The 2016 Palm Impact arrived today so here are a few of our first impressions….
For the last couple of years the Impact was the premium whitewater option in the Palm range and remains the toughest driest shockcord option from Palm, with the Orbit Deck also being introduced into the range this year giving a Rand option to those who want one.
The 2016 refresh of the spraydeck line up has been keenly anticipated since first glimps from various industry shows and visits to the Palm HQ to see the new range.
Firstly the solid construction hasnt been messed with, you get 4mm neoprene triple glued and blind stitched deck, with taping on the upper face where different panels meet, and a solid double stitched 9.5mm bungee to hold it in place. The 2016 deck has a more pronouced 3D shape than the previous version, the neoprene around the edges is pre-curved, which should help with both keeping you drier and keeping the deck in place while in use.
The addition of a drylip is a great step forward in helping keep water out as well. Running around the front 3 quarters of the deck this extra flap of neoprene sits outside the bungee and helps create a good seal against the plastic of your boat. Although not necessary for a lot of boating we are fans of the drylip with the Playboater Pro Team deck being a firm staff favourite and its good to see Palm use this on the new deck
A ‘Gripsil’ strip of latex has been added on the underside of the deck. Unlike previous versions the new Impact only has two rectangular panels of Gripsil that run down the side of the deck rather than all the way round. While it is more ‘sticky than the previous print found on the underside of old Impact decks, having less of it does feel a little mean. Although perhaps the addition of the drylip means this is more for holding the deck in place rather than creating a seal. A plus point might be that it helps keep the deck nice and supple and easy to get on.
Another difference is the change from a kevlar or Armortex reinforced edge to a Nytex one. Palm havent used Nytex before and it is a lot smoother to the touch than the Armortex but still reassuringly solid feeling. It runs around the front 3 quarters of the deck and is made from a tightly woven Nylon to give a high density face material to protect the neoprene edges prone to nicks and cuts. It will be interesting to see how this holds out compared to the Armortex reinforced decks but it does have one advantage of being more flexible again allowing for a better fit and easier to get on and off. The rear quarter of the deck; esstentially from just behind your hips, is edged with Supratex neoprene, a slightly softer Nylon faced neoprene in areas less prone to wear and tear.
Finally although it isn’t bright lime green anymore the O’ring seal remains a top the conical waist tunnel. This grippy neoprene ring made without a seam was a very popular feature of the previous Impact deck stopping the tube riding down and giving a slight seal to keep you as dry as possible.
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