So it’s the middle of winter. It’s cold. There’s snow on the ground. Boo.
But there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Permit season is upon us and Arizona is already starting to run. And what does that mean? Time to start strengthening those shoulders, hitting up the local pool roll sessions, packing the car for a desert road trip and most importantly, looking at NEW GEAR!
Here at 4Corners Riversports, we’re already gearing up with the latest offerings from the best manufacturers in the biz. With new 09 gear rolling in daily, it’s time to start spreading the word on whats new in the world of riversports.
First off, because you whitewater kayaking addicts are probably the most likely to be sitting at your computer, browsing for new gear in the middle of winter and dreaming of sweet lines and large boofs, here’s what’s in store for new 2009 whitewater kayaks:
First up is the new Biscuit playboat from the boys at Liquid Logic. A mix of new and old, the Biscuit borrows the spin-disk platform from the ever popular CR series, softening the edges and making it longer and narrower, making edge transitions smoother, faster and “super loose”.
It also incorporates the new sidewall “bumper” design, which stiffens up the side of the boat, breaks up the vertical chine, making rolls easy and providing a larger platform for more bounce.
The new Biscuit comes in three offerings: 45, 55 and 65 gallons. Each comes outfitted with the BadAss outfit system, providing plenty of room and cush for those extended throwdown sessions or those long days of raft support playboating on the Salt, Westwater and the like.
Also new in the Liquid Logic lineup is the new Remix XP series. Based off the popular Remix series, the XPs are the new offering of beginner friendly, expedition style kayaks. Coming in either a 9 or 10 foot model, the XP is perfect for those flatwater paddlers looking to venture into class II/III whitewater, yet still be able to paddle their favorite lake or stillwater river all in one boat. To achieve this, Liquid Logic lengthened both the boat and the waterline, while reducing the rocker and adding a stainless-steel spring loaded skeg. The result is a super stable and fast boat that tracks as straight as an arrow on flatwater. But Shane and Co. didn’t stop there; by adding a dry hatch and swapping out the standard whitewater bulkhead to footpegs for ease of access to the front of the boat, they’ve created the ultimate camping kayak, perfect for those self-support trips down the San Juan, Deso-Gray and the like.
New from the Jackson crew are three new boats this year. First off, the addition of the Little Hero, filling the gap between the SideKick and the standard Hero, perfect for all you smaller framed paddlers out there. With a planning hull taken from the Fun series paired with a riverrunning/creek boat design, the Hero is the perfect all around boat for beginners and experts alike.
Second is the Dynamic Duo, Jackson’s new tandem whitewater offering. Jackson basically took two Heros and fused them together, creating a 142 gallon, 12 foot two-person monster of a kayak. Perfect for instruction, taking your beginner friends down something they wouldn’t be comfortable on themselves, paddling your favorite river with your significant other or simply making a spectacle of yourself on your local urban stretch (think Animas River Days Parade).
Third is the new Allwater series. As of the time of posting, this boat is still in the prototype phase, but be sure to look for this one later this spring. Along the same lines as the XP, the new Allwater boats will be offered in both a 9 and 10 foot and will include such features as a rear dry hatch, drop down skeg and full Boat Armor outfitting, as is standard on all other Jackson whitewater boats. Stay tuned for more info on this one.
WaveSport is offering 2 new spins on two old designs as well as a new downriver playboat. First is the redesign on the extremely popular Diesel series. The Diesels, which have been around for a number of years now, have been the go-to riverrunning boat and are now offered in three new sizes: 60, 70 and 80 gallons. Along with new size offerings, the Diesels have been tweeked here and there to bring this design up to date. By redesigning the rocker profile and flaring the sidewalls, they’ve made the Diesels’ faster AND more manueverable. Add to that a peaked deck for better resurfacing and big water performance, and updated outfitting, you’ve got yourself a tried and true river runner ready to handle just about anything you throw at it.
Also from WS this year is the new carbon fiber Project 54Cx. Designed around the standard 54, WaveSport added rocker, took some volume out of the bow and stern and moved it into the cockpit and knee area, offering more carve and pop on the wave a
s well as more leg room for larger paddlers. Add to that a carbon seat, leg lifter, and redesigned thigh braces, along with the inherent stiffness of carbon fiber and you’ve got the highest performance and lightest playboat (a scant 20 lbs) on the market today. Production is limited to 50 total worldwide so hurry and get one before they’re gone. Warren Starrett, this means you!
Finally, from WaveSport, is the new Fuse downriver play series. The Fuse series arrived mid-season last year, just in time for us to run out of water in D-town, so in a sense, they’re new to us this year. The Fuses’ stem from the EZ and EZG series of boats, one of, if not THE best selling boats in history. With a fast yet stable hull and easy-to-roll design that performs well on both holes and waves, the Fuse is an extremely versatile offering for those that want a boat that can do it “all”. The Fuse comes in four sizes: 35, 48, 56 and 64 gallons.
All of these boats, with the exception of the Project Cx, will be available for demo this season at 4Corners Riversports. So stop by and check out all of our 2009 fleet as well as blow out deals on our 2008 boats and gear.
And be sure to check in to the 4Corners Kayak blog for more previews of new gear and boats. Up next: New 2009 whitewater paddles, pfds, drytops and the like, so stay tuned!