Running Low Force in the Jedi

Shaggy Designs is a small company based near Ottawa, Canada, owned and run by Martin du Toit and Gwyn Ashcroft.

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We design, make and sell a range of products, mostly centred around whitewater paddling. Martin and Gwyn met and set up the company while studying at Durham University, and paddling with Durham University Canoe Club. During the Canadian summer you might find us at OWL Rafting on the banks of the Ottawa.

We both paddle C1 - distinct from kayaking in that the paddler kneels in his or her boat and propels it through the water with a single bladed paddle. Why? - because it is great fun! Kneeling results in a higher centre of gravity, reducing stability but allowing much more effective control of the boat by body weight throw.

Testing a prototype Sith at HPP

Initially we started producing boats because there was nothing that we wanted to buy on the market. After having a great time cutting down and paddling a few old C1 slalom boats, we began experimenting with building a boat from scratch. After a lot of trial and error we came up with the Jedi in 1998 (pictured above left), with a flat planing hull, enough length to get around on the river, wider and more stable than any converted kayak. The Jedi was a great success, winning the UK student rodeo and on river trips to Canada, California and the European alps. This was followed by a number of other boats, the Sith, Saint kayak and Pagan.

Good days on the river

One of the advantages of being a small company is that we are very flexible. In addition to canoes and kayaks, we have designed and built many other composite components, such as carbon fibre panels for vehicle interiors, and ultralightweight mudguards. If you have a requirement for strong, stiff and lightweight composite parts, contact us for friendly advice and help.

All images Copyright Shaggy Designs

Updated: 21 May 2022 Valid HTML 5