Words By: Jason Boutet
I needed a Braaap, no I’m serious! I was losing sleep, constantly dreaming in first person Go-Pro footage of me paddling the Braaap down our local rivers. For some reason I needed the Braaap. These dreams coincided with me paddling a lot of class 4 boulder gardens hitting every possible eddy and trying really challenging moves. I eventually broke down one day and put my order in for a brand-new road cone orange Braaap.
I’m sleeping great now, and the purchase has been everything I had hoped. I’ve been paddling it on our local creeks (Cataract, Elbow, Sheep, Kananaskis, Pipestone, Spray River) and haven’t found something it can’t handle yet. I love how easy it is to boof, how much speed I get out of drops, how forgiving it is in squirrelly water and how agile it is.
I’ve been paddling some rivers at their higher levels this year and was curious if I could feel confident and make my lines. Although the Braaap is quick to punish you for making a mistake I’m surprised at how well I’ve been able to paddle some of my favorite rivers when they are getting pushy. If you drive the boat and are quick to react if things go wrong it is easy to fix those mistakes.
Not as playful as the Dagger Axiom or the Jackson Antix, I would use the Braaap for pushier Class IV and Class V creeks that I want to make more fun or challenge myself but want some reliability. If I just want to play then the Dagger Axiom or Jackson Antix would be my pick.
Flying out of a beautiful river wide boof on the Upper Bull River. (Photo: Brandon Wilms)
The Braaap in its element. (Photo: Brandon Wilms)
Things dreams are made of. The Braaap is easy to boof and it’s displacement hull makes the landings soft as butter. Spray River at medium high flows was a good test to see how far I could push the limits of the Braaap. (Photo: Brandon Wilms)
The Pipestone at