Swell Watercraft Introduces New Kayak Technology, Inspired by the Past
(Bellingham, WA) Swell Watercraft released the first images of it’s “Scupper” kayak. It’s the first boat from the new company, started by former Canoe & Kayak magazine Publisher Jim Marsh. The boat was designed by Tim Niemier. Niemier is renowned for popularizing the sit-on top kayak, beginning with his revolutionary Ocean Kayak designs, starting in 1971.
The breakthrough inspiration came during one of Niemier’s long motorcycle rides. “I wanted to make a kayak that went faster but still performed great in big water. I realized if the paddler was as comfortable as I was on that motorcycle, they could paddle comfortably all day long. Comfort would equal speed. From then on, we focused on ergonomics and a lot of great things fell into place.”
For the first time in a sit-on-top, the paddlers’ feet have been lowered below waterline, allowing for a relaxed forward body position. Custom designed one-way valves (Patent Pending) have been installed in the scupper holes, allowing water to flow out, but none to flow in. The seat was sculpted with an ergonomics designer. The result is the most comfortable, narrow and agile sit-on-top kayak ever.
“The paddle stopped hitting our knees, we were able to make the boat extremely stable, even at a svelte 25” wide,” Marsh remarked. “We moved the footbraces to the inside pillar. Once we had the posture correct, we found we didn’t even need a backrest or seat on long trips.”
The Scupper is 14’ long, 25” wide, and is being introduced in two material types: rotomolded plastic (MSRP $995, 59 lbs.)or fiberglass ($3995 $, 37 lbs.). They’re available with a variety of available accessories that convert it for fishing, diving, spearfishing, sailing, camping or simply touring. The most dramatic is the Outrigger Pod ($699 MSRP), which stabilizes the kayak while allowing one to sit up high and fish from it, as well as store a ton of gear(or fish) inside.
The kayaks will be available for the first time June 15 at Kickstarter.com at up to 35% off for Early Birds. The first kayaks will ship in August.
Niemier is confident. “I’m paddling faster at 66 with this new kayak than I did at 26.”