Delta Kayaks unveiled a brand new sporty boat at Outdoor Retailer last week called the Delta 15.

Not much is known about the new model as I can’t seem to find any information from Delta on either their website or Facebook page but from the video that Adventure Kayak magazine put together you can see that it’s a boat that might actually fit smaller paddlers. It’s also their first boat to come with a skeg option (Several models come with a skeg option) but looks like the stern if molded for a rudder option as well.

One thing that caught my eye is a newly designed hatch cover system that looks to be inspired Rubbermaid tops. I’m keen to learn more about how the system works but from what I see it’s already a huge improvement to their current system of rubber gaskets or neoprene covers.

I think the design of the boat looks promising. On the outset it looks considerably smaller in volume then other boats models. I will be honest with you in that I’ve never been a huge fan of their designs as I have always felt like I was swimming in them. Even their smallest touring boat before this release (the 15.5) was way too wide and deep for my liking. Then again, I see the boats all over the water so it’s clear that people love them.

If you are in the market for a thermoform boat this could be the one for you. I will say that nobody manufactures thermoform boats quite a well as Delta does.

I’m looking forward to seeing the actual boat measurements when they are published as well as learning more about the new hatch design.

Update: I discovered that the boat’s beam is 22 inches.

Published in Gear

I love the Outdoor Retailer trade show. It’s that time of year that the dam bursts and companies start unveiling all the new gear that will be on the store shelves next season.

This past weekend Necky Kayaks pulled back the curtain and showed the world their newest boat, the Elias. The Elias is based off the same lines of their highly successful female focused boat, the Eliza.

Necky describes the Elias as:

An agile, playful and responsive touring kayak. The Elias takes its design cues from Necky's popular women's specific Eliza kayak, with a slightly longer and larger hull designed to appeal to a broad variety of paddlers.

At fifteen and a half feet, the Elias is extremely efficient for a kayak its size. Its relatively modest waterline translates into less effort for the paddler at normal cruising speeds, making the Elias significantly more efficient for everyday touring than other kayaks in its class. Also available in a fibreglass and carbon layup, the Elias is ideal for day touring and weekend excursions.

The Elias is available in both rotomolded plastic and composite layup and is 15’6” long with a beam of 22.25”. Similar to the Eliza series, the plastic boat is only available with a rudder while you have the option of a skeg if you purchase the fibreglass or carbon layups.

Published in Gear

P&H Hammer Sea Kayak

P&H Kayaks unveiled a couple new toys at Outdoor Retailer this year with the biggest announcement being a new kayak model called the Hammer.

Here is the description for the Hammer from the P&H website:

The Hammer is a new generation of sea playboat that will take 'playing the sea' to a higher level.

Benefiting from the expertise at Pyranha Whitewater kayaks and the influence of the P&H Delphin, the Hammer is designed for rock gardening, surfing and 'extreme sea play'.

The Hammer’s planning hull, progressive rocker and unique bow profile make this ocean playboat extremely versatile. The Hammer is loose and manoeuvrable in surf and in tight rock gardens, yet tracks well on flatwater.

Construction is a tough, single skin roto-mould, the same as Pyranha whitewater kayaks, and offers full whitewater outfitting including a fully adjustable seat, adjustable hip pads, thigh grips and full plate footrest.

The boat is 13.8 feet long with a beam of 24.5’ and as you can see from the photo there is huge amount of bow rocker so it should perform very well in surf. I’m looking forward to giving it a try when they are available in the near future.


The new P&H skeg slider was announced at Outdoor Retailer 2012.

The other big announcement from P&H was a redesign of their skeg slider system. Many people have been complaining that the old slider made the skeg very difficult to actually use. I can agree with them. It takes far too much work to put the skeg on my Cetus LV back up I hardly ever use it.

I tried out the new system a couple of months ago and can testify that it’s a huge improvement to the old sliders. The skeg is actually useable.

Photo credits: P&H Kayaks

Published in Gear

Adventure Technology Logo

Looks like Adventure Technology Paddles is trying to steal some market share from Werner Paddles by introducing several new models aimed at the high-end market.

Come Spring 2013, you will be able to see their new high-angle touring paddle called the Oracle which looks promising. They are also introducing a carbon blend shaft for all of their blades to cut down on the weight.

You can get the full skinny on the new AT models below.

