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August 28, 2009

Very cool to get a detailed review like this…

Subject: 2010 All-Star

Hi EJ!

My name is Chris, and I first met you a few years ago when my wife and I attended separate clinics you did on the Potomac when you came down for Potomac Fest. Ever since I started paddling my first All-Star in 2006 I have really enjoyed the boat and credit it for helping me become a better paddler. Just before purchasing the 2007 All-Star 2 years ago a miracle happened 🙂 and I won one at Gauley Fest. I can still remember the shock and standing on top of your RV! As soon as I heard about the 2010 All-Star I knew I had to have it. I’m so fortunate to live in such a great paddling area (just north of Washington D.C.) and have very convenient access to the Valley Mill kayak shop and school. Monique Hubshman inspired me to first paddle the All-Star back when I didn’t really think I could handle a play boat, and since then I haven’t looked back. It’s been the best thing that has happened to me in my kayaking "career". Everyone at Valley Mill is phenomenal, and now since Jim Buley has been running the shop the opportunities to attend various forms of training and classes are so numerous, which between this year and last year has really helped me improve much, much more than in previous years. This year Jim Hubshman has been running a freestyle clinic and sharing his expertise, which has really helped me improve and move towards a number of playboating goals I have.

Well, my blind trust was well founded after getting the new All-Star without having the chance to try it out first, because the boat is awesome!! Each time they keep getting better, although I’ll say that the 2007 model is a really tough one to beat. That boat is amazing, and I’m definitely keeping it. That said, there are a number of things I wanted to share that I just love about the new 2010 All-Star:

  • It’s even more comfortable than past models
  • It’s easier – takes less effort – to get vertical
  • You can really put the boat on edge quite a ways before hitting the secondary stability point
  • It’s more aggressive than past models (the only thing I’m still getting adjusted to 🙂 )
  • It’s just as easy if not easier to roll than previous models
  • It has helped me to improve and get closer to doing a successful double pump and getting vertical on the bow (one of my goals is to learn to bow stall and another is to learn to flatwater cartwheel)
  • It has helped me improve my stern squirting so much that I can actually try and focus on doing stern stalls or staying upright most of the time when I get vertical on the stern
  • It’s great for spinning and very fast, and I’ve done my best cartwheels ever with it (I’m still pretty new to cartwheels)
  • My favorite thing right at the moment – I am actually progressing with it in becoming not only successful, but consistently successful, with hand rolling for the first time ever (I still have a lot of work/learning to do though!)
  • Since I do up to Class IV stuff, I like to river run in the All-Star, and it seems to have the speed, stability, etc. to pull off moves I didn’t think at first I could do with it, especially with it being a shorter boat than the previous All-Star
    It’s even lighter than the previous models
  • The graphic on the bow rocks! 🙂

I just love it! Can you tell? 🙂 Since they say a picture is worth a thousand words – not that I want to bore you with a giant e-mail – I’m attaching a few pictures of me in my new All-Star that show how fun it is to paddle. 🙂

Finally, having had the chance to have met you on a couple occasions, I just wanted to say Thanks so much for sharing your passion, excitement, amazing talent, boat designs, etc. with us all and being a great example and inspiration for learning to whitewater kayak and have a lot of fun doing it.

Chris Davis

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