Sunday, May 13, 2007

Small Wave HUGE Fun!

Most of us don't get to surf at Buseater every day. (the worlds were pretty cool, weren't they?)

but we make due with what we have and enjoy the sun, water, and surfing in our own way

hanging with good friends is a major part of the enjoyment

trading tips, stories, and checking out each others boats

(and sometimes being very silly....)

Friday, May 11, 2007

another backband approach

this is a stock backband in the Rainbow boats, but it's a very effective system that I think can make for an easy retrofit

I like the way the backband really wraps around your lower back giving some good support on more surface area and not just one high-pressure point

it can be made youself with a couple of old cam straps, two screws and a drill.

the trick is to get the webbing loop that leads the rest of the system in the right place. It's probably just easier to use a pop rivet in a rotomolded seat, but a thermoformed seat could use a screw/nut with a couple of washers.

Fish vs Thruster

been getting lots of questions about the differences between the Fish and Thruster, so here are some photos

besides lots of extra knee room, the Thruster has a larger cockpit for easy entry/exit. (Thruster on the left, Fish on the right)

essentially the same length (the Thruster is longer by an inch or so) the main difference is the how/where the boats carry their width.

Demo Boats for sale

inventory is getting a little low

so I'm going to sell off a few of my demos while I still have the opportunity to get a new boat easily

here is the Fish that I've had for a while now. It's the Elite version, with a large seat. I have the thigh wings for it. They were just out in this photo because someone had just demoed it without them.

$400 takes it.

it's in pretty good shape for a two year old boat. Lots of splats and spins (but very few seal launches because I think that's where most people get the big scratches from) The plastic is pretty bomber.

shoot me an email and we'll talk about how to get the boat to you and make the deal happen.

I also have a :"regular" sized Pintail and a Stinger that I'd be willing to part with.

Three backband options tested

I've installed three different backbands into the new DragoRossi demo fleet at Clarke Outdoors

there is, of course, the standard performance DragoRossi backband that only takes minutes to install.

there is also the IR Reggie that went into the Thruster

and the ever-popular IR Flex Capacitor that was installed into the Stinger with only a minor modification so that it could be used with the DragoRossi performance seat ratchets. There are other ways to install it, but this just seemed like a good one.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Light Blue Stinger Elite

This boat was unwrapped and in a store showroom so it has some dust on it but is in great condition. Brand new. Never been on the water. $899

This boat has all the "Elite" outfitting, which provides superior hulls support, a stiff backband, drainplug, thigh wings, footsled. Normal retail price is $1400

here is a fun animation of the Stinger in action

and, if you check out the specs page with the Performance version of the Stinger, you will notice all the extras that you are getting included in the this Elite Stinger that you are buying.

contact me at for more info if you are truely interested in this exciting boat!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

IR reggie backband in a Thruster

you have to get a little creative here, but then it's an easy install.
Just remove the stopper block from the ratchet ladder. Add the extender strap to the ratchet, then add the stopper blocks to the extender strap to make a super long strap/ratchet

(it sounds confusing, but just look at the photos carefully and you'll see it)
then you feed the entire thing from front to back, between the seat and the rail, between the two spacers, and lead it up, to the back of the seat.

that's where you will thread it through the ratchets on the back of the backband and crank it up to hold it in place

pop two holes in a safe part of the cockpit rim and install the bungee cords (here is where you might be voiding your kayak warranty, so be careful to not drill through the important part of the cockpit rim,and I recommend documenting the entire process)

this is not the only way to do it. It looks like all the IR backbands come with a few different installation instructions that give you a few options. I just put the Reggie into this Thruster and found that it worked really well.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Tville Ted

the level was not optimum, but Ted went off as usual anyway.

The Flume (Housatonic River)

Ok. I think that the photos will tell most of the story of this sunny day on a fun rapid. (there is much more downstream, but I wanted to put the camera away and get into the boat tooo......)

The Flume is a very nice 7' drop that is intimidating because it is not straight.

but it is also not difficult if you can hit the center of the horizon line

the sides are super shallow, and people have hit their heads and face

but if you can hit the center (about 10' wide) and have a reliable roll, then you can just chuck yourself over the drop (you WILL roll about 50% of the time)

Here is local paddler, Bonnie, in her EZ doing the right to left approach

Maurice in his new yellow Pintail XL showing us how it's done

Kenny in a C1 converted Fish hitting the last cross-bow needed to set up the move

and Kenny again showing us just how deep the hole at the bottom is (don't worry folks, he pulled it out like he always does)

Steven's first attempt at the low-water, crossing boof move. If you screw it up, then you get pounded on the rocks. He didn't quite nail it perfectly, but he was able to deal with the minor line adjustments he had to make rather well. Terrific first attmept. This kid is good.

Jeff demoing the Critical Mass with a beautiful boof into the eddy.

Maurice firing it up again in his Pintail XL.

Ted rocking the Pirouette old school style, showing that long boats can boof too.

Jeff in his Crux firing up the creeky line.

Ted firing up the Critical Mass to show that light dudes can paddle the big boats too.

Ted pulling into the eddy (the kick back into the hole is pretty darned strong...)

and one last shot of Jeff, who wanted to give the Critical Mass another try. He was amazed at how "small" the boat paddled. (I guess that means that it turns well)