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Old 10-23-2013   #1
burnor's Avatar
Boise/Hokitika (New Zealand), Idaho
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 46
So while I feel like I have a good understanding of most aspects and logic behind design of creek/river running boats... there's one question I still have?

What is the current thinking and logic behind stern designs (specifically deck design). I have paddled many a design and have noted some patterns... for instance liquid logic tends to have flat stern decks or even scooped in the remix. Meanwhile dagger's nomad and done of the Jackson's make a peaked back deck. I've made my own subjective conclusions about them...

While I know this may seem a trivial... I'm really curious if those in the industry could clarify the theory, logic, or testing behind stern designs for specific purposes.


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Old 10-23-2013   #2
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Denver, Colorado
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Not trivial at all! Those older, longer, flatter sterns are designed to back ender you into the hole you just cleared. I want my creeker stern to be peaked to shed water with tons of volume. Basically, it should look like a pregnant ant's butt to spit me out of the hole like a watermelon seed!

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Old 10-23-2013   #3
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BZN, Montana
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The stomper and jefe shed water through drainage channels rather than off the sides like a peaked stern. Pyrahna does the same thing. The remix is an exception. I'd wager the stomper has comperable volume to The Nomad or Villian in the stern just shaped differently.
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Old 10-23-2013   #4
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This has more to do with the hull but interesting article on designing the stinger and why they chose to change it through the years Shaneslogic a kayak blog
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Old 10-23-2013   #5
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Boulder, Colorado
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It's a good question. I'd love to hear more designer info on their design choices. It seems like there's been a fairly obvious trend over the years to add a lot more volume to the stern to prevent the dreaded back ender and provide some way of shedding water to that same end whether it be channels, a peaked deck, or both.

Even though it's obviously also a bit of propaganda and I wish it were more technical, I liked this EJ video where he went through and highlighted the design considerations that went into the Karma and their respective purpose. Wrt to the stern, he notes adding lots of volume and increasing the width.

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Old 10-24-2013   #6
Preacher of the Profit Paddling Since: 1990
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Stern shape

Good question.

A few things come into play when looking at a stern: volume, length overall, distance from cockpit, shape, surface area, and top deck shape (concave to convex).

Kayaks basically have two top shapes: symmetrical or swedenform. The symmetrical shape has the cockpit located in the center of the boat, creating a shape that has similar length in the bow and the stern. Swedenform kayaks have their cockpit location more toward the stern, and to balance the volume a shorter wider shape is necessary. Creekers tend to be more swedenform and most river runners are symmetrical for added balance and tracking (except slalom and Wildwater race kayaks –swedenform need for speed)

Volume in the stern will increase or decrease how high the boat sits in regards to the waters surface. High volume boats stay and want to stay on the surface, while a slicy flatter stern can cut right through the water. A creek boat has the higher volume to stay safely on the surface. While a river runner can do fun things with that flatter added stern length (pivot turns, stern squirts, blast surfing, and stalls).

The more peak to the top deck = the quicker water will shed. A boat like the JK Karma rises quick to it’s top surface, other companies like LL uses deck drains to help the paddler predict which direction their boat will release, and my Murky Water Ninja has a top deck that grabs water and pushes me toward the bottom of the river. Shape matters.
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Old 10-24-2013   #7
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So how do these differences apply to the remix. That is a fast boat, does the scooped stern help with the speed?
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Old 10-24-2013   #8
Easley, South Carolina
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Remix design, specifically

Originally Posted by BrianK View Post
So how do these differences apply to the remix. That is a fast boat, does the scooped stern help with the speed?
I understand the negative sentiment associated with the Remix. However, the stern is designed to kick you out of holes and use the scoop as a platform for water to push. If you're getting stern squirted, scoot the seat up or lean forward more. In theory, I suppose it would act like the stinger and drop into the water when getting faster, but that's just an addition and not initial goal. It really does help when going fast and I've felt the stern get pushed out quite a bit.

However, I don't paddle a Remix anymore, and I've noticed my Nomad doesn't react the same way my Remix did (sometimes I wish it did).

Another thing you can notice is when running rapids in a more 'stern-heavy' volume distribution. It will become much more stable if you were to lean back. Almost a 'this could save you' mentality.

Remix is fast, and the scoop helps in choppy water. Remember, drive it like you stole it.
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Old 10-24-2013   #9
Durango, Colorado
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I do not think the scoop on the Remix makes any difference in speed because it is not usually in the water. The Remix is fast because it is relatively long and narrow compared to most creekers.

I have paddled both the Stomper and the Remix quite a bit lately and you can definitely feel the scoop when water loads up on the stern. It really pops the boat forward in moderate sized holes. It can also ender you all the way back into a really big hole. Keep in mind that the Remix was designed as an instructional/beginner boat 10 years ago. It just happens to work well in Class V for certain paddlers.

The trend is definitely toward most volume in the stern in creek boats. It can keep you on top of the water, prevent being backendered into a hole, and really does not have much downside.
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Old 10-24-2013   #10
burnor's Avatar
Boise/Hokitika (New Zealand), Idaho
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 46
Thanks for the post Don... helpful.

I started thinking about all this as I have been paddling a Stomper lately and while I think it's a great boat (there is no perfect boat), I do some real shallow creeking with it... I found that if I at all broach rocks the stomper gets stern endered to high heaven. I borrowed a Nomad when I was in the South East and was quite impressed at how predictable and less touchy the stern felt. My old habitat also seemed a little more stable in this sense. The remix has done the same thing for me, however the increased length makes it feel like the stern is easier to get on top of (getting really forward)?

To avoid a bunch of heckling...I am in no way endorsing one boat over another, but I figured there might be reasons I wasn't aware of that LL makes such flat stern decks comparatively


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