Topic-icon Fenn mako XT vs Fenn Tarpon for surfing

7 months 3 days ago #26770 by mickeyA
I hear "XT" stands for "crossover Tarpon" and that the hulls are the same except for more rocker (and or course the flared bow) on the Tarpon. What are other differences in these two older model 19'x19" Fenns? The Tarpon is deep seat version, adjustable foot pedals. The XT is same weight (fiberglass) with 9" elliptical surf rudder. 1) Is the seat placement and/or rudder further up on Tarpon making it easier to catch steeper shore waves (the building swells 100-200 meters off shore surfing towards shore)? 2) Is one more stable than the other? 3) does Tarpon surf noticeably better: less pearling, less broaching, better steering? I have the XT and can trade for same condition Tarpon, but only if Tarpon is a noticeably better surfer. It is used exclusively for riding these types of waves (no competitions, no flatwater, just surfing off beach, in and out over and over). Thanks, mickeyA

Epic v10Sport, Stellar SE, Fenn XT, Twogood Chalupski, Findeisen spec, Burton wedge2

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7 months 2 days ago #26771 by Crossey
I haven't paddled either ski co can't comment directly on their respective dynamics.

Having said that my understanding is that the Tarpon is a surf lifesaving spec ski so it will (as you noted) have more rocker and a flared bow. While the rocker is a requirement of the lifesaving specification the bow flare isn't. The reason almost all spec skis have a bow flare (and generally more volume in the nose) is to try and reduce pearling. In my experience it generally works and spec ski's will be less prone to pearling than a more typical ocean racing shape with a sharper bow. Obviously, if you push it too far they'll still dig in and flip you off so you still need to pay attention to your position on the wave as they get steeper and start to break.

Also, while the bow flare and extra volume don't do anything to prevent broaching (ie it will still slew if you get too far sideways) the fact that a spec ski can sit on steeper waves before the nose digs in allows you to hold the ski straighter on a given wave so there's less likelihood of getting too far sideways. Obviously, once the white water catches the tail and the rudder loses control all bets are off!

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1 week 2 days ago #28441 by balance_fit
Hi
I'm under a similar questioning as you. Considering a Tarpon for increasing my surfing time on the ski.
Did you get to test the Tarpon?
I can demo one here.
Regards
JD

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1 week 1 day ago #28453 by mickeyA
Unfortunately, it sold before I could try it. My XT is very stable, but I am now concerned that almost every spec ski is less stable, mainly due to higher seat. Tarpon did have a deep seat option, so perhaps that option provides similar stability as XT??--wish I knew. I agree that any spec should surf ~near shore waves better than ocean ski, so it probably all comes down to stability. Would love the stability of an XT with better shore surfing. Thanks.

Epic v10Sport, Stellar SE, Fenn XT, Twogood Chalupski, Findeisen spec, Burton wedge2

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1 week 1 day ago #28454 by balance_fit
Hi MickeyA

I got a few answers, since I demo'ed a Tarpon today.

It is stable. Even though my heels didn't reach the fixed foot rest, my hips fit perfectly in the deep seat and I felt the familiar XT stability.

My XT is 2005. Non-vacuumed glass. Heavier than the Tarpon. But my hips dance around in the wide seat, and even though my feet reach the adjustable foot rest, it feels tippier than the Tarpon felt today.

I liked the Tarpon a lot. My demo was in flat water, since I couldn't reach the fixed foot rest, it was no use going into the ocean.

Next year, I'm selling my old faithful XT, and upgrading to either a new XT or Tarpon. Since I want to surf small waves too, I'm strongly drawn to the Tarpon.

Regards

JD

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1 week 1 day ago #28459 by photofr
Try the Nelo 520.
I had an XT for couple of years - great price, great ski with lots of advantages, but surfing was not it strong point when compared to any lifesaving ski.

To my great surprise, the 520 surfs like a king, and downwinds like few others when to conditions are really big.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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1 week 23 hours ago #28474 by mickeyA
Thanks for the great info. I understand the tarpon came in either fixed or adjustable foot pedals. You obviously paddled the fixed, but the one I was looking at had adjustable. So with deep seat option and adjustable version, I should be as stable as XT, but better near shore surfing. Now I just need to find one. I'll look for nelo as well, but on golf coast, USA, I do not see many. Thank you.

Epic v10Sport, Stellar SE, Fenn XT, Twogood Chalupski, Findeisen spec, Burton wedge2

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1 week 7 hours ago #28478 by balance_fit
Nelo 520. Thanks Ludovic.

A shipment of Nelo surfskis is coming, so I will have a chance to demo one locally.

Will share my thoughts.

JD

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1 week 6 hours ago #28479 by balance_fit
Hi Mickey A

Have you checked Venture sports? They might have the adjustable foot rest Tarpon. Or Ocean Paddle Sports.
I don't know if the Tarpon has been redesigned as the XT.
The foot wells do look different.
Hope you find one soon
JD

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4 days 9 hours ago #28527 by jagter
Never paddled a tarpon, but I can confidently say the XT doesn't surf well. The rudder is too far back.

The slightest wave and the rudder is in the air. So you are forced to paddle hard down the wave, and then you end up in front of it, just in time to get smashed.

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