I'll give you a bit of background on me and tell you my advice.
I'm a Class V boater-- really a Class V- boater now, 37, off my peak of
being a young rad dude! I own a Tornado and a Grind, and I'm 6'2", 250lbs.
in my skivvies.
I've paddled a Tornado down some of Idaho's longest and hardest rivers.
It's an outstanding boat for tripping and doing Class V stuff (N. Payette,
E.F.S.F. Salmon fer instance), and it's fast on the flats. It's
super-comfortable, has tons of volume for floating anyone up to 300 lbs.,
and it's also super-safe. Its main drawback is that it plays like doggee
doo-doo, and if you have to portage it, you'll be looking at a back
operation if there's gear in the stern.
I just bought a Riot Grind. It has plenty of volume for a 250 lb. person,
though that's probably close to the top of its range, is super-stable, rolls
easily, and plays awesomely. It is a little miracle of engineering, and
hats off to Corran Addison for inventing this boat. There is NO way I could
dream of camping out of it, it would not be my choice of boat in big volume
Class V, and it is only 8'2", which means it is very slow relative to the
Tornado. I wouldn't want to paddle it across the flats. If I weighed 170
lbs., the Grind would be my new extreme/trip boat. But I don't-- so it's my
If you're really going to paddle Class II, and don't plan on playing, AND
want to trip, AND maybe have a boat that will guard you down the New River
Gorge some day, buy a Tornado. It is a niche design that has not gone out
of style yet-- though some of the newer designs like the Stikine, or
Corran's soon-to-be-out "Big Gun" may cause it to vanish into the past. It
is often, still the boat of choice for long-duration expeditions.
If you want to mess around and do squirts on eddylines, then get a Grind.
Squirting a Tornado-- now that would be a trick.
I don't have any idea what an Axxess even looks like.
> Subject: Re: Help finding a boat for a big man
> I think I've narrowed y choices down to three boats:
> The Prijon Tornado, Perception Axess, and the Riot Grind. Chuck, do
> you have any experience with the Grind? If so, how do you like it?
> How does it track? Keep in mind I'll rarely do anything over class 3,
> but I will do long stretches of flat water with a few 2's and 3's here
> and there.
> Keeping my height and weight in mind, which of the three boats
> would you guys reccomend?
> Thanks for all your advice,