Any thoughts on the Mulit-sport construction being offered by Stellar? I am looking at a Stellar SR and couldn't find much about their multi-sport layup. Essentially has a fibreglass deck and flexible carbon, Kevlar hull so it can cope with grade 1 & 2 rapids.
Also comes with an Andersen mini bailer and the ability to change from under stern to over stern rudder.
I paddle predominantly in Moreton Bay and the local creeks. Until now on a Finn Endorfinn (plastic with kick up rudder) so haven't had to worry about bumping into the occasional hazard at low tide.
For shallow water use the multi-sport functions very well. It stands up well to the rigors of its intended use. For deeper water, lakes, ocean, etc I do like it so much as it flexes.
I've tested the multi-sport against the Advantage and Excel lay up on a deep lake with rough water conditions numerous times. In these conditions the multi-sport suffers from a performance perspective.
Thanks you Circa Trova and AR convert. All makes sense. I'll cross it of my list and just look at the other layups. Whilst there are some shallow water hazards around at low tide I can learn to avoid them. It's been the one good thing about a plastic Finn Endorfinn; not having to be very concerned about the shallows.
Will be organising a test paddle of the Stellar SR and SEI soon.
I have an SR, SEI in Excel lay up along with a SEL in Advantage. All 3 or G2 skis. The SEI is almost as stable as the SR, and I feel it's ultimate stability is just as good or better than the SR.
Fortunately I have other boats too to choose from. If I had to pick one it would be the SEI.
I think the main reason the multisport layup can tolerate hitting rocks is that the hull is a solid laminate rather than a sandwich construction. Sandwich construction increases stiffness dramatically, but the tradeoff is that the hull will crack when it hits a rock. A solid laminate by comparison will flex and not get broken.
It's the same old problem getting the best ski without too big of a stability learning curve and not getting one you will grow out of in 6 months. Will have to do some test paddles in the right conditions.
Paddled a friends stellar 18S and it was ridiculously more stable than I am used to. I think the SR should fine but a bit more tippy than I currently have. Then will see how close in stability the SEI is. I like adventure racing so spread my time across multiple sports and know paddling only once or twice a week would mean only slowly gaining stability skills. Mostly I want to enjoy my paddles for fitness and don't race head to head. So comparative speed is less important but I want to catch as many runners in the Bay as possible and feel like I'm flying along with a massive smile.
As you may have guessed by my forum name I initially got into this sport through adventure racing. You are spot on going for an intermediate boat so you are not fighting it everytime you paddle.
A couple of other considerations for multisport skis is that they should be low volume so when you are paddling point to point cross winds the boat isn't as affected by the wind/chop.
I've seen the SR and agree that it is a good first up composite boat for someone not paddling more than a couple of times a week.
This is an article I wrote for an Adventure Racing page in WA years ago on ski selection then updated last year, may be something useful in it for you.
Which ski for NOVICE???
In 2012 I wrote an article on which Ski for Novice? Just recently someone asked me the same question. So I have written an updated article for the benefit of anyone still wondering.
If you are completely new to paddling but have the discipline to train and not mind getting wet there are quite a few options.
One of the biggest things for you in this race will be stability, the run leg certainly takes it out of you and you will feel it when you jump in the ski.
In my first race in an Epic V10 sport I was overtaking a lot of elite level skis simply because the conditions made it hard to balance, hard to balance = slower speed because you can’t put the power down.
(in 2016 the paddle leg is first, so may not be as much of a consideration, but if you are a regular adventure racer this again may play a part in which boat you want to paddle when already fatigued.)
Cheapish stable boats
You should be able to pick one up around $500-$800 second hand (retail around $1000)
Plastic Spirit Surfski
Plastic Finn Endorfinn
To be brutally honest, I think most should start on one of these skis. Yes, you may get passed by many of lighter, faster skis, but you stand a much better chance of finishing and these skis are something you can hold onto for future adventures like white water paddling or holidays at the beach where you don’t need to worry about damaging them.
Many who have bought these beginner skis have found that they are ready to upgrade within a short space of time, they are VERY stable so give away a bit of speed on the other skis, however if you are committed to training and want to go a little faster but still on a budget I would look at Novice to intermediate plastic skis. $500-$800 second hand (retail around $1600-2000)
In the past 4-5 years there are dozens of new composite construction skis on the market, here are just some of the ones you could find second hand for a reasonable price in WA ($1000-$2000).
