Club members Bill and Joan Gundlach donated a Hollowform kayak to the club in September. It took a little while to find the ideal home for the kayak, but we did. The kayak will be permanently displayed at Mountain Gear’s retail store starting in January.
Here is a brief history of this kayak (from The History of Whitewater Kayaking at http://www.livestrong.com/article/338110-the-history-of-whitewater-kayaking/):
“A Californian named Tom Johnson developed a polyethylene kayak marketed as the Hollowform in 1973, according to the website Museum of Learning. Thanks to its material, this kayak was much more durable than previous kayaks, and was mass-produced. With the Hollowform, whitewater kayakers could now use rocks as part of their navigation strategy – instead of avoiding rocks to reduce damage to the kayak, they could bounce off them to point themselves in the right direction. This added safety and maneuverability lowered the minimum skill level necessary to navigate a kayak, making whitewater kayaking much more accessible to the general public. The Hollowform revolution greatly increased the popularity of kayaking, particularly in California.”
So, the next time you visit Mountain Gear, check out one of the kayaks that revolutionized the sport of whitewater kayaking, and take a few moments to ponder the evolution of kayak design that has taken place over the last four decades.