|The Test Crew, Day 1 on the Green River in the Stomper 80, Freight Train, Elvis, and Lil A'|
|Lil' A cleaning Frankenstein|
That nice flat hull can also have a side affect when it comes to creeking and running rivers in general. Those can hang up on rocks, hard eddie lines, and currrents and we felt that a little as we dropped off the boof in Frankenstein. The left edge sort of hung on the drop and made it a little harder to pull the boat level underneath as I landed. It wasn't much but I could feel a little instability. Nobody flipped over or anything but it was something to note and think about as we paddled the rest of the river. It wouldn't be long before the edges would show a nasty side that I would have to fix in the next proto and would make us all a little nervous.
Well it got a lot more exciting when we got to Go Left and Die. I pulled out on the rocks in the middle of the river to take some pictures and those guys lined up to run it. At this level it is a super beefy rapid. The hole is very stout and its too low to run the straight line that gives you tons of speed over the hole so you have to run the normal line and drop into the meat of the rapid. Grace had a sweet line but Adriene was coming in a little lower and a touch slower so she took a little more of the rock in the center of the drop and suddenly her downstream edge caught and she tumbled straight over the center rock. In Adriene style she landed on her feet with a big smile on her face. At this point I knew I was going to have to work on the edges a little to make them more forgiving. Luckily this was prototype number 1 with many more revisions to go. Adriene wasn't done yet either.
|Grace resurfacing like a champ at the base of Gorilla|
The holes below Gorilla were stompy big and tough to get up and over because of the sloping drops that lead into them. The angle of the slides as you approach the holes in Scream Machine and Nies Pieces make your bow drop down into the foam piles which can lead to excessive poundings and abstract freestyle kayaking of the unintentional kind. What we were hoping for was what we call a "land and leave" feel in the flatter bottom boats and that is what we got. In the photos below you can see that John is headed right into the meat of it bow down but the next shot you can see the bow has skipped up and is headed out of the hole and on downstream. The "land and leave" characteristic is one that I wanted to make sure and keep in the Stomper through out the development. On this day I found 3 amazing qualities that let me know I was headed in the right direction. The first thing everyone notices is how quickly it turns. The second one is the speed and "land and leave" feel that you get while paddling the Stomper. And the third thing that Adriene specifically figured out was how easily it rolled.
|Grace entering a BIG hole in Scream Machine|
|And skipping through!|
|Groove Tube in the Sunlight.|
|Jeff "Freight Train" Paine with a sweet left line at Sunshine|
|Lil' A speeding through Hammer Factor|
They will start shipping to stores this week. Stomper 90 starts shipping mid August.
Talk to your dealer and make sure they have demos on order or just get your order in.
Here are a bunch of photos from that first day on the Green.