Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bourbon Orca Design Statement

Magnus de Brito, the Bourbon Orcas designer wrote a design statement in Swedish which I translated to English. Here it is!

Design statement on the Point 65 Bourbon Orca by its designer Magnus de Brito.

The Bourbon Orca’s unique design is the result of many ideas. Here I would like to explain the reason for its specific look and shape.

As an avid surf ski paddler, professional designer and product developer, it was hard to resist contemplating how I would like a ski to perform and look.

Prior to the development of the Bourbon Orca I paddled an Epic V10, a great ski. My hydro analysis of, among others, my Epic V10 indicated that it would be hard to design a faster ski than the ones winning all the races. So instead I focused on creating a surf ski that was just as fast but had other advantages that would enhance my performance.

So what else could I improve to increase speed? I identified two factors that would create a better, faster surf ski: less resistance going through waves and increased power.


First and foremost I wanted to increase the speed through waves as surf skiing is not performed on flat water. The most evident result of this quest is the reversed bow (or X-bow). This bow design was directly inspired by its namesake, the supply ship Bourbon Orca, which features the X-Bow. Naming the surf ski Bourbon Orca is a tribute to the ship. Modern F18 catamarans have also inspired me on the bow design.


Inspiration and result.


Because, by giving the bow maximum volume, as far down as possible, I could make the ski react faster to the waves. If you paddle the Bourbon Orca into a wave so that the bow dips just under the wave, it creates 10kg/22lbs more buoyancy compared to the Epic V10.

Bourbon Orca hits a wave.

In this way the bow follow the movements of the waves in a much better way, compared to a traditional ski, which meets the wave - with initially, relatively low volume. Only after a while does the traditional kayak build volume, lifting it out of sync with the wave and creating a loss off energy. In this video clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mqcpe5au_7M you can clearly see the supremacy of the Bourbon Orca’s reversed bow in contrast to the traditionally built ship.

The Bourbon Orca’s lower volume high up on the bow prevents it from lifting unnecessarily high, instead slicing the waves and taking the shortest route.


The stern has a low volume so that the kayak doesn't lift to early when surfing, making it feel shorter in chop. The volume builds rapidly up the length of the boat until it hits the widest spot only 240cm/94'' from the end of the stern. This provides lift when surfing.

Increasing power

As mentioned, I identified two factors that would increase speed: less resistance, which we have now resolved, and increased power.

So what could be done to increase power? The answer was to create better circumstances for the paddler to perform! I identified 5 areas where better circumstances could be created.


The highest priority was to increase stability without increasing resistance in the water. More stability enables the paddler to carry out an increased number of strokes with full draw/effect. I managed to tweak the Bourbon Orca into providing 25% more stability without compromising speed with more than a millesimal.

I recently witnessed a first time paddler taking the Bourbon Orca for a spin. Despite windy conditions he managed to paddle several hundred meters off shore, turn the kayak around and come back without falling in. He also tried a re-entry without any problems. This guy was sold! A common misconception is that stability is only achieved by giving the kayak a flat hull.

With the bourbon Orca I have proven the opposite by giving the kayak a cross section that is completely circular. This creates a good balance between some initial stability to minimize impact by small waves and chop and high secondary stability as a save when things start to go wrong. At the same time the wet area is minimal to minimize resistance.


The second factor is to create a cockpit that offers good contact while giving the legs and hips the possibility to work like in a racing kayak while offering comfortable lower back support to balance the kayak safely when surfing. The cockpit shape is hard to explain and it should be experienced.

I have also optimized the cockpit design for safe and fast re-entry. Also of interest is that the cockpit features a central footstep recess for easier entry from a dock. The recess doubles as a bottle holder. Finally, a drain in the seat keeps the paddler dry, avoiding having to sit in a puddle of water.


The third factor to increase power is to quickly drain the cockpit. There are two systems I have studied. The Andersen Bailer and the Bullet Scupper.

The Anderson Bailer is adjustable and efficient but creates a lot of resistance. When retracted the bailer creates minimal resistance but by constantly having to adjust the bailer, focus is taken from paddling which is less than ideal.

