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Design & Illustration

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News from May, 2013

Sommar i Skåne...

Salviken mellan Vikhög och Barsebäck

Efter att under någon vecka ha sneglat avundsjukt på sol och värme uppe i Norrland, kan vi nu avnjuta sommar här nere i södra Skåne. Idag är det 25 grader varmt, 18 i grundvattnet i Salviken, triften blommar på strandängarna och man kan förmodligen steka ägg på Black Pearls däck efter en stund på stranden...

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Surfski for strip building...

Spindrift – surfski i trästrip

My wood strip surfski has been brewing for a very long time. It started with the Sea Racer. As the name implies, it was designed as a very fast sea racer with long distance touring capacity. I found the inspiration in Alaska and the plans were finalized during spring 2006.

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Black Pearl – Per Börjesson

Black Pearl – Per Börjesson

"Hej,

Jag köpte en halv byggsats till en BP av Petrus i höstas och idag var det äntligen premiär. Jämfört med Frej bygget förra vintern gick det på halva tiden (om man bara kikar i kalendern). Jag har inte räknat byggtimmar så den verkliga skillnaden har jag ingen aning om. Iallafall så var andra bygget enkelt jämfört med första...enklare byggmetod i flera moment och viss erfarenhet hos byggaren.

Skickar med några bilder på resultatet.
Ha en fantastisk sommar."

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Trollflöjten på Malmöoperan

Trollflöjten, Malmö Opera

Spontant kan man fundera över Malmöoperans version av Trollflöjten, som är framförd ungefär som den förmodligen tolkades i slutet av 1700-talet. Det innebär att det fortfarande finns kvar lite av barockoperans utagerande spelsätt: ett överdådigt raffinerat spektakel, spirituellt, burleskt, exotiskt, samhällskritiskt – man tar ut svängarna rejält. För en nutida publik kan inslagen av rasism och chauvinism bli rätt påfrestande, vilket är djupt orättvist eftersom Mozart i sin tid var kontroversiell av precis det motsatta skälet: han tog tydlig ställning för jämlikhet, både mellan kön, klasser och när det gäller etnicitet.

Trollflöjten, Malmö Opera. Foto: Malin Arnesson

I pausen sa någon i sällskapet att det egentligen är beklämmande att denna fantastiska musik, bärs fram i vår tid av ett sagospektakel med hemliga frimurarsällskap med unken människosyn och en soppa av av alkemi, tarotkort och egyptisk magi, som till stor del hämtar sin inspiration i samma grumliga källor som Dan Brown återvänder till i bok efter bok, och där Lara Croft och Indiana Jones drabbar samman med mumievålnader och zombier.

Men uppsättningen var magnifik med en mäktig scenografi och en ofantligt bra rollista: Nattens drottnings arior och Sarastros djupa bas fick nackhåren att resa sig. Orkestern balanserade perfekt sånginsatserna: en som sig bör i en Wienklassisistisk opera relativt liten orkester med kammarmusikalisk renhet och precision.

Res till Malmö, inte för upphaussade pseudohändelser som melodifestivalspektaklet, utan för att se och höra Trollflöjten! Läs programhäftet innan föreställningen börjar – där finns hela den spännande historien om Mozarts geniala adaptering av musiken och handlingen – alkemins siffermagi och tarotkortens mysterier, omvandlade med matematiskt precision till toner, takter, ackord och melodislingor.

(Bilderna i programhäftet är tagna av Malin Arnesson)

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Inspiration...

Det finns en lite romantisk bild av inspiration som kommer som en blixt från klar himmel – eller snarare som ett ljus eller en glödlampa i en pratbubbla ovanför huvudet – från någon oåtkomlig guldgruva av strålande idéer och drabbar kreativa människor när de minst anar det. En stundens (eller gudomlig, för den som är lagd åt det hållet) ingivelse, a lightbulb moment, räddningen för formgivare med idétorka och annalkande deadline.

Men verkligheten är för det mesta enklare och mera prosaisk. Är det tomt i idébanken beror det oftast på att man inte har något att säga. Vilket i sin tur beror på att man inte gjort sin hemläxa: man har inte läst in sig på bakgrunden, har inte förutsättningarna klara för sig, vet inte hur andra har löst liknande problem tidigare eller vad som förväntas av lösningen, vet inte för vilka lösningen kommer att ha betydelse eller varför. Research heter det i offerten.

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New kajaks and surfskis...

