Wednesday, December 23, 2009

ISPO Brand New Award Finalist

We are extremely proud that our new product, the Tequila! has been selected as a finalist in the ISPO Brand New Award!!! Among 305 nominated for the ISPO Brand New Award, the Point 65 Tequila! was one of seven selected finalists in the hardware category.

The Tequila! is also our biggest commercial success ever. This product has outsold our other 17 kayak models COMBINED!!
We would like to thank the designer, Magnus De Brito for a fantastic job. Without Magnus design genius we would not have been able to realize our vision of a modular take-a-part sit on top kayak.
The Tequila! will be displayed in the ISPO Brand New Village at ISPO 2010, February 7-10 in Munich. If you are interested in checking it out and meeting me at ISPO 2010 please let me know here on my blog and I will arrange it.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Point 65 introduces The Tequila! and changes the world of paddlesports

I had this idea for a kayak that anybody can own.
The main challenges facing a kayak buyer are mobility and storage. So these were the issues to resolve.
Watch this clip of the Tequila! paddled in the Solo and Tandem configuration.

The design specs for the Tequila! were:
- Have equal or better performance than a standard kayak (unlike inflatables & folding kayaks).
- Produced in rotomolded polyethelen.
- It should fit in a station wagon.
Another clip.
- It should fit in a small elevator.
- It should fit in a small apartment.
- Be light weight enough for a child to carry (e.g. weigh a maximum of 14 kg / 30lbs).
- Take less than 10 seconds to assemble (unlike inflatables and folding kayaks).
- Be modular so it can be used as a solo, tandem, triple and more.
- Hold up for abuse, play, surfing on waves etc
- Each section should be possible to emergency paddle.
The Tequila! Tandem easily fits in the back of a station wagon.

Rigid take-a-part kayaks have been around for years. It's just that the designs have been flawed. Those kayaks have either taken much to long to assemble and/or not been strong enough in the joints so they have flexed to much and/or come apart to easily.
Like Lego on the beach.

Also, all those designs have focused on large sea kayaks. Whereas the demand for this kind of innovation actually is in the recreational segment where the hurdles to enter paddle-sports are the greatest.
It fits on a small boat!

Once you are dedicated enough to buy a sea kayak, most paddlers are willing to make sacrifices like getting a roof rack, finding storage etc.
It fits on a big boat!

However, the design specifications seemed impossible. Polyethylene is a rather soft and slippery material. In all our trials, testing different ideas the kayak was to weak, to heavy or to difficult to assemble. That is until we met design genius Magnus de Brito.
Accustomed by impossible demands from manufacturers such as Porsche, Scania Trucks and Pirelli Boats he succeeded in resolving the issues with an ingenues concept - The Tequila! SNAP TAP SYSTEM (PATENT PENDING). And there you have it!!

I also wanted the kayak to work for one ore several paddlers.
Here as a Solo

So Magnus created a modular system where a mid piece is added between the solos bow and aft section thereby creating a tandem.
Here the three pieces floating around. Just pop in the mid section et voila, it's a Tandem.

Ad another mid section and it becomes a triple etc. etc. Who will make the longest Tequila!? Send me your picture proof and the winner gets a bottle of, you guessed it, Tequila!
Assembled it's a great Sit On Top -performance kayak.

Each part is small enough to be accepted as a suitcase by most airlines.

I have already flown all over the world with a Point 65 Tequila! Tandem. The customs officer at Seattle Tacoma was perplexed and after I explained what it was he asked me where he could buy one...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

She has arrived

Kayak: The Point 65 XP18, Paddler: Designer Magnus De Brito, Photo: Malte Danielsson Place: near Stendörren, Stockholm archipelago
Kayak: The Point 65 XP18, Paddler: Oscar Westlund, Photo: Malte Danielsson Place: near Stendörren, Stockholm archipelago

Monday, August 10, 2009

Whitewater Kayaking is Dying. Could Sea Kayaking be Next?

