Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Update on the Rush 7' 2" and Nemesis

Jared and I got to test the new Rush 7' 2" last week before the SCKSF. It is a pocket rocket! The conditions weren't that great at Davenport but I still managed to pop a couple of small aerials. It bottom turns much faster than the Rush but lacks the down the line speed. If you surf steep waves and like going airborne then this is the boat for you. Despite its short length it has plenty of volume in the back end and more in the rails than the Rush so I would have thought it will float someone up to 200lbs fairly well. I will post some photos of it in action as soon as I can.

One of the hot juniors, Alexander Stubbs will be testing one on the East Coast US and I have one on the west so if you fancy giving it a try just let me know.
We have some more work to do on the Nemesis International Class design now that the World Surf Kayak Association has published the new rules. Standby for a radical new design and a finned High Performance version.

Santa Cruz update...

Jared Licht at Steamer Lane. Photo by Larkin Donley.

Well the Santa Cruz Kayak Surf Festival at Steamer Lane certainly lived up to its reputation as the best surf kayak event in the world. As always, the organising committee led by Dennis Judson staged a fabulous event and we enjoyed fantastic waves all weekend.
I was frustrated not to reach the quarter finals despite some reasonable wave scores in the High Performance category. I was beaten by a couple of juniors, Chris Hobson and Sam Davenport which though disappointing for me, bodes well for the future of kayak surfing.
But Jared Licht did the River and Ocean Team proud by reaching the semi finals before being slammed by a HUGE wave, even bigger than the one he's surfing above. He broke his paddle across his face and smashed his boat but earned the respect of his peers when he rolled up with half a paddle, before having to bail out of his sinking kayak. It was really tough luck but he will be back next year and we had all better look out - the lad is ripping!
And my wife Gina showed our daughter Shea Bella how to do it by achieving a 2nd in women's High Performance and a 3rd in the International Class.
Peter Orton, one of the co-owners of Valley Sea Kayaks flew over for the event. It was great to have his help manning the booth and it was really useful for him to see the sort of punishment we give the surf kayaks. He has gone home even more committed to providing us with not only the highest performing but also the strongest surf kayaks on the planet. I know Jared will appreciate that!
I am off to Albuquerque, New Mexico tomorrow to deliver some kayaks and then I head down to San Diego for the SW Sea Kayak Symposium next weekend. Hope to see you there!
Sean Morley

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Santa Cruz Kayak Surf Festival

Looks like we should be getting some swell for the SCKSF this weekend:

River and Ocean will be there with a booth with all the range of Valley Surf Kayaks and Kokatat Watersports Wear.

Hope to see you there!

Shoreline Report

Here is a report from Rob Avery, River and Ocean's 'newest' team member who has been out testing the Shoreline by North Shore Sea Kayaks:
Deception Pass, WA
This morning I headed north to Deception Pass, a narrow slot between Whidbey Island and Fidalgo Island in north Puget Sound. Skagit Bay fills and empties twice a day through this narrow gap into the Straights of Juan de Fuca. Today the tidal flow was predicted to be a modest 5.1 knot ebb. With the weather forecast blowing 20 knots from the west down the straights all last night and this morning with wind waves of 4 to 5 feet it promised to be a good formula to test the new North Shore Shore Line kayak in an environment conducive to its design (the opposing wind and wind driven waves against the ebbing tide can make quite large standing wave in The Pass). I had previously paddled the Shore Line in the pool and sheltered waters of Eagle Harbour, but now for some fun!
Well, deceived again... Upon arriving at Bowman Bay, the launch site for Deception Pass, the weather station nearby was reporting only west 6 knots and the waves on the beach were just ankle-slappers... Rounding Lighthouse Point we were greeted by the usual harbor seals and bald eagle, always a welcome sight. The Pass had a few small standing waves, but just enough to test the surfing ability of the Shore Line. My usual day play-boat is a Valley Avocet and this is a very different boat. The Shore Line is about the same length but has harder chines and more buoyancy fore and aft. I found it very quick and nimble on waves with a nice dry ride. While I was getting used to the edge transition I found that the Shore Line rolls just fine in lumpy water for a combat situation! I was surprised at how twitchy it was on a wave and expected the initial stability to be firmer. But upon inspection of the hull I saw the shallow-V: I believe that when the boat gets up to planing speed on the wave face it lifts out of the water reducing its stability. Once on edge it turns on a sixpence and held an edge firmly. On flat water it tracked very well and had very well defined initial and secondary stability.
My paddling buddy had his Romany and we traded boats for a while. He loved how lively and quick the Shore Line was in comparison to the Romany which frankly made me think I was paddling a log! Can I have my boat back now?
On the paddle back the wind did pick up to around force 4 to 5. I found with beam or quartering sea at my bow there was little to no weather cocking. With a quartering sea at my stern I found the Shore Line did weather cock slightly. A little skeg did the trick and I also found how the boat responded to trim, by leaning back just a little I could straighten out the track. A well behaved craft in these conditions.
All in all, I would say the Shore Line is a paddler's boat. While a novice would feel safe and sound in it, a competent paddler will make it dance while having a big cheesy grin on their face!
I wonder if I can catch the 4:40pm ferry home to Bainbridge Island for a hot-tub and cold-beer! Cheers,
Rob Avery

For details on the Shore Line and the rest of the North Shore line up including the excellent Atalantic single and double just follow the link on the River and Ocean website.