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Submitted: 05-24-2000 by JP
I was lucky enough to find a new Cascade 2 months ago and understand it is similar to the Dagger Legend 15. I bought it to paddle solo for class III WW. I will also be using it to carry gear for several nights on short stretches of river.
THE CONS- It is a little tippy sitting on the factory seats in WW due to high center of gravity. Not recommended for beginner tandem unless you want to learn fast ! Solo, it does not glide very well and is not a joy to paddle on long stretches of still water when you want to make time. Stiff winds are unmanageable. You will go where ever the wind blows you.
THE PROS- There's no doubt that there's much better boats for flat water, but after practicing my J-stroke, and in a calm wind, I can keep my paddle on the same side of the boat for as long as I want and stay on course. In WW, compared to a friend's Old Town Discovery Scout, the Cascade turns on a dime, is quick to accelerate, and quick to slow. This allows me to catch certain eddies and cut across swift water that I can not do in the Scout. I can sit in swift water on a wave facing upstream. I have side-surfed on a small wave at the bottom of a rapid, but I don't recommend it. It was very tricky.
I have installed a homemade foam pedestal and knee pads with Velcro so I can adjust the trim. It is much more stable in this configuration for WW. I have installed Mohawk 48" end float bags and tie-down kits. I weigh 205 lbs. Using the pedestal and properly trimmed, both ends of the boat clear the water. This makes it very easy to spin. When capsized, with the air bags, and moderate load, the boat rides high on the water.
I consider myself a novice and have only had this canoe 4 trips (upper Little Missouri in Arkansas) on what I consider class II water. (this is based on what I was told was class IV water on a rafting trip on the Arkansas river in Colorado). This river has a lot of rocks, tight turns, and fair standing waves(for the class). It also has a few tough rapids with low, stout, tree branch overhangs where the river bends. Being a narrow, swift river, this makes it fairly technical to navigate in a canoe. I do get knocked around a little on this river from the waves and have come close to being thrown out of the boat. Before tackling anything rougher, I will install a factory pedestal and knee strap, probably from Mohawk. I have kept from swimming on 3 of the 4 trips so far. with a little more practice, I will be ready to tackle class III.
With all this in mind, right now, if I think this boat won't handle it, I don't want to run it. But who knows ..... ? Since I am a novice and don't have much to compare it to, I give it an 8.
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