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VODÁK sport | speciálka na lodě a běžky



MIX ? or how I tested Burn and experienced ...

21.1.2007 0:21:03     Autor: Jirka

MIX – or how I tested Burn and experienced The Czech Freestyle Championship

The article is a mixture and a long mixture. Read it to the end, please, you may find something interesting 

I spent the last weekend in Prague Troja on a slalom course with intensive paddling of all kinds. But let’s start from the beginning.
When I was arriving to Troja with five boats on a trailer nobody assumed I was going to use them all and maybe some others, brought by Kosatka. My beloved freestylie 4-Twenty was a logical choice. I was going to the Czech freestyle championship, so it would do. Well, an AllStar made as a single canoe is also logical at a freestyle competition, although a kayaker in a single canoe looks sometimes weirdly. But there were other boats. My favourite I4 that I use mostly for extreme rivers, Master 2 - a winning special for Dolomitenmann and a brand new Otik’s Burn.
On Friday I used only 4-Twenty, particularly because it was nearly getting dark and there was time for only few runs. I wanted to try out the newly built “mouth” (a hole for the competition). The first approach finished with an uncontrollable grinding and a rinse under the bridge... Carrying the boat up caught me with my pants down...  I put my foot on a crossbeam barrier at the “iron” and before I did anything else, my knee was hurt and my boat in the river. A kind kayaker in the eddy brought it back to me. As I was trying to get it out I threw my paddle into the river. The kayaker was still there agile and watchful  But when I threw my boat back right next to him as I was putting down the paddle, he suggested that I went home, for that wasn’t my good day...  Well, that wasn’t. The second approach to the “mouth”, one cartwheel, ten rolls and I couldn’t get out... back and forth.. nothing... few more rolls, then uncontrollable grinding and at last.. the rinse, but under the bridge again where there’s no return. If only it had been all. I didn’t finish the roll under the bridge and a hole there sent me back to water. Another try and I hit the “iron“.. few bumps on the “iron”.. another try.. a bump against another concrete barrier in the course... etc. etc. at last I managed to finish a roll further down in the course. Horrible. Lost self-confidence, firmly decided that it was my last freestyle competition, I was going to get out of my kayak. My guardian angel arrived in his kayak and said: „You were really badly stuck on the “iron”. Luckily you didn’t roll on the other side, otherwise you would probably stay there.. you’d better not sit into it tonight any more...
That didn’t really boost my confidence.. I dragged myself to the car and mulled over what I was going to do there on Saturday.. and then in the single, which I can’t leave under the water... Hopefully, my friends will pull me out..
I had a huge and delicious dinner in a new local restaurant (I recommend) and my spirits began to rise. Let’s sleep on it.
In the morning we went at it, because the whole holeriding competition – Czech freestyle white water championship – should have been brought off just in one day.
I rather didn’t warm up too much, but the approaches went quite well. Cartwheels on both sides, some splitwheels and a few attempts on a loop, perhaps some successful... surely that was a training. It was indeed worse in the competition, but not much, so I won some points in men’s category and placed around the half of the field. But my main category was Old Bastards (usually called “veterans” in other sports ) I tried my hardest and actually, I did quite well. I completely bungled singles, but rather because I had extreme respect for the hole and was afraid to get into it properly. Ten points were nothing special 
The competition ran pretty quickly and it seemed that it would be finished according to Kosatka’s schedule. The afternoon men’s semi-final was marvellous. Lads were getting better from run to run and it was worth seeing. They were probably getting to like this complicated and nasty hole.
