By Eric Jackson
Slicey Boat techniques were developed in the 90’s and most of the top boaters from that period are no longer paddling and showing what can be done in them. There are a handful still out there, luckily, to provide examples of what can be done so the new generation doesn’t have to re-invent the wheel. I am expecting to see some next level skills and moves coming out of this resurgence of the slicey boat, but step 1 is catching up to what we were already doing in the 90’s. During the original slicey boat revolution, David Knight and I designed the XXX and EZ, and won the Pre-World Championships in the XXX and the World Championships in the EZ the next year. I was creating some new moves in these boats that never saw the freestyle score sheet but are super fun to do. I look forward to “reintroducing” the Stone Cold Stutter, for example, a move that is still one of my favorites but would die with me if I don’t share it on video soon. (you can find it in my original Strokes and Concepts video filmed in Ecuador as a short action video shot in my yellow EZ). Meanwhile- I have been starting at the beginning and making instructional videos in flatwater mostly, and will start adding the whitewater stuff into it with the new MixMaster.
While there are many slicey boats that were made back in the day, and some new ones coming out, there is a BIG difference in them! Length, volume, foot-room, shape, etc.. affect these minimal volume boats more than most boats making something very easy to do in one boat, but hard in another.
The MixMaster was designed to be as low volume as possible and be comfortable. The super low volume design helps with getting vertical, staying vertical (Squirts, pirouettes, stalls, splats, balancing for cartwheels), getting mystery moves, etc.. A boat with more volume, including most of the original slicey boats, are harder to do the moves I am teaching, including your first cartwheel or stall. Even the XXX, a super low volume design is much harder than the MixMaster, which was one of my design goals, to make it easier than the XXX. I can super clean cartwheel the MixMaster in flatwater, for example, but not the XXX or any other slicey boat ever designed. Of course I want you to own a MixMaster, but I also want you to have a steep learning curve and as much fun as possible!
Here are some of the videos I have made so far: