New Diablo Paddlesports Accessories

Diablo Paddlesports has launched a couple of new accessories specifically designed to be mounted to their boats, the Chupacabra and the Adios. The Diablo Leaning Post works in a similar manner as the Hobie H-Bar in the fact that it helps you stand up and stabilize yourself while sight casting or stand up paddling.  It folds completely flat and still allows access to the front dry storage.  It includes a paddle holder as well.  To mount this cool product to your Diablo boat, you will want to utilize the YakAttack Gear Trac mounting plates.

The second accessory is the Diablo Cooler Deck, which provides a flat surface to mount a cooler or tackle box. This false deck sits over the cockpit and can support a 65 qt cooler or be used as a standing platform. It’s covered with a black traction pad for a non-slip surface. The great thing about it is that it does not require any permanent mounting and can easily be installed or removed using the included straps and can be stored in the rear of the kayak.

Check out the video below for more details.

Jerron @ACK

Video: New from Diablo Paddlesports in 2013

While at the 2013 Austin Boat Show, we took the time to make a couple of videos showcasing some new products and upgraded features on a couple of boats. Thomas Flemons from Diablo Paddlesports was kind enough to take a few minutes to show off their new features for 2013 on both the Adios and the Chupacabra. Thomas covers a lot of ground in a short time, showing off their new leaning bar that can be outfitted with rod and paddle holders, the optional gear basket that attaches to the front of the bar, the Diablo/Yeti deck, the Diablo Skeg and the Sawyer Versa Paddle. Check out the video, let us know what you think!

-Trent @ ACK

Kayaking 101: Drop the what? The Kayak Skeg Defined

No one likes to fight the elements just to paddle straight. The problem is that once that wind starts blowing even the most experienced paddlers have trouble keeping their bow pointed in the direction they are heading. Sure, there are a number of ways to prep a kayak to lessen the effects of a windy day (like distributing weight along your kayak, packing items below deck, and bringing the right size & shape of boat, etc.) but even after doing all that there’s one feature to consider when shopping for a kayak — the skeg.

To those who aren’t familiar, the skeg is similar to a rudder (more on this here) in a lot of ways. It’s a small blade built in and deployed beneath the rear of the hull (ex. see the Liquid Logic Remix XP below).  Unlike a rudder however, the skeg does not pivot from side to side. In fact many skegs only offer two settings, deployed and not deployed.

So what is it good for?

What it comes down to is tracking. Tracking is a term that refers to keeping your bow in a straight line as you paddle. The skeg helps you track by lessening the effects of wind or rough waters as they push on the hull by connecting it to deeper, more stable water.

So why do some kayaks have them and others not?

Not every kayak has a skeg built in. Skegs are usually found on those that are meant for touring or longer distance paddling and for boats that need the extra assistance. Some kayaks such as the Liquid Logic Remix (pictured below) offer it as on option for boats that may be used for playing around rapids but may also need help for long distance paddling. If you happen to find yourself skegless and in need of one, you aren’t necessarily out of luck. A few of our kayaks do offer optional skegs that can be purchased and installed separately (like the Diablo Chupacabra skeg pictured above). Another, more common optional feature is a rudder, which can offer even more directional control of your kayak.

In the end, whether or not a skeg is right for you can be a personal preference. For first time shoppers, consider the benefits and for long time paddlers who find themselves consistently frustrated and over exerting oneself just to keep straight, a skeg might be something to consider when deciding on your next kayak.

Thanks for reading and happy paddling! – Joseph@ACK

PS. Came across this recent video from Necky Kayaks explaining their unique skeg system. Enjoy!

 

SUP + Kayak = SUPYak?

There is no doubt that Stand Up Paddleboards (SUPs) are the latest craze in the paddling world but it’s easy to see why — the boards look slick, are easy to lug around and offer both a unique workout and a new perspective on paddling. In fact, SUPs have gained so much popularity over the last few years that they have been turning the heads of some top kayak manufacturers. These brands have responded by “hybridizing” boards with kayaks, creating a unique style of boat that we wanted to discuss in this blog.

So what is the difference between a SUP and a SUP/kayak hybrid? Well, while many people like the idea of a SUP, a common criticism is that they can be limited purpose vessels. If you want to do more than stand up and paddle, you’re pretty much out of luck. SUP/Kayak hybrids are meant to address this issue by combining the stability of a SUP with the customability of a kayak. Each of the hybrid manufacturers, which include Ocean Kayak, Native Watercraft, Liquid Logic and Diablo Paddlesports, have taken it upon themselves to incorporate their brand’s uniqueness with the benefits of a SUP. The different boards are described briefly below.

