Wave Sport Recon 83 Review
I've taken the Recon 83 out three or four times, and I'm looking forward to taking it out many more. To do this review I'm using my experience and the feedback I got from four of my friends who also demoed the boat.
Handling: Normally I paddle a Dagger Nomad 8.1 so it was a big change getting into the Wave Sport Recon. The Recon is noticeably bigger and heavier, and the Recon has a solid edge while the Nomad has a smooth chine. I wasn't too excited about the weight because the first run I did I had a long hike to the put in. I talked to a rep about the boat and he told me the extra weight was due to the thicker plastic, which makes the boat more durable so now I don't complain about the extra lbs, and the boat also has a nice hand hold in the bulkhead which makes it easy to pick up. The solid edge on the side of the boat provides great secondary stability (the most stable boat I have ever paddled,) and is great for carving in a wave, catching eddies or ferrying. The boat is also amazingly easy to maneuver, and fast. Boofing was also quite easy in this boat. The boat didn't auto boof like the stomper, but it was no chump; with good timing the Recon flies. There was one downfall in the maneuvering and that was slow acceleration. In tight technical turns once the boat has stopped it is harder than the Nomad to get back up to speed, maybe I need to work on my technique or just take the boat out a few more times to improve on my lines, but a couple other people and myself noticed the boat to be somewhat slow in technical tight turns.
Outfitting: The outfitting in this boat is luxurious. The seat is very comfortable and easy to adjust, the foot braces are solid and the nut is conveniently attached so you can't lose it. The boat also came with a huge bag of padding that made custom outfitting the boat a breeze. (Side note, I'm short 5'8"and was having problems maneuvering, my boss told me to put in the seat pad and I would have better leverage, I did, problem solved). The foot pads that came with the boat had Velcro on them which I thought was genius. My footpads in the old Nomad had glue and the glue became useless after about 3 months, so hopefully the Velcro will last much longer.
Fast, once up to speed
My friends and myself all thought the Recon 83 was a great boat. Everyone agreed it was very stable and easy to punch through holes, and the outfitting made it feel like the Cadillac of boats. I think it would be a great boat for beginners and intermediate paddlers doing less technical runs, and a good boat for advanced paddlers on technical runs.