Posted on Jun 15, 2016
Last Summer we hit the drawing board to figure out the next step in OC-1 hull design. In an effort to improve flat water speed and surfing performance, we changed the rocker, lengthened the waterline, and narrowed the body. As we expected, the canoe dropped in easier and was faster in the flat. But, after four months of testing we discovered that the new canoe had one critical flaw: elite paddlers simply couldn’t drive the new hull up and over bumps like they could on the Second Gen Pueo. So we came back to the computer and started exploring more options. The goal was to maintain the performance gains of that hull (flat water speed and better drop-in) while ensuring that it could still climb over bumps.
After months of computer modeling and simulation, we discovered the hull that we were looking for. Through a substantial change to the front and back rocker of the 2nd Gen Pueo, we had a computer model of a canoe that theoretically would perform better in both the surf and the flat, yet wouldn’t bog down while carrying over waves like the earlier prototype did. With our plan solidified on the computer, we built a prototype and got to testing.
Since January, the new prototype has been raced by a number of our team riders. She ended up winning several races including Koa Nui and Kanaka Ikaika Race #4. We made a mold in April and built seven canoes for this year’s Moloka’i Solo. The race went well with Travis Grant winning on the prototype and Kekoa Kau earning a top 10 finish on the first production boat out of the mold.
Those results are better than we could have asked for from a new canoe. However, because of mixed reviews from some of our team riders, we held off on announcing the update and spent the last few months trying to figure out the wide variance in feedback.
Between extensive on-the-water testing and the data generated by our computer models, we’ve found some interesting and non-intuitive results.
Reducing rocker and creating a longer waterline makes a canoe more sensitive to trim, but we didn’t initially realize just how much it would affect the Pueo X. Gone are the days where one size fits all. To take advantage of the improvements, we need to place the paddler more accurately near the center of buoyancy. But, this is harder than it sounds. The features that make a hull surf better also make it less symmetric front to back. This causes the center of buoyancy to shift depending on the paddler's weight. To a certain extent, this has always been happening, and it is one reason why a tall and heavy paddler could make a Pueo perform similar to a short and light paddler. But, the changes on the Pueo X amplify this effect to the point that it’s beneficial for smaller paddlers to sometimes be significantly farther forward than heavier paddlers. So, for example, if two paddlers are both 5’8”, but one is 130 lbs and another is 180 lbs, the lighter paddler should actually be sitting at least 2” farther forward to achieve the same trim. We know it’s confusing, so we’ve created a sizing chart to choose the best Pueo version for you.
We have also simplified both our pricing and the terminology for the lay-ups. Click here for more information on the Pueo X. If you have any questions please give us a call at 808-228-8609 or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.