Versa Board 12-3 by Liquid Logic and Native WatercraftWhat really sets the Versa Board apart from the rest are the seat configuration options. There is a cooler seat, a comfortable wedge or wedge deluxe seat and of course the First Class Swivel seat. Additionally, you’ll find a variety of other unique features including a drop down skeg, built in wheel for transport and a molded in rear handle. And, like all other hybrids, the Versa offers a number of accessory mounting options. Native Watercraft, Liquid Logic’s sister company offers an angler version too! The Versa Board is made of the same materials as your standard plastic kayak which makes it a bit heaver than your traditional composite SUPs but as a result boasts more stability.

Nalu 12.5 by Ocean KayakIntended for entry level, long distance and recreational paddlers, the Nalu is a simple and affordable hybrid that provides both speed and comfort. It comes outfitted with a seat, dry hatch and storage bungee and offers plenty of deck space for mounting accessories. Like the Versa, it can be outfitted for a variety of activities including fishing. It is also made of plastic.

Adios by Diablo Paddlesports The Adios is more kayak than board, that being said, it incorporates SUP stability with a sit-on-top kayak’s maneuverability to create a very unique watercraft. With drink holders, extra space for storage and the optional Larry Chair, the Adios is made for comfort. More so than comfort, the Adios is quite the fishing machine. The mounting options are virtually unlimited and the ability to stand up makes it an ideal platform for sight casting. What really sets this one apart from the rest is the material it’s made of — Thermoformed ABS. For those looking for something a bit smaller, Diablo also offers the Chupacabra, a shorter version of the Adios. To read more about Diablo, click here.

For some, traditional SUPs will provide everything you need. For those intrigued persons who aren’t quite ready to give up everything they love about kayaking, we hope this will expose you to another option that may meet you in between. Thanks for reading and tell us what you think about these so called hybrids by commenting below.

Joseph @ACK

The Devil Went Down to ACK

One of the most stable fishing kayaks we offer.

You may have noticed our blog post last month welcoming Diablo Paddlesports to the ACK family of brands. We are particularly excited about bringing them on board due to their uniqueness, functionality as an excellent fishing platform and the simple fact that they are manufactured right here in Austin, Texas, making it easy for us to access inventory and replacement parts. You wouldn’t know they are newcomers to the paddling industry by the look of their boats, but they are, and they are already turning heads and making headlines in various related publications.

They currently offer two models, both similar in design, which are the Adios at 12.5’ long and the Chupacabra at 10.5’. What makes these boats so unique are their design and manufacturing process. They combine the stability of a Stand Up Paddleboard with the versatility of a fishing kayak, making an optimal boat specifically for our angling customers.

We offer several kayaks that allow for you to sit and stand and Diablo is right up there with them. All of that stability has to come from somewhere and while they may be a tad slower than some of it’s counterparts you’ll be surprised at how efficient they actually are — especially when combined with the optional drop skeg.

The Chupacabra in all its glory

Performance aside, Diablo kayaks are just great looking boats. The shine of the Thermoformed ABS and the large flat clean lines of the deck give it an almost luxurious feel and is sure to get second looks on the water. Those clean lines and what appears to be limitless mounting surface also lend themselves to countless rigging options. Combine that with the versatility of the Gear Trac Mounting system from YakAttack, there is almost no limit to what you can mount and where you can mount it.

One great option being offered by Diablo is their Larry Chair, which raises the paddler 10 inches of the deck, making sit-to-stand even easier while providing a better view of your surroundings. The Larry Chair is easily stored in the front hatch (or can be used around the campfire later) so when headwinds pick up it’s easy to get back to a lower profile. Because the paddler is higher off the deck it would be a good idea to consider a longer paddle (240cm+) .

Once again, we are excited and proud to have added Diablo Paddlesports to our line of boats. We had the pleasure of test-driving both models at our recent Demo Days and they were a hit! Whether fishing or simply looking for a stable and comfortable boat, we know you’ll be pleased with Diablo Paddlesports. For detailed specifications, options and pricing, click here.

Joe @ACK

Sit or Stand, the Devil Don’t Mind

We wanted to officially welcome Diablo Paddlesports to ACK. Diablo Paddlesports is an Austin, Texas based company that was founded in 2009 with the purpose of creating a boat that offered the benefits of both stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking. Today, they offer two such boats, the Adios and the Chupacabra, both of which will appear at local stores next week.

Diablo Paddlesport’s very own Ben and his dog enjoy the Diablo Chupacabra

We had a chance to get hands-on experience with these boats at our Demo Days this past weekend, and let us say that we are impressed! Both boats really do provide the ability to either sit or stand, and the sitting becomes a whole lot more comfortable when you add in their Larry Chair (pictured). One Chupacabra paddler even took it upon himself to attempt a handstand, but unfortunately it was a little too windy that day.

We’re very excited to have added Diablo Paddlesports to our mix and hope you are too! If you didn’t get a chance to try them out at our Austin Demo, Diablo Paddlesports will be present about our San Marcos and Houston Demo Events this coming weekend. – Joseph @ACK