b'BOATSPaddle to the PeopleWatercraft suitable for everyoneBY JOE JACKSONTen years ago, most cutting-edge boat designs were focused at the high end of the price spectrum. This years crop is proof of a paradigm shift, with an array of canoes, kayaks, and inflatables that are impressively user-friendly, for angling, whitewater, and everything in between. The new Hobie MiraPro Angler 12 kayak ($4,599, pictured) features one of the venerable brands coolest innovations: 360 Mirage Drive, a pedal system that now moves the boat in any direction, not just forward and back. You can parallel-park the Angler 12 in dock spots and back out of tight mangroves. Joints at the bases of the redesigned fins allow them to rest flat against the hull if they encounter major resistance, so you dont have to worry about ruining them when entering and exiting the water.Old Towns iconic Discovery series deliv - ers one of the companys shortest, lightestvessels yet in the Discovery 119 Solo Sportsman canoe ($1,000). Its 11-foot-9-inch length and subtly arched hull allowed testers to crank turns when leaning out on an edge. The result is downright playful in Class II whitewater and tracks well in the flats. At 32.5 inches wide and 56 pounds, it was stable enough to stand up in with confidence, and light enough for testers to hoist from the roof themselves and carry an eighth of a mile to the waters edge. It weathered dozens of rough launches and landings.Where the Old Town sized down to make its Sportsman more accessible, Star went bigger with the Viper XL Inflatable kayak ($1,095). The goal: to help larger paddlers access serious whitewater. Traditionally, large inflatable kayaks have been sluggish and prone to getting caught in holes. But despite eight inches of length over the standard Viper, the XL is exceptionally whitewater ca-pable, thanks to an aggressive rocker profile. That, coupled with an absolutely rock-hard drop-stitched floor, allowed testers to punch through holes that would have gobbled up flatter-bottomed or less-rigid inflatables on the Class IV Nugget-Powerhouse stretch of Oregons Rogue River.16OUTSIDEBUYERSGUIDE2020 | FLOATSBG20_FLOAT_Boats_rlsd_457671.indd 16 3/30/20 8:32 PM'