Colin Kemp 19/01/2017 | Posted in Antix, Playboating, Reviews, River Running, Team JK, Whitewater, WW Disciplines
It has been a real treat to finally get some time in my production large antix. After having boated the medium prototypes my mind was extremely hopeful, excited, and nervous to get my hands on the large. The fact is that until you actually get to boat the final version you never know 100% about fit and some of the finer details. We knew we had the boat design that we wanted but having long legs and big feet is not a great thing to have as a kayaker so…….. you cross your fingers and hope. I am here to confirm that with a 36” inseam, size 13 feet, and 230# I fit great into the boat. I have the bulkhead all the way forward and the seat set in the aft position. I am able to get into the boat wearing my brewers so I am super excited to be able to wear a shoe that has a real sole and is ok for portages and so on. If I were to move to a neoprene sock I would likely be able to move the seat one notch forward. I outfitted the antix with exactly the same outfitting that I put in my Zen and it is fitting like a charm. Noting extra or tricky was needed for a good talk guy fit.
Even with the seat in the aft position I was not having any issues with backenering when coming through a drop or funky water. I was attempting to put the boat in some challenging situations to see how well it would take care of me when things were not just spot on and it did not disappoint. I have taken it out on the North Fork of the American for a 3+/4- style run. This run had a lot of fun slidey boofs and tons of splat rocks so just about the perfect test it out run. It did great staying on the surface with delayed boofs and resurfaces predictably when you plug that bow. The antix is super predictable on stern squirting. If you already know how to squirt a “longer” boat it will be super intuitive and quite easy even with a mild class 1 eddy line. If you are accustomed to a short play boat just slow things down and let the water do the work for you. Start at a mild angle and progressively work to a higher angle of attack with the stern edge and you will be there in no time. The antix is still the easiest to front surf boat that I have ever paddled, so get out there and surf some waves of all shapes and sizes. The second major run I got it on was the Truckee as it was rising during our larges flood in over a decade. In the chaotic wave train style rapids that we had it was super easy to stay on line, quick to react when you need a rapid change of line, and once again super predictable to catch waves on the fly. I will have a more detailed performance review once I get it onto a few steeper runs as the weather allows. In the meantime, get out there and go demo one. You will not be disappointed.
Thanks to Ryan Slam for hiking in the rain and dodging disgruntled farmers to get the title shot for this news story. Ryan is a Tahoe based adventure photographer. Check out his work here. http://ryansalmphotography.photoshelter.com/index