Bike trailer & ...V5?

7 months 4 weeks ago #32916 by Wavehugger
Hi! I just joined this forum, I'm glad I found it! I have two questions I can't find an answer to and would really appreciate help.
I just discovered surfski's. As I live 700 meters from a reasonably big lake in Holland, for years I stared at the small windchop thinking "if only that would be surfable..." and I just found out it is...
So I immediately took a surfski lesson 3 days ago, 'cause it turns out there is a school located just 30 mins from my home :-)
I look for advice on two questions I have:

1) Is there a bike trailer for surf ski's? I use the Supwheels for my SUP, it is excellent for SUP boards up to 14 ft. www.supwheels.com
However I don't think it would hold a surfski. Any thoughts on how to transport a surfski by bike? I'm Dutch. I only ride bikes, no cars :-)

2) I had a lesson in the Epic V7. But I am really interested in the Epic V5 now. The reason I'm so interested is that I was reminded of an experience I had when learning to SUP in the surf. As I live in Holland we almost never have clean conditions or good groundswell. England blocks all that good stuff from our North Sea. We usually have a lot of chop and a lot of wind. Which makes even waiting for a wave an effort in itself, just trying to stay in position, upright and not falling off the board.
I had one of the first SUP boards here (we're talking looooooong ago), an Amundsen 10 ft- 28" wide. It was very hard work and a lot of falling off. Then two years later Starboard made the Whopper: 35" wide, instead of the usual 27-30". I demoed it and was immediately sold. Suddenly balance was not an issue anymore. I could concentrate on catching waves and having fun. It looked a lot less cool and way more kooky, but I don't care about that kind of coollness at all. Boy, what a great board.
So now looking at the V5 and seeing Boyan Zlatarev use it in a downwinder on my lake (!) in some really small period 1-2 ft windchop I was thinking: would the v5 be a good boat for my circumstances here? Can anybody help me with advice on that? I don't really care about flat water racing or speed, the only thing I would love to do is surf as many of the short period windchop waves on my lake as possible. So I'm looking for a board that catches the tiniest, weakest stuff possible in the easiest way possible.
I am 1.97m tall, weigh 93 kilo's, I am 46 years old.
Here's the video of Boyan using the V5 on "my" lake


Thanks in advance!

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7 months 4 weeks ago #32918 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Bike trailer & ...V5?
Hi Wavehugger, welcome to the forums!

I just googled 'bike kayak trailer' and many options came up that supported up to 35 kilos and 3 meters from the neck to support point, so thats plenty long for a 5.2m boat like the V7 and certainly long enough for a V5. I'd say google 'bike kayak trailer' and get whatever looks good to you. Any plastic boat will be very forgiving as well, much more so than a composite boat.

I have not paddled the V5 or V7, but I think either boat would probably be ok for you. If you were comfortable in the V7, or even think you could become comfortable after a month or 2 I would probably recommend the V7 first, but if you want absolute stability the V5 is fine too. The V7 is still a very stable and versatile boat. I would think that within a month or 2 of regular paddling almost anyone should become comfortable with its stability. Personally I think the V7 would allow you to catch more waves and faster waves, but Im not 100% sure.

Maybe boylan or another experienced guy can chime in, but I can see a couple sets of tradeoffs that you may consider - a wide boat feels stable on flat water, but as the waves grow they can actually become less stable than a tippier rounded hull. This is because, a flat hull wants to follow the angle of the wave face as it passes under you. A round hull, though less stable initially, is less affected by waves because the wet cross sectional volume changes less as the wave passes under you. This means (within reason) that a round-ish hull is actually more stable (read - less prone to be rocked side to side by waves) if you have the stability to keep it upright.

Another consideration is the wave period. Both the V5 and V7 are short boats by surfski standards so im not sure how much difference you would notice, but if you have very short interval waves, a shorter boat would sit in between them more effectively. If Boylan does downwinds in the V5 with success, then its clearly possible. Since he is familiar with your exact area, i would try to track him down and ask for his quick opinion. The video does appear to have a decent interval between waves and there are guys in a V10, so the V7 might actually have a slight advantage because of the length as well.

Anyways, if you can test paddle both boats that would be ideal. I think you may get slightly bored of the V5 as your skills progress, but neither boat is terribly expensive and have decent resale value, so if you decind on the V5 you could upgrade to the V7 when you feel the time is right for not too much money.

Also, Since you probably have a lot of cold water around you, id recommend some good immersion gear (wet or dry suit), leg leashe, possibly a paddle leash, and signaling equipment as well. Always important to consider worst case scenarios and have a plan for the unforeseen.

