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Thread: Esquif Spark

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Puivert, Pyrenees

    Default Esquif Spark

    Esquif Spark

    White Water Slalom Solo Boat

    Length 3,55 m (11.8' )
    Width 63,5 cm (25')
    Depth 39,4 cm (15 1/2')
    Rocker 15,2 cm (6') bow / 12.7 cm (5') stern
    Weight 15,9 kg (35 lb)

    What the makers say:

    Speed, precision and maneouvrability were the three guiding elements in the creation of the Spark; a concept represented in the lines of the Ignitor, a slalom canoe well known for exceptional performance.

    In collaboration with American slalom champion John Kazimierczyk, we have created a canoe with the performance of a high quality composite with the toughness of Royalite. Esquif will continue to support open canoe slalom with designs and involvement.

    But the Spark is not just for racers. Looking for lightness, precision and acceleration? If you're a
    technical paddler looking for a fast, responsive river runner, try the Spark.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    RAVENSBURG, southern Germany


    It has to be said, that contrary to popular belief, my experience with Royalite is it not only is stiffer, but the Spark's outer layer (printed camo) also does a great job of making it more scratch-resistant than the usually (by now) soft PVC outer layer of regular Royalex. And it can be repaired, too.. me, my girlfriend and a couple of friends paddle the spark in up to class IV and it is THE boat to really catch every eddy, surf every wave and make ferries no other boat (made of royalex or even PE) would be able to reach.. its super fun and super stable on edge, carves like a dream and is usually the fastest boat. Beware, never follow a Prelude too closely, you usually run right into it mid-rapid!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA


    You're right, Royalite can be made as stiff as needed, and still be lighter than Royalex of the same stiffness. And while I keep hearing people complain of how the outer (acrylic) layer wears easily, that just is not true. The vinyl outer layer on Royalex is far more easily worn away.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    West Yorkshire


    The last I heard, two of these were available in the UK through Squarerock.. who were not advertising on the basis that potentially interested members of the small UK OC1 community would know about them / come asking

    Further afield, Pierre Orban of Canoe Diffusion imports them, and is based at Reims: an easy 3 hour run down the A16 from Calais, and en-route if you're heading to the French Alps. The only other other importer I know of is Markus Schönfelder... who's a tad further away!

    Franziska Pokorny has one of these... and handles it beautifully... and leads / instructs from it... and mostly on rivers a lot more challenging than this!

    Armelle van Hauwaert of Canad also had a Spark for a while, and loved the speed and performance. Hers was only traded it in for work-purposes (leading groups).

    I took one of Pierre's out at the 2012 Open Canoe Festival for a couple of hours: enough to know that if I were in a position to get an OC1... then it would be either a Spark or one of the closely related boats from Kaz at Millbrook Boats (who can do shipping to the UK). I loved the glide, the carving and pretty much everything else about it - and the fact that it handled like it was designed for me, rather than (as many OC1s do) for someone twice my size!

    Plenty of discussion of them on CBoats
    Last edited by GregandGinaS; 30th-May-2012 at 09:38 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Eastern Australian highlands


    I’ve been paddling the Spark a lot more lately, and it’s a lovely boat. Much faster than the L’Edge, my other OC1. At first I found it long on the narrow Penrith Whitewater course, but I can pull it into some of the smaller eddies now. Plus the length makes it faster, and being lighter, it’s easier to boof--it almost gets air on the Main Wave rooster tail! It’s harder to front surf, though.

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