Darren Clarkson-King gives us a run down of why he is back in the Recon. Having owned and paddled one for a number of years I know exactly where he is coming from.
Ok so before I start let’s make one thing clear, I do paddle for wavesport. I’ve paddled many other designs over my 30+ years of making splashes and running rivers. Some boats I have loved, some I have hated. I’ve been assisted by brands, and I’ve been an ardent denier that sponsorship as a good thing. I’m lucky I paddle boats I like, boats I would use and have used outside of any financial gain.
So the recon, a heavy tank of a boat, once likened to bringing a gun to a knife fight. When it was released it had a number of followers, from Cali fanatics to big volume heros but newer designs came and the recon lost out. I’m back in a recon now, I used one lots before. Now I am back. Some say it lacks finesse and performance, to be honest I never noticed that. I will always move the seat to the rear, it drives better like this. Those that know me will say I have a relaxed floating style, the recon suits this pace. It is no race boat. It never tries to be a race boat, it never tried to be something it’s not.
Ask yourself…Do I need a race boat? it’s newer sibling the phoenix covers that, for days of speed. The recon carries gear well, I use it on overnight wilderness trips and I find it handles the weight so well, almost better if we dare say so, than when empty. Sure it’s a solid, boat. A testament to the design that you can still use a recon all these years on. You an still make the moves. You know it has you covered. It’s the boat I chose for Steve Backshall to use on a first descent in Bhutan. It’s a boat you paddle that has few quirks. Its round hull is soft but with a heavy rail it carves a great turn. Boof, well sure, that’s part of the package. Should you have a recon? Well do you want a boat with a history, a cult following, UK made, solid, safe? If so then yep, yep, yep. Take a demo, realise that the reason the design hasn’t changed is because it doesn’t need to.
Words and picture: Darren Clarkson-King