Those who paddle K1's and ski's...

5 years 2 months ago #28749 by Jef58
Hello, new member (long time lurker) question for those who paddle both K1 and ski's. This mainly for K1 trainers like the Nelo Vipers for example. Is there a rule of thumb difference in stability per width compared to a ski ? I currently have both a Think Eze and a Fenn XT. The Think has K1 trainer dimensions, but I'm assuming there is a huge difference in stability for the same width. I was always intrigued by K1's and kicked around the idea of having a pure fitness boat.... I know I can get the next level ski for this, just an interesting option.

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5 years 2 months ago #28758 by AR_convert
I am about 70/30 ski/K1 paddler at the moment.

Having trouble figuring out exactly what you are asking?

You are a ski paddler who is toying with the idea of getting a K1, yes? For what reason?
To train in on flat water? To race?
Do you want something as stable as the Think and Fenn skis you mentioned or something a little more challenging but still at novice K1 level?

Always looking for the next boat :)

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5 years 2 months ago #28761 by Jef58
Yes, toying with the K1 option. No racing, just fitness paddling. I'm on the west coast of Florida and live on the Intercoastal but have very close access to all sorts of water, including the Gulf. I'm short, so the XT bucket is not ideal and was thinking of selling it. The Think fits like a glove and has that nice narrow front end that I would like to maintain. My thought, there is more options with seating and boat fit with a K1 trainer than upgrading to a longer, narrower ski.

The ski makes more sense for a lot of reasons, but was looking at another option without being limited by ski bucket sizing, etc. I did look on Nelo's site and pretty much got the answer about relative stability comparison that I was asking. My Think is close to the Nelo 520, so the the same width Nelo K1T has less stability (on their scale) than the ski. The Nelo rep from Ft Meyers was at Sharkbite, but talked about ski's. I found out later that he deals with K1 more than ski's so I have a fairly close resource. Some real actual feedback on the differences between paddling the two would be nice to hear...

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5 years 2 months ago #28762 by mckengmsurfski
No specific rule of thumb, but as primarily a ski paddler who has dabbled in a few K1s, here is what I've found....
The 'training' K1s/Danish Tour Rules Boats, such as the Nelo Viper 51, have great primary stability. I had one that I really enjoyed b/c it had nice acceleration and glide, great primary stability, a nice paddling position, and a narrow catch. It had less secondary stability than an intermediate ski, but more primary. There is a 31km stretch of flat river I've paddled in a number of surfskis. My best time to this day is in a Danish Touring Rules K1. If you wanted something comparable to your Eze, you may want to consider a Viper 55, as it's probably closer overall than the 51, but they're still both K1s, so will just feel different.
I currently have a Nelo Vanquish 3 Classic, which I would consider a 'masters k1'. It has less primary stability than my elite level ski, but the loss of secondary stability seems gradual enough that it's still fun and accessible in flat to small chop. It would be much less stable than the skis you mentioned.
I've also owned a full on ICF K1 and a full on downriver style S.A. K1. They are altogether other beasts, very fun, but yet again a notch less stable overall than the least stable skis out there, with less primary and secondary. The SA K1 does feel more familiar to me as a surfski paddler b/c it has pedals, more rocker, and more volume, but it's still different. Hope this helps.

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5 years 2 months ago #28763 by Jef58
Thanks Mark, i just have to weigh the pro's and con's of both. The ski's certainly are versatile boats that can do fitness and open water all in one package. The K1 T does have the seating and trim options while being pretty a much shorter length. In the meantime, I'll work on my technique....

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5 years 1 month ago #28765 by TaffyMick
Have a Stellar SEI surf ski and a Vajda K1 Voyageur. The Vajda is a very stable K1. Primary stability is excellent and I can get it up to and maintain 12-13kph in dead flat conditions for a couple of kilometres. However, it is still a K1 and if you go over, it is generally a swim to the shore to empty it out.

The ski in the same conditions? 11-12kph and that is pushing it. Give me a following wind and some wind chop/swell and that jumps up dramatically.

I feel much more stable in flat water on the K1 even with boat wash, etc. I will be starting racing marathons and time trials in a couple months when some commitments are finalised after a seven month break from racing. Be interesting to see how I go on the Vajda.

Suppose what I am getting at is that it is "horses for courses". Love my ski in the conditions it was built for and the K1 for the same reason.

Oh... by the way, my Vajda has factory fitted rudder pedals and a footboard. Do not like tillers and makes a massive difference in leg drive and control...for me.


