Wave Sport Recon 70 Review
by Elaine Campbell
I've been paddling the Wave Sport Recon 70 since September and couldn't be happier with it's performance. Prior to that I paddled the Diesel 70 as my creek boat for about 3 years, the Habitat for one year, and Huck for 2 years.
Yes, I do paddle for Wave Sport and of course I want you to purchase a Wave Sport boat but I also want you to buy a boat that you are going to be comfortable in. I'm just letting you know my opinion of the Wave Sport Recon 70. The best advice I have for you is to go to Zoar Outdoor to demo one and then you tell me how you like it. I'll bet you will be super impressed with this boat and will more than likely go buy one. Believe me if I didn't feel comfortable in this boat I'd still use my Diesel 70 as my creek boat but guess what I'm not!
I'm 5'5" around 135 pounds and paddle the Recon 70. I enjoy creek boating but I'm not a hard core class V paddler. I enjoy paddling class V and I also enjoy walking class V. I spend lots of time in my Wild Water boat, my Wave Sport Project X 48, and my long plastic race boat. I'm constantly transitioning from one boat to the next which can be difficult at times especially in my Wild Water boat. When I get in my creek boat I want to be absolutely sure that it's going to be an easy transition back into it and the Recon 70 offers just that.
It starts with the new Core Whiteout Outfitting. It doesn't take long to get the foot paddling adjusted. I use all the foam that comes with it so if I piton the foot bed will absorb most of the impact. I use the extra seat pad in the boat to give me more leverage. I think all women should bump the seat up in creek boats and play boats to give them a better center of gravity unless you have a large torso then you may not have to. My seat is located just behind the center position which is not all the way back but close to it. I don't use a ton of hip pads. I like to be a little tight but not too tight. I feel if I'm super tight any little movement I make in any boat responds to it. I found that out paddling in Wild Water and now I use that model in my creek and play boats and it works great. The best part about the Core Whiteout Outfitting is the leg lifter system. Holy cow it's amazing! No more having to deal with adding foam under you legs to get you legs into your thigh braces and no more blowing up bags. All you do is sit in that comfy seat and the ratchet system is between you legs and crank it up till you feel snug. Crank the back band up to wherever you like it. I don't like my back band super tight, just enough so I have some support. It's now time to paddle!
I've paddled my Recon 70 in the Northeast on some big water, low volume creeks, boulder gardens, class III river runs and some decent sized slides. I'm so impressed how well the Recon handled all those different types of water. I don't have super technical language about boat designs so bear with me.
I tend to like a boat with more of a planing hull so I was a little nervous about the Recon because of it's displacement hull. I like a boat where I can feel the edges when I paddle it and the Recon does just that. The Recon ferries with ease and snaps in and out of eddies with precision. I can really feel the edge of the boat initiate in the water when catching an eddy. It's makes me laugh sometimes when I'm paddling the Recon how easy it feels when I'm ferrying or catching eddies. The Recon peels out of eddies with crispness and speed. It gets from point A to point B on edge in control and it has great secondary stability and is easy to roll. I brought my Recon 70 to a bunch of pool sessions this winter and had a bunch of people in the boat and everyone said the boat was easy to roll. There are a few people from those pool sessions that went out and bought a Recon just from how it feel in the pool.
Most of the creek boats that I've paddled like the Habitat and Huck I found would be hard to keep on line. I felt like I was fighting the boat more than anything else and that was frustrating and some times scary. I never had that problem with my Diesel which was a huge reason why I paddled the Diesel over the Habitat. The Recon holds a line a lot like the Diesel but better, it gets up to speed quickly and in full control. I never feel like I'm fighting the boat. The Recon is easy to keep on line and turns easy so in those boulder garden rapids that offer up lots of S-turns the Recon slays it. It feels like cruise control.
The other topic to talk about is boofing and splatting. The Diesel could boof but not like the Recon. It's such a different feeling when I boof in the Recon compared to the Diesel. The Recon feels like it just glides off of rocks when boofing or splatting. It really has this natural feeling while it's happening, unlike the Diesel where sometimes during a boof it felt a little mushy, if that makes sense. The Diesel splatted and rock spun really well and it wasn't a terrible boofer just doesn't boof as well as the Recon.
Another aspect of the Recon is how the bow is shaped. It's curled up a bit so when your paddling in a wave train the boat goes over the top of the waves instead of going through them and the bow sheds the water nicely. It pops out of holes quickly and the stern isn't grabby. Remember I keep my seat more towards the back and haven't been stern endered yet.
That's pretty much all I have to say about the Recon. If I forgot to talk about something or you have a question just ask. You don't have to be a class V boater to enjoy this boat it's a great boat for the class III/IV boater to the class V boater. Like I said in the beginning get to Zoar Outdoor and try a Recon you won't be dissapoointed.
Here's a video I put together of the Recon.