Published in Gear

Jackson Kayak Allstar

Jackson Kayak will formally unveil two new whitewater kayaks and a Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City, Utah. Jackson Kayak’s new Star series, now production ready, the groundbreaking Karma creek boats alongside the new SUPerCHARGER Stand Up Paddleboard were designed and manufactured at the company’s factory in Sparta, Tenn., and will be on full display throughout the expo.

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The two new kayaks are an addition to Jackson Kayak’s highly successful line of freestyle, river running, creek and all water lines that have kept Jackson Kayak at the lead in market share and units sold. The SUP is a new direction for Jackson.

For the latest line of kayaks, Jackson Kayak returned to the successful partnership in design of David Knight and Eric “EJ” Jackson to produce a full upgrade to their leading freestyle Star series as well as adding depth to the creek/river running line leaning on the success of the 2012 Zen hull design with added creek-savvy innovation. Leading designer Tony Lee teamed with whitewater industry veteran Ken “Hobie”Hoeve to bring Jackson Kayak to a new stage in river craft with his introduction of the SUPerCHARGER, a SUP designed for running rivers and whitewater play. 

Kayak: Star Series
Ready for World Championships Freestyle Kayak- Three sizes, like our past Star series, Star, All-Star, Super Star. Going for more user friendly than the Rock Stars but super high performance. Main differences from past 2010 All-Star, or 2012 Rock Star will be having a longer boat, again, with some of the benefits being slicier smoother feel, but still huge loops and aerial moves. Visual will be a very sexy boat, less stubby. The Stars will focus on lighter weight, fast, smooth, balanced and easy to paddle.
MSRP: $1199
STAR Length: 67” Width: 25-3/8” Volume: 51-1/8 gal
ALL STAR Length: 70-1/2” Width: 26-5/8” Volume: 59-3/8 gal
SUPER STAR Length: 73-5/8” Width: 27-3/4” Volume: 67-5/8 gal

"Star Quote - EJ"

Jackson Kayak’s Fourth Generation Creek Boat in the past 9 years takes a big leap forwards. The Karma takes a turn towards speed, stability, and carving. Following up from the success of the 2012 Zen hull design, the Karma takes the speed and performance of it’s sister craft and is built for the tight lines and drops of the creek. Fast, stable, and forgiving, with predictable turning, boofing, and a bow that rises over anything in its way. The Karma will be released in October, 2012 in two sizes.
MSRP: $$1199
KARMA M Length: 8’6” Width: 26” Volume: 83 gal
KARMA L Length: 8’11” Width: 27” Volume: 96 gal

"Karma Quote - EJ"


This board is by far the most stable, stiff, durable and versatile river running SUP ever made. Constructed out of the same material as our whitewater kayaks it gives riders the ability to surf standing waves and paddle the most difficult rapids with ease. Its channel bottom hull and removable fins allow it to track yet spin quickly. It’s the board that will outlast and outperform in the river environment.

MSRP – $799
Length – 9’ 8” Width – 36” Weight –45 lbs

"I have paddled every type of SUP in whitewater and the SUPercharger is BY FAR the most stable and river worthy board I have ever used. It has it all. Superior stability, incredibly durable and versatile and it punches thru holes and waves yet allows the paddler to turn quickly. It makes any section of river more fun and instills confidence in it's paddler. This is the one board that anyone can hop on and immediately feel the stability and charge the river." – Ken Hoeve, JK SUP Guru

About Jackson Kayak: Jackson Kayak was founded in 2003 by Eric Jackson. Currently located in Sparta, Tenn., near the Caney Fork River, Jackson Kayak designs, builds, and manufactures a multitude of models. Their products are all made in the USA. Their line of high quality kayaks includes whitewater, creeking, touring, environmental, and fishing. Converting an old Levi’s Jeans factory into their manufacturing headquarters, Jackson Kayak has assisted not only in furthering the kayak industry but also promoting the economy of Sparta.

Published in Press Releases

Riot Kayaks at Outdoor Retailer

The Summer Outdoor Retailer show is going on right now and it’s the biggest weekend of the year for new outdoor gear.

As you may know OR is an industry trade show. What happens is that all the big outdoor shops and industry reps from around the country descend on Salt Lake City and meet with the manufactures who are demonstrating next year’s biggest thing. It’s a chance to schmooze with other gear nerds but it’s really about demonstrating what’s new and upcoming in 2012.

Rapid Media TV is there right now covering the show so head over to their YouTube channel to see all the videos they have posted already.

