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Novembe 27, 2004

My design partner, David Knight, and I are now in our
second decade of designing boats together. David and I first designed
the “Hotlanta” slalom kayak together in 1994 and made the
plug, mold, and boat in his basement. We designed the second kayak, the
Rocket, together in 1995, and also made the whole thing in his basement.
I still race the Rocket in slalom races today. David is a workaholic who
has spent over 20 years working at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in
Bethesda, Maryland. He is currently in the “structures” department,
designing armor against bullets, rockets, bombs, etc.. His departments
recently was told that their newest armor saved over 40 soldiers already
from attacks. Needless to say that he is busier today than in quiet times,
and I don’t make that any easier. Recently we have been working
on the Rocker and are about ready to start working on our River Running

David isn’t content to just buy an off the shelf
CAD program to design boats from, that would be too easy (and not yield
the same results). David wrote his own program from the ground up, called
“Paramax”. Paramax is a parameter driven program that can
export data to graph out the kayaks geometry. It isn’t a drawing
tool, but a tool that shows the data for each feature on the boat that
can be interpreted by pretty much David and I and nobody else. The data
isn’t in the form of- “this kayak will be fast, or loose,
or easy to get vertical” but instead is in the form of numbers and
graphs that are only useful if you know what they mean, and mostly require
comparison to an already designed boat. However, there are a few features
that can be measured directly, such as stability, ease of getting vertical,
balance end to end, etc.. Since the beginning of our partnership, we have
done things differently than anybody else, sometimes that is a good thing,
sometimes not. Where we are today in designing is much different than
where we were in the beginning. My understanding is way better than it
was during the X for example, and I made some classic mistakes with the
X, such as calling it a rodeo boat, when it was more of a river running
playboat. I didn’t know the difference because there was no such
category at the time. David is the master of details and can really make
the hull shine. He brought the world drop chines, user friendly planing
hulls, and many other features that were applicable to the boats in their

Today David does much more work on Rino 3.0. This program
is an off the shelf CAD program. Much of what we are doing is scaling
a boat properly, including switching out cockpit rims, adjusting for feet,
etc. on a design that has been completed in one size. This job is best
done in CAD, and preparing for CNC Machining is much easier in CAD. David
has done a great job in designing no matter what the medium. Recently,
I have added outfitting to his plate and it has been awesome. As a team
we are finally putting the whole boat together ourselves as a team, instead
of before, where we were handling one aspect and other people did the
outfitting and the central plan went out the door, such as weight reduction.

When you see David on the river, make sure you stop
him, and shake his hand and say thanks! He truly does what he does out
of the love of designing, not for the money. The day I quit Wavesport,
I called him and we started talking about designing a kayak together (the
All-Star) and neither of us were employed or planning on being so. It
is just something that we love to do together; designing cool boats. We
will always be a team. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts
sums up our team!

Thanks for a great 10 years David!

🙂 EJ