There have been quite some questions about the Drakkar Wheelboy design ideology. Here is what I wanted and why.
Generation 4 WB in Plattling
The idea was to build an full performance hot-blooded freestyle race boat that would perform in all river conditions. The main focus was set to design an unmatched c-1 performance machine and combine it with balanced easy boating. The performance level was well introduced by some freestyle kayaks. There was also many bad examples around to tell me what I don't want to do.
As the work was started at 1998 the design changed and generations of protos passed. After inventing new moves the boat always grew to meet the demands of days paddling.
At 2005 the Drakkar Wheelboy stands for what it is mend to be. It is the one and the only C-1 freestyle boat that can take a challenge from any conversion and kayak.
The production model in C/K
Closer look on features
The volume distribution is c-1 specific and pretty center balanced. All volume is distributed equally around paddler and allows fastest wheeling in the world. just think about those figure skaters. The ends are not meant to cut cookies and allow enough buoyancy for big air moves. The deck is high especially behind the paddler to provide an extremely high buoyancy to keep paddlers body out of water and keep the boat jumping back on water features, This you will notice immediately as you stick on wave longer than others want to wait. (not good for crowded places like Hurley J )
The Wheelboy is highly asymmetric design. Asymmetric hull gives a wide high buoyancy tail that will keep the paddler balanced on most cases when leaning back The bow is also long enough to compensate c-1 paddlers powerful forward lean while stroking hard. Yet another feature very handy on river conditions too. You can focus on your strokes and not on your balance.
The second handy play and river feature is the 3.rd hull that supports paddlers when boat is not planning. The round and forgiving shapes help to keep you head up on mushy eddies, boily lines and soft creamy foam piles. The Wheelboy is wide. The main plane is flat and wide and gives some good primary stability. Combining the stability of these 2 hulls makes the wheelboy more stable than any conversion.
The plane area is large and rocker profile conservative. There is no need for higher rocker since c-1 boats can be controlled with weight transitions. The bow rocker has a slightly kick rockered blunt disk that will throw the boat in the air and allow butt bouncing. The kick has lower rocker angle than in many other design and does not sacrifice your forward speed. the lower angle has lower lift and that is made up with higher kick area. result is high blunts and way forward of the pile. the feature is especially useful for all wave moves like PanAm's, Misty-Flips and Air screws and Donkey-flips.
Plane-area is surrounded by slight secondary edge for extra forgiveness. The main plane disc is rockered to equal roundness to equalize water pressure under hull and keep boat performance loose and logic. The hull releases with slight drop of an edge and turning point is defined by paddlers center of weight. No extra effort is needed to spin the boat.
Edges are well defined. The carving performance is good and 3 rd hull helps to keep the boat balanced at edge. The secondary stability is good enough to carve on the offside too without keeping the blade on the water.
The high hull speed is often needed in a C-1. The lack of blades and stroke power can be compensated with high hull speed. The wheelboy plane is fast because it is long, low rocker and stiff. The tail design is low hang sub swallow that releases in the corners. sharp edges and smooth surface help a lot here.
How it works
It works just like it is supposed to work. It is really fast and loose on a wave and does all the tricks nice and easy. It is comfortable and easy to paddle in all conditions. It is surprisingly good on play- rivers with good buoyancy and quite stable platform to stroke hard.
Have Fun on the RiveR !!
Click here to see the Wheelboy in action. (2.4 MB Real Video)