Clay Wright 28/03/2017 | Posted in Antix, Creeking, featured, Playboating, Reviews, River Running, Whitewater, WW Disciplines
[If you are lucky enough to be between 160 and 190, the Antix M and L are 2 different boat styles rather than 2 different sizes. For the rest of you, I hope this will help you understand the boat style we’re offering you!]
Antix – 2 different sizes, 2 different boats
The more sizes there we offer, the more ‘’Tweeners’’ write in: “I’m in between sizes, which one should I buy?’’ Since I’m often in this ‘same boat’ myself, so I thought I would chime in on this issue and focus on our sporty new river-runner, the Antix. Like any kayak, the smaller the boat the easier it is to get vertical and the larger it is the easier it is to run rapids. So while a smaller boat will get vertical in more places, the larger boat will take you to more places to get vertical. OK – so I’m not really helping much here.. lets try something else:
At 175 the Antix M, like the Rockstar M, is sporty fun-tastic! Even with the seat in the middle I’ve learned to stern-stall it in flatwater, stay vertical on slow-moving eddy lines and splat rocks that barely have a pillow! In my first week I couldn’t squirt without good current but it was just So fun blunting and spinning waves, looping down the Ocoee and Gauley or splatting every angled rock in sight. Soon I got better at everything. The Medium size Antix is a playboat I can run most rivers in, and I LOVE that! Move forwards for harder runs, move back to get vertical more places. The drawback is it rides pretty low in the water.. scraping bottom where my Zen M would float over and losing some speed in the process. It also sinks a bit deeper when you miss a boof or drop into a fluffy hole. This limits my options on harder runs with logs, sketchy rock or when the drops come one after another quickly. The Antix M is the perfect choice for runs like the Ocoee, Daddy’s, Tellico, Tallulah, Gauley, Upper Yough, low water North Chick, Ark Numbers, NY’s Black, Dryway, etc – dam release or familiar runs without much wood, without a big pucker factor for your creek-boat skill level. Antix Medium at 175 is a faster, more creekable Fun-style boat to make the most of the rivers most East Coast boaters paddle most. It’s a playboat for creek boaters.
The Antix L – like the Rockstar L – is just ‘’too big’’ for me to play in a pool or vague eddy line – not going to be as fun at NOC hole or down a class 2 run with a few splat rocks, and certainly not going to get me out of a Rockstar until the gradient or volume picks up. So why would I buy a ‘’stern squirt boat’’ that i can’t really stern squirt? Because when the gradient or volume picks up.. aha! The Antix L is the boat I’ve been waiting for! Sporty, edgy, short enough to Rock360 and freewheel with ease… and as long as there’s a strong eddy-line or pillow on a rock with a bit of practice I’m watching the clouds. To squirt easier, slide the seat back. For harder rivers or rapids, slide it forwards. The Antix L glides through the shallows like a creek boat, rarely back-enders and stays on the surface through big water nearly as well as a full-on river-runner. This is a sportier Zen Medium I can take just about anywhere! With the L I’m choosing more powered-up eddy lines to get vertical with and doing splats when the rock is angled or has a pillow to slice into – thankfully most harder runs of plenty of these. I will choose the Lg for Cain into Chick, LRC, Green, Russel Fork, Gore, Bailey, Cherry Creek, etc – more challenging runs with more gradient and water where a bit more speed and flotation is helpful. For light-side of the weight range paddlers, the Antix is a super-sporty, slalom style creek boat that you can also stern squirt and splat after some practice. Antix L is perfect for paddling higher volume, more Western style runs where the play falls in between the rapids. It’s also a perfect ‘River Runner’ for those who aren’t pushing themselves on class 5. It’s a creek boat for playboaters.
So what to choose?
If I had to choose one… in the SE, or if I already owned a creek boat, it would be the Antix Medium – the most playful version to enjoy the dam release stuff, Tellico and class 4 stuff so much more than either my Rockstar or Zen can make possible. In the West Coast (or if I had to choose just one kayak) it would be the Large, as I’m more likely to be on runs with more water that I don’t know well and more likely to be boat-scouting my way down. The Large on me at 175lbs is a much sportier river-runner than the Zen Medium, meaning I can squirt and splat but also take it just about anywhere. If this was the only size – I would LOVE having such a sporty, versatile river runner that’s lighter and funner than a creek boat but up to most challenges. So for 2017 – I’ve made my choice. I bought both! I’ve been paddling both sizes about equally this winter and plan to keep BOTH on my roof all summer. Hit me up for more info or to try whichever one I’m not paddling if you see me at the put-in, as I’m happy to share and can’t paddle them at the same time 🙂