Boats and Boards

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1. Mamba 8.1 Creeker

If bombing down steep chutes or pounding through big volume is your thing, Dagger delivers a smoother than usual ride with this beefy redesigned model of the popular Mamba Creeker. This boat is designed to take a hit, and thanks to some significant upgrades—adjustable, padded foot and hip braces and additional carefully positioned security handles—you’ll feel more control navigating monster rapids or hucking huge falls. $1049;  dagger.com

2. Doyle Discovery 

Paddleboarders looking for a primo ride need to glide on this hand-shaped design by world champion surfer Mike Doyle. The Discovery is constructed of high density EPS Foam with a wide platform offering plenty of stability for lengthy downriver trips, fishing, and even yoga. $1,300; scsiinc.us/doylesup 

3. Hobie Quest 11 

Made to accommodate long days of casting, the Quest 11 is an angler dream boat with plenty of convenient features to help you focus on the catch of the day. It’s surprisingly lightweight and nimble for a boat of its size and stability, but you’ll be more impressed by the ample storage space in the bow and stern, as well as the molded rod holders, that accommodate everything you need for long hours on the lazy river. $949; hobiecat.com

4. Emotion Kayaks Traverse

If you’re new to stand-up, this board was made to help you get balanced. Deep recess areas and a textured surface offer your feet ample traction to dig in and get comfortable—giving you plenty of stability to get your board legs. The Traverse’s beefy profile and high sidewalls will also help you make the transition from flat lakes to choppier river swells. $449; emotionkayaks.com

5. Necky Rip 12

If fast-paced flatwater cruising is your thing, Necky’s new rec boat is a supreme glider with performance features more akin to a touring kayak. The Rip 12 is a great transitional option for those looking to explore greater open waters—built to offer plenty of comfortable stability but also smooth performance at increased speeds, thanks to a longer length and sharp keel. This is a boat that will turn newbies into lifers—facilitating passion without the call for a fast upgrade. $699; neckykayaks.com 

6. Bomber Gear K-Bomb Spray Skirt

No spray skirt handles extreme conditions like the K-Bomb. It begins with a heavy-duty rubber band to lock the skirt down tight. The skirt itself is woven from an advanced Aramid polymer fiber, typically used for ballistic rated body armor. The waist is crafted with four-way stretch Super Stretch Neoprene for comfort and the decking is infused with Sub-Screen technology for exceptional water repellency. The K-Bomb also features Bomblock reinforced seam construction and the WickClip system which allows the paddler to clip the skirt out of the way for portaging or to hang dry at the end of the day. $175; bombergear.com

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