New Dagger Nomad – Big water performance – The Stikine Test

Written By: Tim Shaw

Photos: Tim Shaw and Allen Yip


I am 6’3 and 90kgs so getting into the New Large size has been a big improvement from the old 8.5 that I had only paddled a couple of times. The nomad is known to be an incredible ‘creek boat’ and the new design has improved that even further. It would now be my first choice for creaking. But would it go on the high volume of the Stikine river?


The Concerns

Paddling the boat on big water, would it have the speed and enough edge to carve in and out of eddies and get me to where I needed to be on the Stikine river. Especially once loaded down with overnight gear. These questions certainly didn’t help my nerves as we prepared and headed up to the Stikine River.

Initial thoughts

Loading the boat with gear I quickly realised the advantage of the added volume. I was able pack my gear in keeping the centred in the boat by moving the seat to its forward position. This equalled a well-balanced boat that sat flat in the water. Dropping into Entrance Falls, my concerns were washed away. The load Nomad L still turned well, and the part displacement hull helped the boat to track and head where I wanted it to go. I was impressed.


Stand outs

  • Plaining Hull – Even loaded with gear I was able to still get the boat up on the plain off waves, into eddies and off boofs.
  • Tracking ability – once loaded with gear the track performance of the boat increased making moving around/ across the river easier
  • Forgiving hull – having the forgiveness and predictability of the nomad was fantastic especially on days two and three when I was starting to get tired.
  • Staying Flat – The new Nomad likes to be flat, getting caught on the tail was a rear accurance, and not once was I back looped on trip, this surprize me with the boat being loaded with gear.


  • Surfing – one thing I really enjoy on the river is surfing, this is my one disappointment paddling the Nomad, it is hard work to surf.


Dagger has certainly made improvements from the old one. This is certainly not a boat for creek racing. But if you want a creek boat and expedition boat that is going look after you. Allowing you to push to the limits of your paddling then this would be my boat of choice. Is it going to be scary? Then take a Nomad!