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Submitted: 03-08-2009 by tstanton
Just returned from a 92-mile trip on the Rio Grande at Big Bend NP. I am just a novice with class 2+ experience. This boat is extremely stable and forgiving. I set up this boat as a solo tripping boat. I paddle the boat reversed, from the bow seat. I removed the stern seat and added a thwart for gear packing ease. I started this trip with approximately 450 pounds of load including myself. I do not recommend this boat for tandem tripping, as the gear capacity is too limited for two paddlers.
The main attraction of the Rio Grande at Big Bend are the canyons that rise straight up from the river. In places the canyon is only 25 feet wide. Within parts of the canyons are obstacle courses of boulder gardens and gravel bars with tight turns. This provides numerous opportunities for wall shots, strainers and more boulders. The boulder gardens consist of large boulders the size of cars and even much larger.
Throughout the entire trip I felt extremely secure in the Legend 15. Even when I did not follow the best line the Legend pulled me through. On a few occasions I broadsided the wall on a turn and was slipping water over the gunnels on the upstream side. With just a little weight shift I was able to keep her upright.
If your river tripping includes technical whitewater I highly recommend this boat. If you are a novice you cannot go wrong with this boat for a solo river canoe. I rate this boat as a 9 because the Mad River workmanship is less than stellar.
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