Need advise for a WW beginner

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Tia Reynolds
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:09 am
Name: Tia Reynolds

Need advise for a WW beginner

Post by Tia Reynolds » Wed May 15, 2019 6:58 pm

Can someone please speak to a Dagger Mamba vs a Jackson Zen for a beginner. Please! Dont really know what im doing, but i need a boat!!

Posts: 342
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 5:11 pm
Name: Byron Eubanks
Location: Arkadelphia

Re: Need advise for a WW beginner

Post by BEubanks » Mon May 20, 2019 8:29 am

Hi Tia,

I haven't paddled but have a Zen, so can't really give a fair comparison of paddling these two boats. Your best bet is to borrow or demo each.
Here are links to the info provided on Mamba and Zen by their manufacturers:

I'd look for the weight range of each size of each boat. Shoot for the middle part of the weight range to start with. As you progress, you'll know whether you prefer to be higher or lower in the weight ranges, given your desired response from the boat (more playful vs more stable).

Jackson and Dagger have quite different approaches to outfitting, and you can find strong proponents of each. What works for someone else won't necessarily work for you.

My impression is that the Zen is more of a river runner and the Mamba more of a creek boat, though both will work for a new paddler. The Zen is a little longer so will be faster, easier to do upstream moves. The shorter Mamba will be easier to turn (harder to paddle straight). They have similar weight, but the Mamba 7.6 (vs medium Zen) has less volume. That suggests the Mamba has more rugged plastic (thicker--same weight with smaller volume), or maybe the outfitting weighs more.

You're welcome to try out my Zen. It's a medium, so don't know if it's the optimal size for you. Someone else may have a Mamba you can try.


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