Monday, October 30, 2006

Farmington River (New Boston) and Halloween Party

Jeff was looking for a good boat to get back into kayaking after his shoulder surgery. Since I went through the same thing last year, we met on Sunday to go paddling. The New Boston sectioin of the Farmington was running just a bit over 5,which made for a fun day

above, you'll see Jeff, in the DR GANGSTER/Idra approaching one of the better rapids on the run.

Three weeks post-operation and in good shape. Maybe working in a physical therapist's office has something to do with it, but I think that Jeff is on the fast track to full recovery.

This D Man (or is it "A" man?) who laughed at me for boofing onto a hidden rock. SO, I have to make fun of him for paddling a pumpkin-orange boat and looking scary in this picture.

speaking of scary..... who is that infected zombie in a hazmat suit?

what a fun party at Maurice and Jeanne's house. All the local forest creatures showed up to hang out.

Ohhhh, creeking is going to be fun tomorrow......

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Hubbard Brook Trip Report

It was a lovely, foggy, rainy day in the southern Berkshires. The Hubbard was not quite high enough when we arrived. But, after scouting a couple of things that were actually TOO high,and debating our next move, we realized that the Hubbard had come up to runnable levels. Surely, if it was on the rise, the run would just get better as the trip progressed...

Ted burried somewhere in the first drop. Melting down a creek boat can be fun (sometimes)

Andrew's first-ever drop run in a creek boat. He has only ever had playboats, so adjusting to something big and round took some time. He made this one look easy though.

Tim, showing us the classic line on this drop

Tim again, firing up the second major rapid of the run. This one has some serious pinning potential. Even with a lound sounding "THUNK!", he was able to keep going and finish the rapid. Amazing what a bulkhead and high volume bow will do... No wonder he likes that Solo

Andrew on the same drop just 1/4 second before his beautiful oops (er.... boof) over the rock that divides the current. (It's hidden just below the surface). I wish I had a better camera for this one. He really launched that CRITICAL MASS over the drop.

Ted in his well-worn Magnum ready to launch into Michaud Falls. The idea is to start a bit left, drive right through the slot with (or without) a boof, and then you are a pinball in play...

He ran it twice so I was able to get the same guy running the same drop from another angle. This would show about 1 second after the above photo. And also shows how good of a plastic welder Ted is. His repair job has been hold up to stuff like this for quite a while now.

Tim, running the right side of the rock at Michaud Falls. Depending on who you ask, it's either the sneak route or the hero route. The crux, like the main line, is all in the set up. And, it's a tighter slot.

Here's Jeff, who helped Andrew through a tough little section towards the bottom.

All in all, a solid crew. It was Tim's first time down this river, Andrew's first time in a real creek boat, my first time on Hubbard since going back to grad school, Jeff's paddle's last full river run before breaking the next day on another creek, and Ted finally getting to paddle after waiting for all of us to arrive in the morning.

The water continued to rise, and a quick thunder storm pumped things up again. Oh what fun!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Kenny Unser

Kenny took up C1 a few years ago for a challenge. In a short amount of time he has become a good "kneeler" and very sensitive about boat designs (having been a kayaker too). Just ask him about how much he loves that long effective edge on the that FISH he converted.

May people seem to be getting back into longer boats these days. Here you will see Kenny's "newest" boat, the SLASHER. He says that it is teaching him alot about technique,and I'm sure it will make him an even better C boater.

take a good look at the DragoRossi Fish and Perception Slasher. "Half the paddle, twice the man?" What if you are half the boat? Or depending on your perspective, twice the boat?

3 creek boat chines and rockers

DragoRossi MAFIA

look at the nice, smooth rocker transition used here to make a predictable boat

a flat spot in the center is important for high inititial stability, and to spread the paddler's weight out over a larger surface area, thus making the boat float higher in the water (you hit fewer rocks and skip over the boily sections easily)

what is VERY important in real creek boat is round edges so that you can just skip right over those little pain-in-the-butt rocks found on shallow sections and slides.