Axis Kayaks – a new site

Time to reveal a little more about the kayak hulls that showed on a photo from my trip to China in March. This time the designs are for a new player on the market – Axis kayaks. The basic order was for a line of short and easily handled kayaks and surfskis, for beginners to feel confident in and for experienced paddlers playing and surfing in waves. The method to achieve this is to combine the best qualities from sea kayaks and surfskis.

Very simplified, sea kayaks are developed for comfortable touring with camping gear and to handle waves smoothly and undramatically. They have generally large volume and load capacity, and the hulls are configured towards trackability to make long passages effortless and to be maneuverable without rudder/skeg. For safety they are more or less easy to roll and re-entry from the water, or rely on additional safety gadgets.

Similarly simplified, surfskis are developed for speed and control in demanding conditions, with less stability, very little directional stability, and limited load capacity. The lack of trackability means a lively but difficult-to-handle hull, but with a large rudder with direct and precise response it offers superb maneuvering and total control in waves. Safety is based on the open cockpit, making it easy to re-enter from the water – no water to pump out and no spraydeck to reattach.

 

Development

A successful mix is of course not altogether straightforward. There are some opposing properties that cannot be handled without compromises. But we wanted the general comfort, load capacity and smooth movements from sea kayaks combined with the control in waves and exciting speed performance from surfskis. Which of course is nothing new, but we felt there were more to this combination than had been previously achieved.

Much care has gone into the construction, rethinking a lot of small details normally taken for granted. New integrated hatches with clever locking knobs are elegant, unobtrusive and light. A new seat-bulkhead assembly is light, comfortable and safe. We use epoxy instead of the cheaper polyester and vinylester – partly because epoxy is stronger, lasts longer and is more durable than the alternatives, and partly because the curing time is long enough to allow for vacuum infusion, resulting in a higher fiber-epoxy ratio – and thus an even lighter, stronger and more durable laminate.

Comfort and safety are perhaps the most important qualities in a kayak. You may accept and get used to some peculiarities in a kayak, but if you are not comfortable and feel safe, paddling will never be more than a short and not very exciting pastime. The same bucket seat is used in both the kayaks and the surfskis – a comfortable seat carefully designed to provide support where needed, but also to allow working the knees racing style – and at the same time to connect the paddler to the hull without feeling cramped, and minimize the volume of the cockpit – which is an important safety measure, should the cockpit for any reason become water-filled. The stability curve is balanced to provide a reasonable (but not too much) initial stability, and very good secondary stiffness. This means that the kayak will be more cooperative in rough seas, calmer and drier in challenging circumstances.

The new crafts will be avaliable with kayak deck or open surfski cockpit – maybe introducing convinced sea kayak paddlers to the exciting world of surfskis, and vice versa.

Along with the development of the hulls and seating configuration, a lot of thought and time have gone into the decoration scheme. Looking at the kayak market it may seems that almost conceivable scheme have been done somewhere or sometimes. It is not easy to come up with a layout that feels fresh and new, not just now but also in a few years, which stands out without being busy, which at the same time is thrilling and subtle and that is viewed as exciting but not ostentatious. This is what we finally decided upon: a few colors, simple uncomplicated color fields, graphically distinct combinations (so simple that they can be implemented in the gelcoat layer and thus protected from wear).

Axis X4

Axis S4

Axis X4

Starting with three basic models, between 450 and 500 cm in length - short enough for surf and play in rough water or whitewater, but long enough to keep up with longer kayaks at cruising speed, the first kayaks and skis will be shown at outdoor trade shows and fairs in the fall, and begin shipping during late fall. They will hit the stores during spring 2014 (apart from Kajakk & Fritid in Drammen, Norway, who have been involved from the start, we do not have a dealer list ready yet).

Axis Kayaks new website went live a couple of days ago, with a short presentation of the project. More info later...

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Lååång Njord i Danmark – Henrik Søgren

Njord – Henrik Søgren

"Hej Bjorn

Lige et billede af min Njord, bygget i arbachi og kulfiber, søsat 26/3 2013.

Længden er 5,99 m, jeg tror den næste kajak skal være en isfjord ;-)

Mvh. Liller"

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Thule/2 – Kent Lindblom

Thule2 – Kent Lindblom

"Hej. Björn. Här har du lite att lägga till i ditt nyhetsarkiv om du har lust. Hade min sons 70 mm pagaj med som tur var. Min egna på 90 mm blev för tungt att paddla med. Kanske för att jag var ensam."

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