Velox Spectra: Concept, Design & Production

Today saw the radical new Velox Spectra take to the water for the first time, paddled by six times marathon World Champion Hank McGregor. The Velox Spectra has generated a lot of interest due to its exciting design, and we hope it will open new global debate on the potential of creative new hull shapes.

Where did the design come from?

The idea for the design followed the success of our Velox Raid in 2013, when it won the World Marathon Championships for the first time – but certainly not the last, as it remains undefeated after being paddled back to the top of the podium by McGregor once again in both 2014 and 2015.

The work to create the Velox Spectra really kicked off in July 2015 when we sat down with McGregor and Gara’s Ken Holden to find answers to the key question, “How can we further reduce the drag on modern hulls?” Using the Raid as our base model, we set about trying to find a way for the water to be able to leave the hull cleanly.

The key feature of the Raid was its capacity to maintain a good cruising speed with reduced effort. This was largely due to the volume distribution in the hull. What has always concerned us with hull shapes is the way the water leaves the hull at the tail, often producing rooster-tails and a lot of turbulent water. The idea was to break the water smoothly by maintaining the shape of the Raid’s nose while progressively splitting the water onto two flat surfaces through the front half of the boat. These surfaces become most defined from underneath the paddler to within half a metre of the tail, where they then become one single flat surface, allowing the water to leave the hull as cleanly as possible.

Rick and Hank discussing set-up during testing.

What are the results?

In our tests to date we have seen significant improvements in many aspects, including both cruising speed and top speed, but most significantly in acceleration - both from stationary starts, and from cruising to top speeds.

The Velox Spectra will be put through its first race test this weekend in Cape Town at the South African National Marathon Championships. Ric from our Kayak Centre team will be there to answer any questions you may have, and monitor how the boat performs in race conditions. We look forward to sharing the results with you.