Composite construction means they are made from Fibreglass, Kevlar and/or Carbon and are generally a lot lighter and stiffer than plastic so give you much better speed for the energy you put into your paddle stroke.
Epic V10 sport
Think Evo II
Epic V10 sport
Here are some of the stable models released in the past few years that may be a little more expensive 2nd hand or still available new
Epic V7 (plastic but stiffer and lighter than other plastics)
If it is your first race I wouldn’t get a new boat, get something you are not afraid to fall out of and can safely get back in.
Those of us who have been doing this a little while will remember a day a few years back when a lot of the mini race and main race paddlers didn’t finish the race as they couldn’t deal with the conditions. If you are uncertain, take your ski to the river on a windy/choppy day, go for a long run then try and paddle in windy, choppy conditions.
Remember this is fun, don’t make it frustrating. Feel free to ask questions about particular makes and models below.
Current - Carbonology"Flash"~Finn"Molokai Mk II" ~Knysna "Vantage Pro K1' Vajda "Supersonic K1" Previously - Carbonology "Vault"~Epic"V10L & Sport"~ [/b]Fenn"Mill Double" ~Spirit"PRS"~Finn"Affinity"
Always looking for the next boat
No comment on the Multi sport hull but I can comment on the SR. It works for me better much better than the Epic V10 sport I had for two years and the Evo II I tried out a member of times when looking for a new ski. On flat water I'm a tick faster in the SR than the Sport (not sure about the Evo as I only paddled in in downwinds). But downwind I'm quite a bit faster in the SR than the sport and a little bit faster than the Evo. It just catches runner easer than ether of the other skis for me and it's very maneuverable. It's more stable for me than the Sport but mostly because it has a different and better stability profile for me. Less initial stability and lots more secondary than the Sport. Similar to the Evo but even more deep secondary.. But, the SR really needs a better rudde than Stellar has to offer. Putting on a proper high aspect rudder with a well designed leading edge transformed the SR from last on my list of skis tested (with standard 8" rudder) to first place with a DK
8" wide cord 15° rudder. It was a night and day difference curing som wondering issues and some weird broaching issues do to rudder stall. Anyone with a Stellar ski would do them selves a real favor and get a decent rudder in there ski. It makes a real difference.
Current: Stellar s18s excel
Stellar SR excel (gen2)
Stellar SEL excel (gen 2)
Epic V10 Double Performance
Stellar SR (gen 1)
V10 sport (gen 2)
V10 (Gen 2)
Beater SEL (gen 1)
While the Multisport are slightly heavier than the Advantage Layups, they paddle like like a much lighter ski in terms of stability due to the distribution of weight not spread out evenly over the entire ski like other laminates. They paddle like a lighter ski as well. Remember the deck advantage layup and the hull is multisport. Like someone said for there intended use they are an excellent choice. For ocean/bay/flatwater the other Stellar layups are preferable.
The SEI is a wonderful ski with excellent glide even better than the SR and it has great glide also. The bucket is right sized for the medium size paddler too. At 20ft by 18inches it is a tweener between the intermediate skis that are wider and the advanced skis. Lastly the volume is perfect leaning toward the lower volume deck like most of the newer designed skis which it is. Not lower volume though in terms of who can paddle it. Fits most paddlers. Wesley(former Stellar USA performance director). On separate note, I will be reviewing the Think Uno 2G, Nelo 560ML and V12 2G all in the next few months. I raced the ION 2G a few weeks ago and enjoyed that ski. Huge improvement over the previous models, virtually a new boat outside of the name.
Former Stellar Kayaks and Surfskis, Performance Director, USA ,
SurfskiRacing.com, #1 in Surfski Reviews.
Thanks for your knowledgeable input. Here`s something you may be able to help me with:
What are the differences between the stringers used for Advantage and Multi-sport lay-ups? To be honest, I was really surprised when I peeped into the bung-hole on my new SEI to see that the stringer only ran a little more than the length of the cockpit (My first skis, over 30 years ago, used to have polystyrene foam 3 or 4 inches wide from bow to stern!). I`ve used my awesome new boat about 45 times/over 500km in all kinds of conditions out the back (not in the surf) and have had no issues with the boat structure, but still, I was wondering if Multi-sport stringer used on a full Advantage lay-up would be stronger (and not much heavier) than the Advantage stringer, bearing in mind how it looks wider on the Stellar website?
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy