Stability, Epic V8 vs Nelo 520 S

5 months 2 weeks ago #35894 by qmento
Hello, does anyone have experience with both the V8 (new generation) and the Nelo 520S? I'm curious as to how they compare in terms of stability. The long story is my wife wants an upgrade from the V5 she currently paddles, space is a consideration so we don't want a ski longer than 5.5m (18ft). She's short but has long legs and fits in the V8 bucket quite nicely and has no issues paddling one. We're just looking at the Nelo as an option. Thanks!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 months 2 weeks ago #35895 by Atlas
Hi qmento.
Don't be fooled by the dimensions of the Nelo 520. It is definitely less stable than the V8. It has quite a round underwater shape unlike the V8 which is very similar to most sea kayaks in that it has a fairly flat hull under the cockpit. In fact the Nelo 520 is less stable than the narrower Epic V8 pro. Having said that it is a very fun little ski and most paddlers can adapt to it quickly unless gale force downwinders are the goal. In that case the V8 would be ideal. If you can demo a Carbonology Sport Cruze it might be a good option. I really like the way South African skis handle in rough ocean conditions. My downwind ski of choice is a Carbonology Sport Boost LV and I still use my Fenn Bluefin when it is literally blowing a gale.

Current skis:
Epic V10L, Think Zen, Fenn Bluefin, Fenn XT double

Previous skis
Fenn Swordfish, Fenn Swordfish S, Fenn XT, Spirit PRS

Most with DK rudders.
The following user(s) said Thank You: qmento

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 months 2 weeks ago #35898 by qmento
Thank you for the advice! We never considered a Cruze and will look into it. Re: the 520, while the prospect of improved performance is alway tempting we're in our 60s so longevity is a priority; so your comments are much appreciated.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 months 1 week ago #35901 by Cerca Trova
Qmento, having a 520, and recently selling my V8 Pro and getting a G3 V10 I will say the 520 is the better DW ski. The V8 Pro faster in the flats. The 520 doesn't have the initial stability of the Pro, yet the ultimate stability of the 520 in bigger conditions is awesome.
The following user(s) said Thank You: qmento

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 months 1 week ago #35913 by qmento
I want to thank you for your comment on my post. It was very helpful.  We checked out the Carbonology Cruze and ended up ordering one for my wife. While she paddles my V8 with ease V8s are relatively hard to get where we live. Ocean Paddle Sports, CA, USA, the nearest Carbonology dealer, was a pleasure to work with. And also, despite being in our 60s and despite the fact that the missus is very athletic and wouldn't have issues adapting to a 520, we wanted a ski where she could safely get home if conditions turned from beautiful to absolute s**t in the middle of a long paddle (and it does so quite often where we live). Your experience is much appreciated.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Atlas

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1 month 3 weeks ago #36600 by Regi
I intend to buy my first surfski. I was thinking about the nell 520 and the epic V8. Now I have read your discussion. What are the differences between the V8 and the cruze? Which one does your wife prefer?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1 month 3 weeks ago - 1 month 3 weeks ago #36602 by qmento
IMHO - If you're a beginner get the Cruze. The pros are: It is way more stable, it's an inch wider and the bucket is deeper than the V8. The Cruze tracks straighter, it's got a vee bottom running the length of the ski that keeps it from wandering around especially when paddling in choppy conditions. The tracking also gives you the feeling that the Cruze glides better than the V8 and (at least where we live) the Cruze is a lot cheaper than the V8 (the build quality of the Cruze is excellent by the way). The cons: the bucket is huge and the hump is very high. The Cruze not made for short people, but neither is the V8. We're both 5'4" and have to pad up the back of the  bucket an inch or two to give our legs a little space for leg drive.  Also the freeboard on the Cruze is higher than the V8 making it  a little harder to remount. 

On the plus side the V8 has very nice appurtenances like the handles, bailer, and rudder bar hatch compared the Cruze. The rudder on the V8 is mounted further forward making it a nimbler ski. The V8 also seems to accelerate a tad quicker though the weight is the same. The V8 has a lot more volume in the bow so it's less inclined to bury the nose on the runners and waves we do catch. We don't have a lot of opportunities to go downwinding where we live, but because of the aforementioned reasons I believe that V8 is a better surfing/downwinding ski than the Cruze.

My wife prefers the Cruze hands down. 

Hope this helps.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1 month 3 weeks ago #36609 by Paddle California
The 520S and the 520XL definitely feel very different!
I have a 520S, and the seat is much higher than in the XL, and although it is pretty stable, the 520XL is WAY more stable (it has a deeper seat).
The 520S is aimed at smaller paddlers, hence the higher seat to allow for proper ergonomics on a shorter trunk.
However, I also fit in the 520XL even though I am 5'7. It has a broader range of paddler type :)
Surf wise - the 520XL can handle pretty much anything, it went great in raging Swell city on the Gorge, to big ocean swell here in Newport Beach.
And with the new 2020 shapes from Nelo - it looks like the newer 520XL will be even more stable, and come in a variety of volumes.

