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Submitted: 02-19-2001 by Jon

My Summersong has been a good friend for many years. I bought it used at The Chicagoland Canoe Base in the early 90's. The original owner left it there on consignment, he claimed that he couldn't keep it upright. I assume he was a big dude with not much experience. As soon as I layed eyes on this boat,it was love at first sight. I was looking for a solo to kick around on local rivers and The Summersong has been a pure joy. Previous reviewers have mentioned that you have to learn this boat, I completely agree. Because of the lack of rocker, this boat can be a challenge to turn. This can be compensated for by thinking ahead and anticipating the next turn. I think this adds to the joy of paddling. It's kinda like driving a 5speed sports car on a winding road. Your more involved in the process and you become part of the machine. Of course when you remove rocker you gain speed, and lots of it. The glide on this boat is amazing. Another advantage of no rocker is that you can easily keep a straight tack without switching. I belong to a paddling club and I can easily keep pace with even the strongest tandem paddlers.We hit the rivers every weekend and I get alot of comments on the beautiful design of the Summersong. I have an 86' with a foot brace and a sliding seat,which I like a lot. It also has holes for changing the elevation of the seat. I have done over 40 trips in BWCA/Quetico area. I have done two solo trips and I rented a Winona Advantage both times. I didn't realy feel comfortable bringing the Summersong at the time as it is a bit undersized for the task. I think I've changed my mind on this and if I do another solo I will use my Summersong. I would not recommend this boat to newbies, however experienced paddlers would be very impressed with the speed and uncanny stability of this wonderfuly designed boat. Peace
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