David H. Johnston, who runs the always interesting blog Paddling Instructor raises an interesting issue following the latest issue of Outside Magazine who publish an eye opening analysis of the rise and subsequent collapse of whitewater kayaking largely because of extreming themselves out of mainstream.
David agrees with this and that touring does not face the same threat. But at the same time he argues that beginners should buy faster, narrower and less stable kayaks.

Hey Papa, you want to try this? Photo: Jay Carroll

I have given this issue a lot of thought but have arrived to a contrary conclusion than David. I follow him regarding windsurfing and white water who extremed themselves out of oblivion. Windsurfing started as an easy sport with large stable boards that almost anybody could learn to master.

Windsurfing started like this

It was extremely successful. Even my dad learned how and bought a board and it was easy and lots of fun.Then things got more complicated. To be cool you needed a smaller board. You needed to jump.

and went to this...
My father bailed out. After 3 years I finally quit when, with my last board, I had to start from under water and had a very hard time holding against the wind. My jumps where pathetic compared to the magazine covers. It just became to hard to master.
Not Papa...

When comparing with windsurfing, touring paddling has seen almost the opposite development. Seakayaking (or touring) was born by extreme users paddling in narrow, unstable and fast boats in rough British seas. Wedged into impossibly small, round cockpits hard men with beards, preferably with icicles hanging out their noses, cruised the seven seas all but alone. Then something happened. The sport developed to easier to use products. Wider, more stable boats with larger cockpits that almost anybody can consider trying. With sit on tops the feeling of claustrophobia was totally eliminated.
yours truly not with Sue

This I consider the key to the lasting and long term viability of touring. That Sue cannot follow David in speed is not important. Sue would have never gotten into a narrow claustrophobic kayak in the first place. Sue doesn't like the feeling of slow drowning, trapped upside down:-) I am glad that most public images of seakayaking look inviting, calm and easy. This attracts new users to the sport. The more extreme cousins of touring have the problem of images of massive waterfalls, impossible jumps ect to fight. Given, it is fun and exciting to look at (from a safe distance).
This is not Sue but it could be

Here all you seakayaking instructors out there have a responsibility. Rolling and paddling upside down when doing public appearances is fun and attracts the folks to come watch. But they would rather be dead than put themselves in your cockpit. So show them also how easy a stable boat with a large cockpit is to use. Stand up in it (but don't fall in). Edge it, turn it, go sideways. Show them how easy it is.

Some of all those Sunday paddlers will want to progress and will learn more and exchange their stable, slow boat for something more exciting.
While many a sport take a long time to master before you can flush yourself down a waterfall, hurl yourself down a slope or balance a snow/wind/surf/skate/kite -board, touring is so easy you can head out on a full day paddling adventure your very first time.

Bring a friend, have fun, be safe!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Outdoor Retailer (OR) 2009

OR 2009 was fun as always, although not as interesting as it usually is. No new products worth mentioning (unless you are a dog) and many key players missing. Trendsetter Point 65;-) bailed out already last year and now many in the industry followed suit. Companies like Johnson Outdoor Watersports (Necky etc), Werner Paddles, BIC, Valley and many more followed Point 65's lead (joke) in missing out on Salt Lake City.
SUP at the demo day-I just don't get it... (photo by Jeroen)
At the demo day I was like a zombie, crazy jet lagged. I got lost driving there (directions were appalling) so it took me 2 hours. I only made it thanks to my iPhones maps ap. The drive through the mountains was, I must admit, incredibly beautiful.
Ones there I staggered around like a crazy person. I met some people I know but I did not recognize them (sorry guys). And my camera never left my pocket, so I have stolen one of Jeroens pictures.
Pierce SUP:ing. Maybe more fun if you live on Hawaii?

Anyway, Stand Up Paddleboards dominated the demo day on and of the water. I tried SUP a few years ago and must say it is nothing for me. Even though Pierce Brosnan is crazy about it my guess is that this thing will be over in a couple of years (as Bill Gates said about the internet:-)
With Stig Larsson, Level Six co founder. We now distributes Level Six in Sweden. Fantastic paddle apparel!

