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Well, it is officially springtime here on the Ottawa River. However, we still have a lot of snow and ice still to melt. With temperatures above freezing and sunny, it seemed like a perfect day to try out my new Rock Star kayak!
The first thing I noticed about the Rock Star, after sliding off the ice and into the water, was that I was sitting much higher in than I was in the All Star. I felt I had a lot of leverage, and I wasn’t as “tippy” as I had anticipated. I got a good feel for the balance points of the kayak as I went through the high volume waves at the top of the Lorne rapid. The next test would be the big boils and whirlpools before the Buseater. I weigh 175 lbs, so I really appreciated how the 58 gal. of volume in the M size Rock Star kept me on the surface. I didn’t feel like I was plowing through the water. As I was approaching Buseater, I was thinking that it might be a good first surf test of the Rock Star. With the super cold temperature of the water, the idea of spending some time upside down in a big hole was not that appealing. So, I opted for a left side hit. The Buseater test will have to wait for a higher water level.
The first surf test came below Butcher’s Knife rapid. I caught a flushy, surging, steep wave, I was surprised how quickly the Rock Star planed out and I was surfing. I immediately noticed that the rocker profile of the Rock Star is different that the All Star. I felt my bow was sitting higher out of the water in the front surf. The next thing I noticed was the “looseness” of this kayak! I easily shifted the kayak sideways and I was grinding the wave. It really made spinning easy for me.
Next surfs were on the Lunch Stop waves, where I got some big bounces and some Pan Ams. Then a very flushy wave at the top of the Norman’s, which I was very surprised to even catch it!
The next test would be the huge, crashing, explosion waves of Coliseum. Again with the cold water temperature, I didn’t really want to spend a lot of time upside down. The waves looked awesome, so I wanted to get a little slammed by them. So I choose a “sporty” line down Coliseum and again the volume of the Rock Star was perfect for me. I held the line I wanted and managed to stay upright with some big hits.
There was a great surf wave in the last rapid called Black’s. It was nice to try some spins, blunts, etc. and with that comes some rolls. Again I noticed the leverage and control I had, even in my roll. The roll felt snappy and balanced in the Rock Star.
It was a great end to my first day on the Ottawa River in 2011! I can’t wait to get out on the river in the Rock Star again. See everyone out there soon!