Anyways, welcome to the forums and happy paddling!

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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7 months 4 weeks ago - 7 months 4 weeks ago #32922 by Fath2o
Replied by Fath2o on topic Bike trailer & ...V5?
Nice video, thanks. I feel the video should pretty much help answer your question.
The V5 looks like a blast and probably easier to transport by bike trailer than much longer skis. I would suggest getting a ski with lightweight layup.
Welcome and good luck on your new adventure!

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7 months 3 weeks ago #32923 by Wavehugger
Replied by Wavehugger on topic Bike trailer & ...V5?
Thank you very much for your elaborate answer, very much appreciated!

"Kayak bike trailer" indeed is a great search on Google, I didn't think of that... . :-)

Thanks also for explaining about the round hull and it's advantage in cross chop!

Could you explain one more thing to me? You mention that I might outgrow the V5 and the V7 would be more of a challenge and therefore more onjoyable. My question is: what is the "reward" for the challenge of more instability? From what I understand the more advanced boats are faster. However as I mentioned speed is not that important to me in itself. The only reason it would matter to me is if extra speed helps catching the windchop waves on my lake better. But these waves are of course not nearly as fast as long period ocean swells. So is speed the on windchop an important reward for less stability? And if so, how much difference does it make? Let's say a V5 vs. a V7. 5%? 10%? (I'm not being critical here, I'd really like to understand this correctly)

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7 months 3 weeks ago #32924 by Wavehugger
Replied by Wavehugger on topic Bike trailer & ...V5?
Thank you! Yes, nice video, huh? I was SO excited to find out this was right next to my village :-)
Thanks for advising the lightweight layup. I would like that, but I also will have to slide it down a metal slope (5-bar treadplate I think it's called). I cannot carry it all the way into the water, so it will inevitable scratch a bit there on the surface... :-(

Do you have any experience in the plastic layups? Is there a big difference with the lightweight layups once you're up and running on a downwinder? I understand that getting up to speed takes longer, but is the difference also big once you have decent speed?

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7 months 3 weeks ago #32925 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Bike trailer & ...V5?
For a speed comparison, read this good article
www.surfskinews.com/news-2016-decjan-201...son-with-greg-barton

The V5 isnt on there, but assume its proportionally slower than the V7.

From what it sounds like, you may be happy long term with the V5. I guess, for some context, most people that get into this sport are competitive by nature and are often looking to improve their skills. There's absolutely nothing wrong with staying with a V5 if that's what you prefer to paddle. It kinda depends on, do you think you're the type that will want to upgrade in a little while, or will stay content? Most of us end up upgrading up to some point, then stop. My personal line is right around a 48cm minimum beam.

I have the ability to push myself and get comfortable in a skinnier and faster boat, but i found my maximum enjoyment is from riding the waves in an intermediate level boat. At that level I hit my speed-to-enjoyment ratio peak. Everyone's is different so you'll just have to decide where yours is.

Really the best advice I can give you is to demo both boats in the conditions you intend to paddle, if at all possible. When your butt is in the seat it should become apparent which boat you want. I dont think you can go wrong either way, and plastic skis are cheap enough you can upgrade at any point.

regarding the durability of plastic skis, you really cant get much more durable than the poly skis. they ar by far the most resilient skis you can buy for dragging and or (accidentally) dropping.

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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7 months 3 weeks ago #32926 by Wavehugger
Replied by Wavehugger on topic Bike trailer & ...V5?
Thank you so much, that really helps!

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7 months 3 weeks ago #32927 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Bike trailer & ...V5?
Ah, one importany thing i forgot that may play a large role;

when going downwind, speed differences are less. If you are fast enough to catch the same wave as a faster boat, you're both on the same wave and will stay together until you cant get on a wave but the other guy does.

Really, going downwind and riding waves is the fun part of the sport, so if that's the conditins you intend to paddle in, the differences are less.

That said, a skinnier and lighter boat accelerates faster and is easier to catch a wave with.

I dont know if Fenn has a plastic ski, but if they do I highly recommend you test it. Fenn's surf waves like a dream.

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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7 months 3 weeks ago #32928 by Wavehugger
Replied by Wavehugger on topic Bike trailer & ...V5?
I'm gonna check that out, thanks again! I remember reading somewhere on the forum people raving about Fenn in surf.

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7 months 3 weeks ago #32929 by Fath2o
Replied by Fath2o on topic Bike trailer & ...V5?
So I wonder? Is Keith Fenn a surfer too? Anybody? Thanks.

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7 months 3 weeks ago #32931 by Epicpaddler
Replied by Epicpaddler on topic Bike trailer & ...V5?
Nice "lake". Looks like an awesome place to paddle. Good luck in your decision. I just bought my first ski in July and I love it. Be careful, if the racing bug catches you it can be addictive.

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7 months 3 weeks ago #32932 by Wavehugger
Replied by Wavehugger on topic Bike trailer & ...V5?
:) :) :)

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7 months 3 weeks ago #32935 by Fath2o
Replied by Fath2o on topic Bike trailer & ...V5?
Wavehugger, in response to to your question about experience with plastic layups.
I had a Cobra Play for a while that I used almost exclusively in the surf zone. Don't think I ever tried downwind paddling with it. Don't think it would have worked to well for that. It was durable as Hades home though. (Rob said no more bad words).
I remember launching it off the roof of my camper top and letting it bounce and slide down the rocks to the waters edge. All good. Don't get me wrong, I am NOT advocating this activity. It just worked for me. Oh yeah, those boats don't have rudders either.
I would NOT suggest sliding a lighter weight composite ski down metal tread plate.
You may want to consider a stern mounted kick up rudder too.
The lighter weight boats are just easier to transport and I believe will give you a little bit better overall paddling experience. They will accelerate onto runs with a bit less effort. You will find that once you are on a run with good speed it becomes much easier to connect multiple runs. If you get swamped an stalled it can take some effort to get up and running again. A lighter boat just seems to make the whole process a little more enjoyable.

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7 months 3 weeks ago #32936 by Wavehugger
Replied by Wavehugger on topic Bike trailer & ...V5?
Hades home... beautiful :-)

Thanks for explaining that! I understand. And hallelujah, in driving around today I discovered a spot I could launch a ski which is sandy, with some avoidable rocks. So a lighter setup is back on the table! (Just have to convince my wife pasta with ketchup is great food for a couple of months).

The one thing I still don't really understand: is the fun that Boyan is having on the V5 on "my" lake in the small windchop due to the fact that he is Boyan, one of the best downwind-guys in the world, that he's doing great despite surfing the V5? Or is the V5 actually a good but apparently rare choice for downwinding? And if so: why?
What is the advantage of the more instable ski's for downwinding?

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7 months 3 weeks ago - 7 months 3 weeks ago #32937 by SurfskiEstonia
Hi, Wavehugger! Congratulations on discovering that lake. If those conditions depicted in the video are just an ordinary summer day, You are in luck :)

Could You describe the process by which You are gonna choose the ski? Would You consider going to a shop where they have demo skis and try out some?

Totally agree with Fath2o - if the budget is not a huge issue, definitely the lighter ski You get, the happier You're gonna be. Also MCImes' argument is very much on point about the stability. If You are a proficient SUP paddler, You don't have to worry about not mastering a V8 :D

If we look at pricing, the V5-V7 are 22-24 kg boats (in the heaviest/cheapest layouts) costing between 1300-1400 euros new. The V5 has two lighter layups with the next one going up by 1000 euros to get a 16kg boat.

At about that price (2500 euros) You could get a Nelo 520 weighing in at 12-13 kg. That is the WWR construction. I have been paddling a WWR construction 6,4m boat for 3 seasons - it's really very durable and impact resistant. A V8 for about that money will come in at 18 kg.

Paddling a 18-22kg boat vs 12 kg boat is a very different feeling, needless to say picking one up and carrying it :D Also the 520 width/stability could be much more rewarding than a V5 and let You keep the boat for longer. I may sound like a Nelo fanboy.. but their lighter layups are VERY competitively priced.

If You definitely wanna go the wide and heavy road, consider this boat: www.kajak.nl/prod.php?id=8364 . The pricing is great if You wanna resell it and get something lighter later. I have no experience with this boat, but the +1m length and -7cm width will give it much more hull speed over a V5, more like a V7, but 400 euros cheaper than the latter.

If possible, visit a well equipped shop, try some boats and tell us how it felt :) Buying a surfski is exhilarating (second to only paddling downwind).

Edit: just read Your last post. I have no experience with a V5-V7, but I can't imagine a wide short heavy boat could be a great wave catcher :D If the waves are good enough You can catch them on anything (even whitewater playboats), but to have a trusty companion to take out every day regardless of the conditions, that's when the hull speed comes into play.

