Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Old Man River Workin' on the Clean
Back on the blog again. Still trying to fill you all the way in on the trip to Canada where we were testing the Biscuit. Like I said before the water was not ideal for the big stuff on the Ottawa but the smaller playspots were on. So it was a great testing for that. But we were getting a little concerned that we wouldn't find a nice big wave for us to really check out its big wave potential. And then we got the call from Guillaume. High Tension Wave was coming in on the Gatineau River. Marlow's eyes were lighting up and non of the rest of us had ever paddled this wave but I had seen tons of photos and videos from the spot so we knew it would be good but we didn't realize how good it would be.
Yep its that good
But first lets get some good old fashioned Canadian culture under our belts. We were traveling in the middle of no where and this kayak drew us in. We didn't really know what it said but we did see the sign for Poutine. If you don't know what it is then you need to go to Canada just for a paddling trip and check it out because just like the paddling it is decadent, rich, basic, carnal, and heavenly all in one fell swoop. First you take french fries which we all know so well, then you throw on top some cheese curds (the white stuff in the photos), and then, why not, toss some gravey over the whole thing. In fact I am embarrassed that someone in the south didn't come up with this one first. Poutine, yes, is grits, biscuits, sausage, fries, moonpies, rc cola, and humidity all rolled into one. Its the bomb.
See if you understand the menu
Mmmmmm so much goodness in one place
Yonton in a state of lovin' it
It looks like heaven to me
Oh yeah back to the High Tension Wave on the Gatineau River. Lets just say 6 feet high, smooth and glassy, eddie service if you are on it, and it you aren't there is an eddie with a 60 second portage back to the wave just behind the next rock. Theres a pile to land all your tricks in if you can't land them clean. The good folks can stay on this wave to seemingly forever, the front surfers can stay on this wave to eternity and yep the Remix XP can surf it as well.
Marlow cleaning it up
Mar trying out another color
backwards, fakie, switch, whatever... clean
ollie off the rib
So obviously this was an amazing place to test the big wave ability of the Biscuit. We are maybe half way through the process of testing this boat out and things are looking really good. The first proto showed that the boat needed a trim in volume to balance the boats out. While I was in Colorado I was able to paddle in several awesome spots during the high water season but most notably was the Glenwood wave all the way from about 12 grand up to nearly 21 thousand. We also paddled it on big water on the Arkansas River. The Salida hole was working, and the Numbers were high but there were tons of different spots to play. These later protos were more balanced volume wise and I tried to increase the loosness. At the High Tension wave the looseness showed and all types of moves were working well. On the next round I am going to work on the edges a little. They are a little too dominant right now, especially near the ends of the boat. So the next transition will be perfecting the edges so that they are positive on a wave and easy to use otherwise as well as increasing the bounce and speed from the point where we are now. Hopefully I will have the next round of protos at the Gauley. In the mean time check out lots of photos from the trip up to the Gatineau River. There are also a bunch of other photos from the trip to Canada.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
As I was leaving for my trip up to Canada to test the new Biscuit protos I got a couple of the new production Remix XPs to bring along as well. I figured they would be fun to have, because of all the flatwater on the Ottawa and Marlow said that the fishing was good. You can't playboat all day every day, can you? Well I can't.
The XP is based on the Remix. It has almost the exact same lines and proportions as the Remix. All we changed really was the width, length, and I did peak the ends of the bow a bit to help it track just a little better. Woody and I have paddled these boats in a bunch of places on fairly hard whitewater and they have performed really well as a whitewater boat, then when you hit the flatwater you just drop the skeg and chill.
The first time we had them out was on the Ottawa river. Marlow was fired up to do some fishing, and the sun was setting after a full day of playboating so it was all relaxing. Except for the fact that we needed to get down through Phil's hole. The boat was paddling well though so Marlow got the idea to try to surf the Hero Wave above Phil's. Not a big deal but if you wash off too far one way you have a decent chance of ending up in a big hole. Fortunately there is a big pool below the rapid. But what happened was that the XP surfed the wave like a dream. Mar was able to cruise around on the wave and "carve" about. Then a really funny thing happened Marlow got this idea, "hey I am going to drop the skeg". Thats when the really funny part started. The boat tracked perfectly on the wave. Marlow picked up his paddle, and of course the first thing you do is "air guitar", then he pretended to fall asleep, and then lay his paddle down and just sit there while the boat just cruise surfed a nice wave above Phil's hole. Next, "lets test the hatch and spray skirt". Marlow takes off and drops through Phil's backwards and everthing holds on fine.
Of course after that its back to serious fishing. We cruised the flats from McCoys back down to CJ's house fishing all the way. Mar caught a couple of fish looking like the true outdoorsman that he is and actually caught a pretty nice fish but after getting it in the boat it got away while shooting pictures of all things. After our first test of the final production Remix XP 10 we are giving it a huge thumbs up and who would have thought it would surf waves like that. Self support on the Canyon here we come. Hope everyone's summer is going well. Shane