak