New Whitewater Packraft - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-12-2013   #1
 
Jackson, Wyoming
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New Whitewater Packraft



Alpacka has been developing a whitewater boat for several years now and will likely be released soon. Three of us just returned from an amazing trip to New Zealand where we were testing the boat. Some final adjustments being made with hopes of releasing it for the spring runoff. Video and blog write up of our trip.

Video:
Full Story and Blog: Immaculate Chaos









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Old 03-12-2013   #2
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Baytopia, Colorado
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Are these new boats self-bailing? thanks for the writeup.
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Old 03-12-2013   #3
 
Jackson, Wyoming
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The boats are not self-bailing but have full neoprene skirt like a kayak that works this time.
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Old 03-12-2013   #4
 
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Thanks for sharing. Some gorgeous images! Look like great boats.

As a lifelong inflatable boater though, I have to say it is a shame to see one of the only companies innovating inflatable boat design sacrificing some of the core advantages of inflatables to become yet another derivative of the hardshell kayak. This type of spray skirt sealed inflatable has been tried several times before.

I don't mean to dampen the stoke. Some awesome boating going on and it's inspirational for sure.

I just wish someone would do some actual inflatable boat innovation.
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Old 03-12-2013   #5
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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I was on the trip with Wyatt. The goal of this boat is to allow inflatables to be used in even more places. In development of the boat they came up with some great inflatable innovation in my opinion. There is a zipper allowing all the gear to be stored inside the boat. This makes it so that it is much easier to carry more gear but also the boat handles significantly better than when you had to strap everything to the top. The spray skirt worked extremely well and after hours of running whitewater there was almost no water in the bottom. They are still in the process of putting some final touches on the boat, but I think in a lot of ways this could change the way inflatables are thought of.
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Old 03-12-2013   #6
 
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Glad they worked well. Alpacka makes a quality boat for sure.

But maybe i missed where the boats were doing things inflatables have never done before.... inflatables have dropped 50 foot waterfalls, run loads of gnar .... and decked inflatables have been developed before. folks have developed a combat roll in those boats. inflatables have been hiked in, flown in, used to traverse the back country, used to explore new steep creeks ... etc etc

good boats, great photos, solid paddlers ... not trying to trash on y'all. Love the stoke for sure! I always love to see folks in inflatables represent.

but innovation in the inflatable sector ... not really happening. Unless you think glued pvc is the bees knees. but that ain't new either ...

Couple of those canyons look spectacular. reminiscent of some of the bc goods at their finest. great stuff!
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Old 03-12-2013   #7
 
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The Bitterroot, Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slickhorn View Post
Thanks for sharing. Some gorgeous images! Look like great boats.

As a lifelong inflatable boater though, I have to say it is a shame to see one of the only companies innovating inflatable boat design sacrificing some of the core advantages of inflatables to become yet another derivative of the hardshell kayak. This type of spray skirt sealed inflatable has been tried several times before.

I don't mean to dampen the stoke. Some awesome boating going on and it's inspirational for sure.

I just wish someone would do some actual inflatable boat innovation.
So lets hear some of your visionary ideas then slick.
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Old 03-12-2013   #8
td
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slickhorn View Post
Glad they worked well. Alpacka makes a quality boat for sure.

But maybe i missed where the boats were doing things inflatables have never done before.... inflatables have dropped 50 foot waterfalls, run loads of gnar .... and decked inflatables have been developed before. folks have developed a combat roll in those boats. inflatables have been hiked in, flown in, used to traverse the back country, used to explore new steep creeks ... etc etc

good boats, great photos, solid paddlers ... not trying to trash on y'all. Love the stoke for sure! I always love to see folks in inflatables represent.

but innovation in the inflatable sector ... not really happening. Unless you think glued pvc is the bees knees. but that ain't new either ...

Couple of those canyons look spectacular. reminiscent of some of the bc goods at their finest. great stuff!
I think they're the first boat capable of doing all that stuff while weighing about the same as a backpacking tent. If you can cut a piece of equipment's weight by 2/3 and keep the performance capabilities, that's innovation.
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Old 03-12-2013   #9
 
Jackson, Wyoming
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On our trip we had someone show us a great book about two guys that ran some of the same stuff back in the 60s or 70s with inner tubes strapped together with tree branches. Made us look like sissies. The idea has been around for a long time and people have run some big stuff in all kinds of crafts. The goal behind these boats is to let you run remote whitewater well, and do it safely. They come in just over 13lbs with frame and spray skirt making them very reasonable for long backpacking trips to some amazing places. Weight is something that is constantly battled with when designing this kind of product. Alpacka's new boat lets you comfortably run class III-IV WW with all your camping gear, and this is something I haven't seen in a boat the weight this much. The boat will change how boaters look at maps. Being able to easily hike in with a boat you are confident in opens up some cool possibilities. I would personally love to hear ideas for design changes and innovations that could be tested. Plain and simple the boats fun, light, and let you run harder water than any other boat like them. In my opinion these boats will never be finalized and continually improving, but it is exciting that they are getting to a point where they are ready to be released!
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Old 03-12-2013   #10
 
Denver, Colorado
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The radically reduced weight is the major innovation. One of the few big advantages of duckies over hardshell kayaks is portability on airplanes.I have taken mine to Mexico /Central American 6-8 times or so, no hassles or extra fees.It is a lot more vehicle friendly for taxis and chicken buses or even most 'deluxe' buses too. But for carrying in to remote put ins they are about equal to kayaks, apx. 35 lbs.(plus pump) they don t cut into your shoulder like a kayak but are bigger and more awkward if inflated and can pop on snags while bushwhacking. You need a BIG dry bag if you pack it. In rolled up.You could rig some Crawpack type carrier for rolled ducky.Packraft is much more compact and one third the weight.Wish I 'd had one on some trips where the work of lugging a ducky discouraged some explorations.

I know people are doing some respectable runs /rapids in packrafts.I don 't get why duckies get dissed for making it too easy but these boats don 't .I think you can probably carve into eddies,boof, surf, drop boat /butt breaking manky drops better in a ducky, especially a Force or a Stilletto.Any ducky has the shock absorber under the ass advantage even a hard shell has the seat and hard plastic hull in between your butt and rocks.Maybe the packrafts appeal to the more adventurous types and generate better adventures than the average duckier.
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