Following trends in creek boat technology over the past 2 or 3 years have been super interesting. Increasing volume and stability, while keeping the overall length  around 8′ or 9′, yet with enough effective edge in the water to generate decent hull speed, seems to be the name of the game. The cockpits of 90+ gallon creekers are now more comfortable / supportive for an averaged size paddler than ever.
What does this mean for someone paddling class IV and V whitewater on a regular basis? You are now able to float higher, go faster,  make hard moves (easier), and paddle over nasty hydraulics and big drops with less consequence. The 2013 Wave Sport Recon is no exception to the rule. It’s packed with intelligent design features to make an advanced class V (and beyond) paddlers life less stressful, and an aspiring creek boaters learning curve steeper, and safer.
A large shipment of Wave Sport Recon’s landed here at CKS a little while ago. At first sight we were are all pretty psyched; the Recon looked like a mean boat. We wanted to find out all of the details in regards to design and safety features, so we went straight to the source, and got in touch with Wave Sport Team paddler Bryan Kirk.
We asked him what the top 5 key points that someone would want to know about the Recon were, and then we had some other questions that we thought that the general public may want to know.

Specs:

Wavesport_Recon_Review_Specs

5 Key Features to know about:

  • Continuous rocker profile, shaped for a great combination of speed, maneuverability, and effortless boofs.
  • Peaked bow and stern decks, shaped to resurface upright and in control – with no back enders.
  • Optimal displacement shape(dome between chines) for forgiveness in manky rock jumbles and soft landings, yet turns on a dime like a planing hull.
  • Chine is designed to engage only when you need to lift a knee to carve into eddies, etc. It is up and out of the way when you don’t need it.
  • New Core White-Outfitting, now with leg lifters for throne-like thigh support, beefier yet more cushy padding, and bombproof rotomolded pillar system with a quick-escape step. 7 z-drag anchor locations for ultimate creeking preparedness.

Wavesport_Recon_Review_7_Rescue_Z_Drag_Points.jpg

7 Z-drag attachment points.

Wavesport_Recon_Review_Stern_Bow_Peaked

Peaked deck on bow and stern for predictable resurfacing, and shedding water.

Wavesport_Recon_Review_Edge_Higher_Up.jpg

The raised edge stay out of the way when it is not engaged. Lean a little bit and it is there for added stability and precision.

 

Wavesport_Recon_Review_Silppery_Rounded_Hull2.jpg

Rounded hull with a dome shaped center – slippery in low water mank,and no edge to trip you up. Boof it!

Wavesport_Recon_Review_Leg_Lifter_Outfitting2.jpg

A close up shot of the leg lifter seat system.

Wavesport_Recon_Review_Leg_Lifter_Outfitting.jpg

Storage space below the legs area, and LOTS of lift!

Wavesport_Recon_Review_Wing_Nut_Retention.jpg

This is a very unique feature. There is a tether attached to the bulk head wing nut so you never lose it again.

Wavesport_Recon_Review_Thigh_Brace.jpg

Standard issue meat hooks, which offer plenty of support.

Wavesport_Recon_Review_CORE_Whiteout_Outfitting.jpg

The CORE Whiteout Outfitting, is thicker and more plush than last years Whiteout interior. The leg lifters are new too.

Wavesport_Recon_Review_Roto_Mold_Step_Out.jpg

The roto-mold step out center wall is an important safety feature. Use it as a step when you need to eject from the boat quickly.

Here’s some more information from Bryan that you may find useful:

  • Who designed the boat?
    David Maughan was the main designer, and worked very closely with an international group that included Michele Ramazza from Italy, Olaf Obsommer from Germany, Bryan Kirk and Chris Wing of the USA, and many other team members.
  • Were you one of the people who had a lot of design input? and proto paddling?
    Yes, I had a lot to do with how the final version of the Recon performs. I paddled all of the prototypes of all 3 sizes.
  • What were the design goals of the boat? looks like a serious creeker not a river running boat that can creek (like the mamba).
    The main goal when we initiated the Recon project was to come out with a serious creeker that is so natural feeling and easy to control, that it automatically increases the paddler’s sense of confidence and actually allows boaters to have better, cleaner lines down steep drops.
  • What specific features does the boat have that are good for the class V steep creeker ??
    4 gear attachment loops behind the seat, a new water bottle/throw rope hybrid holder in front of the seat, bomber fold-proof step out pillar, ratcheting leg lifter for all-day comfort, 7 security bar Z-drag attachment points, and a hull that keeps you on the surface and upright in the nastiest of class 5+ whitewater.
  • How would it do as a class III / IV river runner ? Or is Diesel a better choice?
    It totally depends on what the paddler is aspring to do. The Diesel is an excellent hybrid that is capable of big water like the Stikine, running class 5 creeks, and can actually 360 spin on green waves. It is the best all-rounder there is at the moment. The Recon is the boat of choice for getting down the gnarliest whitewater in the safest way possible. No kayak out there boofs easier, slips through Colorado manky rock jumbles, and keeps you upright and on line like the Recon.
  • The new outfitting looks awesome. How has it been paddling in the Core Whiteout?
    This is our second iteration of Whiteout, and surpasses the original when it come to all-day comfort, especially with the new leg lifter. I’ve had several people sit in the Core Whiteout for their first time in my Recon and immediately say that it’s the most comfortable they’ve ever felt in any kayak. The way the new padding and the leg lifter cradle you is so plush and relaxing, it’s hard to describe. People just have to experience it firsthand to realize how good it feels. I can’t imagine better outfitting for being on the water all day long.

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