New Boats ???

Inland paddling
sundaykayaker
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New Boats ???

Post by sundaykayaker »

Is it me ???
or
are many of the new river running / creaking boats on sale are beginning to look the same.

kayak1
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Re: New Boats ???

Post by kayak1 »

I think they have been like that for years and the playboats....and they still cost nearly a grand!

SimonMW
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Re: New Boats ???

Post by SimonMW »

Yep, they still cost a grand. But it is mainly our own fault for being such cheapskates. The boats these days pretty much last forever unless you are running the hard stuff every day. So the second hand market is massive. Which means less new boats are sold, and there weren't many being bought to begin with!

Here's a sobering figure taken from one of Jacksons guys on another forum. Worldwide per year only around 20,000 new white water boats are sold per year. That figure isn't just for Jackson Kayaks, but for all manufacturers added together. The market for white water boats is miniscule. It is also way distorted in that most boats are designed for the higher grades of water, while performance designs for boats to be used by beginners and intermediates is quite small.

A boat mould can cost £20k. Think about that. If a boat manufacturer sells a boat model to a retailer for £500 a piece, then they have to sell 40,000 of the things to make the money back on the mould just to break even. Now consider that worldwide sales figure and the fact that boat makers offer different sizes of boat, which further dilutes their ability to make their money back. You can see why boat models aren't updated that often! One further consideration is that each mould can only be used for a set number of times, and then it has to be replaced. And there is usually more than one mould even for the same boat model and size. It's a lot of money to invest for such a tiny return. That's why companies like Jackson make fishing kayaks, SUPs, and other gear. The whitewater side of the business is their passion, but if they ran the company purely from a business model standpoint the whitewater section probably wouldn't exist!

I've been banging on about this for a long time, but I'll say it again. The marketing efforts of white water kayak manufacturers is aimed at completely the wrong place (the high level boater) and their attempts to say that all the photos of people running huge water are aspirational are incredibly misguided. Ask any club or recreational intermediate paddler what most white water kayak manufacturers marketing means to them, and the answer is almost always "totally irrelevant to me. I have no intention to run anything like that." Jackson is the only kayak maker I know of that actively markets whitewater to families and youngsters to promote a positive image of the sport.

The manufacturers should be making more consideration of the image of having fun on lower grades, and should be pushing out that image to schools and society in general to make it more mainstream. Only then will more money come in which can then fund better designs for experts as well, and only then will paddle sports be in the national mindset, which further translates to a better debate on river access.

Instead we have a situation where great companies like Wave Sport are now gone, Liquid Logic are difficult to get hold of due to their new business model, and Fluid have stopped production of white water boats. God knows what Riot are doing. So the pool of choice is getting smaller.

Corran Addison is back on the scene, but look at where his focus is now. Mostly on a great boat for kids, beginners and intermediates.

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Adrian Cooper
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Re: New Boats ???

Post by Adrian Cooper »

SimonMW wrote:A boat mould can cost £20k. Think about that. If a boat manufacturer sells a boat model to a retailer for £500 a piece, then they have to sell 40,000 of the things to make the money back on the mould just to break even.
I'm struggling with the maths here.

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Re: New Boats ???

Post by SimonMW »

I'm struggling with the maths here.
LOL! Yeah, I think it was a combination of a long morning and not much sleep! <Embarassed> I'll get me coat...

kayak1
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Re: New Boats ???

Post by kayak1 »

I was lucky enough to start paddling again after some time out when wavesport came on the scene with great new toys..together with Riot, Necky and all the other front runners in manufacturing..Great and exciting times I remember! I do appreciate what goes into the manufacturing as explained above, as before it was all about R and D costing the money...but now it seems like all the existing companies are trying to re invent the wheel..as there are only small tweak's on design which I'm sure that most paddlers will not be able tell or feel the difference..I have gone backwards in boat purchases, as I tend to like what riot and wavesport did to their designs during the evolution/ revolution years. So I do apologise to the manufacturers for not purchasing brand new boats nowadays..when Im still having fun in a five year boat design and older..and like what was said... there are loads out there to choose from which have all the performance you are ever going to need...and for me also, its about justifying spending a grand on a playboat or creeker that puts off any new purchases...

sundaykayaker
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Re: New Boats ???

Post by sundaykayaker »

I Agree with u 100% so why don't the manufactures listen.
In the last year. I bought 2 new boats. Mamba 8.1 lovly boat for the Alps. but just so heavy I could not carry it. Then bought a Tuna. again for the Alps thinking I will defo need a big volume boat to look after me. But got stuck above S bend as there was hardly any water. Just too much of a boat for what I wanted.
Just bought a Jackson Hero 2nd Hand 2009 - £250 and I am happy as a Larry. I am not going to do the Pron stuff on the river. I need a nice Cumfy boat that will allow me to go paddling once a week - somewhere even if it is the Dee again.
SO what do we do. Write to the Manufactures and complain? UK is relatively small market.

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davebrads
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Re: New Boats ???

Post by davebrads »

I don't think it is fair to blame the manufacturers, my impression is that it is the consumers that are driving the market, for two reasons.

The main focus for publicity these day is the online video. The pro boaters need publicity so they have to produce videos that people will watch in order to attract sponsorship. The evidence would suggest that the consumer wants to see people falling off big waterfalls, so that is what the pro boater does, if only to fund the lifestyle, not necessarily because that is really what they want to do. The pro boater approaches the manufacturer for a boat suitable for falling off waterfalls and they become the new models.

With Freestyle boating having become a distinct niche, the only mainstream alternative is the extreme races, and again the manufacturers have responded by making boats that perform best in this environment.

Neither of which are going to produce the best boat for bimbling down grade 3 or 4 water, which is as much as most white water paddlers aspire to.

At the other end of the scale there has been pressure from newbies to paddle "big" water (by which they mean grade 3). Boats built for falling off waterfalls are also quite good at protecting an inexperienced paddler from the environment they have launched themselves into, so that is what they buy.

Most paddlers would have much more fun and would learn a lot more if they chose something a bit more lively and learnt to play the river rather than measuring their ability by the grade of river they have paddled.

These boats are available, the Axiom is a great all-round boat as is the Jackson Fun series and the Pyranha Loki.

I've recently bought an I3 because I loved that boat, and is so much more fun than my Burn on the majority of rivers I paddle.
it's not a playboat, it's a river runner

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Jim
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Re: New Boats ???

Post by Jim »

davebrads wrote:
With Freestyle boating having become a distinct niche.
and a lot of the top competitors now using composite boats.....

In fact, I have no reason to want a polythene playboat any more, I don't run rivers in them - few do.
I wonder how long before the manufacturers realize that they don't need to spend thousands on aluminium moulds for PE play boats and switch to only making them in composite construction, for which the moulds don't cost a lot more than a boat....

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Re: New Boats ???

Post by SimonMW »

I don't think it is fair to blame the manufacturers, my impression is that it is the consumers that are driving the market, for two reasons.
I completely agree with this. Although I think that together they could all promote a more accessible and friendly image of the sport to encourage people who are put off by the 'big balls' image it currently has.
The main focus for publicity these day is the online video. The pro boaters need publicity so they have to produce videos that people will watch in order to attract sponsorship. The evidence would suggest that the consumer wants to see people falling off big waterfalls, so that is what the pro boater does, if only to fund the lifestyle, not necessarily because that is really what they want to do. The pro boater approaches the manufacturer for a boat suitable for falling off waterfalls and they become the new models.
I partially agree with this, but only to a point. The professionally produced videos by many people these days is incredible. Despite the silliness and drawn out nature of his last series, Steve Fisher and his brother produce some great stuff with great content, as does Rush Sturges. But most others are just producing eye candy and I'm not sure it actually helps the manufacturers at all. Most of them just slap a logo on the video and that is really the extent of product visibility. Most videos are just holiday videos.

A sponsored paddler or a pro paddler shows what they can do, and that's great. But where is their engagement in the wide community? Where are they helping new paddlers? How are they really promoting the sport, or are they really just promoting themselves?

But my main objection is that the focus is entirely on that extreme part of things. The people who have the money to buy new boats and shiny new gear are, for the most part, people who have careers and jobs who may be members of a club or a group of friends who go kayaking when they have the spare time outside of family and other commitments. Yes, there are exceptions to this, but the majority of people with spare cash for new stuff are in that position. The youngsters who crave sponsorship are quite often after it because they want cheap gear. Yes, I know not all, some really love the brand etc etc, but the young guns often don't have the money for new kit.

