New polo kayak design: FX series
The FX series is a design that has been percolating in my mind a number of years. I think that once you start designing your own kayaks you are always looking to make changes and new iterations, even if it is only in your mind. It certainly is the case for this new design. I started the prototyping more than four years ago, however with a new family and new priorities I have been unable to progress the design as fast as I wished. I ended up paddling the prototype version for more than 18 months competitively. This certainly did give me time to clarify my thinking around how I wish the final version to look and feel.
I started with the following basic parameters :
- continue to be easy drop the nose without having to double pump
- increased space around the knees for better control
- extra stability compared to our Blaze/ Shock/ Blast family
- easy to turn
- more volume to control players who are on top of you.
- Simpler turning style required so easier to learn to turn efficiently. The scooped- out tail of the Blaze family works best with a distinct change in hip angle part way through the pivot to generate the fastest turn.
- Flatter hull so that when you are on top of a defender while you are shooting you have a potentially more stable platform.
In the end we finally came up with 3 design sizes that can get cut into 2 sizes each:
First impressions are that this is fast, really fast. Suitable for young adults wanting a kayak easy to dip and easy to accelerate to top speeds.
- FX 3: cut down FX SMALL
- FX 4 : full size.
Paddler weight range: 55-65kg
This was the first version of the FX series. As usual I designed it for me first of all. Typically I am between 75-80kgs. I definitely prefer a kayak that is easy to dip the nose under with a single stroke. Also I am happy to have a reasonable nose down attitude when paddling at 50% speed, as in a little bit of water pearling over the front bumper. This is just because most contact/ tackling/ jostling is at the lower speeds. So having the nose already low makes this easier, as long as you can sprint to clear the water on the deck and it doesn't bury.
- FX 5: cut down FX MEDIUM
- FX 5+ : ok so lied as we cut this into 3 sizes with this one having the same volume in the middle as the FX6, but with trimmed down ends. Keeping it more "bobbly"
- FX 6 : full size
Paddler weight range: 70-85kg
This one took ages to get finished!!! I had so many issues with the design and then the mould making process. When it was finally completed I was stoked to find that this was a jostling machine!! Players using the FX LARGE were just a pain to deal with. We also made the tail a lot wider all the way to help keep ensure no-one would paddle over your defensive position unless you wanted it.
The FX Large is proving very popular in that is its just got so much room around the legs and feet, but still having that easy to dip nose control.
- FX 7: cut down FX LARGE
- FX 8: full size (we have already made an FX8+ size for a bigger guy)
Cockpit Depth: 24cm-25.5cm measured inside of hull to bottom of cockpit rim (front)
- Paddler weight range 80-105kg
Where to from here:
Well the design work is never completed and always once you have finished a design you are still thinking of improvements. To give you an idea of what I have in mind:
- Improve construction
- FX 3 version with lower volume nose for smaller women.
- FX PRO versions of all models; as I know I can improve the designs to increase speed.
- FX EXTRA SMALL
- FX XL especially given the popularity of the Flash and FLASH XL models for us. Seems there is a need for polo kayaks for players 110kg +++
- another completely different family of kayaks........perhaps I could
"design" one that looks like all the others and call it the BAAAA? or not.
As always your feedback or questions are always appreciated. Either here or to my email address: email@example.com