A creative industry veteran with fourteen years of hard time in a few respected agencies, Nicholas Cryder is a Seattle-based freelance creative director. Responding to an increasing desire to make real things that resonate with people because they exist as something other than pixels, he recently concepted, designed and executed a one-of-a-kind kayak; the futuristic design of the boat is a study between the best traits of a stand-up paddle board, a surf board and a sit-on-top kayak.
Kayaking tends to skew traditional. Boats are typically made the way they have always been made, and even minute departures from tradition can been met with scathing criticism. Made of clunky, heavy materials (roto-molded plastic) with wide,
fat hulls for beginners, sit-on-top kayaks require a huge compromise in
performance. The breed of kayaks known as surfskis, while blazingly fast, are narrow, tip easily and require an expert
pilot. Therefore, sit-in-kayaks are considered the go-to option for touring and longer adventures. During research, however, Cryder discovered that the number one killer of sea kayakers is the failure to re-enter the boat. When a kayaker is knocked out of a boat it can be a struggle to re-enter and stay in—especially when the severe conditions, that forced them out in the first place, persist.
Cryder’s kayak is the best combination of all three (and by engineering the cockpit out of the equation, it’s as easy to remount as a surfboard): Its total length is 18′ 6″ with a plumb bow and a displacement style hull that tapers back to sup style boxed rails for hooking up with ocean swell; beam is 22″ wide and it weighs in just over 35 pounds fully rigged. The boat has a carbon skin and an EPS core with a 1/4″ carbon stringer for rigidity; lashing points are fashioned from surf leash and resin plugs for strength and ease of use; and the rudder utilizes a control mechanism from a Hobie i12.
With artwork (a rather determined octopus that refuses to let go once he latches onto something) illustrated by Cryder the boat is high-performance, a joy to ride, an aesthetic vision and, at heart, a challenge to some of the more precious suppositions on what a kayak must be.
// From our friends at Communication Arts