I got away on a new trip to China just before Christmas – this time to check the new plugs for the sport models of Axis X3 and X4 (narrower and faster), to test paddle the first production surfski S4, and what I really looked forward to: to try the first production paddle GP1!
The weather was awful – temps just above freezing, continous raining the last day was slowly replaced by snow, and if that was not enough; a thick unpleasant smog. But paddle I did...
Everything was as expected. The plugs looked fine, the surfski was very fast, comfortable and easily maneuvered, and the paddle was even better than expected. That I liked it and found it perfect for paddling, maneuvering, bracing, rolling etc, was of course no surprice since it is molded after my own favorite paddle – but the workmanship, precision and finish was absolutely outstanding! The connecting pieces were precisely tooled that you hade to push the pieces together slowly to let the air escape! The satin finish was beautiful as well as functional – more friction and a better grip than on high gloss finish.
The third China-trip this year was as the previous two: delicious food and excellent te, luxuary hotels where the luxuary sometimes bordered on the ridiculous, simple uninsulated factory buildings without heating and with large cargo ports left wide open in spite of outside temps just above freezing ;-)
A new experience was the express train between Shanghai and Ningbo, ghosting along in over 300 km/h – much smoother and more silent than a Swedish X2000 in half that speed.
More information about kayaks, surfskis and the paddle on Axis Kayaks site.
Read full post
During the last week Nordic Kayaks presented the new line for 2014 – one surfski at the time to prolong the suspence ;-) It is six new models, even if a couple of them look familiar – but are so significantly updated that I have come to regard them as new models. The hull shapes are tweaked towards improved stability with the same or increased speed potential and generally better maneuvering/control in difficult conditions.
Nitro (640x43) is the top of the line, fine-tuned since last year for improved control/maneuvering when surfing steep waves and sligthly more stability. It may for all I know be the fastest ocean-going surfski out there...
Nitro+ (640x43,5) with a little more beam, has a wider seat and a more protected cockpit and is slightly more stable – in theory slower but for many paddlers it will be faster (clue: the stability).
Storm (610x45) is an intermediate ski for competitive paddlers, finding the narrow elite skis a little too exciting – and a real surprice for those who think that length = speed.
Squall (580x48) is an entry-level ski for the ambitious beginner. Fast, stable with superb control in waves and with a tight catch it is a touring dream while still quite competitive. Very easy to remount and with a wide, comfortable seat.
Rapido 2.0 (585x44) is a quick and short all-round surfski suitable for surfski races, multisport, fitness paddling and light and fast touring. The hull shape is fine-tuned compared to the 2013 version.
Breeze (600x50) is two surfskis for the price of one: unloaded it is a fast and highly maneuverable surfski for fitness and racing; with touring load it becomes a calm and stable ski for light and fast touring. The hull shape is fine-tuned compared to the 2013 version.
Rapido is a quick and short all-round surfski suitable for all type of paddling such as surfski races, multisport and fitness paddling. It comes as standard fitted with a 25 cm hatch on back deck allowing for light and fast touring.
All models are available in four different layups, from 'expensive and super-light' to 'budget and still quite light' (developing low-weight layups is high on the priority list).
More info on Nordic Kayaks site.
Read full post
A suberb ocean wave simulation in WebGL with a CSS 3D and Canvas UI by David Li. You can manipulate the wind-speed, the wave function and the size of the area and se the resulting wave pattern. Click on the image to run the script.
Read full post