The previous model performed admirably as designed. Sitting in between the intermediate Evo and the elite Uno Max, the Ion was designed to be aimed primarily at big water performance. It featured a bulbous high volume prow and steep rocker matched with a svelte 17.5 inch width.
But for some, the boat didn’t quite hit the mark. Chasing big water here in the states is not nearly as prevalent as in other parts of the world and many also felt that the stability profile leaned a bit too close to the twitchier Uno Max to be comfortable in steeper conditions.
For this reason, paddlers would often either opt for the stability of the Evo or choose to move past the Ion to the faster Uno Max.
This has had the effect of creating somewhat of an opening in the Think line-up, where an option for a faster than intermediate but not quite as demanding as a world-class elite boat was previously unavailable.
What was needed was another everyman’s boat. A privateer racer that could hang with the fastest but handle the biggest, all while being optimized for paddlers that haven’t spent the better portion of their lives sitting in an uber narrow ICF K1 Sprint boat.
My first opportunity to try the new Think Ion came on a cold windy morning with moderately lumpy water. I was in no mood to take a swim on this day and being familiar with the previous stability profile, felt a bit apprehensive as I walked the boat down the launch.
Any concerns l may have had quickly evaporated the minute I jumped on. I was immediately struck by the added stability; It was markedly improved over it’s predecessor. The Ion now felt more akin to the Evo than it did the Uno Max. I was stunned! I paddled out into Charleston Harbor for about three hours. Through the swirling eddy’s at Elliot’s Cut bottleneck, side chop, head winds, the refractory of the Battery, the boat was rock solid through all!
New to the 2017 Ion is the addition of the Debrito adjustable bailer.