How do I know I'll like the boat if I can't try it first?
There is an element of trust that is required between the user and the designer. Just like the surfing industry, where you explain to the shaper what it is you want your new board to do (rather than talking specifics of design, it's usually better to explain what you want it to do), your size and weight, skill level and surfing style, and then the shaper interprets that information and creates a board that he hopes you'll like.
This is exactly how we are doing it at Soul, but for kayaks. Because the boat is in effect a custom, there is no way to test what you're going to get until you get it.
Corran has been designing kayaks, and shaping custom surfboards, for three decades, and is one of the most experienced kayak designers around, and probably the only one with a vast experience in custom shaping. While there are no "guarantees" when it comes to a custom shape, his experience is such that to date it he has yet to have someone get a custom board from him, and not love it.
If you have liked his kayak designs in the past, and you like his style, then it's a pretty sure thing you'll like what he gives you here.
What is custom about the boat?
Anything and everything about the design can be customized. You can "pick from the menu" of examples, and have the lengths, widths, heights, rocker, footroom, slicyness and so on adjusted to your specific needs, or come to us with a completely new concept that you'd like to try. That's the beauty of a custom boat - it can be quite literally ANYTHING you want it to be.
Here is a good example of taking a base boat and altering just a few things to suit your needs.
How do I communicate with the designer what I want my boat to do?
Believe it or not, this isn't that hard. As long as you're honest about what you want the boat to do, your skills, your size and weight, and how you want to use it, it's pretty easy to create something awesome for you. That's where our experience comes in.
The hardest part is separating what you "think" you're going to do with the boat, versus what you'll actually be doing with it (there is no point getting a boat for the Montreal Lachines if you live on the Ocoee for example, paddle on the Ocoee every day, and travel to Montreal once every 3 years).
If you can't do a Phonix Monkey, but you tail squirt every eddy you pass, don't get a boat that's awesome at Phonix Monkeys. Get a great squirting boat. Be honest with yourself about how and where you paddle, and we can make you something truly remarkable, and something that is uniquely yours.
Can I get a custom lamination?
The short answer is no. We effectively have two constructions that we offer. A super tough kevlar/PVC/fiberglass combination, and a lighter weight Kevlar/PVC/Carbon combination. These are constructions that we are comfortable offering as they are tested and we know exactly what we're giving you. Due to the process, the lightweight boats are not ultra lightweight (like the Super Sic that is made in a conventional mold) but they are much lighter and stiffer than a plastic kayak. Conversely, the strong construction, while it will take a lot of abuse, will never take a pounding like a plastic boat does. As long as you understand the properties of a composite construction, you'll be happy with what you get, whether you go for strong or light.
Can I go creeking in a composite boat?
That depends on your creek, and your skill. Even on rocky creeks, there is a way to hit rocks with a composite boat that reduces the likelyhood of damage. If you have those skills (or want to develop them), and your rivers rocks are generally not pointy and sharp (old mountain ranges like the Appalachians generally have more rounded rocks, while the rivers of the newer Rockies are generally sharper), then you can creek your boat. But if you love to whack every rock you see, and just wail into them any which way, in the long run you're going to break your boat. Composite boats can hit rocks, but they prefer water.
Can I get custom graphics?
Unfortunately no. Our factory is just not set up this way. You have three choices of colours in the Orange, Yellow or Pink, and you need to select one of those.
What is the boats guarantee/warranty?
The running gag in the surfboard industry is a custom boards warranty is 30 seconds, or 30 feet, whichever comes first. This is largely true of any composite kayak as well.
Essentially, this means that when you get your boat, you need to inspect it for any shipping damage, or problems in manufacture (we already do this at the factory, which we have been working with for over a decade, so it should be free of any manufacturing defects).
If you find any problems, you need to let us know BEFORE the boat is used.
Because this is a composite construction, once it's in the field, it could take 1000 hits and have no problems, or it could break on the 1st hit if you impact a rock just the wrong way. This is not a sign of a faulty product - it's just the nature of composite construction, and that every rock and every impact is different. Basically, you can simply be unlucky.
The good news is that no matter how badly you break a composite boat, it can always be fixed.
Are there import duties and tax's?
We take care of all the duties and tax's of importation into Canada to our warehouse. If you're a Canadian customer, you will have sales tax to pay on the purchase price of the boat. For USA customers, it depends on your states regulations regarding out of state purchases, whether or not you are required to pay sales tax. There are no import duties from our warehouse in Montreal to a USA destination.
How long will I wait to get my boat from order to delivery?
We make the boats in batches, about 3 times a year (unless we receive more orders than expected in which case we will add more production cycles). Between time of order, and payment of the 50% deposit, to when you get your boat, will be between 3-4 months. This includes the production at the factory, shipping of the container to our warehouse, sorting and then forwarding to you. We will keep you updated with the progress of your boat. we collect final payment from you when the boat ships from the factory (this is in case you should for some reason decide to cancel your order, in which case there is no point in our shipping it at all). The time delay between final payment and receipt of the boat is about 6 weeks.
If I cancel my order, is the deposit refundable?
If we have started your boat, then it is not refundable. Our suggestion then would be to try to find a friend who'll take it in your stead, and we will of course attempt to help you out the same way. But if the boat cannot be moved onto someone else, and it has been started, then the deposit is non refundable.