Thursday, February 21, 2013

Review: How does the Recon 83 hold up to Ecuador's Rivers?



 Miguel dodging the massive hole at the bottom of Aspen Extreme and putting the Recon to the test in big water

While Michael has been paddling with us in Ecuador this past month he's been cultivating his alter-ego--Miguel--as well as cultivating what I see as a long-lasting relationship with his new Recon 83.  

Check out what Miguel has to say about the boat:

I had the pleasure this winter to spend a month in Ecuador with Small World Adventures and my good friend Liam Kirkham. I purchased a new Wavesport Recon 83 to fly down to Ecuador for this trip. It is the Green Hornet color which looks awesome on my living room for, but proved to be the same color as mossy rocks in the jungle. Perfect for stashing your boat in the jungle for unexpected hike outs, but quite vampirish when
people are trying to take photos of you.




 Typical scene these last few weeks.  Everyone kept trying to steal Miguel's boat from him to give it a test drive

The Recon comes with a great assortment of custom foam for outfitting. Along with the normal shims it has extra seat padding for those that want to raise their center of gravity and brilliant Velcro backed wedge shaped foam blocks that go into your bulk head in seconds. It has some of the most comfortable outfitting on the market including aggressive thigh braces that keep your knees away from the sides of your boat for those occasional pitons. It comes with a seat lifting ratchet that adjusts the front of your seat upwards pushing your thighs into your thigh braces. While I was leery of this feature at first, it soon became one of my favorite elements of the new outfitting. Ratcheting it up as high as I could, I found I didn't need to put as much pressure on my bulk head to keep my knees locked in. The seat and thigh braces are fully adjustable and it took me only 30 minutes to outfit the entire boat.

Nice trim!  Figuring the boat out on the Oyacachi--a pushy, yet creeky river
 
Moving the seat forward made the boat lightning fast on edge transitions, but hard to hold a line in big water ferries. Moving it all the way back made it hold a line like it was on rails in big water, but a bit sluggish on edge transitions. Since moving the seat was a snap, slight adjustments can be made until you find your happy place that matches your style.

On the water, I ran a full battery of river tests on it. From the super tight and technical low water Jondachi to the huge water of the Coca.

Designed with many of the new school characteristics of modern creek boats, it's forgiving, yet carves like a dream on edge. With its continuous rocker, it boofs effortlessly. It has a sleeker bow and puffed up stern, which makes it a nimble and fast creeker. It punches holes well and rarely stern squirts. 


Miguel about to see how the Recon punches through breaking wave holes!
 
I never was a big fan of the Wavesport Habitat, but they have come back screaming into
the market place with what I consider their best creek boat to date.

It comes with lots of well thought out bells and whistles. If I had one thing negative to say about the boat, it would be its weight. Coming in at 50+ pounds without any gear it it, it is one of the heaviest boats on the market. Wavesport claims to have more plastic in its mold then its competitors and with current models of creek boats lasting a month to barely over a year. It would be worth the extra 5 or so pounds to have creek boat that would last a few years.

Overall I would give the Recon 83 two thumbs up and would recommend anyone looking into a new creek boat give this one a try.


 Donde estas Miguel?  That's the one problem with the new "hornet" color scheme, you can't find that boat anywhere.   It's like the boat designers all got together with these silly "black ops" colors to make us lose more boats and therefore buy more boats!  It's a conspiracy I tell you...

Be safe and have fun out there,

Cheers,

Michael "Miguel" Williams
 

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