Introduction by Designer: Vincent Shay
I designed the Agua Libre (“Free Water”) on the premise of expanding the Reaction Design. This new design offers a much more aggressive curvature combined with more entry and tail rockers, without sacrificing what I believe be the key ingredient to any design, Speed.
One of the best design improvements that Agua Libre addresses is the significant ‘V’ that goes from the tail of boat to three-quarters of way up to the nose. What this does is loosen up a wide craft (like most surf kayaks are!) and gives that element of rail-to-rail surfing.
With the Agua Libre I really wanted just a much more aggressive style to my designs so I took most of the chine out of the kayak except towards the bow. In fact, its so subtle you hardly even notice it but, it does at the necessary design function of a chine, which is ‘forgiveability’. With that in mind, I also decided to really add a much more hard rail from above the hip area to tail, while softening up the remaining rails. This is much more like my Twist Design which is proving to really work really well.
Personally, I really wanted to improve the Deck Design of the Reaction. I have always asked myself the question:
“How do I create a ‘production’ surf kayak design that not only is performance orientated but also caters to a wide variety of athlete variables such as body type, weight, and height (and much more!)”
With that very question foremost in my mind, I redesigned the deck heights (knee room, foot room) and seating position (volume placement basically) as they relate to high performance. Since being introduced, the Agua Libre has been surfed by a wide variety of people of all abilities and size ranges. Comments range from ‘Fast and very manuerverable’ to ‘Comfortable and very easy to paddle and roll’. These comments give me some sort of sense that I hit my Design Goals again.
What I think is the most interesting comment I have heard was this!
‘Very different, in a great way!’
And that is EXACTLY what I tried to achieve. It is my opinion that there really are way too many surf kayak designs out there in Production Land that just do the same ol’ thing. Not a lot of Design Improvements out there…I was Challenged by this, my opinion. It has always been my goal to design a product that is cutting-edge and something that breaks the mold for the status quo.