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October 10, 2004

It was very important for me to make a kayak that was
the best river running playboat ever. And although that is a huge achievement
shared by David Knight and I, along with everybody who helped us produce
it, that is not what I am most proud of.

Making a boat that is the easiest boat to be rolled
upright is my most precious feature of the kayak. There are so many parameters
to try to idealize and control, many of which are mutually excusive, but
the boats rolling ability was maximized, and the results are starting
to become clear in the marketplace. A boat that surfs, cartwheels, and
boofs, but is a bear to roll will put an intermediate with a mediocre
roll out of commission. A boat that makes rolling easier than ever before,
will install confidence and allow the person paddling it to progress at
a much faster pace.

This winter the best thing anybody with an average
roll, and certainly anybody who doesn’t have an offside and hand
roll, should get into a Fun that is their size and get in the swimming
pool. This fall and winter is the time to get that offside and hand rolls
and to get a speed roll, and finally get over the hurdle that has been
in place for some time, the bombproof roll.

I have had many articles on bombproofing your roll.
I have maintained that anybody who keeps their head down and uses a proper
hip snap can roll any boat on market within their size range. However,
just because I can walk to the park, doesn’t mean that riding the
bike to the park isn’t easier. With the roll, a boat that has an
effortless initial hip snap, an quick and stable transfer from the side
to right side up, all while allowing you to keep your body weight low
is the way to go. We achieved this with the Fun like no boat before. Even
the backband position being lower than most boats allows the hip snap
to be unhindered.

Emily and Dane have gone from having a good roll and
brace to being in the top 1% of all kayakers in the world on their rolls
since they got into the Fun 1 and 2 Fun. Their confidence is so tied into
their mastery of the roll this past winter that I could write a book on
the transformation. If you were to ask Emily what she does best in a kayak,
she would probably say, roll. I was at the Brave Wave all last week with
Dane and his roll and brace is key to that place being safe for him. I
suggest, as tactfully as I can, that certain people should not paddle
their, until their roll and brace improve. I don’t care if they
can do a blunt, if they miss a brace, roll, and then have to roll again,
and at this point are upside down in front of the undercut wall.

If you are not 100% confident in your roll, get properly
fitted into a Fun of your size and take it into flatwater, whitewater,
whatever you want, roll it, then decide just what kind of a difference
having that good of a roll in your back pocket will do for you.

🙂 EJ



Click to view larger image

Click to view larger image

Dane laying on the back deck of a Fun 1