Rethinking the basics
for low weight, comfort and elegance...
Reinventing the wheel?
A lot of things are passed on routinely without much thought from kayak to kayak, company to company, generation to generation – things that work and are widely accepted as best practice. But once in a while someone looks at those things from a slightly different angle, starts asking questions and thinking laterally – and doors open...
That is what we did.
The results are the cross-breeding of sea kayak and surfskis, adding efficiency and joy to paddling, a new seating system solving problems that have been with us since the early days of kayaking, and a new hatch system adding usability and elegance.
Why does seats look the same in most kayaks?
Why are seats movable – when moving it compromises the longitudinal balance and upsets the fit of standard sprayskirts? Why is there a volume behind the seat, which cannot be emptied by turning the kayak upside down? Why are there bolts and nuts in the cockpit? Why not use a surfski-style bucket seat?
That is what we did – with some interesting benefits:
- the one-piece seat-backsupport-bulkhead structure weights far less the the three pieces plus hardware it replaces
- it has no sharp edges or bolts to wear on clothes or skin
- it minimizes the volume in the cockpit – an important safety measure should it be filled with water: better stability and faster and easier to empty.
Most paddlers will find the low back support of the bucket seat sufficient and appreciate the efficiency that comes with the uninhibited torso rotation. Other paddlers may appreciate the optional back pads that support the back higher up.
The ubiquitous hatch
To be frank, hatches are seldom things of beauty; some are cumbersome to use and a few have trouble keeping water out. The best solution, judged from the number used, is the rubber hatch on a plastic rim. They are normally tight, but a bit heavy and become stiff in cold weather – and they do not exactly embellish the kayak. So we started developing and testing other solutions.
This is what we did.
We molded the rim and hatch in the deck, and fitted custom-made lock knobs for a recessed, light, elegant, unobtrusive and easy-to-handle hatch system.