At the Olympic level, kayaks are often custom fitted to the athlete. The Australian Olympic Kayak team enlisted a Creaform 3D scanner and modeling from U.S.-based Geomatic. Modeling ensures a custom fit in the Kayak, and better controls for the slalom event.
Typically a “fitout” or fitting session involves a tape measure, wood and foam. The process uses a bit of guesswork and doesn’t always deliver the best results. The Australian Olympic Kayak team was able to scan its athletes in the position they’d take in a kayak. A 3D image was then translated into 3D CAD models, and the team was able to use the models to design and manufacture exact forms for the kayak.
An exact fit means better control and handling on the water. In the slalom event kayakers must pass through 18 to 25 gates on fast-moving water. In some cases the athletes must paddle upstream on whitewater. The exact fit created by the process with Geomagic gives the athletes more control on the water.