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Submitted: 05-22-2001 by J.H.

I rented an Explorer and spent several days on the North Platte with it. I found that it tracked well enough to make good speed in flat water and had enough agility to handle rapids easily. Every canoe is a tradeoff between tracking and agility, and the Explorer is, in that sense, a technological marvel. Our put in point on the North Platte involved a steep descent, but I didn't find the weight of the Royalex version to be too much to bear because the boat is well balanced (I'm only 5 '9" & 150 lbs). If you're considering going on any river with rocks, take the extra weight and avoid Kevlar. The big drawback for me is the price, but when Uniroyal's patent on Royalex runs out, the price will probably come down and be competitive with Old Town's cross-linked polyethylene.
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