The Nightmare

The Nightmare is an ultra short, dedicated pocket rocket for ocean surfing. The template is based on a Hipsquash surfboard. At 6’5″, it’s turny, especially off the tail (your coxis is a mere 25″ from the tip of the tail) and very snappy off the rail. The boat isn’t designed to outrun the pocket, it’s designed to shred inside the pocket – that dynamic power zone where all the wave energy is stored, and where things can go from explosive and dynamic to an absolute nightmare in an instant. That’s the part of the wave I want to explore – not 2m out on the shoulder. Low tail rocker, but a constant curve from the coxis back, combined with a generous tail sweep of the template, and tucked drop rails that run into very sharp and defined tail edge in the last 16″ will make this kayak snappy, and very fast from edge to edge, and accelerate very quickly to top speed. While its top paddle speed will never be anything like that of the 7′+ kayaks, this is not what the designer was after. This is the “shortboard” of kayaks, not a fun shape or “mini malibu” shape. It’s a power thruster design. The first foot of the bow has a bit of a vertical sidewall to make it more forgiving, so to be able really smack the lip and come back in vertically without tripping over the nose rail, but it remains tucked on the underside. The centre of the kayak has a small 3/8″ “safety” step, so the paddler can drop back onto the face at weird angles without tripping up. The designer is also running quad fins, these are not aligned, but stepped out so it feels more like a tri fin while on edge.


About the Designer

Corran Addison made a name for himself in the whitewater kayaking community by pioneering a number of innovative designs (including the planing hull kayak which was Addison’s invention and is the technology by which all modern kayaks are based). He worked for Perception Kayaks before starting Savage Designs in 1994, leaving in 1996. His marketing at Savage designs laid the groundwork for the Generation X marketing that was to be followed by his next start up company Riot Kayaks, where he worked as chief designer and head of marketing.

Riot Kayaks

The Riot brand was notorious for cutting edge designs and a go for broke attitude to freestyle kayaking and extreme white water. Addison was responsible for the design of one of the world’s best selling kayaks, the Corsica, in 1990. In 1995, he went on to design the Fury, which was the world’s first planing hulled river kayak. These were followed by the Glide, the kayak that is reputed to have been responsible for a last minute rule change at the 1997 world championships because it was so far ahead in technology that he was considered to have an unfair advantage by the other athletes. He also designed the Disco in 1999, the design by which all modern freestyle kayaks are measured against today.

Addison was in his day considered somewhat controversial in the conservative world of whitewater kayaking by his brash and cocksure attitude. However the young kayakers of today mirror the young Addison in many ways and so it would seem he helped pave the way to a new generation of kayaking which subsists in today’s pro paddlers.

Imagine Surfboards

After leaving Riot in 2003, he began designing for Dragorossi, a new Kayak brand out of Italy. He was already losing interest in the sport at that time and had begun moving on to surfing. Addison now owns and designs for his surf company called Imagine Surfboards, based out of Montreal. Imagine Surfboards is considered a cutting edge company in the field of sustainable and ecological business, and have been leading the way in promoting responsible manufacturing in the surf industry. He is also a competitive Stand Up Paddle Surfer and competed in the 2010 Hawaiian World Cup.

He pioneered surfing the Habitat 67 wave in Montreal. His company Imagine Surfboards offers river surfing lessons, teaching over 3,500 students in Montreal since 2005. Imagine also manufactures and sells surfboards, suits and accessories.