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A Recon trip into BC with World Class Kayak Academy

Posted: 30.12.2012


This past Fall I was lucky enough to be asked by Capo - Aaron Rettig to be the Head Coach for World Class Academy (WCA) during their fall quarter in beautiful Britsh Colombia. I was stoked, I had heard a lot of great things about the school and seen the caliber of paddlers that come out of the program, and felt ready to take on the challenge.  After quickly sorting some things around to accommodate a two-month trip into BC, I was on my way to Portland to meet up with the rest of the staff, shortly followed by the students and their parents.

Another stroke of luck happened just around this same time. Capo went to Salt Lake City for the OR show, met up with the Wave Sport team and was able to pick me up a Prototype Recon 83 to use for the BC trip. Everything was lining up for what would be an amazing 2 months full of adventure, travel, learning, friendships and all the ups and downs associated with… highschool!

(The World Class Academy family at the put-in for the Thompson River, BC)

Having the WS – Recon for this trip was definitely a highlight. I love the Habitat, and have since they first came out, but late last year when the R&D guys from Wave Sport asked a bunch of the team members what we wanted from a new creeker,  I instantly thought that a new boat should feel like a new boat. I wanted a boat that didn’t try to just improve upon the already stellar design of the Habitat, but be its own unique boat. Just from looking at the Recon I knew it would be different, but getting into it I was happy and relieved to find it was the same solid outfitting and feel as all the WS boats have . On the water though it was something different altogether.  

There are many things I enjoyed about the Recon, but I think most notable was its responsiveness. Its extra volume and flatter hull was instantly noticeable when it came to stability but definitely didn’t give the boat a “big boat” feeling, actually the flat hull combined with its great rocker profile made it extremely maneuverable.  It was an ideal suite for the technical boulder garden rapids of BC, as I was able to whip in and out of small eddies with ease (this was key while constantly trying to find that ideal spot to do safety for the students).

(Super typical scene from the Recon ... nose coming up and over with speed)

The extra rocker in the nose also allowed the boat to ride up and over… well, everything; from those annoying small crashing waves, to laterals, boils, and larger holes. It also gave the boat a very quick and distinguished release from the water when performing a boof stroke, and allowed the boat to resurface quicker and straighter when penciling into the larger drops.

(Staying very stable in the swirliest waters) 

Lastly its flatter hull, sharper edges, and longer stern lines gave the boat great speed through the water. As a huge fan of racing, this was something I was quite happy to see in the new design, and am excited for the coming ‘race season’.

Unfortunately, my time in BC came to an end much too quick, with it the onset of winter and the need to find warmer waters.  I am excited to return to the stunning rivers of BC and also to get back in my Recon.

If you are looking for a great place to paddle … visit BC.

If you are looking for a great boat to paddle … get a Wave Sport – Recon! I highly rate it.

Tyler Fox