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Submitted: 08-02-2006 by mscantlebury

The Solito is a welcome addition to the ever-diminishing solo whitewater canoe choices out there. It's very much like a commercial version of the chopped Dagger Ocoees that reigned at rodeos a while back. The boat has a very flat bottom and hard chine. It's very responsive, enabling you to tilt easily to engage that chine and has great secondary. It has very decent acceleration for a boat this length--much faster for instance than the Esquif Detonator. It's a bit wider than my favorite boat, the Dagger Phantom, and consequently not as nimble. But if you're a fan of Ocoees, this is definitely a boat to check out. It's a great surf machine--just be sure to set the seat far enough back to make it a little bow light. The only reason I'm giving it a "8" is the layup seems a bit light to me. Otherwise it would be a "10". Its layup is a lot like the Bell Ocoee--lighter than the original Dagger version and more prone to dent. I've heard that Evergreen is looking into a thicker Royalex sheet and I hope that's true. The boat also doesn't come with grab thwarts. I made my own--both for having a handle for pulling it up on shore and because I think it helps the overall rigidity of the boat (no scientific basis for that impression). That said, I really like the boat. I'd buy it over a Bell Ocoee (which I also have). Does it best the Dagger Phantom? Not quite, in my opinion. It's important to note that size-wise I'm 5'11" and 170 lbs. A heavier and taller person might find the Solito (as well as the Ocoee and Phantom) a bit squirrelly.
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