I would take a close look at the Karnali
Posted by: g2d on Oct-10-12 7:23 PM (EST)
and the Remix. River runners that can be used on steep creeks if you "get there."
That displacement versus planing distinction is cr*p. All kayaks are displacement hulls, none of them truly plane unless you get them loose on a very fast, green wave. They differ in *how readily* they can plane under that special condition. Kayaks that are flatter underneath and that have sharp chines at the edges of the underside tend to plane easier on green waves. Generally, true playboats are going to have flat bottoms and sharp chines.
But there are some very good river runners, like the Remix and the Karnali, that are not so flat, and lack sharp chines, and that seems to be why they are surprisingly fast and snappy handlers. There is one fast river runner that is a planer with sharp chines, the Dagger Axiom, but it's possibly going off the market.
On barking your knuckles, make sure you are using a high-angle paddling style. No need to be real vertical. Slalom world champ Scott Shipley recommends and uses a 45 degree paddle angle to the water. And there are boats that don't have such big knee bumps. Myself, I prefer lower knees, splayed to the side.
I think that if you focus on a few boats with good reputations (I don't know about the Nomad), then you should make sure to go out of the boat store with a kayak that is very close to a good fit for you, and isn't banging your knuckles.
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