So, a couple of us have been taking the L'Edge Lite for a spin on some Scottish Classics recently and I wanted to share some thoughts.
It has been my first time back in an OC1 after using a specialist Zet Director C1 for a while. The thing that first hit me was how fast it is for its size; the waterline length is just right. I thought the difference in hull speed between the C1 and the L'Edge might be a compromise, but this boat gets up to speed quickly and maintains momentum very well. It inspires confidence paddling those tight lines when you know the boat will let you drive it positively.
The stability is good, both initial and secondary. However, it is the secondary stability that particularly warrants credit as the L'Edge lite has a very well designed hull and likes to be on an active edge. A little trim to control the edge and you have a boat that will make super-predictable turns on big water and in the creeks. It is also stable enough to make those crucial cross-deck moves a breeze.
OC1 outfitting is a very personal thing and everyone likes to tinker to get the ideal fit. I fitted hip pads to provide more edge-control; a standard addition nowadays for OC1 and C1. The factory outfitting is well designed and of high quality. However, the thigh-hooks are not for me and I easily fitted a flat bulk-head, which in combination with thigh straps, provides a degree of connectivity and control that complement the performance of the boat.
It rolls very well, but thigh-straps keep you connected and help make it easier. Steve had the factory outfitting and he was coming up as fast as I've seen anyone roll an OC1.
I found the back end to be a little twitchy at first across an eddy line and it took an hour or so to get used to, but this feedback it was providing became an advantage. On more three-dimensional rapids the boat boofs excellently and you can expect a dry ride and cool landings.
We all get water in the boat eventually though and maneuvering becomes more difficult. In these circumstances the L'Edge steered well and allowed easy attainment of the next available eddy to empty it.
This boat is both high performance and forgiving for less experienced. I am enjoying it immensely!
We were on the Spean, Morriston, Garry, Findhorn Gorge, Etive, Alt a Chaorainn and Leven.