With the T-Rex, EXO is not only presenting a successor to an existing kayak, but a new, modern creeker that is intended and perfectly designed for the use in heavier or heaviest whitewater.
As usual with EXO, there are no holes drilled through the boat hull apart from the screws for the baffle plate. The baffle plate can be moved on a rail, easily adjusted and offers a significant plus in terms of stability. The bottom plate, which runs through the whole boat, is lined with a foam mat and thus absorbs impacts on the lower part of the ship. The seat can be adjusted in three different positions on the base plate. As usual with EXO, it offers real good seating comfort. The backstrap can be adjusted very quickly and fixed securely. The thigh supports are integrated in the boat hull. Depending on the anatomy of the paddler, the rather small distance between the thigh supports (only 22 cm) could make getting in and out a bit more difficult. But they offer an extremely secure and firm hold. The space in the boat itself is huge. Nothing has been changed with the handles. They are well positioned and ensure good access in various situations. It is comfortable to carry and attaching carabiners works without any problems. The classic foam wedge (instead of plastic) in the rear is new. The arguments for this are less weight and better buoyancy. At 21 kg, the T-Rex is practically a lightweight in the creeker family. An advantage pays out both on land and on the water.
Due to the shape of the lower hull, there is initially a lack of stability that one is used to from a kayak with more distinct edges. Actually, there are no sharp edges, but the lower part is still quite flat. In the river current the T-Rex is in its element – the wilder, the better. It masters all challenges in white water. Side water pressure, holes, stoppers, turbulences? No matter! Anyone who paddles the T-Rex can rely on it. Despite its rocker, it is very fast – but only – and this must be made clear, if it is paddled actively. And active really means active. The new EXO boat is definitely not a mainstream creeker for “couch potatoes” and “river drifters”! It requires a very dynamic paddler. Clear tipping and active paddle strokes are essential when entering and exiting the eddies. Once accelerated, it takes up speed extremely fast. He reacts quickly and precisely to corrections. The boofs come close to flying. The T-Rex dips cleanly and reappears just as reliably. At first glance, the rear end looks a bit too voluminous. However, it is flat. This means that the kayak remains stable in the water after a drop into a pool, without emerging violently. Even then, it hardly slows down and can still be accelerated.
Just get in, paddle off, feel good? Not just yet…never forget, the T-Rex wants to be mastered and has to be paddled actively. Then it is more fun from tour to tour and guarantees an excellent ride and – even more important – a feeling of security.