Last year we had quite a few people request the Dagger Axiom for their kayak school, so we bought a few for the 2013 season. Of course, I have to test all of our equipment first, so I paddled it at our local kayak polo match and loved its speed and maneuverability. Today I took it down the Class III Hood River and it reminded me of boating in the ’90s.
The Axiom felt a lot like paddling the Dagger RPM and Outburst. It catches surf waves on the fly that modern playboats can’t seem to catch. It was fun to get on some fast waves, lean back, and carve back and forth like I remember doing in the RPM. It carves amazingly well and also boofs better than I expected.
This boat is a lot of fun, but it isn’t as forgiving as modern creek boats. The tail grabs water easily, and if you lean the wrong way the boat wants to flip. It also doesn’t resurface in holes as quickly as more modern boats do – you have to work for it.
This is going to be my new go to boat for Class III and easy Class IV kayaking. I like that it forces me to use good technique and that it can surf fast waves on the fly. It’s also super fun to stern squirt – one of my favorite play moves.
I’m 6’2″/220 lbs and paddled the Axiom 8.5. I was told that nobody is big enough for the Axiom 9.0 and sort of agree. For stern squirting and playing the 8.5 is perfect, but it was a little uncomfortable for me, especially after years of paddling super comfortable creek boats.