Nelo 550L vs Epic V10 Sport - anyone paddled both ?

1 month 6 days ago #33817 by uk gearmuncher
I haven't tried the Nelo 550L yet (hoping to soon) but having currently got an Epic V8 pro (and finding that more than comfortable) and then just having tried the V10 G3 (and found that a likely step too far), I was likely heading off to get a V10 Sport. However, I've been recommended to try Nelo's 550L. 

Has anyone paddled both and have any thoughts ?

Previous Boat Journey: Gaisford spec ski, then Fenn Bluefin, then Epic V8 Pro. Then ?
Recent Demo's: Epic V10 G3, Nelo 550L.

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1 month 6 days ago #33819 by SpaceSputnik
I haven't paddled either but learned first hand that 550 ML has a bucket that is tight enough to be a problem with my winter gear on and, in L i flat out can't reach the footrest. In ML I can but it has to be at the very shortest setting. 5'6" 160-165 lb, inseam about 30-31 inches.
Nelo doesn't like short people :D

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1 month 6 days ago - 1 month 6 days ago #33821 by MCImes
Hey UK,
I paddled the V10S briefly a couple years ago, and the 550 last summer for a short trip, so im far from an expert on either boat, but here is what I thought. 

The two boats are in different stability class in my opinion, with the 550 feeling more like a 45cm boat than a 48cm as the 46cm beam suggests. I thought the 550 primary was very loose, and the secondary was still somewhat light. Recently, I just picked up a SF-S and although it is 1cm skinnier than the 550, I thought the stability profile was much better for my size paddler. (Im 84kg and love the SF-S. My friend with the 550 is probably closer to 72kg. He likes the 550 more and thought the SF-S was too much volume for his weight / felt corky in the water. I had the exact opposite feeling, so maybe a lot has to do with your weight).
Also, I wonder how much of that is changing perception though, as I now have close to another full year paddling open ocean and I'm sure my skill has advanced since I paddled the 550.  I'll have to swap boats for a short paddle again and see if my feelings on the 550 have changed next time I see him. 

The V10S was noticeably more stable than the 550 in small conditions. I didnt paddle either in bigger stuff, so the lower stability of the 550 might actually help in messier waves. But on the flats the V10S felt much more planted overall. 

I would think if you were stability limited in the V10 you won't be much better off in the 550, but it may be dependent on your weight. I think if you're on the lighter side the 550 might be ok. If you're heavier, I highly recommend you try and paddle a Swordfish-S vs V10S. I went from an XT to the SF and actually think the SF feels better than the XT in confused water, though it is 3cm skinnier. I have not paddled a V10 so maybe someone could compare a SF-S to a V10 and help you decide if its worth pursuing that angle. 

Overall, i think if you're on the borderline with stability, go with the V10S and master it in messy conditions, then step up to a 45cm boat if desired. Im interested to hear other's opinions too. 

Current Boats: Swordfish S
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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1 month 6 days ago #33822 by Henning DK
I guess you can say I have paddled both - not 550L but 550ML but apart from this, I have done some thousands of km in both of them.
In short, I find the Nelo 550 about the same flatwater speed, but more agile with super acceleration and maneuvrability, more fun in the waves. The V10 Sport is a little bigger, and it feels like that. The Nelo 550 feels closer to a K1 somehow, less like a "ski", but is very easy to handle in the sea.

If you have access to facebook, see my 550ML review. It's the text for the photo album:
www.facebook.com/henning.hansen.7771/med...t=a.1852634408086610

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1 month 6 days ago #33823 by d0uglass

MCImes wrote: Hey UK,
with the 550 feeling more like a 45cm boat than a 48cm as the beam suggests.  


I believe the beam on the Nelo 550 is 46, not 48. 

Stellar SEI 1g

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1 month 6 days ago #33825 by Ranga
Raced both skis, paddles Sport for 3 years then switched to the 550. As speeds go in downwind I can't tell where the switch in skis happened, my numbers are identical, Average speed (a touch under 15km/hr), Top speed, Heart rate... However that said they are very different skis. The 550 is very fast on flat water, I would have no problem using it for any flat water race. In the runs it is exceptionally agile, something you have to get used to, especially when you get the speed up. It has a very different personality at speed. Stability is different, a touch more unstable initially but gets easier the longer you paddle it, the Sport is a touch more benign. 

Build quality very similar but a shorter ski is easier to handle and transport off the water.

Either ski would be a great purchase.

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1 month 6 days ago #33829 by uk gearmuncher

Ranga wrote: Stability is different, a touch more unstable initially but gets easier the longer you paddle it, the Sport is a touch more benign. 

Build quality very similar but a shorter ski is easier to handle and transport off the water.

Either ski would be a great purchase.


How heavy/tall are you ? A touch doesn't sound like much though. Easier than a V10 ?

Previous Boat Journey: Gaisford spec ski, then Fenn Bluefin, then Epic V8 Pro. Then ?
Recent Demo's: Epic V10 G3, Nelo 550L.

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1 month 6 days ago #33830 by Ranga
I am 85kg and they are much more stable than the V10
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3 weeks 2 days ago #33903 by uk gearmuncher

Ranga wrote: I am 85kg and they are much more stable than the V10


I got hold of a demo 550L yesterday to keep for a while and gave it a whirl for the first time tonight (harbour and flatwater first, ocean later in the week).

First Impressions:
- Stability was much better than I was expecting. Very planted on flatwater. As someone said, a touch less than a V10 Sport but a bit more than the V10 G3 (and I normally paddle a V8 Pro). No twitchiness at all.
- Weight is impressive.
- Build quality is as good as Epics and you get Ultra weight for the cost of the Performance lay-up.
- Footboard adjustment is really good. Great system. I found the footbar a bit tight on my feet though (I had boots on). This is adjustable but I'm already at the max setting.
- The solid footstrap is great - you find yourself pulling on it with your leg drive like a rowing stretcher. 
- I don't like the rudder lines. They stretch too much which makes the steering feel spongy (even though the boats short length makes it turn on a dime).
- The seating position is very different to Epics. Very deep bucket but I felt very well supported. 

Onto the sea next !

Previous Boat Journey: Gaisford spec ski, then Fenn Bluefin, then Epic V8 Pro. Then ?
Recent Demo's: Epic V10 G3, Nelo 550L.

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