This is our seventh outrigger canoe review! This article will reference the last six boats as design comparisons and flatwater test results. You can check them out here - https://www.k2nonlinepaddleschool.com/post/outrigger-gear-review-kai-wa-a-draco-pro-ozone https://www.k2nonlinepaddleschool.com/post/outrigger-gear-review-kai-wa-a-ares-ozone https://www.k2nonlinepaddleschool.com/post/outrigger-gear-review-puakea-kahele-ozone https://www.k2nonlinepaddleschool.com/post/outrigger-gear-review-puakea-cantare-ozone
Currently we have Canoe Specs, Measurements, Boat Comfort/Quality of Life, and Flatwater Testing.
I am 5ft 6 (167cm) and 140lbs (63.5kg) slightly above the intermediate skill level as a reviewer. I typically fit in all canoes without issue but have a good general idea of a paddler being too big for a given vessel based on club members using boats.
Another old school design with the Mike Giblin Storm and one of the first generation of boats manufactured at Ozone with no seam. These boats definitely feel like they are made by the same shaper with the nose and front bungee system being reminiscent of the Tempest/Hurricane. At a glance it feels like a "beefy" Hurricane being a touch wider in certain points and having more volume in its design. There is also an evolution to the ozone manufacturing technology changing over time as this boat is freaky light for its size even by todays standards, it seems like there are a couple more layers of carbon in todays boat for structural integrity. As with our previous articles we will touch on the quality of life changes in the cockpit area/rigging systems in comparison to todays boats.
Seat Depth with Seat - 2 inches/5cm
Footplate Leg Distance (One setting) 22 to 44 inches / 55.8cm to
Heel Depth 10in/25.4
Boat weight for testing - 20lb/9kg
Rudder 10inch Surf Rudder
Outline Measurements from nose
15 inches from nose - 4 inches wide 38cm/10.2cm
30 inches from nose - 6.5 inches wide 76cm/16.5cm
45 inches from nose - 9 inches wide 114cm/22.3cm
60 inches from nose - 11 inches wide 152cm/27.9cm
75 inches from nose - 12.25 inches wide 190cm/31.1cm
Outline Measurements from tail
75 inches from tail - 12.5 inches wide 190cm/31.8cm
60 inches from tail - 11 inches wide152cm/27.9cm
45 inches from tail - 9 inches wide 114cm/22.3cm
30 inches from tail - 6.5 inches wide 76cm/16.5cm
15 inches from tail - 4 inches wide 38cm/10.2cm
Features a recessed seating area to insert the velcro seat based on leg length. Seated position is about 2 inches/5cm inside the boat with the heel position 10 inches/25cm below from the top giving around an 8/20cm inch difference in that heel to sit bone distance. Every boat we have reviewed has this similar ratio in the seated position for leg drive. The foot pedals are a bit oversized and positioned where it is very easy to engage the rudder lines for steering. It can be problematic with touching the pedals while paddling and will take more conscious effort to minimize this. Foot plate shapes and angles have evolved to allow a mid foot push and this design is strictly heel drive. The large single footwell is great for leg drive and shows this design comes after the era of individual foot wells for each leg which were a little more restrictive.
Quality of Life Details:
The iakos twist into the ama using a cinch system for tightening, identical to the Hurricane. But it then attaches via a pin system into the canoe itself. I have never had the pin system fail on me, but I have had these twist systems wear down over time. Using a little epoxy to add on the layer the grinds away is simple maintenance but something to keep an eye on. Overall there are a lot of combinations with 5 settings on both front and back for the twist side, then 2 adjustments on the pin side. You can make this boat extremely "light" on the ama which is fun if you are adept at skimming it across the surface of the water.
Overall the trend with this boat was to add more features for surfing swells efficiently. More volume above the waterline gives it more lift to stay high on a wave, little extra length and rocker line to help keep from plowing swells, and a noticeably forward rudder position makes this bat very nimble. Many of these ideas take away from its pure flatwater glide but not by much. The underside of the hull is totally rounded which minimizes the surface area and potential drag giving it a decent balance in both context. I would say in a head to head the Ares balances both ideas better for surfing and maintaining flatwater efficiency but much of that comes from volume distribution being a little more superior. The ama is very small and being fairly close to the hull and being lightweight makes it feel easy to manipulate to minimize drag. It ends up not being a huge point of drag as much as just enough balance to apply power.
Flatwater Testing Overview:
For all tests ongoing we will be using the format of 3 miles 4827m at a specific stroke rate. This lake has the same water depth annually for consistency, and the course is marked by 4 buoys that do not change position making it easy to run different boats on the course for cross analysis. The Stroke Rate goal is a submaximal 55SPM with a margin of error for 1SPM 54-56spm. Noting boat weights and rudder sizes as potential future differences amongst similar shaped boats. This serves as a good general guide on boats that vary dramatically in shape, but will also be fun to see how boats compare and factoring in the outline measurements towards that.
Pleasantly surprised with the glide this boat has. You can feel the volume and length in the acceleration but it maintains its own momentum very well. The big take away is feeling the larger rudders forward position being a drag on the glide potential. Testing this with a 3 inch rudder would definitely shave off a noticeable amount of time. This would put this boat within the realm of the Kahele for overall flatwater speed if I had to guess. I think a 3 inch would work as opposed to a standard 4 because of the hulls shape and the rudder position helping it feel larger. For the time trial the turns were very tight, and very quick to complete which felt more efficient than whirling around for 20 strokes on a 180. Power is the name of the game with this boat to make it glide, small inputs of quicker strokes might not be enough to get over the wave drag it creates and find that efficiency.
Overall this is a fantastic boat. I wasn't sure how I would like it at first but for an entry level model to get into the sport, this would do the trick. Theres been a lot of innovations over the last 10 years that do result in slightly better ergonomics and performance but we are only talking seconds per mile on flatwater. For surfing this would be a treat to take into a downwind for sure too. If you spot one of these in the wild, don't underestimate it!
Thank you all for checking out the article. If you have any questions about boats or our online coaching feel free to message anytime via Live Chat or my email Robertnorman142@yahoo.com