2014 is going to be all about stronger, lighter, tougher, drier and definitely more fun colors when it comes to new technology/designs in the kayak industry. Many of the improvements are coming out of new materials. Here are some of our favorites coming out of the 2013 Outdoor Retailer (OR) show:
#1 Geronimo, Hercules & Samuri: the new line up of AT Paddles
Hastings– the guy behind AT R&D, and his team experimented with 20 different blade layups and 15 varying shaft layups before they finalized the design. A big part of the innovation comes out of material: not content with the industry givens of plastic, fiberglass, carbon and Kevlar, they experimented with a new material called Innegra. What’s Innegra about: lighter than ‘glass, less expensive than carbon, more buoyant and more impact resistant. Add to that a duroweave super secret blade layup combination that makes the new blades more abrasion resistant, more impact resistant, and less likely to delaminate. The R&D team spent hours doing tests on their new designs–and the competitions’, subjecting them to abrasion tests, hydraulic presses and anything else they could come up with to test out their new designs. Are they fired up about the new line-up? That’s an understatement!
#2 The Mobius
What’s the Mobius about? Volume redistributed to optimize the “pop” a modified chine that is more forgiving, a release in the stern profile to improve initiation and a totally different rocker profile. You are going to see bigger loops, more pop, and pin-point accuracy to put the end of the boat right where it needs to be. Sizes: 49, 57 & 65. The Mobius 57 should be available in time for the 2013’s!
#3 Seam Sealing: Hats off to both Level 6 and NRS for improvements in their seam sealing.
#4 Conehead Technology
A new technology being embraced by NRS and introduced in their new Anarchy helmet. Conehead technology is about dispersing the force of an impact. Using a polycarbonate over mold that is a staple in the cycling industry, a new rachet retention system, and coneheading is what the Anarchy will be all about. Industry News: Already out on the world wide web, NRS’ acquisition of WRSI helmets.
#5 Colors: big, bright and bold combinations!
#6 Bomber Gear
#7 Thule: We continue to wonder why kayakers fall into the Yakima trap when Thule is so awesome!
Okay, so eventually it was time to go have some fun at the OR show!!
The level of enthusiasm among the manufacturers seems to be at an all-time high. There is such a commitment to coming up with new, innovative, improved products for us kayakers. We can’t thank the industry enough!