Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Never Ending New Models!

Yesterday we received even more NEW MODELS from Jackson Kayaks in both Recreational and Whitewater kayaks. It's really promising to see a North American kayak company continue to produce multiple new models every year in an economy still cautious from the recession. Better yet is the caliber of new models that they have turned out this year, from the new 2011 Hero's, to the Rockstars, and now the Rogues, and soon the new Ibis model, as well as terrific new fishing kayaks.

Jackson doesn't just apply their out of the box thinking to their boat design, they also applied it to their shipping practices as seen in the picture below. In the roughly 1000 kayaks that we receive over the course of a typical year here at WCK we have never received a shipment of kayaks packaged quite like this before. This up-right approach to shipping their white water boats means less chance of damage in shipping, so your new boat will be 100%, no complaints there! Also we love the creative usage of packaging, reusing produce boxes to protect their boats is awesome, sorry, no fresh produce on this shipment. This efficient use of space keeps freight costs down as well as helps lower their carbon footprint allowing for other cargo to be sent in the same trucks. Lower freight rates means less cost which equals better deals on boats for the end users, another plus.

Possibly though the boat that had my stoke meter all but maxed out would be the new Rockstars. We received a couple for stock and a demo in each of the 3 sizes. Stay tuned for info on the upcoming WCK play boat demo on the Chilliwack River and try one out for yourself.

Check out this awesome video on the Rockstar.

We also received our demo Super Hero (in the funky new "rasta colors"). If it weren't for me wanting to paddle this boat I'm not sure we would have needed a demo model. Without people even trying the boat we sold through all the Heros and Super Hero's we had within the first 2 weeks. Not something we're used to seeing with whitewater kayaks. That says something about how confident people are in Jackson's design team.

Last but not least is Jackson's new Rogue. The Rogue will come in 2 sizes 9' and 10' . The Rogue is their 2nd generation cross over boat. It has all the features you would expect from any cross over boat and then all the typical Jackson ingenuity on top of that. Rear hatch, comfortable and performance oriented outfitting, and drop skeg. The hull is a perfect blend of flat water and class 3 for a truly do anything type of boat.

With all the new models from Jackson and Hobie our demo days are filling up fast so book now to avoid the mid summer wait.

Ryan Bayes

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Large Varuns are in!

The 'Large' Pyranha Varun has finally landed on the shores of North America, and we've got the first batch are here at WCK. After rave reviews on the 'Medium' which was released several months before, we actually had a couple Large Varuns pre sold. That doesn't happen here all too often with whitewater boats. Come on in, check 'em out.

We will have them at the VKC Festival on the Chilliwack River for demo, or by appointment through the store.

Check out a review of the medium Varun on FraserValleyWhiteWater.com

Ryan Bayes

New boats and after work runs.

Daylight Saving time is always a highly anticipated event here at WCK.
In the winter, the switch back to Standard time brings with it the end of the after work paddles, at least an after work paddle with light that is. Likewise every spring we turn the clocks forward an hour and turn on the after work paddles.

Timing was perfect this year for the spring ahead event as we had just received some more new models that everyone was itching to try out.

Some of the new boats from Venture Kayaks and Pyranha.

We received our first ever shipment from Venture Kayaks. The Easky 13 and Flex 11 are recreation kayaks, more suited towards actually kayaking than many of the rec boats on the market today. Both models are equipped with a retractable skeg, rear bulkheads and hatches (Easky 13 has a front bulkhead and hatch). Both boats are also rudder ready should you decide down the road you want to add a rudder.

The Flex 11 is a really stable platform for novice to intermediate paddlers that want a shorter boat with out sacrificing performance, like some recreational kayaks geared strictly towards 1st timers. Don't forget, your only a first timer once. The cockpit also is more suited towards adventurous paddling, its big enough for easy entry and exit but not so big that using a skirt becomes more of a hassle than a benefit.

The Flex 11 with one seat up and one seat down.

The Easky 13 like the Flex is solid enough in the water for first timers but will carry the paddler well into their intermediate paddling. With an extra 2 feet of storage and a front bulkhead the Easky is suited to handle some light weight weekend trips for the conservative packer. The Easky also comes with a handy dry Storage Pod that mounts to the front deck within reach of the paddler.

The first WCK Easky 13's.

Both are outfitted with the super cool flip-top backrest. I was impressed with how comfortable the seats were before I even realized you could flip them up to increase the back support. Possibly my favorite part of this is that when its folded down it doesn't stick up above the cockpit, so you can actually use a nice dry fitting neoprene deck, again more kayak less toy.

The drop skegs are also super solid, the tried and tested spring loaded system on the Feel Free boats drops down with authority, you can be sure when you drop the skeg it's actually dropping. With the skeg down the boats track really well considering how maneuverable they are with the skegs up. Pull the skeg up and lean these boats over and they really carve.

Both the Easky and Flex come standard with a quick use paddle holder and flat areas to mount one of their rod holders to make your kayak a multi purpose boat.

The demo days are filling up fast so book your spot now to try out one of the Venture Kayaks.

Ryan Bayes

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Vancouver Kayak Club Whitewater Festival

Vancouver Kayak Club Whitewater Festival - April 29th to May 1st 2011The Vancouver Kayak Club will be hosting its annual Whitewater Festival on the Chilliwack River from Friday, April 29th to Sunday, May 1st, 2011. For the fourth year running, this laid-back social and fun weekend event has established itself as a kick-off party for Western Canada’s whitewater enthusiasts. The beautiful Chilliwack Valley offers several excellent class II – IV river runs with boulder gardens, pool drops, and surfing waves for paddlers of all interest and skill levels, including the famous Tamihi Rapid.

Meet new and old paddling buddies, demo the latest in gear and boats from our sponsors, and enjoy the free shuttle service to/from the Chilliwack River. Always a spectator favourite, all paddlers are invited to compete in the downriver race and other popular on-river contests.

In addition to the amazing paddling, the festival has been known for its silent auction and raffle where sponsors have donated some awesome prizes, such as boats, spray decks, paddles, helmets, PFD’s, and other kayaking related products and services. The paddler’s social with live music by the band “Switch” has been a crowd favourite during past years. There are also activities for non-paddlers including nature walks in the forest and hikes in the mountains.

Any questions? please feel free to post them on the VKC forum and we'll be glad to help.

http://www.vankayak.org/forum/index.php?board=36.0 Festival registration includes two nights camping, one dinner, and two breakfasts; as well as a free T-Shirt if registered by April 17th.

Many Thanks
Barney Willis

For a recap of last years festival check out the FraserValleyWhiteWater.com site here.

Ryan Bayes

Friday, March 18, 2011

Reel Paddling Film Fest was an amazing success. We showed over 3 hours of terrific paddling films and had an audience of 110 or so, at the University of the Fraser Valley here in Abbotsford.
We raised over $450 for Greg Mortenson's - Central Asia Institute...you've heard of "Three Cups of Tea", if not give it a read.

Central Asia Institute's mission is to promote and support community-based education, especially for girls, in remote regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The philosophy is to empower the local people through their own initiative. As of 2010, CAI has successfully established 145 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan which provide (or have provided) education to over 64,000 students, with an emphasis on girls' education.

If you missed the Film Fest, we'll be back again in March 2011