Wow, I've really taken a break from the blog it seems...spent lots of time paddling lately :) ...so not a bad thing! Coming soon will be a synapsis of my recently completed first year of boating...along with my top 5 rivers that I have experienced! ...but in the meantime, here's a review of my playboat!
Back in February I bought the Pure and sold the Medieval, paving the way for the need of a new playboat...this time I wanted not a river runner, but a true playboat! I decided to try a few out...now my biggest obstacle, as I'm sure I've stated before is my shape/size/height...I'm 6'2", 170 or slightly less lbs, with a 32-36" inseam depending on the pants...usually 34" is right, and I have size 10 feet.
Thanks to the folks at Western Canoe and Kayak I was able to demo a number of boats. First off were the Jackson's...I wasn't a huge fan of the All-star because I couldn't get comfortable and couldn't seem to fit in the medium Rock Star...though I like the large Rock Star it was too much boat for my weight...this was the same problem I had with the Project X, couldn't fit the 56 and the 64 was too much boat for me!
On the Dagger end of things it was the same, I couldn't fit the Agent 6.2. The 2 river runners I did try I didn't find comfortable...the Dagger Rx 6.7 and Jackson Fun. I also have a fundamental problem with Jackson's outfitting, I'm not a fan of their strings to tighten the backband, or their happy feet...and because I've had bad experiences in Jackson boats I've tried I'm already biased against them.
I'm sure you're reading this thinking wow...this guy is finnicky with his boats and outfitting...well, yes I am. Big time. If I'm dropping a good chunk of change on a boat I intend to get a solid amount of use out of, it better be comfortable...or at least not uncomfortable.
I had almost lost faith and was actually thinking of trying to find another Medieval to buy...when I thought of it. The one river runner I found really comfy that fit my weight was the Pyranha Varun M, so why not the similarly postured Molan!? I tried it and at first had trouble, but with some time and footblock experimentation quickly had no problem fitting this boat to my needs!
The Molan is a poppy little bateau. It's very fast for how small it is, both when surfing and catching waves and trying to get across the river, or down it. It's a thin boat with pronounced edges which makes it inherently destabilized and a hell of a lot of fun! My weight is perfect for the medium, which is nice and it sits where I want it in the water. I don't need to move the seat back at all...the bubbly stern seems to make it roll not bad as well and as long as you lean forward, you seem to get kicked out of bad spots similarly to a creek boat in a way.
It bounces on a wave, this took me a lot of getting used to compared to the bigger, longer Midevil. It wants to pop and loop it seems though I can't pull those off really yet. The Project X seemed to turn and spin better and have a lot more stability, so it really depends what you're looking for..but it came down to the 2 and the comfort of the Molan won out in the end.
I've started getting used to the boat now and getting it on waves and in bigger water and it gives non stop good times! I highly recommend one!