Those loyal readers of The Watercraft Journal know that the build up to last week’s Jettribe Long Beach-to-Catalina Offshore Championship has been stretched over several months, all beginning with an offer from our friends at Kawasaki USA to use one of their brand-spankin’-new 2014 Kawasaki Ultra 310R JetSki’s in the grueling 56-mile open ocean enduro.
Paired together with multi-time IJSBA World Champion Minuro Kanamori, the two of us were entered in the Manufacturer Stock class – where Kanamori rode so hard that he shadowed fellow Kawasaki-racer and race winner Craig Warner until he started to run out of gas, bumping him back to third place overall. I, on the other hand, came in 20th overall and 10th in my class, but let’s not dwell on that.
Rather, we want to show how we gave our already stunning-from-the-showroom Ultra 310R a very custom, yet very noninvasive makeover, thanks to our very special friends at Hurricane Industries.
The Antioch, California company first opened its doors only at the start of 2014, but Derrick Kemnitz has been working in the graphics and composite industries for many years before that. “I offer a variety of composite parts as well as many custom graphics, number plates, custom apparel and clothing,” Kemnitz explained.
We asked Kemnitz to design a very European sport bike-inspired hood wrap that would not only showcase our race number in bold fashion but also include the logos of our supporting sponsors – namely, Kawasaki USA, JetPilot, Fly Racing, Dragon Alliance, Hurricane Industries, and of course, The Watercraft Journal.
Using Adobe Illustrator CS7 and a “standard” vinyl plotter, Hurricane knocked out our unique design in record time and had our vinyl kit in our hands with plenty of time to spare before the weekend’s race.
Be warned, for those looking to do likewise for their Ultra-series Kawasaki and have never installed a wrap like this, know that the kit is not a single finished piece. Our kit was comprised of several layers that needed to be “stacked” to get the final look. Thankfully, the Oracle Intermediate Cast vinyl is thin and therefore lays down nicely one layer upon another, but again, it might take more time than you’re used to.
Working together with Kanamori and Kawasaki’s vehicle prep master, Jeff Priddy (the man who single-handedly prepares every single Kawasaki bike, ski, quad and UTV that is seen in official press photos), we spent several hours working the vinyl to get every bubble, wrinkle and crease out. Be prepared to work, but you’ll be stoked on the result like we were.