These people with money are people who see the upper Tryweryn as a real challenge. They are the ones who (and I place myself in this category) are often seen coming down the river next to their boat! But they are having fun doing it. So it's odd that most of the marketing efforts seem to go towards the section of the market with the least amount of money!

There's a ride of opinion that suggests that by showing lower grade rivers and people having fun people will be bored and put off. I disagree. The guys who do the extreme stuff will always be doing that. Those people do not need the virtues of white water promoted to them. But people who are looking for a new hobby to take up, far from being put off by images of lower grade rivers, will actually be more likely to give it a go!
Most paddlers would have much more fun and would learn a lot more if they chose something a bit more lively and learnt to play the river rather than measuring their ability by the grade of river they have paddled.
Exactly, and this is the sort of thing that could be promoted a lot more through marketing efforts rather than the 'go big or go home' philosophy.

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Re: New Boats ???

Post by gp.girl »

SimonMW wrote:
Most paddlers would have much more fun and would learn a lot more if they chose something a bit more lively and learnt to play the river rather than measuring their ability by the grade of river they have paddled.
Exactly, and this is the sort of thing that could be promoted a lot more through marketing efforts rather than the 'go big or go home' philosophy.
Most clubs tend to promote bigger boats to learn in too and I know some people just don't get on with smaller tippy boats especially more nervous or self consious paddlers. There's no one size fits all boat type and I'll find out if one friend still hates his axiom in a few weeks time!
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davebrads
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Re: New Boats ???

Post by davebrads »

SimonMW wrote:But my main objection is that the focus is entirely on that extreme part of things. The people who have the money to buy new boats and shiny new gear are, for the most part, people who have careers and jobs who may be members of a club or a group of friends who go kayaking when they have the spare time outside of family and other commitments. Yes, there are exceptions to this, but the majority of people with spare cash for new stuff are in that position. The youngsters who crave sponsorship are quite often after it because they want cheap gear. Yes, I know not all, some really love the brand etc etc, but the young guns often don't have the money for new kit.
You're not wrong, but I don't think you can single out kayaking as special in this regard. It's exactly the same with mountain biking, all the marketing these days is about 29" wheels and huge travel suspension, but the number of riders that actually need this is tiny. And the results are exactly the same, the bike protects the rider from having to learn how to ride properly. They start to believe they can ride and push themselves to the point that it goes wrong by which time they are travelling so fast down something so steep that the results can be very messy indeed. I'm sure the same will apply in many so-called "extreme" sports.
gp.girl wrote:Most clubs tend to promote bigger boats to learn in too and I know some people just don't get on with smaller tippy boats especially more nervous or self consious paddlers. There's no one size fits all boat type and I'll find out if one friend still hates his axiom in a few weeks time!
You are right about clubs, and it is a worrying trend. To be honest I think it has come from the professional providers, and it is their influence on the development of coaching that has skewed things this way. The professional coach rarely coaches the same paddler for longer than a few sessions or a weekend course. They are under pressure to provide a feeling of achievement in their students (or else they won't get recommendations and repeat business), and giving them a big boat will help this. I think clubs have a responsibility to buck this trend and try to teach people how to paddle. All the boats I have listed above only become tippy if they aren't handled properly, and surely this is what the new paddler should be learning, not masking it by buying a big boat?
it's not a playboat, it's a river runner

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Re: New Boats ???

Post by jam bo »

It's exactly the same with mountain biking, all the marketing these days is about 29" wheels
27.5". keep up...

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Re: New Boats ???

Post by gp.girl »

Having gone the little boat (GTS) route I actually got asked if this was a good idea. Will have to confess to saying it depends on how often you want to swim. They bought a Mamba. Did using a small boat help me progress? No idea but it certainly helped with the swimming habit. Interestingly professional coaches have never questioned using the GTS or any other boat. Didn't even get a comment for turning up with 3 different boats for the first 3 weeks of a course at LV :)

Was rather glad I'd got the small Burn on Friday as I wouldn't have tried the Dart Loop over the slab in the GTS. Same person didn't come out with us but they're not mad so it's understandable!
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Re: New Boats ???

