Tbolt- What a difference 3 years make!

It’s kind of amazing how your body can adapt over the course of a few years. I had a Tbolt about 3 years ago- the first tippy boat I had ever owned, after several years of paddling a Mariner 2. I thought it was psychotically tippy, to the point where it was hard to take a drink. Even small waves seemed like a big deal. Eventually I sold it, to buy a surfski, figuring that if I was going to have a tippy boat I might as well have one I could take out in waves etc. Three years later I’m totally comfortable in the ski, and have even started messing with an ICF boat.

I sold my Q700 this week and used the money to buy a used Tbolt available locally. Took it out this morning, and it seems incredibly stable- really more stable than the ski, to be perfectly honest, and still fast as heck (probably faster than my ski). All of a sudden I can begin to appreciate this boat in a way I wasn’t capable of before.

I guess I just find it really neat that we can continue to train our brains, even at age (almost) 40, the same way we train our muscles and cardiovascular systems.

If I no longer own a sea kayak, am I still a sea kayaker?


No joke. I’ve been spending most of my time in my K1 (still not totally comfortable, but getting there!), and when I hop on the Mako it seems like a dream. I actually get a little too comfortable sometimes and stop paying attention to waves/wakes, until one gently rattles me and reminds me the Mako isn’t that stable…

It’s too bad the surfski champs are so far away, you’d do really well I think. I would need quite a bit of rough water time before trying that race.

we can continue to train our brains
Continuing to train our brains and body while learning new and honing existing skills is what keeps us vibrant.

You Are Now Officially A "Racer"
And if you don’t enter races you are a “fitness paddler”.

Yeah… old dogs and new tricks. I’m working on a reliable roll and I turn 50 next week. Reckon we’re all like Napoleon Dynamite working on new skills.

When you gonna get a bunch of fast boats together so we can have a fast boat demo day at your place?


Try trimming out your t-bolt so your a little bow heavy. Tell what you think about its performance. Bought a used sprint boat. Got it all set up and tried it out today been a couple of years since i was in one. It felt very strange with so little boat arounf me. Really able to really get vertical since the boat is so narrow. going to do a little timed work sunday. Boat moves with very little effort.

Cheers Dan

Anrew, you get any faster and you
will need a motor.

It’s so true, Andrew.
There’s a trainer at my gym who makes fun of fixed weight machines. “Your brain is doing nothing,” he says, advocating that all exercises be done while balanced precariously on some type of exercise ball. It’s impressive to see how he gets some big guys to improve their balance–they look a bit like circus elephants (though I don’t tell them so).

Paddling a tippy boat is a strange combination of dainty balance and hard work. It is truly amazing what people can learn to do–I think of Gray Bourne, absolutely unafraid of capsize in an ICF boat in choppy 45 degree water, or an Olympic paddler around here who exited her ICF boat by standing up it in and stepping off at the shore (a Botticelli for kayakers). And it’s truly weird how boats that once seemed unpaddleable slowly become easy.


After paddling kayaks for only 2 yrs I bought a Tbolt just to go faster and found out there is a learning curve so I`m still working on it.The workout is great and hope my mind catches up with my desires

was thinking the same thing today
I have been getting quite comfortable in my Vajda recently. Today, with trepidation, I raised my seat a notch for my morning paddle. No problem. There was a bit of a breeze and powerboats on the lake and I was still able to do my 12X20" from a standing start at 100% and then do pause reps with little wavelets on beam. Had a hard time getting the grin off my face.

Not too long ago my technique would go to pot if a mosquito landed on the deck. Standing starts in waves were out of the question.

I too am thinking about selling my touring kayak since it now collects dust. I do all of my day touring on a ski in the ocean or in an ICF boat on the flats (my Stiletto has room for a days worth of gear). The only problem is that I have this weird notion that I’m going down to Chokoloski to go camping one winter. Maybe I can find a surfski with storage hatches.

and you won’t have to worry about A skeeter settling on your boat and tipping the balance.

You’ll have to worry about 10**6 of them landing on YOU and upsetting YOUR balance as you


-Frank in Miami

Tbolt in virtual race?
I hope to see the Tbolt entry in virtual race soon.


more impressions
Took it out again this morning on the lake for about 11 miles. Quite choppy and windy. Really no stability issues at all- it’s clearly more stable than my Mark 1, which is really quite a stable ski. I did move the seat up just an inch or so, and duct taped over the backband, which makes it much more comfortable. Haven’t felt any need to use the thigh straps- i like having my legs be free and easy.

As far as a direct comparison with the ski, the Tbolt is better into the waves, cutting through instead of slapping. Maintains speed a bit better. Quartering, from the side or flatwater, fairly similar. Downwind and with the waves, the edge is definitely to the ski- the Tbolt has a bit of a tendency to broach, just a little, and doesn’t seem to catch wave after wave after wave quite the same way the ski does. I suspect this is due to having a relatively small overstern rudder as opposed to a sizeable understern rudder. Since I mostly intend to use the Tbolt for river racing/fitness paddling, and use the ski for the ocean/ seriously choppy days on the lake, this isn’t a big deal. I might think about getting a slightly longer overstern rudder, maybe one designed for a double. Anyone know where to get one?


I was thinking about recruiting them
I was thinking about recruiting those straw clad hawks to sit on my rear deck and propell me like an airboat.

don’t know if it will fit
You might be able to get a k2 rudder from Bruce at Venturesport. The overstearn he sold me for my Stiletto K1 is a gigantic paddle blade of a rudder. Offers good control. The only problem with big overstearn rudders are that they require a lot of pressure on the tiller which tends to blister my feet on long twisty rivers.

Old dog does new tricks
I transitioned from a 17 foot poly Tempest to a Tbolt with wing paddle almost two months ago. I have to say, I felt like an absolute retard for the first few weeks, but I stuck it out. I have never overturned my boat yet (probably just cursed myself), and I feel safe and comfy in light to moderate chop these days. Today, after a long paddle, I swapped boats with a friend who drives a QCC 700 to check it out. Last year I would have been intimidated by the 700, but today it felt like a barge next to the Tbolt( a beautiful boat for tall seas and touring to be sure though). It is a great feeling. As for rudders, I have two understerns that are about 2-3 inches and 5-6 inches respectively. I bought my Tbolt used, but I think Doug sells these two. I have only used the short one, and turning power is lacking, but I run shallow water.

sent it in t-bolt
marek sent it into you 2 times know is your email on your site working


Aflope, Just finished a new overstern

– Last Updated: Sep-26-05 11:54 AM EST –

rudder which has been called the "nicest rudder in the world" by a few big in the industry folks. Simple housing. Blade's rake can be adjusted and the entire system can be converted in seconds (using the same components) for a slightly higher rudder/housing position for say, downriver use. Will have it up in about a week. Codename: P-41 Rudder.

try this
As we and the boat and the water 7 ft paddle are one… the boat feels 7 ft wide. What the people of israel greatly feared came upon them… Fear is faith in reverse to make you tip. Smile, relax and wiggle those hips. Kayaks are wonderfully designed to whale hunt days from shore and surf down big waves while towing large mammal… You can do this!!!

Great boat!

– Last Updated: Oct-03-05 6:02 PM EST –

Going to hop in mine now. It's amazing what you can blast through when are used to it. Doug has thinner ones now!

Tbolt seems to be pretty fast …
with Dan Murn paddling: 5 or 10 miles above 7.2 mph.

Anybody else ready to try virtual racing?