Boat Review: Dagger Axiom

With almost a year under its belt now I’ve had a few chances to paddle the Dagger Axiom.  While it certainly has a little old school look, it is nice to see something fresh and different out of a kayak company for once. The Axiom is long compared to the standard set by today’s boats. I have heard it referred to as a remake of the RPM, a Dagger classic that was discontinued last year with a limited number available for 2009.

While this boat does stand out in a rack of boats on the showroom floor it’s not going to find its way onto the roof rack of todays hardcore playboaters and creekers. I will admit that the boat was a lot more fun than I expected. Having learned to paddle white water only a few years ago I never really knew what fast boats were. Now I do.  Aside from tons of speed for river running and surfing this boat has a few other perks as well. Compared to shorter more bulbous play boats of today. The long flattened out stern makes stern pivot turns and stern squirts almost automatic. It also makes for some interesting results in large boils and eddy lines. On our trip to Skookumchuck a few weeks ago the Axiom was the only plastic boat out of 30 that was able to hang with the two composite surf boats once the wave started to green out.

Every year I get a few customers in looking to rekindle their whitewater flame after a leave of absence for kids, jobs, and other foolish things of that nature. This crowd is generally older and not interested in “huckin” “throwing” “stomping” or whatever other cool names you’ve made up for what you do. So instead of showing them 6 foot play boats and being looked at like I’m from another planet, I can now show them an Axiom.

Here are some pics of the Axiom in action.

I enjoyed paddling the 8.0 the most even though I was a little over the weight limit. The 8.5 is considerably bigger and allthough it easier to get down the river its not as fun for surfing and playing, and thats really what this whole boat is all about.

I enjoyed paddling the 8.0 the most even though I was a little over the weight limit. The 8.5 is considerably bigger and although it's easier to get down the river, it's not as fun for surfing and playing, and that's really what this boat is all about.

Laura Demers in the Axiom 8.5 at Skooks. Skooks is one of those places where an 8.5 foot long is worth its weight in . . . plastic.

Laura Demers in the Axiom 8.5 at Skooks. Skooks is one of those places where an 8.5 foot boat is worth its weight in . . . plastic.

The boat has some really sweet lines to it, on the deck and on the hull. The Axioms all come with a bulk head style foot brace, this makes for an ideal rental boat as foam is often hard to keep around.

The boat has some really sweet lines to it, on the deck and on the hull. The Axioms all come with a bulk head style foot brace, this makes for an ideal rental boat as foam is often hard to keep around.

Me feeling out the rocksplatability of the Axiom 8.0.

Me feeling out the rock-splat-ability of the Axiom 8.0.

See specs and sizing on the Axiom Line up.