Post by Chalky723 »

davebrads wrote:Boats built for falling off waterfalls are also quite good at protecting an inexperienced paddler from the environment they have launched themselves into, so that is what they buy.

Most paddlers would have much more fun and would learn a lot more if they chose something a bit more lively and learnt to play the river rather than measuring their ability by the grade of river they have paddled.

These boats are available, the Axiom is a great all-round boat as is the Jackson Fun series and the Pyranha Loki.

I've recently bought an I3 because I loved that boat, and is so much more fun than my Burn on the majority of rivers I paddle.
But then a lot of the time the people that are buying the new boats (middle aged, job etc) aren't on the rivers all the time. Round here (Cambridgeshire) they'll paddle mostly flat with a bit of artificial. A trip away is something that is a bit of a treat. No-one wants to spend the weekend bobbing down the river next to their boat!

Plus, your average middle aged paddler isn't going to have the confidence to barge into a wave full of cartwheeling teens & try to learn how to play it...

C
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davebrads
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Re: New Boats ???

Post by davebrads »

Chalky723 wrote:Plus, your average middle aged paddler isn't going to have the confidence to barge into a wave full of cartwheeling teens & try to learn how to play it...
That isn't really what I meant, there are lots of ways to play a river. Surfing a even a small green wave can put a smile on anyone's face. Learning how to cross eddy lines is fun, so is learning how to use a wave to change direction. There are lots of ways of making kayaking fun, and you can do all this on easy grade 2 water, but not in a creek boat. And once you start playing the river that is when you really start to learn how to paddle.
it's not a playboat, it's a river runner

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Jim
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Re: New Boats ???

Post by Jim »

It is a difficult debate for me, I love paddling more responsive boats and 'playing the river', but my own journey started long ago in the days of Dancers and Mirages and similar. My own first boat was a Corsica S - in it's day it was touted as a playboat because it was under 4m long, it actually had nearly enough bow volume to be considered a creeker these days! But I was always trying different boats - Reflex, Sabre, Scorpion, Avenger (Hurricane in some parts) and fell in with the rodeo crown and ended up part exchanging the Corsica S for a Spud, which I immediately took a blow torch to to make it playful (this was just before the SS came out, a squashed Spud was the state of the art playboat).
When squashed properly, a Spud ends up with pseudo rails, they don't grip like a surf boat or modern playboat and being at the deck rather than the bottom they only come into play when heeled well over (or surfing with the stern in the wave face), but they work.

So for years I paddled a playboat Spud whilst most people around me were paddling unmodifed Spuds, we did a lot of harder rivers including stuff which now gets labelled as creeking, but I was always searching for a playspot. In it's unmodified form the Spud was the first purpose made creek boat, long before anyone thought to call them creek boats. During that time real playboats started to be developed, SS & Acrobat for example - obviously we sneered at them considering they were for people who didn't have the skill to cartwheel a spud in a hole, but the development continued and eventually designs like the Glide and Inazone appeared.
The Glide didn't just make existing moves a bit easier, it made new moves possible and the writing was on the wall for the squashed Spud. For a lot of years I was a 2 boat paddler, bearing in mind that I was living in Scotland by then so very rarely went for just a play session - I would choose between my Glide or my squashed Spud depending on whether we were expecting to do a proper river, or some steep burn (I should probably have learned to drive so I could take both on every trip).

Essentially if it looked like we would end up on the Orchy or Spean or similar I would take the Glide to make the best use of the playspots, if it looked like we were going to be chasing waterfalls or steep burns I would take the Spud as it was much less likely to vertically pin and/or break my ankles (and still try to find playspots). When you follow the water rather than sticking to the rough plan you made the night before this can often mean you end up at the river with the wrong boat, and the truth is most of the harder rivers / burns / rapids that I have run, I have run in my Glide, even if at some point I have also walked around them because I didn't think the Glide was suitable (I'm particularly thinking of the falls of Leny, which I have ended up swimming from the Spud but later ended up doing in the Glide, with a roll but no swim).