The Bullet Scupper, like Red7's, is not retractable but efficient while it creates a minimum of resistance. The torpedo shaped indention behind the outlet makes the current more laminar which increases efficiency while resistance is minimal. So this is the solution I chose.

The inspiration for the scupper and the result

The Bullet Scupper flow analysis

The flow analysis above shows that the drainage is most efficient in the center. At it's sides there is slightly more turbulence. My "deBrito Bailer" has taken the efficient center section and extruded it towards the sides a couple of centimeters /0,78''. This makes it much more efficient while minimizing resistance. The bailer is equipped with a scupper plug so it can be shut when necessary.

The Paddle stroke

As the fourth improvement I have enabled the paddler to insert the paddle tighter to the boat allowing more power in the stroke. By shaving off the sides in this area I have achieved a hull that is 4cm/1.57'' thinner compared to, for example, the Epic V10.

The Bourbon Orca’s tight waist and unique pedal system

Pedal system

The fifth and final area of innovation is that of the rudder pedals which allow the paddler to brace with the whole foot. It's a new way of steering the kayak. As a bonus it accommodates any foot size.

Leash with release

A separate safety innovation, developed in collaboration with Swedish surf ski paddler Paul Rosenquist, is the Magpaul Release Leash. By attaching one end of a line on the bow and the other with the leash, on a trigger mechanism in front of the pedal system, we achieve a safety feature if the kayak is snatched by a wave. A jerk at the trigger mechanism releases the line and alignes the kayak with the current. It also makes towing easier.

So what’s the result?

Instead of putting energy into bracing and re-entries while watching fellow paddlers disappear in front of me, I can now keep up with my more accomplished paddling companions.

Happy Paddling!

Magnus de Brito

Magnus de Brito has been involved in design projects for industry giants such as Porsche, 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.

The Pirelli boat design won the prestigious 2009 Red Dot design award, “Best of the Best.” Working with Pirelli and Agipi Marine has given Magnus engineering experience in marine design technology – experience not usually available to kayak companies. The modular kayak Point 65 Tequila! won an honorary mention by Red Dot in 2010, ISPO's Brand New award and won Popular Science Magazines Best of what's New Award. The modular Martini was selected Swedish outdoor product of the year by the Swedish Outdoor Industry and was selected Playaks most interesting product at Kanumesse 2010.

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. Throughout his career, his passion for water sports – and designing the best water crafts – has continued unabated. Now, at Point 65, Magnus is applying both his engineering skills and his kayaking expertise to our most challenging design projects including the new

XP series, the Tequila!, Martini and new models for 2011 HotShot and Bourbon Orca.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Japan disaster -impact on kayak retailers

A few days ago I received this message from Shinju, our Japan Distributor;

Hi Richard

Four of active retailer were suffered by this earthquake disaster

Below is the list.

MESA ( Kamaishi Iwate ): http://www.mesasanriku.com/

Sea-son ( Miyako Iwate ): http://sea-son.net/

Earth Quest ( Onagawa Miyagi) http://www.h5.dion.ne.jp/~equest/ http://sea.ap.teacup.com/earthquest/

Marine Planning Miyagi ( Matsushima Miyagi ) http://www.mariplamiyagi.net/ http://ameblo.jp/msvino/

Fortunately, their family and staffs are all fine. But still under hard situation since their shops, warehouse and kayaks

has gone by Tsunami. We're going to strong support their restructuring. Their shops were used be on beautiful coast in Japan and it was so attractive for sea kayaker. So we'd like to help them to all of kayaker can paddling there again.

If you can give us any support, is it possible to contribute Point65 Kayaks for their outdoor center operation?

No need Fiberglass kayaks, No need new one, even used one or old model is ok.

We, will also contribute our used kayaks, and will deliver it from coming fall to next spring.

By that time, we think they can have sight for reconstruction of their town.

Please discuss about it by your side.



Shinju enclosed these unbelievable pictures of the destruction of these kayak centers.

Point 65 is donating 20 kayaks for these badly hit retailers. Let me know if you want to help out!



