When anyone asks what my favorite Fluid boat is, I tell them, much to their surprise, it is the Donsa!
Sure, Fluid has the best creek boat on the market in the Bazooka and a phenomenal playboat in the Dope, but my favorite aspect of kayaking is going fast and making sharp maneuvers at speed.
The Donsa combines speed, maneuverability, and durability in a package that I have never seen matched! It is such a versatile boat that can turn your average river into a limitless playground!
The Donsa was made to be a plastic slalom boat to practice running gates with. While it is light for a plastic kayak, it weighs more than a competition layup fiberglass slalom boat, giving the effect of swing two bats while in the on deck circle in a baseball game.
Plus, since it is plastic, you can hit rocks while training and not worry about having to do repairs. The Donsa will maneuver its way through a gate course with ease and will have similar performance to a fiberglass slalom boat. It is a fantastic tool to build slalom skills and hone those skills when preparing for a race.
While it is made for slalom, there are so many more aspects of paddling that the Donsa performs well. It does very well going down river, performing moves like splats and squirts with ease.
With the low volume stern, you can sink it to get some mega boofs, which are all the more incredible when you factor in the high amount of speed you can reach before you hit the boof rock.
I have run this boat down Class 4-5 runs in the Mid-Atlantic like the Upper Yough and Ohiopyle Falls as well as racing Class 5+ Great Falls of the Potomac. The Donsa performs admirably in all of these situations!
However, where the boat really shines is in its ability to go upriver. Imagine coming down a rapid and cleaning your favorite boof then being able to nail an elevator move to get back up to the top of the rapid and hit your boof again! With the Donsa, you can make that dream a reality!
I attain more often than I paddle in any other discipline and appreciate the ease with which the Donsa allows me to go up the rapids.
The edge and low volume stern allow for precise turns and carving that you can’t get in other good attaining plastic boats with higher volume sterns like the Green boat or the Speeder.
My home run is the Shenandoah River in West Virginia and it has a 2 mile long Class 2 rapid called the Staircase that may be the best attaining rapid in the world!
There are tons of ledges with elevator moves and several complex ferries and step ups that require the attainer to zigzag through a hundred different moves to make it to the top of the rapid.
I am able to carve my way up the stretch with ease and perform moves that would be extremely difficult or impossible in other long boats.
The spectacular edge allows you to become one with the boat and a tilt of a rail sends you effortlessly into the next move.
I highly recommend the Donsa to anyone looking to spice up your local run with new and exciting moves.
The combination of speed and maneuverability make this boat a phenomenal all around craft that will have you pulling off incredible moves, all the while being able to paddle back up and do it over again!