I was feeling a lot better as the actual show started and met a lot of interesting people and managed to do some business. The US paddlesport industry is in turmoil on account of Johnson Outdoor Watersports seemingly in chaos and the new paddlesport show being launched in 2010 by Jim Marsh of Canoe & Kayak Magazine and some others.
Jim Marsh, Editor of Canoe & Kayak Magazine and the North American Paddlesports Show

It is a bit of a tough situation. OR is a great show and I hope that paddlesport manufacturers will stay there for the sake of Outdoor retailers to have some choice of products while a speciality paddlesports show will be great for paddlesport retailers.
NRS, Terry and Bennet took good care of me.
As for JOW, time will tell. But the big surprise of the show was Riot. Looking very strong in a massive two story stand with tons of great looking kayaks all from their new production sources in the PRC. I was very impressed by this. Those guys must have worked 24/7 for a year to pull that of. Congratulations!
With Mark Pelland, Delphine and Jeff Rivest of Riot Kayaks on their terrace.

With Kokatats Michael Duffy.

Matt Poischbeg of Sealect Designs (formerly SeaDog)

Swedish maffia. With Bo, Renate and Petra Hilleberg (the Tentmakers)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Orust Runt; Cool 2 day marathon

Check out this really cool 2 day marathon around the incredibly beautiful Island of Orust in South Sweden. It takes place Saturday/Sunday August 22-23.

This is a highly laid back competition where all are welcome to attend! It doesn't matter what you paddle, or how fast you paddle. As long as you like to paddle, like camping and having a good time!
Around the whole Orust with overnight at Vallerö.

The paddle around Orust takes two days. All camp together at Vallerö half way around.
The campsite on Vallerö
The really cool thing about the race is that it is free of charge and completely self sustained. There are no officials, instead everyone takes responsibility for one self. Thus, there are almost no rules, and high demands for fair play and common sense for the participants.

At this time there are about 100 participants that have registered!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

XP18 -a legend is born

Our latest model makes my juices flow. This is a seakayak -but it's fast as hell. Sort of a new concept. It's like a racing/exercise kayak but for touring. It can take a huge payload. It's stable -so no problems in the rough. It's comfy. And it looks really cool! This is the kayak I will take on my next expedition as well as when working out.Micheal working the XP18
Magnus de Brito, the designer, has some sort of computer gizmo where he can calculate the exact speed and stability of the thing. According to this it is 7% faster than the "old" XP while 15% more stable. What does it mean? Who knows and who cares.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Point 65 & Magnus De Brito

Point 65 is developing some of the most exciting and revolutionizing products in the kayak industry. Point 65 proudly presents the latest addition to our team, Magnus De Brito, one of Scandinavia´s leading designers.
Magnus De Brito at the Point 65 head office in Stockholm, Sweden

Magnus has headed design projects for industry giants such as Porsche, Scania Trucks, Intelligent Sound, Pirelli Boats and Agipi Marine. Using computer science technology, Magnus was responsible for streamlining parts of the new generation Porsche Boxter 987, Carrera 997 and Carrera GT.
If you have designed this I guess a kayak is not that big a deal...

His Pirelli boat design won the prestigious 2009 Red Dot design award, “Best of the Best.” Working for Pirelli and Agipi Marine has given Magnus engineering experience in marine design technology – experience not usually available to kayak companies.Magnus designed the Pzero 1400, winning the “Best of the Best” Red Dot Design Award

Magnus was only 18 when he developed the first commercially viable wind surfing harness. He went on to earn his Master of Science degree in Design and Product Development from the University of Linköping, Sweden.
Tomas trying the new XP18. One happy camper!

Throughout his career, his passion for water sports - and designing the best water crafts- has continued unabated. XP18 has a markedly improved stabilty, manueverabilty and speed compared to it's predecessor.

