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Submitted: 07-01-2009 by Mtns2C
Lakes to class IV, our tripper has seen it all. I bought my Tripper used 17 years ago to take the dog out on a local lake and fish. Within a few months, trips down the local class II Haw inspired a love for whitewater that's never abated and grown to Class V kayaking.
I still love taking the Tripper down Class III and low IV, such as the Youghiogheny or French Broad's section IX. I have no idea how many times it has been down Frank Bell's rapid. We've never had a problem other than severe heart palpitations. We've even popped an ender there, which is absolutely terrifying from the stern of a 17' boat.
Probably unique in the Tripper world, our boat has foam saddles with thigh straps, footpegs, and the mandatory drink holders. With a 60" center bag, 36" bow bag and 24" stern bag, it floats high even when rolled. -- Yes, a tripper can even be rolled. A slow roll is surprising easy as long as no one is in the bow, allowing the bow to rise so that you don't have to fight the width at the center.
For whitewater, you definitely have to anticipate required moves in heavy water well in advance. It feels a bit like guiding an aircraft carrier at times, but you can still make it dance with well timed powerful strokes as long as you are not fighting heavy current. There's not much like the feeling of arcing the boat into a massive green tongue at the entrance of a large rapid and feeling the acceleration then slicing through huge holes without slowing down.
Loaded with camping gear, paddling the 2 year old around the lake, or making the bowman scream as we drop over Kayaker's Ledge, the Tripper is truly the most versatile river craft I've ever seen. If I had to select one boat, I'd give up our whitewater and sea kayaks and another canoe for the Tripper. No question. Thanks Old Town.
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