Submitted: 04-06-2005 by wildwater
This canoe is long and narrow. It's hard to spread your knees apart because the floatation is built into the inside of the canoe just below the adjustable seat mount.
Initial stability is spooky for a beginner because the max width is 24 3/4". The secondary is excellent for such a narrow canoe, and I'm no longer scared of dumping, though you have to stay kneeling to feel secure.
The Bardy Jones Express (BJX) has great glide. I think it has a "wall," but I'm not an aggressive enough paddler to find it. I believe with a longer paddle, one could make this canoe FLY using Mike Galt type far-reaching forward strokes.
Would it beat a Magic? Probably not. It is faster than my Bell Wildfire. About the same as my Bell Merlin II.
I've been told this canoe was designed for the Florida Everglades, and I believe it could be true. It seems okay in the wind, and appears it would hold a lot of gear (which would help the stability???).
Whoever had it before me really used it, and he used it in rocky, fast rivers from the scrapes and bruises. I think it would be EXTREMELY fast down aggressive rivers due to the length and narrow width.
It has a much different feel than a bell. More like a Swift Osprey, but not as forgiving, perhaps.
Nice, interesting design...