Antix antics

Antics:(noun) foolish, outrageous, or amusing behavior
 
Antix:(boat) A means to accomplish all of the above
 
We have been using the Medium Antix since December.  It has been down the Grand Canyon, the Middle Fork Salmon, and spent many days on the record high waters of the South Fork American and other local favorites.  It feels equally at home on the Grand at 15-20,000 as it does on our local river at 1500.
 
Since we only had one boat, and since my husband loved it so much, he was the one that paddled it most of the time.  I finally got it back right before the small Antix was released and was ready to order my own medium.  I loved how the medium paddled, loved how it made the river a really fun place to play, and loved how comfortable the boat was so I wasn’t too concerned about trying the small size; looking at the stats and the recommended weight range, it didn’t seem like anything that would work for me or a boat that would be that much fun for someone my size.
If there is one thing I should know by now it is that agonizing over statistics and weight ranges on websites for boats is a waste of time.  I should have listened to Clay and all of the others who over the years have patiently reminded me that numbers are just numbers unless you have the means to relate them to what they are applied to and, more importantly, to understand why they are applied in a certain way.  Somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered “volume is to boat size as ratings are to rapids—it’s all subjective”.  Or this one: “Different sources rate them differently and plenty other variables are more important.” 
 
The Antix is a narrow boat.  Just look at the numbers!  BUT, and this is the kicker, how the volume is distributed and how the boat volume is flared, with a slight, almost pontoon ridge running along the side of the boat, you get the benefit of a narrow boat when you need it edge to edge surfing and carving out of eddies and the stability of a wider boat while running the river in rapids including tons of secondary stability. 
Anyway, back to the Small; I am 5’8” and weigh 140-145.  The weight range for the small says I am too big for the boat.  The stats say the ideal weight for the boat is 120 lbs, the weight range is from 80-130 lbs , something I haven’t been since grade school.  
 
I have the seat in the middle—with size 10 feet.  When I first got in the boat the seat was actually one forward and I still fit- so the boat will fit a pretty wide range of sizes and has quite a bit of travel front to back given it’s short length.  Sitting in it at the store, I wasn’t all that hopeful.  Sure, it fit me, quite comfortably actually, but I could visualize me slogging my way down the river struggling to keep the bow up, sinking it with those 10 plus additional over max pounds.  I really liked the feel of this narrow boat though hips fairly close to the sidewall, knees almost touching the sides, a boat that felt like I wouldn’t have to muscle it to get it to respond.
At the river I was more than happily surprised to see that the boat floated me really well, both ends were out of the water, it was balanced front to back and it didn’t feel unstable or wobbly.  By the first eddy I was hooked.  The first real surf wave, where I definitely had to rudder and keep the medium size moving to stay on, this guy just wanted to play.  Really dynamic carves using the tail-which I could sink more than the medium, side to side edging was automatic, and it was just really easy to input what I want to do without a heavy touch.  Running the river it is super user-friendly—it is truly a fun boat to both run the river and play/surf.  Oh, and I can squirt the small!  Not just some half-way lame form of a squirt like I do in the medium so that is huge.
 
All of the above translates from the medium to the large size boat.  A couple friends who are 190 plus pounds prefer the medium over the large.  If you are wanting to take the boat on harder rivers, especially creeks, definitely upsize to the larger sizes.  If, however, you want to have a whole lot of fun on easier 3-4 rivers, want a boat that is comfortable right out of the wrapper, and want a boat to do some old school fun moves like surfing and squirting, try the smaller of the two sizes.    
 
So which one did I order?  A small…but I still want a medium for those big water days!  
 
Happy paddling,

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