Now, at Point 65, Magnus is applying both his engineering skills and his kayaking expertise to our most challenging design projects like the new XP -series and the Tequila!
The XP18 by Magnus de Brito

The new XP series by Magnus will be available in a 18, 17 & 16 foot version. More information will follow.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Whisky 16 review, The Skook-Worthy shake down

The worlds leading kayaking magazine, US Canoe & Kayak choose four of the worlds most experience rough water sea kayakers (James Mole, Brandon Gonski, Dave Shively and Scott Waidelich) to test 5 of the most celebrated rough water seakayaks at Skookumchuck Narrows, British Columbias famed tidal beast.

This was their conclusion:
"The Point 65 Whisky 16 went down smooth as our unanimous pick as the top Skookumchuck performer."

Read the full review Canoe & Kayak Magazine March 2009:
Billed as a spirited coastal playboat from this Swedish boat manufacturer, the Whisky 16 went down smooth as our unanimous pick as the top Skookumchuck performer. With the cockpit just aft of center, increased bow volume and a hard chine into the flattest, most planing-like hull of the bunch, the Whisky handled with the smallest degree of separation from its distant whitewater playboat brethren. "it was the only bow where, when the bow and stern were in the water at the same time , you could still react -crank into turns, load up on the paddle and bring it back," one of the testers said, "With the others, you'd shoot off the far end of the wave." In building the new Whisky boat range for rock gardens and surf zones, Point 65 R&D head Nigel Foster designed the 16's hull to avoid purling and to push onto a plane more easily than other displacement -style hulls. Fosters globe trotting research has also resulted in an upgraded, "beefier" foot peg system, alleviating our testers' main gripe with the outfitting. Weather you see it as anomaly or vanguard, the Whisky 16 handled reasonably well on the flatwater tour back to Egmont (with the skeg dropped), but fits as the most highly specialized rough-water boat"

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Nigel Fosters whirl wind tour of Sweden

Last week Nigel and Kristin arrived for a whirl wind tour of Sweden. They spent 11 days in Sweden (well, one of them in Denmark) teaching in 7(!) different cities.
Nigel & Kristin preparing for class.
I was the designated driver for most of the trip so I can vouch for the exhausting schedule!
Nigel being interviewed be Swedish media (see it here)
They started of in Stockholm with a happy group of paddlers. Next day they spent visiting Point 65 Kayak Centers in the city of Norrköping and Gothenburg.
Nigel showing Caroline from Germany a trick or two

Day 3 they where on the water again, teaching a class in Uddevalla at Upplevelsebolaget. Sunday was also spent in Uddevalla with their demo day but day 5 they hit the road again and spent the day on the water with a group, paddling in south Copenhagen hosted by retailer Kajakhotellet.

"If you hold your hands like this you will not be able to hold the paddle..."

Back in Stockholm day 7 for a day paddling and teaching some happy campers. Day 8 teaching a group in the city of Nynäshamn at Nynäs Kajak.
Member of the Fun With Foster group and proud builder/owner of a Thomasson design kayak. A beauty!

Day 9 on the other side of Sweden in Varberg were Nigel got extensive coverage in the local media and also inaugurated a new kayak center there. This ended in the small hours after finishing of the last drops of the inauguration champagne.

The looooong day in Varberg ended with a looong night with bubbly. All lot's of fun!

Day 10 the metropole of Gothenburg another group had the pleasure of Kristin and Nigels teaching skills. This was going parallel with the kayak exhibition "KANOT VÄST" and inauguration of yet another kayak center there.
The group in the water in down town Gothenburg if front of the opera house. Almost 100 spectators watched Nigels and Kristins paddling show later.

Day 11 we raced up to Norrköping for the last group of paddlers and inauguration of a third kayak centre there!

Pelle and Carina of Nynäs Kajak

The class of Norrköping right in the middle of town.

After this they headed of to Venice and the Bibione symposium and Vogalonga marathon. Check Nigels and Kristins blogs for updates on that.