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Funny enough, I was approached today with an offer of using one for a few days from Wednesday. However I have not paddled either the Think or the Fenn and I'm not going to be at the club this Wednesday when it was to be made available. But perhaps sometime I will get some paddle time in on the Superstar.
I got to race one of these recently in 0.5m wind chop on a rectangular course. I've bought two skis in the last 12 months as part of my introduction to the sport - an Epic V8 and a Stellar Excel SES, although the V8 doesn't get out much any more. I've also paddled a Swordfish and raced a red V10s. I'm looking to replace the V8 with an intermediate boat for multisport events where boat fatigue is an issue for me. I'm less than 75kg, middle aged and generally paddle in wind chop up to 1.5m. I'm a bit better than a novice paddler now but I'm still towards the back of the pack having the occasional stop to cool off.
Let me be clear, this is not a review, just some comments. I got in this boat because it was there and I was very fatigued from a weekend of too much sport and knew my SES would wear me out further. I checked the leg length, had a 5 minute warm up abeam the chop and then hit the start line. That's it. No detailed inspection or days of sea trials, OK? I'm also not going to compare it to other boats in its class (whatever that is) - I've liked almost all of them and some are more fun than others.
I liked racing the Flow Superstar and I reckon smaller paddlers will especially like it because your backside and legs easily make firm contact with the sides of the cockpit. (I used to pad out the sides of the SES until my core strength improved to the point where it wasn't necessary.) A big person would fit in it as well but smaller paddlers have fewer skis to choose from that they feel really connected to like this boat in my opinion.
It ticks all the usual boxes regarding fitout and finish and I was particularly impressed with how it turned around the cairns compared to the intermediate and elite boats that I was up with at the time. I'm normally timid at the turns but I was able to execute them to my advantage in the Flow Superstar. It's pretty stable but coming down from the 11kg SES most intermediate/novice boats feel stable to me now and I can't really differentiate them much from each other.
If you get to demo one then make sure you take a gps because you're not going to know how fast it is by feel. It went considerably faster than I expected, particularly upwind and if I were better prepared it would have smashed anything I've done over 5km, albeit it was a 7km race. It didn't feel as fun as some boats but it was doing the job superbly regardless.
I've also seen a front of the pack racer take it across the finish line with the rest of the pack trailing out behind him.
If you're in the market for an intermediate boat or you're a multisporter needing a ski that will play to your advantage in 1-1.5m chop and is forgiving enough to let you shake out the cramps in your quads from a bike leg then this boat is worth a good look in my opinion. If you're my size, take a real good look. Oh, and the Andersen bailer is a real treat and can be operated with your heel. The one in the Epic V12 can as well, just not by me when I tried it!
Well I finally got to paddle a Flow Superstar while I was in Melbourne .
My comparisons are with the Think Evo which I really like as it's comfortable and the right stability for me . The Superstar is a bit more stable , the seat was fine and I was quite comfortable for the 40 min trial The speed , although it's hard to compare its seemed to pretty good but where it was really good was its turning circle , really tight!
So all up it's a well made boat , stable , super tough construction as its made for down river racing and being a multisporter I'm giving it some serious consideration .
Saw a Superstar at the multisport club race last week, very nicely finished. Hope to get to paddle one tomorrow night. Not sure what I'll discover as its a totally different ski to my SES. Of course its going to be a heap more stable. I do like the idea of the shorter skis, I still prefer the shorter length of my SES over my SEL as long as conditions allow me to paddle it without struggling with side chop. Having not paddled the EVO or the other intermediate skis I probably won't be able to contribute much.
I agree though that it should be super tough compared to the honey comb construction of the majority of skis and should last the owner for very many years when other skis are a wreck. And the easy fitting of an over stern rudder is a nice touch, as is the little bump in front of the under slung rudder to prevent weed getting trapped in the gap between rudder and hull.
Got to paddle the Superstar tonight, it really wasn't a ski that appealed to me, but I've been paddling elite skis since I started. It did feel short, a bit wide and very stable, no surprise there after jumping out of my SES, but the bucket was not a good fit for me, very deep and constricting, really putting the pressure on the sit bones, leg hump was long, high and takes up plenty of volume from the bucket, too much so in my opinion, really couldn't move about and use my leg drive like I like to do but like Richard Ussher who was there and explained why he and Andrew Martin designed the ski like that, if I was designing a ski I would design it to what I liked and we are all different and like different things. A seat pad would help with some of the issues I had with it but I've gone beyond the intermediate skis anyway.
Also got to paddle Richards personal Sharpski, this went through the water nicely, plenty stable for me although the conditions had flattened out by then, but again the bucket and the hump was very similar to the Superstar and really didn't suit me. Richard explained that the Sharpski was getting a remodel and would have a larger bucket, it was very snug for me and again I couldn't get the leg drive with the hump as it was but the length to the pedals was too far away and tied off to suit Richard so if I had been able to adjust the pedals I may have felt more favourable towards it. Would like to give the new model a paddle with the larger bucket when it comes out, Richard also said it would have a bit more volume behind the paddler to allow it to lift more in big conditions.
I'm 172cm so quite a bit shorter than you and 78kg. I've got used to being able to move around in my ski from paddling my Stellars and my hips move back and forward quite a lot, something I was not able to do in the two ski's I tried last night, although as stated I couldn't adjust the leg length in the Sharpski. Someone with a longer leg would not have the same problem with the hump I'm picking, for me I was bottomed out on both sides of it.