Bonafide Kayak – SS127 – Part 2
Let’s talk about the features.
In part one, we discussed the design philosophy behind the new Bonafide kayak, and what steps they took to make sure it wasn’t just another fishing kayak. In part two, we are going to look at several of the features that are unique to this kayak.
The new Bonafide Kayak Seat:
I believe the seat to be the most original design element on the Bonafide kayak. One of the things I wanted to discuss with Luther was the way the seat operates. I went on to explain that with it being a 5 step process to move the seat from the high position to the extra high position (no low position), I believe the percentage of kayakers that could make this adjustment on the water is very low. Other kayaks on the market have a one step process. You simply pull on the side strap which rotates it into the desired position.
Luther laughed and said, “I’ll make you a bet!” He maintains that adjusting the seat on the water is easily done once you’re familiar with the process. “I believe the high to low (adjustment) on the seat is one of the strongest parts of this kayak.” Obviously, I haven’t paddled the kayak yet, so I’ll defer to him on this.
He also added two things. When they designed the seat, they paid special attention to secure it was once in position. The SS127 seat locks into place and doesn’t move, which is more or less unheard of with high/low seats. He also added, “What’s more important than taking an extra step or two (when adjusting it) is how quietly you can do it. I can very very quietly, almost silently (adjust the seat). And if I did a couple little tweaks and mods, I could do it completely silently. I could go from high to low or low to high. And if I take my time now, I can pretty much do it silently.”
Luther went on to point out that one of the major advantages to their high and extra high (my words) seating position is your posture. In the high position, you can sit with your feet flat on the deck and “the bottom of (his) knees are only a couple of inches off the seat.” The ability to sit in an upright position means less pressure on your lower back and a more comfortable day on the water.
The most original feature on the Bonafide kayak.
One of the things that impressed me most about this boat was what Luther calls “the junk drawer”. It’s such an obvious feature, but no one has done it. How did they come up with the idea, and….how did they make it work?
“The junk drawer….what happened is that all of these features domino’d,” Luther asked for a 12-foot boat that tracks like a 14-foot boat. A boat that is 33” wide, that is as stable as one 36” wide. It needed to track well and turn easily. “Originally that sounded like too much to ask for, but we ended up getting that.” Because they were able to achieve that, Hans and the design team suggested an “Ultra High Seat” that all manufacturers strive for. “Once we had the super high seat, it was like…oh…look at all that space under there. And that’s when we said, Oh wow…what a great place to store gear.”
In Part 3 we are going to look at the front hatch, which is a completely unique design, the stability, and the possibility of a pedal option in the future.
Click here for PART 3.