These days I also have a burn, and because I'm a bit out of practise at running the steep stuff I use it in preference to the Spud or Glide - it has more speed than either, and is a lot safer than risking a pin or smashing my ankles, but to me it is numb and boring. It's a safety blanket because I'm getting old and unsure of my ability. It annoys the hell out of me when I get to playspot and all I can do is try to front surf the barge, or park it sideways in a hole and dig my way out. It annoys me for example when I get to a wave train (mm, Orchy with water) and I can't set off down it throwing wavewheels - just seems like a waste of a good wavetrain to me....

BUT
Am I comfortable suggesting that other people should try paddling boats that aren't just big safety blankets?
I used to be, look back 10 or 15 years on the forum and I'll be telling people just that - "work on your skills and get on the river in your playboat, it is way more fun".
But now, not really. Not in an out and play boat anyway, especially as the modern ones are way short.
I am more comfortable suggesting people try one of the lower volume river runners, in my head the GT series look ideal (I don't think I've actually paddled one) and feel the joy of paddling a responsive boat on easy water but at the same time I recognize that a lot of paddlers are more focussed now - they come into the sport aiming to paddle steep burns, for that a creek boat is appropriate, and if they are only going to buy 1 boat (I have about 15) and don't have access to other boats through a club, then obviously a creek boat is right for them, also they might not have any interest in spending time enjoying easy water and just want to learn the skills they need for hard water in the boat they are going to use. Seems a bit short sighted but some of these people are going to lose interest if they don't progress quickly so I think we have to accept that it is a route that people are going to take.

Now, to get back to whether or not more responsive and/or edgy boats are a good idea for un-focussed beginners on flat water, I would say generally yes they are, for all the reasons Dave mentions. For one thing it is easier to learn some of the techniques in a more responsive/edgy boat - bracing, sculling, rolling are all much easier in a boat which you can heel easily by as much or as little as you want, than in a boat that resists your heeling effort andrequires you to get much more off balance before you can even start.
Onto easy moving water - some people find they end up swimming next to an edgy boat quite a lot - why is that? It is because they haven't yet learned how and when to lift an edge and when to switch edges. A creek boat will let you get away without lifting an edge, or not switching edges at the right time - you may get a slight kick but it will rarely tip over, but the kick probably isn't very pronounced and often you may not feel anything at all to tell you that you are doing it wrong. Now, a more edgy boat will generally flip if you didn't left the edge or switch it at the right time crossing the flow - perhaps it is too harsh a teacher, but you will get very clear feedback from the boat when you get it wrong, but also when you get it right you can really feel that you got it right. All you need to do is to learn to read and feel the water so that you can set an edge at the right time - this is much easier to learn in a playful boat than a creek boat, even though you get wetter during the learning process. You should quite quickly find that you are able to set andswitch the edge subconsciously and don't fall in any more. Of course this depends on other factors - you need to be properly fitted in the boat and not rattling around, you need to remain loose at the hips and active with your lower body all the time (unless resting deep in an eddy). Often beginners feel uncomfortable if outfitted securely, or forget about their lower body in either case you lose feel and control so you will get caught out by edges more often, so an edgy boat can also help beginners learn to adjust their outfitting properly and to stay active below the waist.
Is it right for everyone? No - we all have different aptitudes and there will be some people for whom a responsive boat is never the right choice, but they are pretty rare to find. Other will take different amounts of time to click with the boat, but as long as it is something fairly middle of the road (not a Glide) most will get the hang of it, and will then be able to paddle a creek boat much better as a result.

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Re: New Boats ???

Post by tomcrow99 »

Great post Jim. I've had a G-Ride and a subsequently a Juice in the quiver for the last 10 years for those exact reason. A big boat on a 3-4 river ruins the fun for me.
I'm now in the market for a new Creekboat after destroying my Raptor, currently waiting to hear back from the insurance (fingers crossed). The cost of a new boat is eye watering given I get out half a dozen times over a winter and the odd week in the spring. Spending £900-1000 seems crazy. In the past I've always managed to pick up new or nearly new boats on special (£500 Brand new Jed in a black friday sale last year for example) so I'll hold out for a deal. Having said that though I demoed a 9R L the other night and was blown away - that's the sort of R&D worth paying for!

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Re: New Boats ???

Post by Mat @ Pyranha »

I demoed a 9R L the other night and was blown away - that's the sort of R&D worth paying for!
Well that's just made my day, thanks Tom!

