by Cassie Hayden
So I have been in Chile quite some time now and paddling the new Dagger Agent the whole time. If you haven’t heard about the Agent, it is Dagger’s new playboat made for all-around play, and it’s not half bad at running a river either. Over the last couple of weeks I have paddled technical creeks and big waves all in the Agent.
Addressing some of the old complaints about water leakage, Dagger spent some time revising the cockpit rim and it seems as if they have figured it out because I am just as dry if not dryer than I would be if I was in any of the other boats on the market. As far as river running goes, I have run a few serious creeks so far such as the Palguin and the Fuy. Both runs contain at least twenty footers and the Fuy has a thirty footer, all of which the Agent handled quite well. If you’re thinking that anybody can just throw themselves off a waterfall there were also some very technical parts to the run with must-make moves and eddies. The boat is well balanced so I was not squirting out on these moves, which makes a huge difference in the overall river running ability.
Now what I would really like to praise the boat about is its playboating potential. The first feature we got to was the Leacura hole which is by no means a great play spot, but it’s perfect for practicing the hard moves like the helix, mcnasty, and bluntnasty combos. What I found when I got my first surf is that the Agent is surprisingly fast and it would fly down the hole and up onto the green water when I wasn’t expecting it. Once I got used to this speed it was great.
Fellow Team D paddler Alex Mohn and I were able to stick blunts and Alex was even throwing Panams which is basically unheard of at this feature. As far as looping and tricks where you need to plug your bow, Dagger added a whole bunch more volume to the front of the Agent compared to their last playboat the Crazy 88. The result is a ton more pop on your tricks. One of the other students is paddling a Project and hopped in my Agent for a little while. He said “it takes a couple minutes to figure out the timing but when you do, WOW”.
The stern on the Agent is short and stubby and there fore easy to pull around on a loop. I thought because of this it would make the boat unbalanced but the short stubby stern also has volume so it evens out the boat just fine but if you are looking for a boat to cartwheel or learn to cartwheel then I would look into a different boat. After playing at this little hole for a few weeks we headed off to the Futaleufu River and finally got to some big waves. You could tell this is where the Agent really excels. The Agent is equipped with a double release edge which basically means that one carves and one releases, and when it releases it flies.
I got it on Pistola which is a four-foot tall wave. Alex and I were able to hit air blunts like nobody’s business but what was really fun is that the Agent makes the inverted tricks easy. I found that as long as you have the correct form the boat just pops off the water and you don’t have to muscle anything through. We did our share of big Panams and with mine I noticed a distinct improvement from the Crazy 88: the stern rocker. On the Crazy 88 the stern rocker was basically not there so you would pearl on every trick you tried to land backwards on. The Agent has a well-thought-out amount of stern rocker. By that I mean that there is not so much that it slows the boat down but there is enough that it’s going to take effort to pearl it on a wave. God bless Dagger for catching that.
For beginner playboaters the Agent is not above your level. Dagger placed the rails in such a way that the boat is still super super loose and forgiving but when you lean on that edge you’re still going to be able to drive across the wave.
I guess that concludes what I have to say about the Agent for now but stay tuned because I’ll have a video of the Agent in Chile coming for you guys soon. I hope that this answered some of your questions. If you have any more give the The Outfitters Shop at Zoar Outdoor a call and the good people there can answer any other questions you have. I hope everybody’s spring is going great and you are starting to get out paddling.