Valley Anas Acuta

Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon
You come and go
You come and go
Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dream
Red, gold and green
Red, gold and green – boy george

The legend of the White Acuta Begins!

So we were going to run down and pick her up right away, but we got trapped in a paperwork mire for a much of the morning. Special orders can do that to you. In the end much of the credit for the solution goes to Daryl at Great River Outfitters who I’m sure would have liked to have gotten some work done instead of fooling around with me on a Saturday morning! But in the end she got it all worked out. Thanks Daryl!

We loaded up Mary’s Greenlander and took off down Interstate 90/94 for the 45 minute drive down to Madison. Of course everyone at Rutabaga is in “Canoecopia” mode, but that didn’t stop them from having the Acuta un-wrapped and ready to go.

Now the important news from Rutabaga this week is that part owner Jeff Weidman will be taking a rolling lesson in the pool at Canoecopia. Can he learn to roll with a huge audience at this very public event?? We hear that in cigar hazed back rooms, bets are being taken. I’ll be contacting my bookie. .

Our new Acuta as you can see is white and grey, or according to Jeff, “Smoke”. After fiddling around way too long over colors I just wanted something that would look rich, stay looking good, and not clash each time I buy a new pfd! The colors come off much better than I expected. The keel strip I think complemented the curves of the craft. As the day progressed I noticed how the Acuta picks up the color of it’s environment. It’s a Kayak chameleon!

I was sad to see that the old “Anas Acuta” in a scrolling font was not on the deck. In fact the only identifier is a new side sticker, the “Valley” logo just under the cockpit. I’m very sorry to have to say this, but this logo is the clunckiest design I’ve seen in some time. It really detracts from the boat. I will be taking the stickers off the side of the boat. I really do want people to see it’s a Valley, but not with that ugly sticker. Maybe I’ll make my own. :)

You know you start out a bit edgy with a new kayak. Luckily I put the first scratches in it while loading it on the truck. Even though they’re only in the keel strip, I feel much better now. After that I can seal launch off sandpaper and be ok with it.

Sliding into the cockpit at Lake Columbia, (Wisconsin’s only non-flowing, open, inland water, at the moment) it felt much different than the model I tested last summer at the Door County Symposium. The seat felt higher. I’m not sure if that’s true, but regardless I will be removing the seat as soon as I can find time and talent. I probably should have had that done by Valley, but it’s too late now! Although I seem to fit into it nice and snug, I’m sitting very high in the boat. See the gallery for pictures. I have a nice shot inside the cockpit.

If you want to feel fat, just put on dry gear and slip into an Anas Acuta after spending the last few weeks in a pool! Yikes! When I finally stretched out I was able to play a bit and was surprised how often I found the Acuta feeling similar to my Explorer. When I first edged the boat I noticed the Acuta eases over into it’s secondary in a smooth motion just like my Exp. In the NDK Greenlander on the other hand, I seem to “freefall” from the initial to the secondary. It’s quite a difference. Because of the Acuta’s shape, rolls were very smooth. Really the only issues I had were with all my fat gear. When I got back near the landing I took of the PFD and placed it on the deck. That made a big difference (but don’t tell anyone. . .)

My first impression is that it rolls a little better than my Explorer. A bit “faster” for lack of a better description. With my hips snug in the seat, it seems to focus my body more toward that twisting motion of Greenland rolls than that momentary “hip-snap” we all know and love. In the end it meant that I was coming up much quicker than I expected. I had to slow everything down a bit. The Acuta just does not need you to work for your rolls. It obviously will be the rolling boat I wanted without going hardcore and buying a SOF. The Acuta is perfectly designed between the Sea Kayak and the rolling boat. Well, for me anyway.

It’s true that it turns on a dime, even if you don’t edge much. I’ve read that it’s a bear to keep on a line, but I found that with the narrower hull I can use a very high stroke and move very quickly without having to correct. It seems very easy to control. However, this first day I was on a placid lake. I’m withholding my final opinion until I get it in some conditions.

That’s about it for my first impressions of the new Acuta. This morning I had to quickly get it off the Jeep and into the cellar before the coming snow storm arrives. So now I’ll send you over to the Gallery. When you open it up be sure to click on the little “?” icon in the lower right hand menu. This will display the descriptions for each shot. You can also put the mouse over the image to see the descriptive text. CLICK HERE !

Ok, so hopefully I’ll get to take it to the pool later in the week. Fun, Fun!!

11 Responses

  1. alex

    It looks beautiful! I love how the keel strip seems to even further accentuate the dramatic bow and stern flare/rocker. Now you just need to give it the Brian Nystrom treatment (foam seat, foam backband, foam foot bulkhead, masik, greenland deckline arrangement…)

  2. Keith Wikle

    Derrick, be careful not to leave that kayak where I can see it. You stole my color scheme.

    In regard to the seat. It’s a piece of cake. You cut out the old one, careful to leave enough of the seat hangers behind for a cool place to stow a bilge pump, and then build out a foam seat per Brian Nystrom’s instructions on webshots. I would go so far as to do a foam backback too.


  3. Russ

    Congratulations! What a beautiful boat! (I always wanted a white yak.)

    I tried out Laurent’s Acuta [http://home.comcast.net/~dfourer/geneva/static2.jpg] in the pool a couple of weeks ago and was suprised to find a big guy like me fits rather well- even with a masik.

    The boat really is a great roller and sits nicely on edge. Better keep an eye on yours or you might see me paddling it away! [grin]

  4. derrick

    Hey thanks,

    I thought white and grey would come across as pretty boring. Nice to know it did’nt. :)

  5. Hans

    It’s gorgeous in white! Congratualions with your choice.

    Are there any thermal springs in Wisconsin? I see pictures with snow and yet Derrick is rolling without a scull cap?!

  6. Wenley

    The colours are much more beautiful than expected, and practical too. Good choice!
    That ocean cockpit seems ample enough.
    By the way, I assume the searing pain vanished as per enchantment.
    I see that you have the Yakima Hully Rollers on your car’s roofrack. How good are they with the Mako saddles?

  7. derrick

    thanks. Yeah, I think the rollers with the saddles is a good combination. It makes loading a breaze.

    Yeah, even my fat lip went down today. Tell me that’s not weird!!! :)

  8. derrick


    The lake is a cooling pool for a power plant. So it is warm all winter. Up around 80f or higher up by the plant in February. (peak heating season). This time of year it’s still in the 70s and 50s by the landing.

  9. Anonymous


    The logo is not so bad–least it’s not solid black or something. I peeled the funky letters off my Explorer too.


  10. Josh

    Nice boat, Derrick. You might get used to the high seat. I added paddling to make my Greenlander Pro seat higher. It makes for funner high braces in waves, and, some think that it makes you paddle faster because the catch is better… Give it some time before you cut! Josh

  11. JohnB

    Very nice indeed!

    Keep up the flexing of your body. . . wish I had known at your age, what I know now at my age, perhaps I wouldn’t have to go through the 30 minutes of stretching every morning and then still not have the flexibility that some moves call for!

    If I’m lucky maybe I’ll still be around in 20 years to see how you are doing.