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Old 12-16-2009   #21
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 475

Good thougts. I agree that the Jefe and Nomad are excellent boats. As far as durability, I have found it to largely be a matter of the boater. Some people willingly or carelessly abuse their boats. Having had paddled 4 meter glass boats in class V early on, I aspired to try to be clean in my lines, and to treat equipment with care off the river too. I generally own my favorite boats five years or more and they are in great shape still when I sell them. The other durability factor is, of course, that some boats are definitely being subjected more often to sic decents by the best boaters these days. In which case, damaged goods should be expected. If Prijon makes a great design, and if someone really felt the need for an added pillar, they might have the ultimate durable creek boat. Otherwise, each generation of designs has generally improved the performance over the years and it is left to the boater to try not to abuse the boat. Everyone will likely voice support for the brand they own, are sponsored by, or work for. I'm just a guy that likes to boat and who feels that, even though the Nomad and Jefe are great creek boats, I prefer and feel that WS and JK have the best boats. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how much more boats can improve and which companies survive. I might consider a Villain now that my daughter wants my Punk Rocker. Which, for the health of the industry, we all need to encourage the kids and need to buy new gear.

Cheers to all,

No risk, no reward. It is not that we have to, it is that we get to. Preparation and education are essential to self-confidence and success. - KV
"If there is no risk there is no adventure."- Bill Briggs
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Old 12-16-2009   #22
Preacher of the Profit Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,062

The real problem is that plastic will never be as tough as the rocks we are crashing them against. Period. So, in time all kayaks will break. Period.

Now since we can't really fix that problem, let's move on. Boat design.

New boats equal new interest. Shops need customers to be excited about buying goods to stay in business and so do boat companies. So, if you want manufactures to build you boats in the future, someone is going to have to step up to the plate and buy a kayak today.

When is the last time you visited your local kayak shop? Stop by and say hey, they would love to see you. Happy holidays, and remember the dollar/ euro/ peso/ yen/ HKD make the world go round.

I love to dance, but who needs the music- It throws me off.
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Old 12-16-2009   #23
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 475
Originally Posted by KSC View Post

Besides being mildly entertaining to talk about, I'm glad people think about and discuss such things. If not, there would be no new innovation and I'd have to paddle one of those long cigar boats with no back band and hand carved foam for outfitting like the old guys used to do.
LOL -- I probably qualify as one of those old guys. Sure wish we had today's equipment back then. This may crack you up -- hard hats, wools sweaters and socks, no thigh hooks and no foot braces were just fading out when I started. Then came the Perception Quest (maybe the worst boat ever, but it was plastic, had a plastic pillar and foot pegs). Yahoo! My how great we have it now days. Let's go boatin'!
No risk, no reward. It is not that we have to, it is that we get to. Preparation and education are essential to self-confidence and success. - KV
"If there is no risk there is no adventure."- Bill Briggs
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Old 12-16-2009   #24
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 393
Nobody makes a creekboat that has a worthy design and decent plastic. Period.

Jackson plastic is complete garbage. Luckily their warranty system is one of the best but their warranty doesn't do much for me when I'm gorged out with a gaping hole in my boat. I'm not sure why people think the Rocker is a passable creeker but that's a separate discussion.

I'm proud of those who clean their lines and don't break boats but the reality is that many clean runs with clean rock-free lines involve some unavoidable mank. Day 1 Fantasy Falls? Mankpile at the standard flow. E. Kaweah? For every clean drop there is a nasty boulder jumble with mandatory rock contact. There is a day on the Middle Kings described as the "NSV Bullshit Day". Boats will hit rocks.

I once had a Dagger Crossfire that I swam out of 5 times, pitoned from 15 feet and never shouldered - only dragged it. It lasted 5 seasons before I sold it and I bet it's still intact and would probably last more laps on SSV than a brand new Rocker. I don't understand why nobody can make a decent kayak but it sure blows that every option on the market is such garbage.
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Old 12-16-2009   #25
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Boulder, Colorado
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
Good point Ken, the boats probably would have been the least of my concerns. Kayaking in wool sweaters and hard hats sounds terrible, but definitely hard core.

Don, I don't get it. Plastic doesn't have to be harder than rocks, it just has to not crack when it hits them. Actually it doesn't have to not crack, it just has to not crack so easily and quickly. As noted many times, that technology already exists and is even employed in whitewater kayaks (which makes me really wonder how it could never exist), if we could just get the best in plastic technology to meet the best in design performance life would be good.

I'm sure if I was a better boater my boats would be subjected to less abuse, but as Tyson points out, some of it is just part of the game unless you put a lot of restrictions on what you run (OBJ anyone?).
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Old 12-16-2009   #26
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
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There is a lot of room for improvement in hull materials. Its defeatist to think cheap linear plastic is the only way to go and we have to settle for current materials forever. I would gladly pay double the price for a creekboat that would last. Materials of construction is an interesting game. You don't have to make a boat tough enough to break rocks, you simply need to make it handle rock hits without permanently deforming the boat and losing water tight bouyancy. I've brainstormed different methods of construction that might accomplish this, eventually boat designers will make a breakthough.

I think creekboat designs are continuing to improve and we still aren't there yet. Most of the creekboats out today have more similarities than differences, but I think that there are sublte changes to rocker, hull shape, edges etc that are still being tweaked to get the perfect creeker. The nomad is great, but it could be a bit easier to turn, the jefe turns well but gets blown off line with the big bow, boats with a sharp edges eddy and carve and run big water well, but many prefer a more subtle softer edge. The primo creekboat is going to be a nuanced blend of the rocker, edges, length, volume, and shape to get the best performace overall.

I'm glad Ken cleans all his lines and doesn't break boats, but for the rest of us run of the mill paddlers, thats a pipe dream. I can miss 150 rocks on SSV, but the 151st is gonna be the one to rape my boat. I'm not good enough to make 100% of the lines 100% of the time and miss 100% of the rocks. Even if you are 98% on it, and you get out a lot, you are gonna crack current boats. If you only boated high water, breaking would be a lot less of an issue, but my season would be about 3 weeks.

In general I like what jackson is doing. The warranty is a step in the right direction, but its addressing the symptom (broken boats) vs. the cause (plastic too weak to handle creeking). I also like that they are playing around with different outfitting. I'm suprised it took them so long to get a creeker like the villian that has more design features than a 90 gallon cork (mega rocker). Could be a cool hull design. We shall see.
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Old 12-16-2009   #27
Fred Gnarquist
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carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 403
Originally Posted by Ken Vanatta View Post
Looks like they've got another hit. I've said it before, there need only be two whitewater boat companies, JK and WS, and JK seems to now be dominating. I still love my Diesel and Habitat, but the Hero and Punk Rocker became huge rivals to them. Now the Villian looks like it may take the prize. Kudos to JK.
HA! Thats funny.
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Old 12-16-2009   #28
Lost River, West Virginia
Paddling Since: 1970
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1
Does not look like a displacement hull to me...

or a Jefe or a Nomad

You can download the attachment for another peak of the proto!

Attached Images
File Type: bmp AAAVillian Bow Quarter View.bmp (2.11 MB, 86 views)
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Old 12-16-2009   #29
Durango, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Here's the above .bmp file
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Old 12-17-2009   #30
Durango, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 390
A couple more...

...there's a few more on the blog as well.

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4corners riversports, creek, jackson, villain, kayaking

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