HYDRA 145 CORE WhiteOut
Like a sea monster from the deep, the Hydra possesses plenty of attitude and can certainly hold its own in the big stuff.Learn More
Written by: Bryan Kirk
Ever since the original Project came out back in 2005, I've been picking the boat apart with the help of Robert Peerson and the rest of Team WS trying to find ways to make an incredible design even better. We came out with an improvement - the carbon-only Project 54cx in 2009. This boat went better backwards and had ultra-slicey ends yet big pop for loops.
We've been working on fine tuning the next freestyle design ever since. The New River Dries in West Virginia is only 8 miles from my house, and provides the ultimate testing grounds for a freestyle kayak to push the sport to the next level. Here I am surfing the prototype 1 of the Project X:
Above is the 1st plastic prototype of the Project X since the 54cx was introduced. We learned a lot from the 54cx, and used all this knowledge as a strong starting point for designing the next ultimate freestyle boat.
The above picture was shot by Ben Marr and is a glassy, fast, yet flat wave that is great at 42,000cfs. It provides a useful test feature for comparing the relative speeds of different hull shapes. It requires a very fast boat to catch this waves, let alone throwing and sticking huge aerial tricks like this panam.
Here I am throwing a clean blunt on the same top wave in the Project X 48. Even though I am at the top end of the weight range for the 48 at 160 lbs, the hull has plenty of surface area and planing ability to let me surf and land moves with no pearling issues.
Here is Shane Groves in his new 56 getting inverted on the middle wave at 53,000 cfs. Shane is the local math teacher and my current room mate, and grew up near the Gauley(and it shows!).
In the above shot Shane is relying on the rocker profile and wide planing surface of his Project X 56 to land a panam by slapping down on the wave's surface, and not going too deep which would cause a wipeout and flush! He's only had his boat for a week, but looks like he's been paddling it for years with his aerial consistency. He's 175lbs, about 6 feet, and noted that this is the first boat he's ever had that fits him like a glove.
Here's Dan Reiter, local bartender at the delicious Diogi's Mexican restaurant. I highly recommend this as a post-paddling place to get stuffed and have some local brewery libations.
Ever surfed the air before? Adam Johnson came down from WVU for a surf and hopped in my old prototype #5. It treated him well, to say the least.
I told you the old proto treated him well! Adam got several inches, err, FEET off the water on this airscrew. I'm not sure if I've seen a plastic boat take off like this before.....
So here we have it, the final Project X. It's faster, pearls less, planes better, is more comfortable for everyone, and goes backwards much better than the original Project series - which is a legendary design even after 5+ years. I've never before witnessed so many people in a brand new design catch so many huge crazy waves, then go massive so consistently! The Project X is opening up opportunities for everyone to catch and surf any size wave with ease, then hands them the control to throw incredible moves. I can't think of anything we missed with this design - and I've been working my brain trying to find faults with the hull. I've come to the conclusion that this boat has no compromises. It excels on waves of all sizes, holes, and most importantly in comfort and ease to paddle and surf!
Shane and Adam take time to soak in an epic day at the Dries at big water. If there is a heaven on Earth, this must be where it is. It was great to hang out with so many good friends and see everyone ripping in Wave Sport's latest freestyle design. I can't wait for the next soaker of a rain to hit the New River drainage!