The 2009 Wave Sport Diesel

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! Well, now that I have finished school I
guess I shouldn’t say ain’t anymore, but you get the idea. This has been a mantra that many in the paddle-sports industry seem to ignore. Just when something that actually functions is available and popular, it seems to get discontinued or changed for some reason. This however is not the case with the re-designed 2009 Wavesport Diesel.

I was a huge fan of the original Diesel. It really was as ads said “the SUV of kayaks!” It surfed great, ran large volume rivers as well any other boats, and ran creeks pretty well too. It has been a great boat to put guests in both for instruction and international trips for its ease of outfitting, all day comfort, and most of all the versatility. When Wavesport decided to re-design the boat I was apprehensive to say the least. “What could be better all around than the current design?” I thought. Sure there were some small nuances that seemed insignificant given the all around nature of the boat, but I did not think that anything warranted a total overhaul of such a winner. I would soon find out indeed “what the hell they were thinking?”

I am writing this report hair still wet and barefoot here in the office at
Endless River Adventures fresh from what we here refer to as the liquid lunch break. The new Diesel is great! I took it to Nantahala falls and paddled above, through, below, and back up to this great test course. In the speedy current above the falls the Diesel cruised effortlessly from eddy to eddy back and forth across the river. The ease of ferrying for a boat that feels a little shorter than what I am used to in a boat like this is amazing. I would describe it as being very smooth and predictable. Carving into and out of eddies was crisp and I did not have to focus on the stern edge as much as I had in the original Diesel, allowing for more focus on what my next move was going to be. The speed through the chop was refreshing, and the boats refusal to pearl under through the stronger eddy lines and waves again allows the boater to focus on bigger issues. One of the more noticeable additions is the peaked deck on the bow and stern. I will admit that I had issues with the original Diesel when it came to resurfacing. The 09’ Diesel resurfaces predictably and in a downstream direction versus back into whatever just caused you to end up under water in the first place.

If I had to write a short pitch for the 09 Diesel I would use words such as predictable, stable, fast, and easily controlled and rolled. Yes that is
correct, easier to roll. In the name of credibility I decided that the boat
needed to be tested for ease of rolling. Of course the fact that it has been 65 degrees today and sunny this afternoon helped! Ease is the optimum word. There feels like there is less width and the widest part of the boat is not in the center, but forward a little adds to very crisp and smooth rolls. This all equates to the paddler not having to work as hard to get around the boat to set up. As a kayak instructor that teaches rolling on a regular basis this is a welcome addition. Not to say that the original Diesels were hard to roll, but I think what it really comes down to is some minor “tweaks”, and that the sizes fit people better and being in a boat that you fit better in makes a difference.

After all this paddling through the falls I ran…or should I say paddled into a colleague doing attainments in the Dagger Green Boat. I figured “well, if she is doing I can do it!” And with a little work I followed behind (albeit a little slower than the 12ft.something behemoth). The Diesel’s speed attained nicely from the first commercial take out right back up to the base of the falls, and I was only partially out of breath. It is a fast boat. The control over the boat is wonderful,making for easy angle adjustments and smooth movement back up stream. I even came close to making a move that is tough even in the longer boats, but by then I was pretty worn from cranking all the way down and back up
the falls… I mean I had to get back to work!

“If it isn’t broke don’t fix it” Well, Wavesport has just created the “better mouse trap” of kayaks, and I think the folks looking for the do it all boat have just found it. The only regret I have is not having a bigger wave here to surf it on to see if the hull is as loose as it looks, but I’m sure I will have the chance soon. The re-designed 2009 Diesel is a hit!

Don’t believe me? Come in and  check one out for yourself. The Nantahala is back on every day, and we have a demo in every size; 60, 70, and 80 gallons, and would be more than happy to set you up in one.

See you out there!
Steven Augustine