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El Diablo Central

Eskimo Plastic...
Saturday, April 19, 2008
So here's some interesting personal trivia regarding the diablo and its excellent bomb proof plastic: In '96 I bought my first Diablo. I think it was the following season when I swam on the Upper Yough at some flow in excess of 3.5'. People often stop running it at 3' or less, except for the locals, who I was fortunate enough to tag along with.

So I swam right above Triple drop, and my fairly new Diablo ran it without me, stern pinning verticaly against the upstream face a large boulder. Huffing and puffing and glad to not be swimming through there myself, I looked downstream to see my Eskimo boat sticking straight up in the air, VIOLENTLY waving at me.

After recovering the boat, the cockpit combing looked as if some HUGE dog (from hades or some greek myth) had been chewing on it. The stern was split open with a crocodile smile. Most pins would not have done this much damage, but it was an extraordinary pin. So back at my guru's (one of them anyway) shed, we heat gunned it, used a sautering iron, and welded the seam along the stern shut. After that the boat lasted me 10 years of solid paddling. Eventually it did start to split again, and I repaired it again, and it held o.k. Then I lost it on the Sky at 60,000+ cfs or whatever. That took care of that boat.

Anyway, I think in a peculiar way, that story illustrates the virtues of Eskimo (or Prijon) plastic, since Jefes and now the Burn, keeps breaking left and right. Granted these paddlers are generally gettin after the action out there, and consequently they're harder on boats than your average paddler, but still: a boat breaking after a season and a half? Lame. I'm gonna try a new eskimo and see how it holds up: Yes, That would be the Salto!! Hopefully I'll get 10 years out of it, too. If you shim up underneath the seat with sheets of foam, and chock the sides of your seat, between the seat and Hull, you reduce oil-canning effects and preserve your seat from side to side wear and tear (such as when you slam sideways into those 'lil fucker rocks you don't manage to quite paddle beyond).

Viva La Eskimo!!
Written by jP View   2 Comment(s)

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