Antix Final Thoughts by shanegroves | Aug 21, 2019 | Antix, Creeking, Whitewater, WW Disciplines | 2 comments When I first saw the Antix at Gauley Fest when it was being prototyped I was a little shocked by its looks. I mean, it wasn’t exactly sleek looking. It wasn’t slicey. The hull was flat but with weird rocker. It didn’t look fast. It looked way playful and was supposed to creek. It had some things going on but nothing that that stood out. When I finally paddled it, the Antix was as unique a boat as any of its class, if you could classify it. I opted for the large weighing 185 and 5’10”. Height and size matters greatly in choosing this boat!!!!! At my size and skill level at the time of the boats release, I immediately cruised down all my favorite class five creeks and was doing kick flips, splats, and stern squirts along the way. The boat was zippy, glidey, turny, and responsive. Loads of fun. But, things go from wicked fun to wicked scary in the Antix, especially if the run is difficult for you as a paddler and you push it a little too much. And this is where the Antix, along with the other playful creek boats, have serious drawbacks. The Antix almost laughs at creek boating. It is lighter, easier to boof, turns on a dime, and surfs. But once you cross that threshold of having too much fun it can land you in some serious situations. For instance the large Antix boofs me great but I jumped in the medium for a casual run down the Meadow and ate it in a hole doing more freestyle than I wanted ending in a swim! Another day I hadn’t been paddling hard for a few months. I got out for a quick run on Manns, a solid class V run which I had done many times before in that boat at some very high levels. But this day I had a weird line, while doing a stern pirouette in the middle of Goliath, and got vertically pinned. I was okay but had to walk out. So my final word on the boat is that it is fun. Uniquely fun. It is not a RPM, Axiom, Ripper, Sleek, or whatever slicey stern boat. At 185, the Medium Antix is a fun playboat on the Gauley every once in awhile. The Large gives me giant kick flips and an energetic day on the creek. The short stern allows me to squirt in shallow water. The high rocker surfs Many waves blasting up the green. Where it is not fast in Top paddling speed, it makes up for it with quick accelerating turns. As far as the slicey vertical stern squirt, the large is a brute to stern squirt at times at 185lb but in good current goes quite nicely along with splats. The medium is a fun surf boat giving up lots of spins and some loops in the right spot. They boat kick flips really really good too. I feel most paddlers would enjoy the boat if they gave it a chance. Shane Groves 2 Comments Andy on August 30, 2019 at 5:41 pm Great review, however not every paddler is a grade 5 paddler. What would it be like as your first kayak? Me personally the cross over kayaks between creek and play have always been crap. If it stern squirts then it isn’t a creek boat. I want my creek boat to resurface and keep me safe without getting pulled back into serious stuff you are trying to get safely through or around. Classic cross over flops include Bliss-Stick SCUD, Waka Steeze, and many others such as a Braap, but depending on where and who is paddling. If you want a creek boat buy one, if you want a river runner buy one, if you want a playboat…… You have to get a kayak which suits your paddling skill and where you are paddling, cross over kayaks quite often aren’t the answer Reply Clay Wright on September 3, 2019 at 1:11 pm Hey Andy – I think I would choose an Antix as my first kayak for sure – but that’s because of where I live.. it opens up a lot of fun / learning opportunities on class 1-2 rivers that just isn’t there in a river-runner or creek boat. If you live near flatwater but not whitewater, it might allow extra challenge to squirt or pivot and ‘lean clean”the stern under that might get someone in the boat more often. I spent many after-school afternoons on a lake in my squirt boat that prepared me for kayaking on the weekend in a way that my Dancer just didn’t do. The challenge with so many people buying creek boats as their only boat is that then they just don’t find much to challenge them on easy water and quickly move onto harder runs rather than work skills mid-week close to home. Many get bored by the runs that run more often and are a shorter drive away. If you live near the Green or Gore or Upper Yough then a creeker / river runner as your first boat makes more sense – to get you on your local run as fast as possible. But – for those living near Nantahala, Ocoee, French Broad, or a play park then the surfier, more playable design makes more sense to me. I paddled a full season in the Antix and broke out the Nirvana just for the races or big water. An Antix Lg at 175 was a really functional, sporty river runner that I could also do splats and squirts and loops in. That meant I was more likely to go with a group on .. Daddy’s Creek, low water New, Clear Creek or even the Ocoee .. rather than JUST creek class 4+/5 or play that season. A design like the Antix teaches you to lean forwards on landings, continue to paddle through the bottom of rapids, set your edges and CARVE into and out of eddies, and of course it helps you boof everything. The flip side is you want to avoid any log-prone, undercut runs until you are a better paddler as the boat will pin much more securely due to the flat deck shape. Pro’s n cons… but I’m suggesting the Antix as the one boat MOST paddlers will use the most. Especially if you size up a bit on the weight ranges. Clay Reply Submit a Comment Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. 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