It’s always a little bit tough to review a new kayak from the Rocky Mountains in the middle of winter. The Wave Sport Ethos 10 is a brand new boat for 2013, that excited us upon arrival (here at the CKS warehouse). It appears have all of the features that we look for in a quality river touring boat that is just as capable in whitewater as it is on flatwater.
CKS Squad and Team Dagger member, Tom Janney recently returned from a self support Grand Canyon trip – which is one of the best all around proving grounds for boats in the river / touring category. Here are this thoughts on the new Wave Sport Ethos 10.
- Tons of room. That is the main appeal of a crossover boat versus a more traditional river runner. It was nice to bring enough gear to stay warm on a winter Grand Canyon trip where temperatures were the lowest they have been in 37 years. I was able to bring plenty of warm clothes, a tent, mandatory breakdown firepan, and enough food and beer to gorge myself on.
- Ease of packing. One of the highlights of self support trips is being able to move fast and not have to mess with loading and unloading rafts. The hatch in the back of the boat allows for easy access and stayed completely water tight through the big water of the grand canyon, as well as having great storage just behind the seat.
- The boat is fun to paddle. With all the weight you can put in this boat I was pleasantly surprised at how well the boat handled. The bow design on the boat is great it has more rocker than most crossover boats, which allows the boat to stay on the surface better. The boat is fairly wide which allows for great stability during big pushy rapids. The other great thing about this boat is the skeg, it is great on the flatwater and during the rapids. The skeg allows the boat to stay on line incredibly well. I really like how I could power through all the funky currents at the bottom of rapids and not get worked on the eddy lines. For more technical whitewater you can pull the skeg up easily and the boat responds very well for being 10 feet long.
The only part of the boat that I didn’t really like were the elastic tie downs on the back deck, but I think it would be easy to put some rope in for the elastic bungee cord and make it a better tie down system.
This boat rocks. It is super fast on the flat water for a 10 foot boat, and handles the rapids great. You can put more that enough gear in this boat for luxury self support kayak trips, and it still handles great and is a blast to paddle.