Stellar SEI, Fenn Bluefin S, Sladecraft Comet Long Rec & Vajda K1

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5 years 1 month ago #28766 by topswimmer
i'm in a similar situation to TaffyMick I currently have a Kirton Typhoon k1 & a Nordic Kayaks Squall ski. The typhoon is classed as stability 3 (40cm wide) versus the Squall @ 5.8 mtr x 48cm. Paddling both on flat water is night & day, don't be tempted to go for a k1 with the same width dimensions as the hull shape is a lot rounder on the K1's generally & therefore a lot less stable. That said with time & patience a K1 can be an enjoyable option. good luck in yours search.

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5 years 1 month ago #28767 by Jef58
Thanks again. There is more flatter water where I'm at in Florida than big downwind. Our surf here is pretty calm compared to the east coast, which has its advantages as far as nice beaches are concerned. There plenty of areas to paddle here that would suit these boats.

Taffy Mick, the Voyager was one of the ones that got me started on this, but do not have a close resource like the Nelo. The footplate vs tiller is a good point and would rather have that if possible. That was one of my concerns...
I appreciate the input and have a better feeling about this.

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5 years 1 month ago #28768 by Cerca Trova
I paddle a Nelo Viper 51, Stellar Apex Trainer, and a Vajda K1I Spirit. The Viper and the Apex T are both stable enough to paddle in rough conditions. The Vadja only in calmer protected waters.
Comparing the stability to a surf ski is complicated. The best example I can give is the Viper 51 answer Apex T would be comparable to my Stellar SR, and SEI. The Vadja Spirit is much more unstable than my Vadja Next 43, and SEL.
As much as I like my Apex T and Viper 51 if I had choose one of these over a surf ski, I would go with a surf ski. The ski just has so much versatility!

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5 years 1 month ago #28785 by SurfskiEstonia
Thought I'd share my thoughts about this topic.

I started paddling by learning to surf in a white water slalom boat (with rolls and braces), then learnt how to paddle a K1 and then bought a surfski (a Nelo Ocean Ski L).

I was also flirting with the romantic idea of buying a K1 to own long term, but after getting the chance to paddle a couple a really good fast and stable K1 (Vajda Infusion L), I don't even consider it seriously any more.

The good:

1. If you can paddle a K1, any elite surf ski will be doable on flat water.

2. K1 itself only makes sense, if you can push it above 12 km/h for prolonged periods of time. To do that, you will need to increase your physical endurance enormously. For example, to paddle a K1 at 12 km/h for 10 minutes straight, you will have to be able to run 12 km/h for 20 minutes. I know some guys who can paddle at 14 km/h for 30 minutes. They can do the same speed running for AN HOUR!! Speeds below 12 km/h are much more reasonably maintained in a ski.

3. K1s give a different perspective on risk and adrenaline because of the impossibility of remount and usually very low secondary stability. So if you are bored-stable in the most elite skis, then a K1 could be a way to spice things up. I personally am afraid of capsizing far from the shore and thus paddle K1s only very close.

4. You can race in official federation-based competitions in a K1, but as I understand, that's not what you had in mind.

The bad:

1. THE NERVES. When the water is cold or it's windy, a K1 can be a real mind f*ck. And if your technique isn't that great, then it will get even worse with nerves, feedback looping you to that feared capsize.

2. Very limited use. If a surfski can go and do almost anything, the K1 can only do its thing on the flat. There is nothing else.

3. No remounting. Period.

4. Difficult to choose. Skis are usually something you can grow into: buy a much more advance ski, give it time in the bucket and eventually you'll feel confident in it. Buy a K1 a little too advanced and you will NEVER be comfortable in it. So it's very difficult to progress into a more unstable K1, at the same time buying a almost any ski if not to be used in the ocean, can be really a fun idea :)

Current: Carbonology Boost double, Jantex Gamma Mid
Previous: Nelo Ocean Ski L, Jantex Gamma Rio Large Minus
The following user(s) said Thank You: Atlas

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5 years 1 month ago #28786 by Jef58
Thanks for the response. I do believe the ski is a more versatile option, especially in the year round warm water we have here. On paper, the next logical step would be an Evo II just from a fit perspective as I fit the Think bucket well. I guess the idea of having a 17 ft boat was appealing while still progressing to a more advanced boat.

In the end, I need to sell the XT and make a decision. By then, there will be some more midrange choices like the Nelo 550 to explore. For now I'm really enjoying the Eze for it's versatility for all types of water we have here in Florida.

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