The back two feet can have hard edges that let the water release from the edge of the boat, gaining speed, and allowing the stern to turn more easily.



Very smooth rocker transition. This allows the water to see the boat as one surface, thus making it faster. If the rocker break was too abrupt, then the boat just "pushes" water and plows around like a slow tug boat. The key is to make a highly rockered boat, but make the transition SMOOOOOOTH
again, note the nice flat spot for high initial stability and just a little bit of the planing hull benefit. No need for complete roundness in the middle. That would just make things unstable.

round EDGES (not hull). It's an important distinction that many people are not aware of. It's the EDGES of your boat that get tripped up, not the flat spot on your hull. So, the solution is to make them nice and round

Stern edges can be sharp so that the stern releases and turns instead of sticking to the water. Faster turning creek boats is what we want.

very similar rocker to the Mafia, the stern part of the rocker just comes up a bit later, making the boat a little more "traditional"

a slightly wider flat spot in the hull for a super stable, familiar feel

very round and forgiving with high secondary stability while maintaining the benefits of the center flat spot
the roundness in the stern doesn't make it feel more fogiving (becuase the stern edge COULD be hard) but it gives the boat a more traditional, familiar feel to it. Kind like a cross between the Necky Crux, Eskimo Salto, and the grandaddy of all little creekers,the Topolino

Three creek boats for fun

stern hatch on the Mafia. You can get a little glimpse of the bulkhead that seals the stern from the rest of the boat,and provides more structure than a typical stern pillar. The neoprene cover goes on the opening first, sealing out the water, then the plastic piece covers the neoprene, providing implosion resistance and keeping the neoprene in good condition.

Critical Mass (left) Gangser/Idra (center) Mafia (right)

just a quck cut and paste image so you guys can see the subtle differences between these three excellent creeking options. Everything was kept to scale in this image; to be as accurate as possible. Still nothing beats seeing them up close and personal. If you have a chance to paddle one, I would strongly recommend it. With so many options, you're very likely to enjoy one of these boats.

(from top to bottom) Mafia, Gangster/idra, Critical Mass, Mafia, Gangster/Idra

Critical Mass Bulkhead/Bow Ring (note the breathing tube)

Gangster/Idra "traditional" thigh hooks and bow pillar

2007 Mafia Bow Ring and Bulkhead system (note the breathing tube)

another look at the ratcheting footbrace system, allowing for on-the-fly adjustability (I use it to give my legs a rest in the flat sections and to really crank it up when the going gets steep)

a note on the 3x safety redundancy grabloop systems....


Adam Bixby

I had a chance to catch up with Adam Bixby, a friend from the northeast who has been living close to the Green River in NC for a year now. It was great to talk with him for a while and discover how he is really becoming a solid creek boater by running the narrows a couple times each week

I took photos of his boats because he is using longer/older boats, gearing up for the race. Here you'll see his brand new DragoRossi Critical Mass in the foreground (orange), right up against the Prijon Tornado.

Of course the Critical Mass turns much much easier than the Tornado, but has the benefit of some extra reach to get over some of those tricky spots. A balance of modern turnability with some older style length and speed. I am convinced that this is a trend for the near future as people realize that going fast in larger boats is really really fun.

p.s. the dog's name is Maya. she can swim rivers better than some people can paddle them

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Friday, October 06, 2006

large,medium,race(testarossa) seats

a few views of the dragorossi seats alone so that you can get a better idea of the shape of each model and be better able to chose the correct fit for your new DR boat....
(sizes are indicated beneath the photos)

race, medium, large

large, medium, race



DragoRossi kayaks have arrived

the boats are in the U.S. and labeled for domestic shipping to demo centers around the country

very soon, centers in TN, DC, CT, ID, OR, CA will have a full fleet of DragoRossi whitewater kayaks just like these, available for when you want to get in one.

there was alot of boats to sort through,and I know that all of the DR fans will be happy when they receive their new boats soon