Big Dog are a UK based firm that is pretty much the new kid on the block. However the people behind Big Dog have decades of experience within the kayak industry.
The Force is Big Dogs semi-planning river runner which is also quite happy running creeks with its full plate footrest and step out pillar. This puts the Force into the same category as the Dagger Mamba.
From Big Dog:
Semi-Displacement or Semi-Planing, call it what you will but the Force will speak for itself on the river. The Force is a “Full-On” river runner with a semi-displacement hull, excellent volume distribution, raised rails, rigid deck pillar and plenty of rocker. The Force can charge, boof, flare, carve, slide and re-surface with the best of them. In fact, the only limiting factor to the Force’s performance is the paddler sitting inside! Fast, safe and responsive, the Force is everything you’ll need from a ‘proper’ River Runner.
Rotomoulded adjustable tank seat, with integrated hull stiffener.
Twin Ratchet Backband.
Vacuum formed adjustable thigh grips.
Full Plate Footrest
Built in rotomoulded onestep pillar.
5 Big Dog Grab points
On the face of it it sounds ideal for many of the paddlers I know, but what do you actually get? How does it measure up against the more well known boats out there?
The outfitting is pretty good. It is highly adjustable, is comfortable and seems to hold up well to continued use. I added some additional foam around the knee area for some extra comfort but other than that I used the Force as it came from the shop. In many ways the outfitting is equally as good as Dagger’s pre-contour offering. Having rescued a stranded Big Dog Force I know that he grab handles are comfortable in the hand and are positioned nicely across the boats deck. Clipping a throwbag to the boat is super easy with know issues of the karabiner being snagged on the handles.
The Force feels relatively light and responds really well on the water. It has a pretty good turn of speed, boofs well and feels stable on edge. It’s also easy to roll and easy to exit. Smaller paddlers in particular have been raving about how good it is to have a proper river runner that doesn’t weigh the same as a small car!
I also know that customer service is good. The red Force in the images developed a small crack near the cockpit. This was take care of without any fuss.
The Big Dog Force is well worth checking out if your are considering a Wavesport Diesel, Dagger Mamba or similar.
Rec Paddler (kgs): 40-90kgkgs
Footrest: Footplate Std.
Grab Points: 5
Length: 244cmWidth: 65cm
Rec Paddler (kgs): 80-125kgs
Grab Points: 5