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Re: Whitewater Boats
By:Mark Kanzler
Date: 7/26/1998, 10:35 am

I tried three or four whitewater boats at the kayak expo.

One was only about 8 ft long! It spun out, and after a few minutes I found I could keep it straight if I concentrated on doing so. Another was about 13 ft long, and it went reasonably straight, and I felt that because it turned easier than some of the sea kayaks I'd paddled, it was easier to keep it straight.

In the sea kayaks I had to think about corredting when the boat drifted off course. In the whitewater boat it just went straight by instinct, without much effort. I probably had a tiny bit of a waobble to my paddling, but it was not detectable to me. I did find that the effort was not alot.

There was one or two sea kayaks I really liked, because they went faster with a bit less effort, and as pointed out, carried their momentum. But, if we are seeking momentum, why are we looking for a lightweight boat? The sea kayaks I did like tended to be narrow and turned easily (lots of rocker?) The Caribou (Picture Below)

Not all whitewater boats are made to turn on a dime. I would guess there are sea kayaks that resemble whitewater boats, and vice versa. If you look elsewhere on this bbs you'll see a stitch and glue I've been drawing up. Some people have given me advice that would make it more like a sea kayak, which is good advice for a real sea kayak. One person told me I had re-invented the "Squirt Boat". When I asked what one was, I found the description matched what I was trying for. (Click link below) Now if I can build it (or get someone else to build it and report on how it handles) I'll see how the design matches or deviates from my expectations. I'm thankful for the advice I got. Since I'll be doing short trips in tight spaces on flat water for quite awhile, I decided that the trends that I was advised to design out were desirable to me. The only trend I worry about is pitch-poling (pearling) in surf.

The point: Not everyone wants the same thing. Nor does one person necessarily always wnt the same thing. If I ever paddle to Catalina (26 miles across the sea) I'll want a straight tracking seaworthy long slim kayak and a reliable eskimo roll. But for what I'm doing right now, I like a whitewater kayak that tends to go straighter than most. A whitewater kayak does not, by definition, have to be super squirrely. I've paddled whitewater playboats, and I'll bet theres whitewater kayaks for straight downriver racing which track straight.

Everyone is different, and our tastes may change as time goes by. I used to surf on a 5'8" Thruster. Now I have a 5'10" twin fin. I'm getting older, so, the longboards are starting to look better now.

Messages In This Thread

Re: Whitewater Boats
Mark Kanzler -- 7/26/1998, 10:35 am
Re: Whitewater Boats
Paul Stomski -- 7/27/1998, 5:02 pm
Re: Whitewater Boats
Mark Kanzler -- 7/27/1998, 5:17 pm
Re: Whitewater Boats
Paul Stomski -- 7/27/1998, 5:33 pm