Sunday, April 10, 2011

Breizh Kayak La Baule

I spent the weekend in La Baule. A wonderful beach resort in Pays de la Loire. I took the opportunity to visit Nicolas at Breizh Kayak, the Point 65 -dealer there.

Nicolas outside his really nice shop. Inspired by the Apple Stores?

Nicolas opened his shop in 2010 moving here from Paris. After a successful career at Apple Computers (we share a passion there to) he is living his dream working with his passion, paddling and the ocean in general.
Behind the counter with his best selling accessorie, the Tequila! Backrest!

Camilla and I stopped by Nicolas demo day on the plage de La Baule just next to the magnificent Hermitage Hotel. Paddlers from near and far had come to try different kayaks and meet with Nicolas.
Camilla and Nicolas on the beach with the Hermitage in the background. Probably one of the best hotels in France.

Afterwards, lunch at the L'Eden Beach.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tequila! in a Mini Cooper

I received this photo from a happy customer in the US! Thats a tandem kayak in there!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Outside Magazine features Martini

Outside Magazine (US edition), one of the worlds leading Outdoor publications, has featured the Point 65 Martini in its April issue "Covet" section!!!
You can read the full story here:

The kayak received lot's of praize. Here is what they wrote:

"Portable kayaks are nothing new, but until now they've been expensive, a hassle to assemble, or both. That's why Point 65's Martini is so brilliant. Release a few buckles and presto: this 13-foot-8-inch tandem separates into three interlocking pieces that fit nicely in the back of an SUV or an apartment-building elevator.

Paddling solo? Leave out the middle section to form a sporty 9-foot-4-inch single. Best of all, it's actually a good boat—stable when launching and landing, nimble on the water, and ready to swallow a weekend's worth of gear. It's also a heck of a lot tougher than traditional frame-and-PVC folding expedition craft. Our only question: Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?"

Outsideonline first page

The cover of the April issue

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Point 65 Martini -Swedish outdoor product of the year!

I'm completly stoked that our modular sit in Martini has been selected Swedish Outdoor Product of the year! Big thanks to the jury and to Magnus de Brito, the Martinis designer!!!
Tomas and me (left) at the Stockholm Outdoor Show

I missed the banquet and award cermony...

Monday, February 7, 2011

March 25 - 27, Point 65 at the 2011 Paddlesport

Jersey Paddler is one of the largest kayak shops in the world. I have been calling on owner John Durrua for 12 years nagging him to exhibit Point 65 at his annual Paddlesport show.

The massive Jersey Paddler store in Brick, NJ.

I have prevailed. I'm very excited to announce that Point 65 kayaks will be exhibited at the 2011 Paddlesport at the Garden State Exhibit Center, Somerset, New Jersey March 25 - 27.

On the yard outside the store you can find an extreme variety of kayaks

Paddlesport is the largest canoe & kayak show on the US East Coast. Paddlesport hosts many vendors including the top names in paddle sports such as Point 65!
The Point 65 Tequila!, our modular take apart sit on top will be at Paddlesport!

The show features manufacturers of kayaks, canoes, accessories, sportswear, paddling clubs professional instruction and expeditions, as well as lectures and video and slide shows of paddling trips, expeditions and paddling techniques.
We are not the only Swedish brand on display! Thule is there to!

Throughout the weekend there will be a variety of informative and entertaining seminars and demonstrations from experts in the industry. From novice to expert, whether you attend to learn or to buy, don't miss the chance to take advantage of professional advice and great show pricing.

Many interesting speakers to enjoy, like my old friend, the great Wayne Horodowich

Also attending are many outdoor gear and clothing manufacturers such as NRS (Paddlesport Show Sponsor) Outdoor Research, Keen, Kokatat and Chota, just to name a few.

The Garden State Exhibit Center, in Somerset, NJ is a 70,000 square foot facility making Paddlesport the biggest show on the East Coast. It is conveniently located off of I-287 Exit 10, a 45 minute drive from Manhattan, one hour from Center City Philadelphia, and within easy reach of the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike.

Don't miss this!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Michael Taylor's XP18 video

Michael Taylor, manager of Kayak Warehouse, Sunshine Coast, Australia produced this cool video on the XP18.