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Fluid Donsa Donsa


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12 Shochet Street
South Africa

Phone: +27 56-817-2951

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The Donsa is a plastic slalom kayak that delivers high performance in an affordable, almost indestructible package.

The Donsa complies with full ICF regulations and can be used in ICF sanctioned slalom competitions.

The Donsa's heavier weight means that you won't take it to the Olympics, but the tough construction makes it perfect for beginner to intermediate slalom kayakers and slalom clubs. Experienced slalom kayakers who want to spare their more expensive composite craft from abuse when training on rocky slalom courses will find the Donsa a happy alternative.

The Donsa is not just a kayak for slalom paddlers though. Kayakers who are not interested in slalom competition but who like a fast kayak for downriver play, or who just want to experiment with new lines in rapids or experience a different way of running rapids, can make good use of the Donsa's agility. It is a perfect kayak for practicing attainments.

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Fluid Donsa 2012-08-23 10:06:26 Rags
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Rags Reviewed by Rags    August 23, 2012
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About Me
This review is about using the Donsa as a downriver boat.

First off, I am not a slalom boater nor am I an amazing boater. My go-to boat is a Jackson Hero and I use a WaveSport EZG for play. I mostly paddle class III because that's what is nearby.
Pros / The Good
Frankly the Donsa feels a like a giant, flat RPM. Going straight downriver in it through wave-trains etc., isn't all that interesting - it just punches straight through everything. But turn the boat upriver, WOW! Jet ferries are incredible. The Donsa accelerates like crazy across the face of waves. Pivot turns and stern squirts are simple and fun, just like you would expect from a slalom boat. Popping in and out of eddies is a hoot. For local runs that are getting just a little bit boring, the Donsa makes them just that little bit more exciting. Plus it's plastic - if I hit something it is not a big deal like it would be with a carbon fiber slalom boat.
Cons / The Bad
Using the Donsa downriver took some getting used to. At 11'6" it is long and tail is always a couple of inches underwater so to get it to turn quickly I have begun to learn and employ a bit of slalom technique (which has improved my paddling overall).

The outfitting is minimal to say the least. I am 5'11", 175lbs and I have plenty of room and am comfortable once I am in the boat, but the keyhole feels small and getting in the boat takes some squirming. I did add a Jackson backband to mine (I know, I know, slalom boats aren't supposed to have backbands but then again, slalom races are only 2-3 minutes long and my back just couldn't take an hour without some more support).
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Posted: 5 years, 6 months ago by macyakker #31092
\n\nSo where can I find the Fluid Donsa?
Posted: 5 years, 6 months ago by jonnyhawk #29349
I will have them on the 1st Shipment here in about 4 weeks when the 2st container from Africa arrives from Fluid. We are located in Virginia.


Posted: 5 years, 6 months ago by AdrianTregoning #29348
It would help if you mentioned where you live.
Posted: 5 years, 10 months ago by ScottBarnes #28479
jpn55 wrote:
the challenge to me is to paddle boats that handle differently and try to adjust my paddling style to take advantage of each boat's strengths.

that's the spirit!!!

I'd encourage everyone to talk to their local boating club and see if they can get a plastic slalom boat. I brought a bunch of the Dragorossi slalom boats (SL350) in the U.S. and most of the interest was with clubs who wanted to keep them around for members to try when they were ready to experiment either with actual racing or just doing some cross training to build up their skills.

Slalom is a super way to clean up your technique. It translates directly to all sorts of river running, creeking, and even playboating ability.

The Donsa looks like a very nice boat. Galasport also makes a plastic slalom boat, I believe off their older Toro model. The Draorossi boat is on the lower side of the medium sized boat. Not knowing what Celliers weighs, I can't really guess the comparison between the Donsa and the SL350, but I"m anxious to see the Fluid boat in the U.S. so I can make a direct comparison. The Galasport boat is pretty big, so good for larger paddlers.

These plastic slalom boats are a very good sign for the future of the sport because they will foster some skilled paddlers in the future. The kids who learn, or do some training in these slalom boats will surely be good paddlers. AND, the plastic boats will last longer than composite boats, which is why clubs are looking into them.
Posted: 5 years, 10 months ago by jpn55 #28473
I paddle both slalom boats and plastic boats, and i race both boats in easy Class II-II+ races. My race runs in the plastic boats are about 7% slower on average. For slalom boats in recent years i've used a Prijon Barcelona, a Galasport Vision, and recently took delivery of a Galasport Toro Evo (wow, playboaters should love this boat). Over the years, i've used various old plastic boats, including a Perception Pirouette S and, more recently, a Wavesport Frankenstein. It would be interesting to paddle a plastic slalom boat, but the challenge to me is to paddle boats that handle differently and try to adjust my paddling style to take advantage of each boat's strengths.
Posted: 6 years ago by TBudd #27882
Makes perfect sense, Rodriguez. And that link taught me a lot about proper slalom technique! I've watched all of their videos several times but it is always good to review for sure. Wish I had another slalom paddler around to practice with!
Posted: 6 years ago by Rodriguez #27875
boat is afterall just a hole in the water and since the 5kg difference between a carbon boat and a thermoplastic is a smalll percentage of the total mass, I would say that the increased speed is just a perception

In slalom competition is not a perception is a few seconds. But not only for the speed as a flatwater racing boats. A ligther and stiff boat is more responsive to the charge of the weigth of the paddler's upper and lower body . The skills for turning and crossing the gates are based in this weight change.

