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August 12, 2012

We have secretly been working on this design for 9 months already.    David Knight and I spent a lot of time thinking about what we can do to improve all aspects of the playboating experience, including getting from one rapid to the next downriver.     We amplified the qualities that we loved in the 2010 All-Star, the 2011 Rock Star, and we tried to find the right sizing for the most people.    The result is what you see here, the 2013 Star, All-Star, and Super Star!
My first experience in the boat was down the Main Channel of the Ottawa.   I hit Phil’s Hole getting a good, crazy surf, and then dropped down to Corner Wave.    This is a steep/green wave.   I paddled on and “Zoom!” dropped in fast!   When I turned sideways I was sliding down the face and it was clear that loose and fast was a great first description.    The carving was more crisp and the speed was blowing me away.   I was sticking Helix’s, Back Pan Ams, Flip Turns, Clean Blunts, etc.. and my first ride was longer than any of my Rock Star rides in prior days.  The boat just had more forgiveness and the speed/looseness increased the margin for error.     I was teaching a clinic so we quickly left for Garberator.   The flatwater paddle gave me a chance to see the flatewater speed and how easy it was to do flatwater tricks.
The bow stays out of the water better than the Rock Star or 2010 All-Star.   The volume is higher, however, and each size fits a slightly larger person than the Rock Star M or the 2010 All-Star.    While this made it slightly harder to get the first end down, the higher parting line made balancing and super cleaning easier for me.    The slightly longer boat also slowed the rotation down a little making it easier to keep up.    The bow stays out of the water better when paddling through flatwater and it was definitely faster.
Garberator Wave:
HOLY CRAP!     Best described by Clay  “Garberator isn’t in, but now that I have the new All-Star is it in and really good!”     Catching the wave was so much easier due to the speed it surfs at and the speed gives you passes to throw tricks that other boats just sit on the top or don’t drop in fast enough.   Everyone who has tried the boat on Garberator was blown away on their first surf.   It just feels amazing.
Small waves or big waves it feels the same where you get to the top and the drop in quick with enough momentum to throw anything.    The top wave at Rock Island didn’t used to be good for playboating.  It became OK with the 2007 All-Star, then pretty good for the 2010 All-Star and then really fun for the 2011 Rock Star as the extra speed and looseness in each generation made the wave better.   The 2013 All-Star is amazing on that wave!   The clean blunts, air screws, flip turns, back pan ams, etc.. are all so much easier!!   Each pass you drop back in, where before you would sit on the top of the wave looking down it, but rarely felt any speed so you had to eek something out or wait for a better pass.
For holes- the new shape gives the boat more direction on the cartwheels and slicey moves.  The bow is wider and lower making the wing more efficient with more surface area to use for balancing.   This makes the phonix, mcnasty, cartwheels all more controlled and balanced.   The volume of the bow is greater than the 2010 All-Star or Rock Star and the loops are amazing.       The stern is a little lower behind the back, but a little higher at the very stern.  The volume was spread out to provide better support on the very stern (better for backloops, river running, and more retentive as the volume catches earlier).    It really feels great linking ends!
The sidewalls are bigger than the 2010 All-Star or the Rock Star providing more take off area for waves (bigger air) and also provides a more stable platform for river running.   The parting line is out of the water more making the boat easier to get down river.    With the seating position being slightly lower than the Rock Star you will find this boat easier to river run in than the 2010 All-Star by a good margin, and way easier than the Rock Star.
Sizing:   the slightly bigger foot area makes it comfortable for a larger person than previous playboats of the same size.   This makes it possible for you to squeeze in the smaller boat if you want to.    If you previously paddled a Mon-Star, try the new Super Star!  If you previously paddled the Super Star, try the All-Star, etc. etc..    The cool thing about these boats is that the total useable weight range is greater.   Dane, for example paddled the All-Star on the Ottawa at 125 pounds and was able to throw it around really well.     He had more issues with the 2010 All-Star or the 2011 Rock Star at the same weight on waves.    I am not sure about holes, but would have to ask him.
Don’t let the volume scare you!   I watched as Courtney Kerin dismissed the new Star as too big because it has 1 gallon more than the Rock Star S.  She is doing wave moves here at Rock Island and doing loops, etc.. in the holes.      Once there is a boat here for her to paddle, she will find that it is much easier to take off on a wave, and goes bigger and easier to set up than the Rock Star at her 95 pound body weight.    The volume is in the width and center of the boat… try it out you’ll be amazed!  (by the time you read this Courtney will have tried the 2013 Star and will be like “how did you do that?”
Just got off the water a minute ago at Rock Island.    Super fun again!!!!   Got Hunt Jennings in Nick’s for 30 minutes and he was super fired up. “I can’t believe how well it releases” was his first quote as he got a huge airblunt in it.
Fired up is the best way to describe my feelings about the way this design turned out!   David Knight and I did some good work together on this one!

Here is the promo video loaded up today!   [youtube][/youtube]