SmartTrack™ Wins Gold

The SmartTrack Control System was awarded an International 2001 Industrial Design Excellence Award, IDEA, sponsored by the Industrial Designers Society of America, and Business Week magazine. Manatee Design of Mount Vernon, Washington, originator of the SmartTrack system design, won a Gold Medal in the category of consumer products/sporting goods.

The SmartTrack Control System is an advanced foot brace and rudder system for sea kayaks that provides more efficiency, precision, and comfort while paddling. It features fixed foot pedals for safety, comfort, and better energy transfer, and a foil blade hydrodynamically designed for less drag and more efficient turning. Gavin Ivester, IDSA juror, wrote of SmartTrack: “It takes real guts to aggressively innovate in a conservative sport like kayaking. But by redefining the basic ergonomic scheme used in the foot-operated steering system, the designers have radically improved efficiency and comfort…the design shows rigorous attention to detail benefiting both the user and manufacturer. And it’s retro-fittable to old boats. Efficiency and elegance are beautiful.”