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Submitted: 06-30-2003 by ALewisWV
This was my first boat and it has served well. As with all boats 50% of its performance depends on the paddler so this is just my opinion. I learned everything in this boat. I learned to roll in March of 03 (actually hand rolled first). Now its the end of June and I have at least one and possibly 2 more first descents on class IV - V creeks with the Gradient. Im starting to see its limitations now as side surfing is the most playful you can get with this boat. (S:6 is on the way) However I do feel that this is a good river running boat, creeker, and especially water fall machine. It has good speed and tracking is good after you get the feel for it. Its extremly tough. I abuse this boat daily (I live on the banks of the New River)and it has held up great. It took a 25ft drop onto a rock and it came out unscathed (unlike me). As stated by others on this forum tracking could be better in big water, but I like the manueverablity the tradeoff gives this boat. You can make a move in half a stroke. The verdict: I believe in the advancement of technolgy and there are certainly better boats out there now, but if you are low on funds and somebody is selling this boat for 2 or $300 then you wont be dissapointed.
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