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By Stephen Wright

It’s always fun to be spectacularly wrong and have the
opportunity to be publicly ridiculed for it. My situation started
early last fall when EJ informed me that he was considering re-
designing the All Star. I was in Reno at the time, so I wasn’t in TN
to talk to him in person about it. This gave me a few days of
considering before calling him back to discuss. I confidently
informed him that I thought that he was crazy, and that the current
All Star (2007-2009) was the best kayak I’d ever paddled–in addition
to being our best-selling boat in 08. I then went on to tell him
that I didn’t want to paddle another playboat, and that the entire
team wouldn’t want a new boat, AND I made him promise that I could
continue to paddle the current All Star if I liked it better. I
told him how much more sense it would make to redesign any of our
other models which weren’t our best-selling kayak. Despite all my
mis-givings EJ was still kind enough to let me be a part of the
design/feedback process.

Boy, was I wrong. Dead wrong. I’ve had the 2010 All Star for
just over 3 weeks and I’ll never paddle my old one again. I got in
it 3 days before the Teva Mountain Games and won every event I
entered since then. After Prelims at Salida EJ joked with me about
how I was still allowed to paddle the 2009 All Star if I wanted….It
was kind of funny, but I was a little nervous that he might actually
take my new toy back. I really thought that the 2007-09 boat was
perfect for me (I loved it!), but this new one is just more perfect.
Here’s what I like about it:

-It really IS faster on a wave (and the last all star was already a
-It is substantially more retentive in holes and waves, making it
easier to stick any trick
-It’s way shorter so every move snaps through (rotates) noticeably
-It loops bigger than your mom (most fun EVER)
-The combination of shorter with more volume will make it much easier
to avoid hitting rocks in shallow holes
-It pops off the water on a wave with less effort
-It didn’t require much getting used-to. The 2010 All Star has a
similar "feel" while surfing to the 2009 version, but just makes the
moves easier

So far the only thing that it doesn’t do as well is mystery move at
Brain Douche, but I was expecting that.

So that’s how a hobbit eats his words. I was very wrong. Photos
from Jessica and Ruth.

Live from Keener World Domination Headquarters on the Ottawa,
Stephen Wright

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