I have to say I agree with the majority of comments here too, the biggest response I've seen to any of our recent advertising was the sort of thing where we're promoting something different to the usual 'go big or go home' ethos, and it's great! That's exactly why we make things like the Fusion SOT - we don't really care that some 'hardcore' paddlers might turn their noses up at a Sit-on-Top, it gets more people in to the sport, which means we see more people appreciating the outdoors and their local river, and at the end of the day we have more people buying our products and supporting the development of toys for those people who are at the super-niche top end of the market.

It's also great to see a lot of manufacturers moving away from the 'big and safe' style of creek boat too; I think somewhere along the way we all got delusional about what grade we're actually going to paddle, maybe those extreme pro-paddler videos are somewhat to blame for that, and we started paddling big volume, round boats that sucked all the fun out of our favourite rivers. It seems like now we're emerging from that space in time though, and boats like the 9R are spicing things up again, as well as people getting back into things like the Z.One and really making the most out of those Grade III and IV runs rather than just floating down them.

From a manufacturer point of view, the prices we put on our kayaks are often condemned as being too high, but really they aren't high enough! The level of technology, research and testing that goes in to designing a new kayak these days is insane; in the past it used to be just a 'make it and see what happens' approach, but these days we've come so far from the Rotobat that we have to spend a lot more time, money and effort to produce something that is actually worth casting a mould for. Maybe I need to do more work on showing you all exactly how much technology and how many people's time goes in to making a new kayak...

For now you'll just have to take my word for it!

Happy Paddling,
Mat
Current Boats: Ripper L, 9R II L

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Re: New Boats ???

Post by Yew »

To be fair, the most interesting thing about the 9r, is that rather than keeping the traditional riverrunner/creeker divide (burn/shiva, mamba/nomad, remix/jefe , diesel/recon) You've made a responsive, sporty creeker, that also has plenty of volume and rocker. Meaning its great when you're charging down some big stuff, but also fun carving into eddies on your local grade 3.

Safe to say, when its new boat time, it'll be high on my list

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Re: New Boats ???

Post by Jim »

tomcrow99 wrote:The cost of a new boat is eye watering given I get out half a dozen times over a winter and the odd week in the spring. Spending £900-1000 seems crazy.
Why do you think I bought Neil's old burn with 5 welds in the bottom? Getting the splits re-welded nearly doubled its value :)

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Re: New Boats ???

Post by DaveBland »

I just don't get why paddlers think new boats are expensive. No, I'm not made of money.
I can't think of any other sport where the main bit of kit you need is so cheap. It's actually hard to spend much more than a grand on a creek boat. You get to paddle exactly the same boats as the very top professionals.
Skis, snowboards, mountain bikes, climbing gear – you can pay up to the sky for new gear.

There are always second hand boats kicking around. If you wanna buy new, then a grand for a major toy doesn't seem that bad to me?
dave

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Re: New Boats ???

Post by Badknee »

DaveBland wrote:I just don't get why paddlers think new boats are expensive. No, I'm not made of money.
I can't think of any other sport where the main bit of kit you need is so cheap. It's actually hard to spend much more than a grand on a creek boat. You get to paddle exactly the same boats as the very top professionals.
Skis, snowboards, mountain bikes, climbing gear – you can pay up to the sky for new gear.

There are always second hand boats kicking around. If you wanna buy new, then a grand for a major toy doesn't seem that bad to me?
I agree with you in this Dave. I think that if you look at the time and pleasure you get from a kayak compared to other sports the represent really good value. I have friends who spend over £4000 on a mountain bike which does not see much mountain.

As for the type of boat, it is easy to have snobbery about this. I choose to use a creek boat because I am 6"2' and weigh 15 and a half stone and I can be comfortable in it all day on the river. Having said that I have been trying smaller boats to play with and, when funds are available, I will pick up a second hand one to add to my fleet. The important thing is that you have the right boat for you.
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Adrian Cooper
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Re: New Boats ???

Post by Adrian Cooper »

I know little about other sports but I was intrigued by Dave's comment so I checked the 'net:

Skis - £200
Snowboard - £150
Ski boots - £100
Climbing - I can find a rack for about £250 and a rope and sport set-up for £350
Mountain bike seem to come in a huge range start at about £350 until the sky's the limit

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DaveBland
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Re: New Boats ???

