Lots of gear to be loaded up. No problem in the Ethos 10.
When Team Dagger paddler Tom Janey stopped by the shop this December looking for a boat to take on his mid-January Grand Canyon self-support kayak trip, we figured it’d be a great way to test out the latest offering in cross-over / self-support kayaks from Dagger’s sister company; the Wave Sport Ethos 10. Tom jumped at the opportunity and about a month later, found himself launching from Lee’s Ferry, AZ onto the biggest, longest and most awe inspiring self-support kayak trip in the US, the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River. What Tom didn’t and couldn’t know was that his trip would happen to coincide with the coldest temperatures the canyon would experience in the past 37 years. Despite the bitter cold, Tom was able to carry ample thermal gear to make the experience enjoyable thanks to the Ethos 10’s ample storage capacity and large rear hatch. Below are his overall impressions of the Ethos 10 from a self support standpoint:
Fun class 3 boogie
The Wave Sport Ethos 10 is a fun kayak to paddle, with all the weight you can put in this boat I was pleasantly surprised at how well it handled. The bow design on the boat is great, it has more rocker that other crossover designs, which allows the boat to stay on the surface much better than other offerings. The boat is fairly wide which allows for great stability during big pushy rapids, but isn’t too wide to be sluggish.
The other great thing about this boat is the skeg, it’s 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.
Dropping into Lava Rapid
- Fast and stable, with a high rocker hull that provides great whitewater performance even under a heavy load.
- 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.
Staying warm on a cold ass day (pic was in the middle of the day at lunch)
- 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.
Camp by the fire
- The only part of the boat that I didn’t really like was 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.
Ample room for life’s necessities… like drinking a delicious Ska beer at Redwall Cavern
This boat rocks, it is super fast on the flat water for a 10 foot boat and handles the big, pushy rapids of the Grand very well. 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.
This is why a cross-over is SO much better than a sea kayak