Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sneak Preview Part V- Testing New Canoe Prototypes

Hello Again Paddling Enthusiasts,

If you've been following us these last few months, then you know that Swift has been working on some big things for 2011. The feedback has been fantastic, and we're excited about what's in store the upcoming paddling season. In Parts I-IV of our Sneak Preview series we've given you a behind-the-scenes look at how new boat designs go from idea to water, and in Part V of our 'Sneak Preview' series we're going to show you the next stage in the evolution of a canoe: the testing stage.

Back in Part I we showed you how we design and engineer new canoe prototypes. Unbeknownst to everyone, however, was that David Yost and the Swift team were actually developing not one, but three new canoe designs, two of which you'll see right here. You can read all about the construction and development of the prototypes here and here. Now in Part V of Swift's 'Sneak Preview' Series, we're going to give you an inside look at how we test potential canoe designs before they reach the production stage.

A couple weeks back the Swift boys, along with our good friend Don, ventured out in search of some open water to test the new designs. Being that this is Canada in January, finding open water isn't always easy. Even more, canoeing in January isn't always warm either. But the boys strapped on their snowshoes anyway and went out in search of a testing ground. We took two new boats with us, the Prospector 15 and another prototype that shall still remain nameless (mysterious huh?). We found a great spot at the Muskoka River locks in Huntsville and put each boat through it's paces. Here's the scoop:

Swifty leading the charge

Look, it's Davey Crockett. I mean Bob, Store Manager of Swift South River. Lookin' good Bob.

The boats leaving on their maiden voyage

Bob in the first solo test for the Prospector 15. This boat has already gotten a tonne of positive feedback and has already gone into production. Bob loved it!

Bob testing the solo configuration of the Prospector 15. Looks good!

Bill testing the solo configuration of the unnamed prototype

The consensus amongst the crew is that the new prototype is unbelievable. You can expect to see this boat in production soon.

Tandem testing

Tandem testing. Are you cold guys?

Don and Bob heading out in the Prospector 15

The after-paddle focus group

You can expect more information about these designs in the coming weeks, so stay tuned to find out more. We've already begun taking orders for the Prospector 15 and 17, so if you'd like more information call us toll free at 1-800-661-1429 or e-mail us at

You can also check out our other online sources:

The Swift Paddling Database- a collection of awesome paddling articles and helpful information. You can also check out the new 2011 Swift Canoe & Kayak catalog here as well.

Swift on Twitter- keep up to date with all the latest Swift events!

Swift on Facebook- the hub for interacting with the Swift team. Check out pictures, articles, and interact with fellow paddlers.