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December 22, 2004

Just back from a trip to Belize, Clay finally gets
a chance at the Rocker! The timing was hard for him, since we pulled the
first boats out of the mold the day he left. The good news is that he
returned with a ready to paddle prototype in my front yard. I have tested
lots of boats with Clay and he is the world’s toughest critic when
it comes to a new kayak. Nothing gets by him… Knuckles, elbows,
knees, seat, feet, looks, grab handles, rocker, boofing, stability, maneuverability,
rolling, comfort, everything gets the third degree. It is so thorough,
and his aim is to be as constructively critical as possible, to the point
that he has to catch himself and say, “oh, I really like the ….”
Because he gets worried that he is being negative and bumming the designer
out. Well, I am very happy to say that as of right now, I have never seen
him so positive about a kayak in his first session in it. The constructive
criticism was at an all time low on his maiden voyage. Could it be that
his input into the kayak made its way into the design and that David and
I implemented the performance goals properly? There is still lots of testing
to be done, but the indicators are all green lights that we have a real
winner in the Rocker! Clay ran a low water Sieve City about 5 times yesterday
and about 6 runs on Great Falls, trying different approaches and landings
each time. Today we will move his seating position back slightly. I had
him one notch forward yesterday, while today he will be neutral, and also
one notch back for comparison.

We will be making another Rocker for Clay so that we
don’t have to share. Yesterday was like having a new toy on Christmas
and having your best friend over to play with it, and you never get a
turn. Fun, but not what you want to do everyday. Now, Clay is putting
together a sweet blue Rocker and it is nearly finished.

Great Falls just saw its last day yesterday as well
as Sieve City. It is raining so we will find something to do soon to get
it on the water!

🙂 EJ