The Ocoee rides again. Proclaimed one of the best solo whitewater open boats of all time, the Ocoee was re-released this February by Nova Craft Canoe.
Designed by the late Frankie Hubbard and Dagger in 1996, this remarkable recreational open boat was the first to transition from a shallow arch hull to a flatter bottom—the Ocoee had hard edges in a world where rounder, softer edges were the norm. When Dagger got out of the open boat market six years ago, Bell Canoe works picked up the mould, only to cease production four years later. The Ocoee’s absence from the market has been keenly felt since.
“The Ocoee has a cult following,” says Joe Pulliam, co-founder of Dagger. “To this day it’s considered one of the benchmarks in high-performance, whitewater solo boating.”
Famed for its high waterline, hard chines and extreme rocker, the Ocoee has been embraced by aggressive paddlers, and made a meal of out more than a few beginners. It’s been used for everything from winning rodeos to class V creeking. Voted the best open boat of all time in 2012 by readers of Rapid magazine, the fact that the Ocoee is easily customized and a favorite of instructors has further boosted its popularity.
“This is big news for open boating,” says Emma Stinson, a whitewater canoe instructor and one of almost 50 paddlers to pre-order an Ocoee. The re-launch news ended Stinson’s four-year hunt…