Hello Ladies and Gents.
Riot Kayaks has got some pretty cool designs for this winter, geared towards the larger folks out there. Expected release date for the Magnum 80 and Thunder 76 is January 2008. These two boats will both feature larger seats, and a standard(large) keyhole cockpit for easy entry and exit, as well as comfort.
Magnum 80 prototype alongside Large Habitat and Mega Rocker.
Profile shot with Mega Rocker.
We tested the Magnum 80 prototype all over the Southeast this spring/summer, and it's been a joy to paddle. At 170 pounds I am not exactly in the target weight range for this boat; it is really going to be an ideal creekboat for the 190+ pounders. It will not be a replacement for the Magnum 72 at my weight, but rather another tool to use in certain situations. For me, the big Magnum will be ideal for overnighters, extreme races, and pushy class 5 creeking... Green at 200+, Raven's, Linville, etc. The Magnum 72 will be perfect for all other applications... big waterfalls, low-volume creeks, etc.
Rolling off the Gorilla at high water.
Cruising into the Happy Place after a good run... the boat definitely inspires a feeling of invincibility.
The Magnum 80 has the same chines that are featured on the Magnum 72, starting right around where the knees are, and extending back to peter out just before the stern of the boat. These allow the boat to be driven through big rapids, and help you to place the kayak exactly where you want it while planing out of drops, or resurfacing from holes. Another appealing aspect of this boat is the enormous amount of stern and bow volume, which, when combined with the same backband as the standard Magnum, will allow the stern to be packed full of a tonne of overnight gear.
Here are a couple of comparison shots between the Magnum 72 and Magnum 80:
Footage of the Magnum 80 prototype can be seen on Nathan Silsbee's VIDEO.
Joe Stumpfel enjoying the big Thunder C-1 style on the Green.
Photo by Maggie Snowel.
The Thunder 76 is the answer for larger folks who want a kayak that can do everything. The platform for this boat was the Booster, one of Riot's most successful kayaks to date. The Thunder features the hull from the Booster, which also happens to be the boat in which the helix was invented by Steve Fisher. What this translates to is a great deal of playability from the hull, while more creeky deck keeps you safe in hard whitewater.
Profile shot with the Large Diesel.
Please disregard my meatheadedness... think I was making some kind of joke about being diesel or something... my bad.
The first thing that stood out for me about this kayak was its hull speed. It easily keeps up with most creekboats on the market, while the flat hull and sharp edges allow for surfing, carving, spinning, and even cartwheeling. Definitely a jack of all trades.
Spencer testing out the creeking abilities of the Thunder in Go Left.
Spencer styling an off-the-beaten-path slot on the Green.
**All photos by Spencer Cooke/Effort.tv unless otherwise stated**
Both of these kayaks will be available at Riot dealers in January, so be sure and check them out.