(by Willa Mason)
To explain my love affair with the new l’Edge SuperLite, I have to back up a ways.
I’ve paddled a L’Edge with a foot cut out of the middle for the past 5 years. Being short, small, and barely a teenager, it was perfect.
I could pick it up, flat spin it, roll it, and change direction with the slightest sweep.
For me, it was a dream.
The Little L’Edge and I went through my teenage years and lots of adventures together. Sometimes though, my inner dialogue at the beginning of a rapid wouldn’t be all so dreamy: ‘’Will my little boat be fast enough to punch through that hole? Are we a fast enough team to make that thread-the-needle line?’’
(Little L’Edge – just look at that glee! Photo by Marilyn Scriver)
When Esquif released the 2016 L’Edge Lites and SuperLites (rotomolded by Liquidlogic), I was naturally excited for the progress of lighter boats in the canoe market, but I had no intention of ditching my beloved short boat! Until I sat in the SuperLite for the first time…game over.
This canoe is like no other. Its classic L’Edge shape and chine still make for that feel-good, speedy carving of a traditional L’Edge, while its lightness improves acceleration. Being lighter, its responsiveness is immediately noticeable. It’s so noticeable that I don’t feel impeded at all, even though I’m used to having a whole foot less boat to turn. As Cabot Anderson pointed out, it’s easy to lift up the light bow, flying over waves and holes. Paul Mason’s favourite thing is the ‘’composite feel’’, meaning that it is super responsive with a high planing speed, while Jimmy MacDonald noticed how the stiffer, smoother plastic glides over rocks better than before. And myself? I just love its smooth, responsive feeling. I no longer struggle with snapping a heavy boat flat during a sideways boof, or trying to roll a kajillion pounds of plastic. The unanimous vote is in: this boat has pop (the ‘’key lime pie’’ colour is also an unanimous crowd favourite)!
Shawn Malone has been beating up his Lite, which has about 7 pounds more plastic than the ‘’SuperLite’’, which Paul plans on using for everything from slalom racing to creeking. Either way, there’s no doubt…
For everyone, this boat is a dream
I can pick it up, flat spin it, roll it, and change direction with the slightest sweep.
‘We are going to punch right through that hole. We are a fast enough team to style that thread-the-needle line.’’