I am truly honored to be able to write my impressions of the soon to be available Dagger Jitsu, our newest freestyle project! It's been a little while I know but that wait will be well worth it. This boat has the full force of the Dagger design team behind and it shows. I can't recall how many conversations I've had with other Team members, other paddlers and Mark "Snowy" Robertson and that was before we even had a boat to talk about! Now that the boat has been through the paces, the prototypes, and the evaluation of some of the best freestyle paddlers on the planet I'm so excited I don't even know where to start:) Here's my best effort, sorry if its a jumbled I really am just that pumped about this kayak!
It seems whenever I get asked about a freestyle boat people always want to know about the Hull Speed for the waves and how big does it loop. Hull speed.... well I've thought about this and I'm just going to refer to the picture below of a recent test session at Skook. Notice the compression of where Chris left the water and where he is in the air, I think we're good on Hull Speed!
Chris Gragtmans airing it out.
As for looping sometimes that doesn't always go hand in hand with good wave performance. Not this time. A huge goal of ours through the entire process was to combine a good wave boat with one that doesn't sacrifice on smaller features that most of us paddle on. I'm happy to say that not only are the loops big but the cartwheels are very balanced, meaning that you don't feel like you're going to fall on your head on the stern end. Check out one my earlier test sessions in the first prototype at Big Rocks on the Nolichucky last September:
Dagger Jitsu from Andrew Holcombe on Vimeo.
What I'm really getting at here is the overall and all around awesomeness of this kayak! It performs on all types of features big (think Skook, the New River Dries, etc..) and small (Big Rocks), its aggressive without throwing you around too much, and its actually alright to sit in for a bit. Plus with three sizes it'll span the distance of sizes out there. I'll finish with one more link, this is Rush absolutely crushing it on Skook. Keep an eye out the Jitsu is coming your way soon!