Saturday, June 11, 2011

8 days and counting

I have been out in Plattling Germany at the site of the Worlds training for the last 3 weeks and there is now only 8 days left to the start of the event. and things are beginning to get quite exciting. Competitors from across the World have been arriving and the wave is already super busy with everyone trying to get as much training as possible on the feature before the start of the event. My training is going really well and I have been working on balancing my freestyle and squirt boat training.

The most exciting thing that has happened in the last few weeks is the arrival of theshiny new small carbon rock stars. Last week me and Emily Wall drove to the Chech Republic to pick up the first two small carbon rock stars out of the mould. We had eagerly been awaiting this moment for the last few months and it was a very exciting as we arrived at the Gala sport factory to see our super shiny black carbon boats.

Shiny New Rock Stars at the Gala Sport Factory (photo by Emily Wall)

Recently carbon kayaks have been taking over the top end of freestyle, lighter and stiffer than the plastic boats they have begun to dominate the top level of competition. These new composite boats have allowed paddlers to move around the feature a lot faster and throw moves higher and quicker than ever before.

I was very excited to receive my new boat and quickly set about testing it out on the water. During my warm up I could feel that the boat was super light especially on the flat water when doing cartwheels and loops, but I was surprised to find that initially I didn’t really notice a massive difference on the moving water. I’m not sure what I had been expecting but the transition was pretty easy and the boat felt very similar to the plastic rock star which I have spent the last few months paddling. But when I got off the water and looked at the video I suddenly realised that how much looser it had been on the wave, the speed it had given during rotations and how easily it had pulled through at the end of each move. It had allowed me to move around the feature with very little effort or resistance and perform super fast loops, cartwheels and mcnastys and finish everything so much clearer and with alot less effort than in the plastic. It looked great and everyone commented on how good the rides had looked in it.

Now I have had the boat out on the water for a few days I am really beginning to feel the benefis of the composite and I am super stoked to keep training in it and fully maximising benefits offered by its light weight, stiffness and speed.

Calire O Testing out the New Carbon Rock Star (photo by Emily Wall)

I will be keeping my plastic rock star and if the water drops and the feature gets shallow I may even use it at this event. I love the fact that the transition is so easy and that I have the choice of two boats in two materials both of the same design.

Here is a link to more photos of me and Emily in the new Carbon Jackson Rock Star S.