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Twister equals state-of-the-art performance!

by Mark Molina, ACA ITE

Yahoo!!!!!! The hottest Freestyle boat I've tried is American Traders' Twister. It also has provided me with hours of great fun. Christie in the Twister, 
    click to enlarge!

Designed by Theo Lasch, the Twister has redefined expectations for Freestyle, which is sometimes referred to as "quietwater play boating." Play you can in Larsch's and Twister! I've spent hours twisting and turning my way through the smooth-flowing riverlets of Florida swamps. The Twister is at home negociating among the ancient cypress trees and logs. It has gently glided me past sleeping alligators and voracious water moccasins fishing along the bank.

The Twister is equally at home in saltwater coastal environs. I've paddled the trim, 13-foot boat in light surf, in the windy chop around Florida coastal islands, and dodged frolicking dolphins in grassy estuaries.

The Twister seems able to read the paddler's mind, executing flawless turns and spins when heeled to the rail, and tracking well when paddled level. I have been privileged to paddle both the wood plank version and the carbon fiber lay-up. The wood plank model was aesthetically warm, the wood grain was highlighted---not obscured--- by a coat of epoxy and varnish. The sample boat I tested had overly beefy gunwales that added a bit of extra weight. This minor problem has been corrected in later editions.

Post in the Twister, click 
    to enlarge! The carbon fiber version is a joy to handle---not only on the water, but on the land, also. Its extremely light weight makes this construction ideal for those of us who want to give our backs a rest or who are not blessed with great upper body strength. I've particularly appreciated its mere 30 pounds on long portages and when hoisting the boat to the roof of my van. The deep, dark glow of the carbon fiber is accented with well tooled, bright ash rails and appropriately placed drain slots.

When heeled, the Twister locks at the gunwale---a characteristic prized by expert Freestyle paddlers and others looking for a boat with excellent final stability.

A canoeist looking for a moderately priced, versatile, high performing, well-built boat should definitely consider the Twister. Most who test paddle the Twister will find it hard to give it up. I haven't.

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© copyright 2001 Mark Molina