Friday, September 14, 2007
Hello Riot Fans, Joe Stumpfel here...
I'm super excited? Why you ask? Is it that sweet crossbow boof off of Sunshine? Nah. Is it that I just moved to the year round creeking capital of the US, Hood River? Well that certainly is sweet. But the real reason is that I've just signed on with the coolest kayak company on the planet, RIOT. Why? Well it all started like this. Recently I was becoming more and more frustrated by the lack of good, comfortable, performance oriented short playboats for the average sized adult male. It seems that at 185 lbs and 5'11" I've found myself either completely cramped in a boat that is just too small for me or swimming around in a bathtub. Don't get me wrong, there were a few that fit, but none that had the combination of comfort, performance, and user friendliness that I was looking for. With the promising look of the recently release Astro 58 (among other new designs) I took some time to revisit Riot. This spring, on the way back from NOC's Glacier Breaker Race, I stopped in Asheville and picked up a used 58. The Potomac was booming so after some quick outfitting I headed up to Harpers Ferry to put the Astro through its paces. WOW! Needless to say after my 2nd surf I was sold.
The boat is phenominal combining the perfect amount of speed and bounce on a wave. Huge aerials are nearly effortless and landings are forgiving. In a hole the symetrical volume distribution makes for super smooth cartwheels and the wedged bow provides maximum pop. It's truely one of the greatest all around play performers ever made and it's sized JUST RIGHT for me!! But spins and water wheelies are only so much fun, it was time to check out the venerable Magnum. And what better place to put a creekboat through it's paces than in my backyard test facility, Great Falls. There are many things I look for in a great creekboat but topping the list are stability, maneuverability, and resurfacing characteristics. Many boats out there nail one or two of these but few excel at all three.
The Magnum is, simply put, one of the most reliable creekboats ever produced. Rocksolid stability, playboat like maneuverability, predictable resurfacing, it boofs like a demon, has excellent safety features, and it always goes where you want it to go. On top of that it also moves along for a boat of its length. I was sold! So here I am, the latest member of the team and honestly, aside from the superior boats, I can't think of a nicer group of folks to support. If you haven't tried a Riot kayak lately you really are mising THE boat! Coming up I review the new, larger Thunder, and don't miss my c-1 helmet cam footage of the Green at 200%!!! That's it for now, gotta go boating!
Pics courtesy of Maggie Snowel, Bryon Dorr, and Nathan Sass