Spring Moose Fest - Bazooka Testing
Photo: Scott Martin Images - Words: Alan Panebaker
I rolled up to the park in Lyons Falls, N.Y., late Saturday morning to find my friend Scott Martin with a whole fleet of Fluid boats for Spring Moosefest. We hopped in the new medium Bazookas and jumped right into the mix on the Bottom Moose.
After about a dozen or so strokes in the brand new boat, I lined up on Fowlersville, the first big slide on the New York classic. The water was just high enough to drive for the auto-boof on the left side of the rapid. Boom! I went soaring into the eddy, clearing the hole.
“This things all right,” I thought.
The next rapid, Knife’s Edge, has a tight boof just off the right shore. Most people were missing it and falling off into the hole on the left. I charged through the boil at the top, barely caught the boof flake with my bow, and did some sort of past-vertical boof, landing on my stern upright.
This is all to say, in the first 20 minutes of paddling the boat, I started to dig it.
The Moose is kind of a point-and-shoot type river, but I found the Bazooka really responsive on the tighter lines and catching challenging eddies.
Weighing in at a stout 140 pounds, I thought the medium might be a bit much boat for me, but at least on the Moose, it seemed about right. The big stern helps you clear through holes and power out of rapids.
The high-volume nature of the boat, particularly the stern, could take a little getting use to. I noticed on boofs with a lot of water pushing through, it helped me stay on top of the flow. On scrapy rapids, like Agers Falls, which is usually an easy auto-boof, I found it kind of tough to keep my bow up.
All in all, paddling the Bazooka on the Moose was a kick in the pants. As always, it was tough to say goodbye on Sunday and head back to work, but so it goes.