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Kayaking 2004 Revisited

The paddling year 2004 in brief retrospective.

So what happened?

The year 2004 was an extremely active year for the paddling community. New manufacturers, new moves (e.g. the double air screw...), new products, new destinations. Playak presents a brief review of the main developments:

Kayak Manufacturers

Fluid Kayaks

Fluid Kayaks hit the market in January. The South African company seemed a bit like an outsider in the beginning, but owner Cellier Kruger and marketing lady Heidi Corry fought the odds successfully and turned Fluid into a global brand to be reckoned with within one year.

Jackson Kayak

Granted, Jackson Kayak did not really start in 2004, but still... For EJ this was the first full year of operating his new company. And in late summer, JK won the Playak readers' title of 'Most Promising New Kayak Brand'.

Drakkar Kayaks

Another new kayak manufacturer this year was Drakkar Kayaks from Finland / Poland. Despite their name, Drakkar focuses mostly on C1 boats, although by the end of the year they finish their first kayak as well.

DragoRossi Kayaks

And yet another new kayak manufacturer entered the scene late April. This time, eternal enfant terrible of the kayak scene, Corran Addison, joins the Italians from ShockWave and Rainbow Kayaks to form DragoRossi.

Whitewater Parks

It seems whitewater parks and urban waves are slowly moving into the 'politically correct' area...

In May, the urban Truckee Whitewater Park in Reno opens its waters. The Green River Whitewater Park is not really new, but at least they get a new wave...

Paddling Events

The world famous Hawaii sur Rhone wave in Lyon, France is home of what is probably the best kayak freestyle event in the world, the Lyon River Festival. Some more photos are available in my gallery.

Outdoor Retailer

The world's most important kayaking trade show takes place in August in Salt Lake City. As always, we marvel at lots of new boats, gear and gimmicks:

For a complete overview of the show, see:


The 4th Immersion Research Big Gun Show (aka the world championships of aerial kayaking maneuvers) has winners in six categories. All trailers can be viewed online here.


Uganda White Nile Kayaking

Every year seems to have its in-country for kayaking. It's not like the old ones disappear, new ones are just added to the list. We've had Nepal, Chile, Zimbabwe and Norway. 2004 seems to be the year of the White Nile and Uganda.

That's it, see you next year!

I know, I could go on and on and on, but I did't want to bore you with too many details... In my humble eyes, this sums up the most important events and trends of 2004.

Stay tuned to Playak in 2005. We have more exciting new things lined up than ever...

Many thanks to all sponsors, readers, contributors and advertisers (in no particular order :-) for your continued support !
Happy New Year,

PS Feel free to post your comments below if you think I left out something important...



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