Those shots in the video were definitely a good-looking edit. Also the conditions were super. I can't imagine them being always like that. Even on a good day there is a lot of stalling and missing waves, especially in a slow boat. I'm a very average amateur paddler, but I paddle a lot (5 times a week) in small waves in a fast boat, and I would say there is no way to catch many consecutive runners in small waves in a slow boat. Only a serious athlete could do that and would have to sprint like hell.

Nelo Ocean Ski L, Jantex Gamma Mid, Jantex Gamma Rio Large Minus

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7 months 3 weeks ago #32938 by tve
Replied by tve on topic Bike trailer & ...V5?
Just to throw in another 2 cents... I started paddling a plastic nelo 510. Great surfski, but heavy. I now paddle a carbon nelo 550: made a huge difference, especially in small chop.
The heavy 510 takes a LOT more effort to accelerate onto a wave. For weeks I just couldn't do it, not enough strength and technique. Once I sat in the 550 that part went from mission impossible to just some effort. Of course the balance went in the other direction...
Also, the beginner boats, like the 510, tend to have lower sidewalls, which means that if you don't make it onto a wave you're guaranteed to get swamped by its crest falling into your cockpit. Then you get to paddle for a while just to empty the water out before you can even consider catching the next wave. Very frustrating and energy draining!
Now, today, I can get the 510 to do things I just couldn't 9 months ago (being on the water 4x/week), but they're all much more fun in the 550.
The best I can recommend to you is to try a couple of surfski models and pick the most advanced one in which you can paddle on relatively flat water without spending most of your energy on balance. When I tried a couple it was very clear where that line was. IMHO in the epic series that would most likely be a v8, which is a great boat. Then learn from there!
The following user(s) said Thank You: Fath2o

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7 months 3 weeks ago #32939 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Bike trailer & ...V5?
For some additional context, if it sounds like we’re all trying to talk you into a skinnier boat, it’s because we kind of are.

Here’s why – the average person who gets into this sport is often the competitive type that likes to push themselves to improve physically and mentally. This does not mean we are all elite athletes, just that we try to improve our skills as much as is reasonable by watching stroke mechanics videos, practicing on the water, staying conscious of our form, position on the waves, etc. The sport attracts this type of personality, and if you’re like that at all, you will quickly outgrow a 4.25m x 61cm boat. Like, very very quickly.

Almost anyone that is somewhat athletic with average balance should be able to master balance on a 56cm boat (like for V8, for reference) very quickly. Now, the V8 is still fun enough that although you’ve mastered it, you haven’t ‘outgrown’ it immediately. Its still fast enough to be fun in the waves and stable enough that after a while you can take it out in any conditions at all.

As you get closer to 51cm, as a beginner you may swim a couple more times, it might feel tippy at first, it might take an extra month or 2 to feel 100% comfortable in, but the average person who is moderately dedicated to improvement can master a 51cm boat in their first summer, no problem. As you get to 48cm, you will need intermediate level balance and skill. As you approach 46cm, the boat is legitimately tippy and requires attention to keep upright. 43cm requires advanced to elite balance. I just say this to emphasize the point that the stability of a boat falls off exponentially as you approach 43cm. There is very little difference in stability from 56 to 52cm, but a huge difference from 46 to 43cm.

For these reasons, we’re lightly encouraging you to consider a mid-level beginner boat, or at least give it a paddle to decide if its right for you. If you share the competitive spirit that many of us have, something like the V8 will have a much longer useful life than something like the V5.

Yes, you can surf waves in the V5 like Boyan, but it sure helps if you’re an elite level paddler that is in peak physical condition and adept at reading the wind and waves. My guess is the average person would be less successful.

However, if you test all the boats and decide you love the V5, more power to you. We need people in the sport, in any ski!

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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7 months 3 weeks ago #32940 by Wavehugger
Replied by Wavehugger on topic Bike trailer & ...V5?
Thank you so much for your elaborate answer, SurfskiEstonia! That clears up a lot for me. Your analysis of available options is very insightful, much appreciated!

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7 months 3 weeks ago #32941 by Wavehugger
Replied by Wavehugger on topic Bike trailer & ...V5?
Thank you, tve! That was EXACTLY the experience I was hoping someone could share with me! Very, very much appreciated!

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7 months 3 weeks ago #32942 by Wavehugger
Replied by Wavehugger on topic Bike trailer & ...V5?

MCImes wrote: For some additional context, if it sounds like we’re all trying to talk you into a skinnier boat, it’s because we kind of are.


Hahaha! Ok, ok, you got me! I surrender! I will tell my wife that selling her car is better for the environment and my daughter that higher education is overrated. :-)

But seriously, thanks so much for taking all that time & affort to educate me. You made my days.

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