dimanche 17 mars 2013

Zen vs Hero vs Vilain vs Karma

À bout de souffle pour tout finir avant la crue...

Bon, je l'avoue, j'ai un peu de misère présentement à jongler entre être jeune papa, étudiant à la maîtrise, propriétaire d'une micro-boutique (qui sera bientôt 100% opérationnel en ligne: proshop.patricklevesque.info), administrateur d'un école de kayak (Kayak Saguenay), formateur de moniteur en kayak de rivière pour la FQCKEV et de moniteur en sauvetage pour la FQCK.
Je ne veux pas non plus négligez ce blog alors je me suis dit qu'un simple billet de copier-coller serait un minimum pour le moment!

On me pose beaucoup de questions présentement sur le magasinage de kayak de descente. J'ai l'intention d'écrire un guide d'Achat prochainement mais pour le moment, voici un premier copié-collé d'une question sur Facebook...

Choisir entre le Vilain et le Karma...

On parle ici de 2 kayaks très différents. Bien qu'ils ciblent les mêmes rivières, ils n'auront pas le même comportement sur l'eau. Le vilain à un fond "rond" (en anglais displacement hull) alors que le Karma est à fond plat et les bouchains sont plus franc. Ce qui veut dire que le comportement de la coque et des bouchains sera très différents l'un de l'autre. Il faut essayer pour savoir si tu va amener le style de pagayage. En générale, quand on vient du playboat, on apprécié le fond plat pour apprendre le creek, le comportement de la coque étant plus proche de ce que l'on connait, on a une variable de moins à s'habituer sur la rivière.

Des liens à lire pour en savoir plus:
http://patolevesque.blogspot.ca/2011/03/jackson-vilain-s-vs-jackson-vilain-une.html

http://patolevesque.blogspot.ca/2012/11/levolution-de-la-serie-hero-de-jackson.html

http://jacksonkayak.com/blog/2012/11/12/zen-vilain-and-hero-the-flatwater-speed-test/

D'autres critiques très intéressante mais en anglais, prends le temps de lire les commentaires. Les propaddlers JK ont de bonnes réponses sur le site:
Utilise google traduction ( http://translate.google.fr/) si tu n'es pas bilingue, c'est pas parfait mais ça donne une idée!

http://jacksonkayak.com/blog/2012/11/10/good-karma-ej-reviews-our-newest-creek-boat-ever/

http://www.westroke.com/blog/2012/10/22/initial-impressions-of-the-jackson-kayak-karma/

http://worldkayakblogs.com/wildwildwes/2012/11/30/jk-karma-m-review-by-tommy-clapp/

http://memphiswhitewater.com/forum/index.php?topic=5572.0
J'aime particulièrement le long commentaire de Boyd, j'allais mettre la traduction de google mais je ris trop...:


First, ask yourself if you're a passive/reactive paddler or an aggressive/proactive paddler. 
A creek boat should compliment your style and make up for your short comings.... so know thyself.  I'm assuming you're considering creeking in it?  :evil:

Active vs Passive:
If you like to sit sideways and figure things out then throw out boats like the Jefe and Villain... they need to be driven deliberately and proactively.  If you're a paddler that KNOWS where you want to be and where you want to go with a strong forward stroke and no second guessing, boats like the Villain and Jefe compliment your style and will work well with you.  That said, you can actively drive a Hero or passively paddle a Villain...  but It's a lot easier to actively paddle a Hero than it is to slow down a Villain or Jefe in the heat of the moment when you suddenly aren't so sure where you're going. 

Know your weakness:
If you have a weak forward stroke or are a bit light and have trouble powering through holes and curlers, then a longer boat will put you at ease, providing all the speed you need the moment you want it.  At the same time, if you're lacking technical skill and have to rely on powering through rapids, a longer and faster design may feel more comfortable for you.  If you're a strong paddler with a powerful stroke but you tend to miss your boofs or lack the more fine tuned, technical skills of a seasoned creeker, then a shorter boat may be the best compliment for you since they boof and maneuver easier while still utilizing your speed. 

Know your geology:
For really steep, rocky creeks a displacement (round) hull will usually be better.  For higher volume creeking or pool drop style runs, a planning hull can be a huge help for carving tight turns or carving out of holes. Planing hulls provide a unique level of control but can catch on the sharper rocks found on mankier river beds.  At the same time, longer designs may handle longer, more violent rapids better where powering through is the best option.

Hole blaster or hole bait?
This can vary with technique (ducking under vs punching vs boofing/ramping holes), but a common myth is that short, stubby designs are hole bait.  It simply isn't true.  While logically you would think that a short, bulky, stubby design should be more retentive, typically these designs have planing hulls.  Longer designs typically have displacement hulls and many longer designs are MUCH more likely to overstay their welcome in a hole. Why is this?  The real issue boils down to maneuverability and hull design.  It doesn't matter what design you're paddling, if you end up hitting a hole at 45 degrees to 90 degrees (sideways) you will more than likely be getting to know your new bubbly friend.  It doesn't matter what design you're in.  If you have a displacement hull you're only bet is to gather speed and get to a corner so you can power out.  Unfortunately, that isn't always possible.  If you have a planing hull you have another option.  You can initiate the edge, catch water as you would in a playboat and edge your way out of a hole.  The edge has more drag and more applied surface area so you have more options and are much less likely to spend any time in the hole.  Personally, I'll take the risk of a shorter design for the extra maneuverability and ability to edge out any day of the week.  The Hero handles holes GREAT... it's my choice.

So to line up your choices based on your question, it looks like you're considering Jackson Kayak, Liquid Logic, Wave Sport, and Pyranha.

  JK   vs    Py   vs    LL    vs    WS   vs    Bliss Stick
Hero  vs ------   vs  Stomper vs  Diesel  vs  Scud
Zen  vs  Burn  vs  Remix  vs  --------   vs  Huka
Villain  vs  Shiva  vs  Jefe  vs  Habitat  vs  Mystic

(more or less... you can argue those around a bit, but that's how they'd typically be sorted)

Personally, I'm partial to the Hero, Villain, and Jefe... 
I prefer the 2011 Hero regardless of paddling style.  It has excellent speed, drive, boofing ability, maneuverability for unmatched precision and fine-tuning... snappy turns on a dime, fun to paddle, and can handle ANYTHING, while being very forgiving to mistakes and passive paddling.  The Villain and Jefe are your best two options IF you are a proactive paddler that WILL drive the boat every moment you're on the water.  They are not for the lazy, unsure, or reactive style paddler but for the strong, proactive, aggressive paddlers they are AWESOME.  I like the Villain better (yes, I've paddled them both) but not everyone does so you have to try them for yourself.  Since you're relatively new to Creeking, DEMO, DEMO, DEMO!  Try them out and feel them out, but be honest with yourself about your paddling style and shortcomings.

DISCLAIMER:
yes, I kayak for Jackson Kayak... Yes, I helped design both the Hero and Villain...yes, I'm almost positive I'm bias towards them.  BUT, you should know that as far as Jackson Kayak I chose them...  If my sponsorship ended today (and I've already been demoted because I chose to teach from factory to regional), I would still choose the 2011 HERO over any other design.

Maybe more info than you wanted, but hopefully it'll help.

Boyd  8-)




- Patrick Levesque

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