Articles in boats & gear
A footrest for Thunderbolt-X kayak with a tiller bar steering installed by Hugo da Silva. He made a full footrest of 3/16 foam and carbon-fiber and a foam mount for a hand pump.
Would you like to share tips, experience, pictures of outfitting your racing kayak? Please write some comments below or send me e-mail. I would be happy to post them here.
Here is a summary of my paddling, training, racing and lifestyle changing activities in 2011:
I paddled and trained on the South Platte River in winter and then on my local lakes in northern Colorado: Horsetooth Reservoir, Boyd Lake, Lonetree, Boedecker and Beaver Pond.
No ultra marathon …
Soldier Cove of the Horsetooth Reservoir (Pentax Optio W30 camera)
After a couple of weeks of test paddling on Beaver Pond and Horsetooth Reservoir including some windy winter condition JKK Supernova kayak was added to my paddling fleet.
First thing I had to do was to customize …
I am still testing Jeremy’s JKK Supernova, a racing sea kayak from New Zealand. I did a couple of 5-7 mile runs on the Horsetooth Reservoir in a winter scenery including pretty windy conditions. Paddling was much drier than it would in my Thunderbolt kayak. The Supernova feels much more comfortable with my bumfortable foam seat. However, for a better comfort, I would have to trim the seat hangers as I did in my Thunderbolt.
I shot a few pictures of the Supernova together with Thundebolt-X kayak designed by Doug Bushnell from West Side Boat Shop. Supernova appears to be a few inches shorter than Thunderbolt, but much wider, and has much higher volume. Thunderbolt cockpit is placed more forward than in Supernova. I am going to measure these kayaks by myself. Data listed by manufactures are not very accurate.
Next, I added Sisson Nucleus 100, a multisport kayak from New Zealand, to the picture for a reference. I like that Grahame Sisson is specifying the sizes of cockpit opening for his kayaks.
These three kayaks have very different cockpits:
- Sisson Nucleus: a very roomy cockpit with a small opening (shorter than Supernova), but quite wide, tiller bar steering
- Thunderbolt: a long open cockpit, tiller bar steering,
- JKK Supernova: a roomy cockpit, but a very narrow opening, sea kayak fit, pedal steering
I had a chance to do some test paddling with Jeremy Rodger’s JKK Supernova kayak. It happen just after first snow storm in Fort Collins, so I had a pretty scenic paddling on Beaver Pond in the Arapaho Bend Natural Area. I am trying to compare this kayak to my Thunderbolt-X from West Side Boat Shop from a perspective of a long distance self supported paddling and racing.
JKK Supernova is a multisport kayak from New Zealand – the same length as my WSBS Thunderbolt (21′), 1″ wider beam (19″), but a much bigger volume and a lot of cargo space with bulkheads and hatches. It is a racing sea kayak. Jeremy wrote a review of the Supernova for my blog a few years ago.
First impressions of the Supernova: fast, stable, quite responsive, much more maneuverable than Thunderbolt.
The Supernova cockpit is pretty small and tight. It is really narrow!. The cockpit opening is only about 14.75″ wide while I have 16″ in my Thunderbolt kayak, and a generous 17″ in Sisson Nucleus 100 which has the same beam as the Supernova. So, the owners of wide hips beware.
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