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Robson Charger K1
graciously allowed me the privilege of using their newest creek boat,
the Charger for the Smoky River 2004, Over the Divide! expedition. I have been
putting the boat through it's paces and have come up with some insight as to
how this boat performs.
I am 6'1'' and weigh 185 lbs. When I first sat in the Charger I was immediately
pleased with the stock outfitting.
The Logic-Pro seat was comfortable. The camming system for the back band was also
a very welcome touch. It allowed me the versatility of loosening up the system for
a little added comfort or really welding myself into the boat when things got
crazy and I felt I needed that added little bit of boat control. At 8'3'' and
83 gallons this is one of the biggest boats on the market. With it's size comes
something fairly obvious, weight . The Charger is heavy, 47 lbs heavy.
However in most situations I found it easy to manoeuvre. It is fast and spins
well. The generous rocker in the stern lets it boof with very little effort.
I found it difficult to hold a line on occasion, especially when you
are paddling slowly. This boat wants to be driven hard. If you put this boat on
edge it has amazing secondary stability and likes to go fast.
It is quite clear that this boat is at home on steep, bigger water. It will
manage the bony steeps but ocassionaly grab on rocks due to the vertical sides.
But when it comes to pushy bigwater it really shows its strengths. The cambered
front deck allows for stable re-surfacing when you do go deep. It punches holes
nicely and there is no way this stern will ever grab.
When it gets gnarly, it is nice to know about the safety features. The cockpit
is big and easy to exit and the blunt nose and high volume in the bow reduce
Here are some good news for those people who like to go on multiday
expeditions. First of all, I already said this, the boat has the volume needed
for longer trips. There is enough room in front of the bulk head to store
those heavy items you don't need every day to get the trim right.
Also, the backband allows easy access to the stern of the boat which makes
loading it really easy. The openings are big enough to easily stuff your gear
All of this and coupled with tough PE superlinear plastic and an enormous cockpit
you have an excellent choice for multiday whitewater trips or just paddling
down your favourite local creek.
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© copyright 2004 Pete Smolders