I was through to the final in the last advancing - fifth - place. Great!! I can’t get worse  The start was about half an hour delayed, which slowly shifted the end of the competition to early morning hours. The atmosphere was amazing, the crowd roared, music throbbed... I woke up at last and was getting on better. Surprisingly, the favourite Risa Hrcek who was through to the final in the first place dropped out in the first heat. When I saw the results, I guessed it had been narrow.. I was through in the fourth place.. I cheated death again. But I calmed down. There was one Polish here, so in fact I was already the third in the Czech championship. The next heat was a real success. I think I showed my best and I was through in the first place.. Mamka, who had given a fantastic Air loop but then he had been rinsed away, dropped out. What a bad luck.. I was starting from the first place together with Dusan Bubnik, whom I had regarded as invincible, accomplished - simply a paragon of a freestyle matador, and a very skilful Polish... That was obvious, but being the third wasn’t bad, too... Being right behind Dusan.. that was super. I didn’t bungle that run, so I carried my boat up once again. A least I could take a farewell approach. But no, I couldn’t grasp it. Dusan dropped out and I was through. Actually, I had already been the Czech champion. That’s the stuff... In euphoria I completely botched the last run and after few cartwheels I drifted away to the dark under the bridge. An easy way to victory for the Polish... anyway, he was better, so he deserved it. I was happy the whole evening.. Nevertheless, the competition continued. Juniors went after us, unfortunately I didn’t see them, because I rather went to change. After all it was dark and already cold at night 
Juniors were followed by girls, and in the third place, after a very thrilling fight, finished Butcher competing in colours of Vodak sport team on her JacksonKayak Star. Narrowly in the second place was our world champion, a member of Vodak sport team and recently a new member of the World Pyranha team Kacenka Migdauova on her beautiful Pyranha 4-Twenty.
Butcher clearly dominated the single canoe category and a junior Jirka Langer narrowly won the men’s category before Tom Andrassi from Slovakia and brilliantly racing, but unfortunately with a bad luck in one heat, the third Honza Bubnik, who became the Czech white water freestyle champion in K1 men category!!! Honzik also went on AllStar from JacksonKayak. By the way Jacksons got on well. Simply they are probably very good boats. In OB category two of them reached the victory rostrum together with one 4-Twenty, in women’s category there was one and also one 4-Twenty and in juniors’ category there was one more... So there would be something about it, when they are made by world freestyle champion ;-)
The finals dragged on to half past midnight, so it took more than four hours instead of scheduled two. That was partly caused by a police patrol, who tried to stop the whole thing, but after long discussions they were fortunately satisfied by lowering the music volume. Partially the delay was caused by worse communication between the commentator’s tower and the judges, but they should be forgiven for that, because there can always be found something wrong in such a pressure of work the organisers were under and the amount of good work is hidden. But back to the boats. It is always said: when a producer makes good racing boats for freestyle, he makes good boats for white water and touring. But is that true???
We tried to find out the other day during kayak cross. The aim of this competition lies in steering the boat down a part of a wild river as fast as possible. In our case it was steering down the Troja course where there were two downstream and two upstream gates. Pyranhas H3, JacksonKayak Rocker and at last Otik’s Burn, saddled by me, didn’t fail in competition and went really brilliantly. If we had been able to think during the run, the results would have probably been better. In all heats I was the first at the last gate, but I finished by the best the second or worse...
Honzik Bubnik won all heats, except the final, on a Rocker with such a lead that others were out of sight behind him. Peter Prause managed the same on an H3. Anyway, they didn’t pull the finals off tactically and they got enclosed by the others.. so they finished in the third and the fifth places. Macak borrowed my Burn for the finals in OB category and as he said later, thanks to it he overtook Dusan on his Rocker in the last gate and won.
So these white water boats proved their worth in the competition, but what do they actually behave like?
I’ll start with Burn, which I have used most. It’s actually a younger brother of H3, but there aren’t only cosmetic changes in it.
It is quite stable on calm water, it easily leans to sides and it carves and turns incredibly. It’s technically impossible to turn it over, but it rolls excellently. The turning over is a very interesting feature, so I’ll get back to it. It is funny that a lean is very easy, but only up to approximately 70-80 degrees. It suddenly can’t be done any further. And it is impossible, even if you lean more than 90 degrees. Who would then expect a sudden rail and a fall to water, he would be wrong. The turning over is becoming continuously easier from some 100 – 120 degrees, till it’s done. Roll is then so easy, that you just have to think about it and you are up. That’s enough about the calm water. What did it behave like in the rapids of the Troja course? It turned excellently even in speed. Surfing on a wave was good. On higher short waves its bow goes more under water, compared with freestyle boats, however it could be reduced by leaning back or an angle of approach.