Post by DaveBland »

Ah, but... A 350 quid mountain bike wont actually get you mountain biking - on a proper mountain. Cheap kit will be crap. You can buy cheap paddles and boats too. What about those chinese ones on ebay.
dave

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Badknee
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Re: New Boats ???

Post by Badknee »

Once again I agree with Dave. I have a knee brace that coast over £400. You can pick cheap one up for £20 but they don't enable me to ski off piste whereas the first one does.
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davebrads
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Re: New Boats ???

Post by davebrads »

I am convinced that I have met people who are disappointed at how little money they can spend on kayaking. You know the type, been kayaking two weeks and has got a brand new creeker, foam core Werners, Sweet helmet and dry suit etc. etc. But however much they try it's difficult to spend over £2.5k on kayaking equipment without adding in extra boats. Cycling's a much better sport for these people, it's not difficult to spend £10k on a new road bike, £300 on a pair of shoes, £300 on a skinsuit (most of them shouldn't be seen in skinsuits), all the rest of the gear you need, add in your power meter and cycle computer and your at £15k. Any left over cash can be spent on food supplements and hydration drinks. And mountain biking's even worse.
it's not a playboat, it's a river runner

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Re: New Boats ???

Post by kayak1 »

I recently went into a local kayak shop and seen a LL Flying squirrel, made a B line for it straight away as I hadn't actually seen one in the flesh so to speak...Now all things considered and what has been said about manufacturers costs and comparatives with other sports etc.I was disappointed with the cheapness of how the flimsy thigh grips looked and general things about the boat, and there was the price tag..The question that hit me there was If I bought that boat, do I see value for money.. I know each to there own opinions and everybody has there take on what value for money means to them. Now if it was build like the Prijon's were, where every component seemed to have a job and do it well, from the outfitting to the way the ratchets to thigh grips went together and the strength of the plastic hull, then for me.. yes! I would then see value for money and be happy to part with that kind of money..

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Re: New Boats ???

Post by DaveBland »

davebrads wrote:I am convinced that I have met people who are disappointed at how little money they can spend on kayaking.

I have someone in mind for that! I know exactly what you mean. Although we should all be grateful for them as they are the ones keeping out paddling shops alive.

kayak1 wrote:I recently went into a local kayak shop and seen a LL Flying squirrel, made a B line for it straight away as I hadn't actually seen one in the flesh so to speak...Now all things considered and what has been said about manufacturers costs and comparatives with other sports etc.I was disappointed with the cheapness of how the flimsy thigh grips looked and general things about the boat, and there was the price tag..The question that hit me there was If I bought that boat, do I see value for money.. I know each to there own opinions and everybody has there take on what value for money means to them. Now if it was build like the Prijon's were, where every component seemed to have a job and do it well, from the outfitting to the way the ratchets to thigh grips went together and the strength of the plastic hull, then for me.. yes! I would then see value for money and be happy to part with that kind of money..
There's a lot of pressure for manufacturers to keep boat weights down. This often leads to outfitting in particular looking [and being] cheap and flimsy. Each to their own – I like to strip mine right down anyway.
Regarding LL in particular – I paddle a 4 year old Stomper that I got second hand for $550CAD. That's about 300 quid at current rates. In that time I've had to replace the bolt holding the seat in on one side. All other outfitting [that I left in the boat] is in fine fettle.

I do wish manufacturers would offer options of their boats more though. It was interesting to see the Spade have introduced a fit your own seat option. And on Steve Fisher's Merced vid, JK made him a lighter thinner boat. And of course ZET offer a foam footrest.
If manufactures had options on lightweight foam outfitting, plastic thickness etc, with different price ranges, they may sell more of the bottom range ones and could probably charge a premium for the higher spec boats.
dave

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Re: New Boats ???

Post by Chalky723 »

I must admit, I don't have a problem paying £900 for a boat, but I do have a problem paying £900 for a boat that I then have to sit down & glue extras on, screw the existing fittings into properly & that's not particularly sturdily built - I'm affluent, not stupid!! ;-)

That's why I love my Tuna, sit in it and paddle - there's nothing to fall out, come unstuck etc & it feels like it'll last forever.

C
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