PHOENIX CORE WhiteOut
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Written by: Bryan Kirk
If I were told that I could only have one kayak to take with me for a full year to paddle every river in Costa Rica, the choice would be too easy. A destination like Costa Rica - much like Fayetteville, WV - has literally every type of whitewater from ultra high volume powerful runs (Gauley/Reventazon) to medium-sized pushy creek runs (Pacuare/Meadow), to the tiny little micro-creeks like the Orosi (comparable to Wolf Creek, WV). Above is the 80 on a newly discovered micro creek in Beckley, Cranberry Creek. Paddler Josh Collins, photo Dave Fusilli
In Case you didn't catch the title of this post, it is the Diesel 80 that would be my 1 kayak to take on any type of whitewater.
Here's the Diesel 80 handling the epitome of Colorado mank (Homestake Cr) with aplomb:
At the other far, far end of the spectrum - here is the same Diesel 80 in one of the biggest (if not the biggest) rapids in the same state, Upper Death on the swollen Clorado River:
The Diesel is incredibly sporty with its planing hull and fast rocker profile. The rails allow you to precisely snap into eddies and even spin on green waves, yet are not trippy in swirly whitewater. If anything, the edges allow you to 'carve' through rapids instead of being slapped around and typewritered off line.
If you've spent years in slalom boats, planing-hulled playboats, or simply enjoy a crisp feeling design that will make you a better paddler on any type of run - the Diesel is your ticket. It forces you to stay on your toes and use your chines. The reward for learning this kayak is the ability to develop a greater bond with moving water.