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I know that this isn’t strictly a Jackson Kayak post (JK doesn’t actually make squirt boats), but a few Team JK paddlers and World Kayak people competed so I figured that it might be fun for others to hear about. FWIW, I also use a Jackson Happy Feet size small in my squirt boat–it’s the best piece of outfitting ever made for a squirt boat!

This year’s Mystery World Championships took place on the Truckee River in California between Reno and Truckee. The squirt seam was discovered 3 or 4 years ago by Noah Fraser. Noah also organized this year’s event. For those of you who have never seen a squirt boat or mystery move, a quick summary: Squirt boating was really developed by Jim Snyder on the Cheat river, and were named for the Stern Squirt. Early squirt boats were the original playboats, as they were slicey enough to do vertical moves. The modern squirt boat (all still designed by Jim Snyder, for the most part) is TINY, custom cut, made of composite materials like carbon, glass, Innegra, kevlar, etc…., and is really designed to do one thing: allow kayakers fly around underwater in eddylines, which is called a “Mystery Move”. The boat’s don’t look much bigger than surf boards with leg and foot bumps and a cockpit rim. The largest competitive event every year is the Mystery World Championships, which moves around yearly to different locations. Competitors get five mystery moves, and the total number of seconds that they are underwater is added up and the longest total time down (e.g. downtime) is the winner.

This year’s event was fantastic. Perfect weather, beautiful scenery, and a venue that gave up the longest rides in history made it a great time for all 25 competitors who traveled to California. The 2014 world champions are now Jeremy Pou (from Tennessee) for men and Team JK’s Claire O’hara (from England). Claire blew the doors off the previous women’s longest ride by staying underwater for 28 seconds on one of her rides, and had a combined time of 103.32 seconds over five rides. Jeremy hit three rides over 40 seconds and edged me out by 1.24 total seconds with a total of a whopping 185.76 seconds!!! I managed to secure the “longest ride in competitive history” with a 49 second mystery move, which nearly killed me, but couldn’t match Jeremy Pou’s consistent skills:) We were all smiles and cheers as awards were given out with plenty of prizes secured by World Kayak’s Colin Kemp.

Enjoy the photos! Shot by myself and by Sara James.
Live from Denver, CO,
Stephen Wright 🙂


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