We just got a shipment of the brand new 2012 Dagger Mambas for next year’s kayaks schools and I took one out on the Hood River yesterday for a test-run. I’ve never paddled the previous Mamba so this review is based on how I liked the boat compared to the other boats I’ve been paddling recently: the Jackson Super Hero and Wave Sport Diesel 70/80.
Here’s a great video that discusses the difference between the old Mamba and new Mamba:
This will be a “touchy-feely” review. Â I don’t think much about chine, planing hulls, volume, etc when paddling – I just paddle! So here goes – I loved this boat! It was the most forgiving and stable boat I’ve ever paddled. I took it through some decent sized holes and along some weird eddy lines and loved the way I felt completely stable at all times. The other thing I noticed is that although the Mamba is pretty fast and likes to go in a straight line, it’s very easy to turn. Usually a boat is either good at going straight or turning, but this boat does both well.
I took out the medium sized Mamba 8.1, which is small for my size (6’3″ 220 lbs), but I generally prefer smaller boats, so I thought I’d give it a try. The fit was tight, forcing me to take off my booties to actually fit in the boat. Even though it was snug, the boat had plenty of volume and was incredibly stable. The bigger Mambas will be out of production this spring, and I can’t wait to paddle one!
Here’s another video about the new Mamba:
I haven’t paddled a Dagger since the RPM, so perhaps all their boats are this stable, fast and turn-friendly, and I’ve been missing the boat (sorry, bad pun!). I’d really like to try the Dagger Nomad out now, too!