One video that caught my eye was from Riot Kayaks. Back in 2009 their parent company, Voodoo Technologies went bankrupt and sold off all their stuff in an auction which we covered here. Since then Riot has restructured and Marc Pelland is back at the helm working to bring the company back but this time with a slightly different approach.

Starting in 2012 Riot will still be putting out a couple of whitewater boat models but they have announced that they will primarily going after the niche market of custom whitewater boats.

Here is how it will work. If you want one of their custom boats they will put you in touch with the designer who will work directly with you to personally design the carbon whitewater boat of your dreams. Riot is currently developing a matrix of 50-60 different design parameters based on your style of paddling and what you want the boat to do.

No word on price point yet but they should have more information on the program early 2012. Don’t expect it to be cheap by any stretch. My guess is that it’s going to be at least $250.

What do you think? Do you think that custom boat designs could be the wave of the future? Clearly there are people out there who can afford it as it’s already a rising trend in cycling and skiing.

Published in Industry Stuff

Bomber Gear LogoOutdoor Retailer Summer Market 2011 will mark the first time that Bomber Gear will be available to retailers. The premium, authentic paddlesports brand will unveil new sprayskirts and technical apparel at Outdoor Retailer, which takes place Aug. 4-7, 2011 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

This past December, Confluence Watersports proudly announced that Bomber Gear joined its family of leading paddlesports brands. Since that time, Bomber Gear founder and now Product Development Manager for Softgoods and Accessories, Rick Franken, and his adoptive Bomber Gear team have been working on enhancements to the brand through cutting-edge design and innovation. Bomber Gear is in true form to drop on retailers this summer.

“Bomber Gear is in a great place; we couldn’t be more excited about the re-launch,” said Shelly Moore, VP of Sales for Confluence Watersports. “With the quality and performance attributes fine-tuned, we are thrilled to be able to offer retailers such high performance whitewater skirts and technical paddlesports apparel. Retailers can now turn to Confluence for their full spectrum of paddlesports needs.”

Stop by the Confluence Watersports booth #32077 to see Bomber Gear’s 2011-2012 line.

About Bomber Gear:
Bomber Gear was founded in Durango, Colo. in 1992, by expert kayaker Rick Franken. Franken bought his first sewing machine because he and a small group of adventure-seeking friends needed better gear. Better gear that let them push the limits and perform at their best while staying warm, dry and comfortable. The goal was to design and manufacture task-specific paddling gear that worked for everyone. Today, Bomber Gear is a premium, authentic paddlesports brand that continues to specialize in the design of performance whitewater skirts and technical paddlesports apparel. Visit Bomber Gear online

Published in Press Releases

Rapid Media LogoBuilding on the success of last year’s alliance, a newly-inked agreement between Outdoor Retailer andRapid Media aims to produce the most engaging, informative and interactive Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Paddle Zone to date. 

The agreement follows a request for proposal (RFP) process that was conducted by Outdoor Retailer earlier this spring. Rapid Media responded with a comprehensive plan to build on the initial groundbreaking treatment accomplished in the 2010 Paddle Zone. The 2011 strategy includes an updated New Product Preview, as well as a packed schedule of athlete and multimedia presentations, making the Paddle Zone a welcoming place for paddlesports retailers, brands, media, athletes and advocates to meet and do business.

“Fourteen years ago, with my little upstart whitewater magazine Rapid, I wandered the aisles of Outdoor Retailer completely star struck,” remembers Rapid Media Publisher Scott MacGregor. “To again be working with OR and the industry to showcase and promote paddlesports in the new Paddle Zone at Summer Market 2011 is amazing.”

Rapid Media was one of four companies who vied for the opportunity to co-produce the Paddle Zone.

Published in Press Releases
Point 65 - Martini

Swedish Kayak Manufacturer, Point 65 Kayaks just sent me photos of a brand new kayak they will be unveiling at the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City next week.
Published in Gear

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. - July 9, 2009 - Outdoor Retailer (OR), today announced it will honor Andy Knapp, a renowned outdoor adventurer and former head buyer of hardgoods at Midwest Mountaineering, at a Paddle Out held during the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Open Air Demo at 3 p.m. on Monday July 20, 2009. After a six-year fight against kidney cancer, Andy Knapp (61) passed away at his Minneapolis home on June 22, 2009.

Outdoor Retailer attendees, exhibitors and media are invited to join together with specials guests, including Midwest Mountaineering Owner Rod Johnson, in remembering and honoring the life of Andy Knapp.

Published in Press Releases
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