Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Silverbirch Covert 9.3

Silverbirch Canoes are the new kids on the Canoe block. 
Despite being new to canoes the team behind the brand are far from new in manufacturing paddlesports products. They also produce the fastest growing Sit on Top brand in the uk and have a long history of boat design including high performance surf craft and using  top end high performance materials.  


The Covert 9.3 is the first OC1 from Silverbirch and has come at a time when the much loved  Dagger Ocoee is rarer than hens teeth. (no new production, just well loved 2nd, 3rd, 4th hand ones). 
The Esquif L'Edge is probably the most similar thing to the Covert. Ever seen one? 
So if it's OC1 fun you want for white water river running and playing the Covert is the stuff of dreams. UK designed and made this boat could not have come any sooner. 
Staffer and open boat expert (complete with beard ) Jim took the AS Watersports demo Covert out for a spin on the famous "Loop" section of the River Dart. 
This run is full of fun, wave trains and holes. The perfect testing ground for a nimble white water boat. 

                                                   Setting up for the first surf of the day. 



Silverbirch covert 9’3” first thoughts.

From the outside the Covert looks like a no nonsense river running OC1, with plenty of volume, good outfitting, knuckle friendly tumblehome and bags of style.
Having jumped in the impression continues. The saddle and thigh braces are comfortable and well shaped, while the Yakima footrests offer a solid but adjustable contact point for your feet, which help to maintain a good connection with the boat. Foam lined sidewalls in the cockpit area help to reduce the volume of water the boat can take on while paddling.

The covert comes complete with a full foam saddle, Yakimas footrests, Ankle pads and big internal foam sidewalls. The Ash gunwales are also fitted as standard as is the rope for lashing in the airbags. 
(Air bags are extra. Here we have fitted Yak 48" ones)

 On the water the Covert is stable and confidence inspiring. My OC1 skills have become very rusty, not having paddled anything like  this in over 3 years, yet as soon as I got on the water the Covert just felt natural and easy. The secondary stability was very impressive and helped to bolster my confidence. Breaking in and breaking out felt smooth and predictable, even leaning downstream on crossdeck strokes felt easy as the secondary stability allowed me to keep the boat edged well, meaning I could concentrate on my line and strokes and not worry about my balance.

Breaking into the flow.

Looking well balanced, high and dry. 

 The flared sides and high bow kept the boat very dry while running rapids. Even crashing through the waves and holes on Lovers leap and Triple drop on the Dart Loop the Covert took on very little water. Less water in the canoe means it's easier to control when you need that extra control. Having a swamped boat in the middle of a bigger rapid with more rocks and holes to dodge is never a fun or rewarding experience!
                                                                          Surf's up! 

Crossdeck strokes are easy to reach.




One run of the Dart Loop successfully  under my belt and with minimal out of boat experiences along the way the Covert has inspired me to brush up my OC1 skills. I will definitely be out in it again as soon as possible!

To Book a demo or make an order call the shop on 01392 219600
Place an order online click here: Silverbirch Covert 9.3 RRP £1595.00 (plus air bags, £120.00 for a pair of 48"'s)

Jim and the cheeky boys, Max and Dave about to hit the river for a Sunday shred. 

All photos By Ewart Aylward. Copyright AS Watersports