Designer: Jim Snyder
Description by Jim Snyder:
“Kaze” (kah-zay) is the Japanese word for the wind. It is also the shortened name of Kimura Yoshikaze. He is the Japanese mystery artist who got the first super low chopped squirt boat in Japan- a Slip with the top of the knees 7” underwater. He got great results in an underpowered mystery spot because he was so dense.
I wanted to design a boat that could sit that deep and be comfortable. I started ballasting my Slip with 16 pounds of weights and got my knees that deep and got much improved rides at what were normally ‘nemesis’ levels at my local playspot- “Fascination Alley”.
I had also recently designed the “WIP” (Work In Progress) and played in the Alley during the low flows of summer and getting deep rides all the way to the bottom (12’ deep) with as little as 250 cfs. I learned a lot from the WIP that I wanted to apply to this design. I wanted the Kaze to be a hybrid design.
I learned that if you sit with your knees at least 7” underwater- you were more stable and that 20” is plenty stable. All my previous designs have been 22” wide. This was a good and painless way to lose volume and by making the hull 10% narrower it made the boat seem faster- for a very slow boat…
The Kaze also features a ‘drop bow’ where it hooks downward just ahead of the feet. As measured from a level seamline the WIP bow dropped 6” below that centerline. The Kaze only drops ½” but it still looks like a lot. This feature scallops volume out of the boat in front of the feet and it helps the bow more readily find and get involved with drop spots in the river. Because of this the Kaze is a DESTINATION boat ONLY and would be exceedingly dangerous to run downstream in any kind of whitewater. It is meant for super low chops – with your knees about 5-7” underwater. A shallower chop will seem tippy. The drop bow also helps you get a bit of downward energy from oncoming blasts while roaming underwater- so it stays hungry for drop.
The Kaze also has the knee bumps raised 5/8” to make fitting easier and the back of the cockpit is lower for easier entry. And is has the dent in the hull between your knees to keep volume low in the front of the boat. And the toe bumps are taller and 1” closer together. Your heels will touch in the boat- or I even like to put one heel slightly ahead of the other. This is to get the sharpest possible seamline area in that part of the boat- and it works.
Another significant design change is that the stern is an actual wing shape. There are no hills and valleys as on traditional squirt designs. This makes the stern slimmer and makes it more of a speed wing with very low drag. I used an actual wing profile from a popular model airplane racing design.
So- regarding performance- it’s really nice! It is very much a hybrid with the WIP and performs exceptionally at low powered or low water spots. It dives in readily and roams effortlessly. It basically works like a small dense speed wing in the deep- a bit spin happy but able to cope with anything and steer like a sports car. The bow is super slicey edgewise. I love it. But keep in mind it is for deep chops and park and play ONLY! Please sink responsibly!