As a 50 yr old boater I need a boat that will look after me, fear creeps in once you reach 40 no matter how much you fight against it.
I have paddled and loved my Medium Burn 3 for just over a year now but demo’d the 9R purely by chance on a Slab covered Loop swapping boats with Amy Elworthy. I was unsure at 1st as the nose sticks up so high and it sits on top of water high, at the time I had no intention of buying one but enjoyed how it glided over features and kept the speed up all the time.
It caught me out a couple times sat on the eddy line and had a couple rolls which was surprisingly easy.
It wasn’t until I got back in my Burn and started to get splashed in the face and sink a few times in features on the Upper Dart that I realised how good the 9R had been. I watched some vids, read some reviews and took the decision to get one from AS Watersports, 2 days later I was testing it on the East Lyn at a nice level from Brendon to Lynmouth, I was again unsure of it at 1st and after a mile I was wondering if I should’ve stuck with a boat I knew for a committing river, but after Triple Drop and a few boofs over holes I was getting used to it and starting to realise its potential.
The biggest thing I noticed is it’s fast! I twice boofed over the paddler in front so a bit of space is needed or stay in front.
It’s not as forgiving with the little rocks that catch you out as I found out once nearly getting turned over but once we reached the Gorge the 9R started to come into its own staying high and boofing every drop and hole with ease, I am fully aware it was more the boat than the paddler but if it helps me to paddle bigger water I’ll take it with open arms.
In summary the 9R is great for the adrenaline junkies but it also has a place for the lesser ability paddler like myself who needs every help he can get. Cant wait to get out again with it!