Whats up all,
I'm super stoked to announce that I will be working with and representing Dagger Kayaks as a team paddler in 2009! I've always enjoyed hanging out and paddling with these guys, and it will be great to contribute everything I can to help this innovation-driven company retain its position as a leader in the paddlesports industry.
I figured I would start things out by sharing some thoughts on the Green Boat. I contributed a bit of insight to Pat, Andrew, and Snowy during the design process of this boat, and I can now say that it is my favourite kayak to paddle, bar none. People often say, "why are you always paddling that thing, there's no races coming up?" My answer is simply that it is the most fun, dynamic boat I've ever tried. Now that the playing field is leveled, and everyone that wants it can have this ultimate extreme race machine, here's a couple of tips on how to paddle the Green Boat well:
1) Always have an active blade in the water.
The Green Boat doesn't like to be floated. You need to be skipping, planing, boofing, and carving down the river. You'll be able to boof up and over more stuff and punch bigger holes than you ever have before.
Giving it everything in the 2008 Green Race.
Photo: Seth Richardson
2) Experiment with seat and backband position.
All the way forward is not always the best position. I like the backband in my Green Boat to be pretty far back, to facilitate easier turning and corrections when boils and weird currents start to grab my bow.
3) Make sure the boat is snug.
The bulkhead should be set up in a way that it holds your body against the backband tight enough so that it is difficult to slouch and sit back. Racing(or everyday paddling) will be much more effective and fun if you are sitting comfortably in an aggressive position.
4) Get in shape.
The Green Boat is the most maneuverable long boat that you can find, but it is still 11+ feet of kayak to boss around in whitewater. You'll enjoy huge rewards in paddling performance the more muscle you have to keep that thing going where you want it to.
5) Go into drops slow, come out of them fast.
The Green Boat is unbelievably fast coming out of rapids. I always try to focus on getting my line smooth into the rapid, and leaning back just a bit to plane out of them at maximum speed.
Russell Fork Race 2008... happy that my kayak is keeping me safely on the surface.
Photo: Rob Hurst
6) Have fun!
Enjoy cutting minutes off your local run descent times, storing ridiculous amounts of overnight gear, planing so fast out of slides and across eddy lines you're keeping the front 4 feet of your boat dry, and boofing drops so big that the entire boat comes clear of the veil.
Photo: Andrew Wright
Fast and clean!