Catching an eddy was different according to extent of a lean. Without any lean or with just a small one Burn lightly slipped through thanks to a flat hull, but when the lean was at least middle or great it sweetly carved into the eddy and turned on the spot as a freestyle boat. I really enjoyed that, too. Macak said that he had won the kayakX thanks to this feature. Running through holes. When I boofed it the boat flew across a foam pile never noticing the hole. The interesting thing was that it didn’t notice the hole even when I had fallen into it as a dumpling. That’s thanks to a narrower slightly bent bow and a rooflike front deck. Shortly, Burn doesn’t notice the holes and simply runs through them. Playfulness was another pleasant feature. I nicely jumped in “mouth” on it. As I don’t like creek and voluminous boats, I would get used to Burn very quickly. I’m not sure, whether it isn’t wasted on Otik 
H3 compared with Burn is slightly faster, it was faster than Rocker, too. It’s stable, comfortable, holds the line, turns easily. Flat hull, a rail.. similar to Burn. But Burn is tuned for wilder rapids.. I guess it’s about half a grade kinder on WW. I would rather concentrate on new outfit of H3 Rapid +. This outfit is being ready for the next season 2007, yet you can order it already now in advance. It’s fitted into a classic for tourist and for WW – H3, into a play/river universal Stretch and into an excellent freestyle 4-Twenty.
A seat liner is unusual for a cheap outfit, but it’s really pleasant. It looks also durable, a back band is made of the same material as the seat liner and moreover it has got strong a strong plastic reinforcement, which at sight outlasts the older types. It is adjustable at a tight grip. I was taken back when I saw the boat, because the back band is adjustable only on one side, but I was pretty surprised, when I had tried it up, how well it had worked. The strap in the back band is movable, so the back band remains in the middle of your back, even though you adjust it only on one side. The new buckle holds tight. Loosing it needs a bit of practice, but I managed to do it easily with one hand after two attempts. Hip pads are screwed to the seat. They fit me, but they can be removed or wedged, if necessary. A front footrest is designed as a full plate on two aluminium bands and screws – classic. The hull is shorter of two stickers compared with Deluxe outfit. After all, price was obviously the main criterion in conception of this outfit. And it’s really low for such a comfortable outfit. People even asked, whether buying a boat, which hasn’t got the Rapid+ outfit, without the fitting and fitting the Rapid+ inside, wouldn’t be cheaper. Although it is possible, it wouldn’t be worthy, because the shells with better outfit are simply more expensive (they have more stickers, more luxurious metal grab handles, another way of multicolour manufacturing etc...)
The last boat that is worth of mentioning is a Rocker from JacksonKayak. It’s built much as a creek and WW boat. A tourist can use it, but he wouldn’t make most of its main potential, which is chiefly for the white water.
Its speed - comparable to Burn, slightly slower than H3. Turning on calm water is slightly worse, but it’s same on WW. Round hull. Very kind smoothly running boat. It forgives more than you can imagine. Very simple smooth shapes give the boat very simple and smooth riding properties. It leans and rolls well. It runs through holes well. The only disadvantage is that you will need some time to get used to the round hull of the creek boat, if you ride a freestyle boat with a flat hull. Very comfortable and strong inflatable sitting. Compared with JacksonKayak play boats, which are the lightest in the world, is Rocker somehow heavier. That’s thanks to its very thick hull that can’t be smashed through easily.. So, hooray to waterfalls!!!

You can test all these boats and many other at the weekend 9-10 September (this weekend!!!) at the White Water Fair on the Svratka river under Vir 1 dam.
You are heartily invited!!!

Who has read to this point gets a bonus. I have written this for three hours and I cannot read it any more.


I have forgotten to boast about using one more boat I brought, my Dolomitenmann Master 2. And as training I went up the Troja course twice. I missed just one meter... the wave under the bridge.. I defeated the “iron” as well as the “mouth”..
And that’s all.. tadydady da :-)))

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