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I am a solid intermediate white water paddler in up to Class 3+ rapids. The RPM serves me well. I am told that to progress I should get a kayak with a planning hull and edges. I just might do that but I will not get rid of the RPM.
I still think the RPM is a great design, especially if you're into long boat play and slalom-style moves; however, for general river running, it's no longer the best out there. Kayak companies have finally figured out that there's more to creating a river runner than just rebranding last year's playboat design. Examples? Wavesport Diesel and Dagger Mamba. Both are more stable than the RPM and still have most of its other positive traits. The only things you give up are the ability to do stern squirts and a bit of hull speed.
Pros for RPM - good hull speed for it's length, but short enough not to be too hard to maneuver. Low volume stern makes for good front surfs and stern squirts. Easiest rolling boat ever made.
Cons for RPM - low volume stern can catch and flip you in bigger stuff and makes it hard to carry extra gear.
The RPM has great hull speed, stability approaching that of a flat hulled boat, and good maneuverability. Boats like the GT and Booster are capable of running rivers, but it's a lot of work. The RPM does so effortlessly. For example, a simple diagonal move across the current takes 3 or 4 times as many strokes in a GT than in an RPM.
Of course, the RPM doesn't sidesurf quite as well as a planing hull boat, but you can't have everything. As a class III river runner, the RPM rocks!
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