Submitted: 04-02-2009 by padlnjones
Hi, I have been paddling whitewater OC-1 for 20 years now. I started in a Dagger Encore, then paddled Mohawk Probe 12s for about 2 yrs, then tried a Viper 12 and bought one immediately. I paddled ABS Vipers for about 10 years, then got one made in glass/kevlar. I am a lapsed ACA certified instructor...
Because of its hard chine (edge) the Viper had the rep of being unstable, but I think it is a very stable boat (flat bottomed). You quickly learn where the edge is. If you lean past that point be ready to brace, but when you lean the boat over it places that edge in the water making a "keel" that will precisely hold your line, and allow you to carve to your hearts content. Where a round bottomed boat will tend to slide out on moves and ferries, the Viper will grab the water.
With the flared outwales, especially in the bow, the boat is very dry in the hands of a skilled paddler. It is possible to control your course with subtle weight shift's and leans. IMO it is a fast boat, especially my glass one. It is an excellent surfing machine as well. I can't recommend them highly enough.