Posted: 6 years ago by TBudd #27873
Not sure, FluidTim. Everything I've ever read suggested that a lighter, less flexible material makes a faster planing surface. I do get what you are saying, guy--and I am no hydrodynamics / marine engineer. Lighter is definitely better because you are hauling less through the water with your paddle. I would think if a hull has some flex to it it would change shape if ever so slightly and that would be bad.

**I would add that the plastic on the SL350 is so hard it is NOT flexing in the water.

lennart -- what are the prion (which model by the way?) and robson like compared to the DragoRossi? Just curious (aside from your not fitting them). One faster than the other?
Posted: 6 years ago by FLuid Tim #27868
I fail to see how the same shape wil be faster in one material vs another...

a boat is afterall just a hole in the water and since the 5kg difference between a carbon boat and a thermoplastic is a smalll percentage of the total mass, I would say that the increased speed is just a perception. Perhaps the lighter hull with its thinner skin provides more feedback to the paddler. But the speed is mostly governed by the shape and total mass, not the material.
Posted: 6 years ago by lennart #27863
there is a big difference between a composite and a plastic boat even when it is the same design. the stifness of a composite boat makes it a lot faster. I really look forward to paddle this one, I have paddled the robson, dragorossi/rainbow and the prijon slalom boats.I found all of then to small for me (75 kilo) on a gr 3 course. The Donsa is designed like all medium fluids for celliers himself, taht means I will fit this one very well.
Posted: 6 years ago by TBudd #27862
I've found that on riding waves you have to lean way back, do your brace, and edge over nice and hard and it all of a sudden clicks into the wave and shoots like a surf board across it really fast. On steep waves mine (or at least mine with my current skill set) wants to go either left or right (like a surf board)--not straight as the tail can dig into the wave (if you do it wrong--and I have).
Posted: 6 years ago by TBudd #27861
The tail is very neat. It swooshes side-to-side slightly in the water as you paddle if you are doing it correctly. About 8 inches of the tail/stern stays submerged just slightly; I describe a slalom boat as just hovering at the water line. You put a stroke on one side in and push on one foot peddle hard while raising your opposite knee to the top of the hull, then repeat it reverse on the opposite side for the opposite stroke. I find them REALLY easy to turn--in fact the trick is to make them NOT turn (and that you have to do by learning to balance, lean and edge the boat--which as I say really teaches you hull dynamics). Do it wrong on flat water sprints and you will actually spin out. It's very cool. That's on flat and rough water anyway.
Posted: 6 years ago by Rodriguez #27854
Not easy to turn, but very fast. And if you don't want to touch the gates in a competition the volume can't be outside the water.
Posted: 6 years ago by FLuid Tim #27851
I find the long thin flat tail to be intriguing. why are these boats shaped this way? does it make them easier to turn?
Posted: 6 years ago by TBudd #27848
For the past 7 months I've been paddling DragoRossi's plastic Slalom boat and I've been loving it. I use it for endurance training (taking it for 7-12 mile runs), core training (I love how slalom forces you to develop close-to-perfect torso rotation during your stroke), and surfing wind slop. I have no experience with gates or glass boats I admit. But my plastic slalom boat is one of my favorite kayaks. It is a great little wind slop surfer, carves like a knife, and it is still really light. Hyper maneuverable and really fast too.

Great thing about slalom boating is that once you get it wired you get really good at controlling a kayak with just balance and edging--it's all about using the hull and little else.

One day I will get a glass slalom boat, but other than the weight-to-speed difference, I wonder what the other differences would be (that's an honest question by the way). Does a glass boat maneuver or carve differently I wonder? But my plastic slalom is used almost daily (4 times a week actually) and it is wearing well (should last for nearly ever) and there's no maintenance involved other than a hose. And you can still throw one of these plastic boats over your shoulder and carry it comfortably for good distances. And for $700-$800 bucks...hey!
Posted: 6 years ago by Rodriguez #27844
I had paddled slalom in composite and rivers in plastic K-1.
A plastic slalom boat can't attain the performance of the composite boat but the manufacturers have tried to improve something similar Wthout success in my opinion. The old fox is still a good boat. I don't have tested the Toro plastic by Galasport.

Good luck for Fluid and I want one.
Posted: 6 years ago by AdrianTregoning #27840
Boats Database: Fluid Donsa
The Donsa is a plastic slalom kayak that delivers high performance in an affordable, almost indestructible package. The Donsa complies with full ICF regulations and can be used in ICF sanctioned slalom competitions.

I know almost nothing about slalom and it's highly unlikely I'll ever get into that side of kayaking but I'm dying to hear what other slalom paddlers have to say about this boat.

Any thoughts?





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