Hope that helps!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1 month 3 weeks ago #36610 by Jef58
Is there a weight restriction with the 520S ? I've read both there is and no limit. If the hull is the same, I would assume the limit would be physical size with the different decks.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1 month 3 weeks ago #36611 by Paddle California
The XL can take up to 120 kg / 165 lbs comfortably.

The S - I don't have a max weight, but I would imagine anything over 85 kg is not ideal. If you are in that weight bracket you won't fit anyway, as the cockpit is tiny!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1 month 3 weeks ago #36612 by palhermans
From my understanding there is no longer (as of 2020) a 520S. The new 520's are:
- ML < 75 kg
- L 75 - 90 kg
- XXL > 90 kg
Have ordered a XXL and it should arrive somewhere around next week. Sure look forward to it :)  And, as pointed out, on the old model there was different seat heights over the 520 range. The new models have adopted the lower seat of the old XL. The widths are 52 cm (ML), 53 cm (L), 54 cm (XXL).
BTW (swedish only) a comparison of flatwater speed of all the Nelo surfskis:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvalgGphzc8&t=528s

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1 month 2 weeks ago - 1 month 2 weeks ago #36616 by Arcturus
Funny that the 520 S I received New Year’s Eve and took out for its first time on the water two days ago (long access closure due to winter and COVID-19 restrictions) is already “old”!  

Fortunately, I *like* the high seat position and tippiness isn’t a problem. I am just under 5’3” and less than 110 lbs. I never was too fond of the seat-to-footpeg angle in sea kayaks nor the legs splayed outward to tuck under the thighbraces.

My sitbones got sore and may need padding, so we shall see if adding height from padding makes me feel tippy. In the sea kayak, I could feel sitbones pressing on the fiberglass seat while wearing a drysuit and thin longjohns but not with 3mm neoprene wetsuit and barely with 2mm.

The OP has found another ski for his wife since posting the topic, but for smaller, lighter people who have a chance to demo the “old” 520 S, give it a try. What is tippy to a bigger person might feel comfortable to you.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1 month 2 weeks ago #36619 by Regi
Thank you all for your answers. It was so nice to receive so many different opinions in such a short time. Yesterday I tried the Cruze, today I tried the 520 S and the V8. I only sat in the 520 ML without going on the water. And I bought the old 520 S. It seemed to me the most comfortable and I felt save in it on the water. I only go on a lake when there is no wind and there are no waves. I'm 5.6feet, well we say 1.72m, and 125lb (60kg). Epic is quite expensive in Switzerland. 

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1 month 2 weeks ago #36621 by Paddle California
There is less demand on the manufacturers for smaller person skis, hence there are not many models out there for us on the petite end.
So @Arcturus - you scored! That ski is great, and by no means "old". Enjoy!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1 month 2 weeks ago #36622 by Arcturus
I can think of many things in which the older design(s) fit me better, so no worries about not having the very latest item! All is good, and I am not concerned about stability.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1 month 2 weeks ago - 1 month 2 weeks ago #36625 by agooding2
I saw that the new Nelos had better stability, so I briefly thought my new to me 2 year old 550L was a mistake.  But I am fine in 6" chop and I can just do a brace when I am sideways in 1-2' motorboat wake and I am very happy I saved $1200 while doing so.  

After 2 weeks I feel if I keep paddling 2-3 days a week I will be fine in most any water.  Maybe I will break down and do some core exercises.  That would be a good thing for me,

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1 month 2 weeks ago #36632 by qmento
Since this has morphed into a discussion about equipment for short(er) paddlers. Thought I might add something about paddles. Gara and Epic are the only paddle manufacturers I've come across that sells wing paddles with reduced diameter shafts (RDS). RDS shafts have been pretty popular in the SUP world for quite a while now. If you have smaller hands, a skinny shaft is quite comfortable to use and a lot easier on your hands and arm joints. The diameter of the Epic is listed at 25.5 mm and the length can go as short as 205 cm The Gara is listed at 26 mm in diameter and can shorten to  200 cm. 

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1 month 2 weeks ago #36633 by agooding2
Braca also has a reduced diameter shaft in the most flex layup.

You can actually shorten any shaft if the blades are attached with hot glue instead of epoxy, just heat them up so the glue is soft, take off the blade and use a hacksaw to shorten the shaft.  Take an equal amount off both ends if the shaft is a two piece.

-- Andrew
The following user(s) said Thank You: qmento

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1 month 2 weeks ago #36634 by Paddle California
Narrower diameter won't always help with smaller hands (and we we shouldn't be squeezing the blade that hard either).
I did experiment with s very narrow shaft after a tendonitis issue a number of years back - didn't help ( a whole other story).

Smaller blade size does matter for us smaller paddlers, and all manufacturers make a smaller blade - I use a KR Kraken (and even won world champs with it so small blades rule!)

Another important factor to take into account if you are shorter is the length of your paddle.

Hope that helps,
Michele
The following user(s) said Thank You: qmento

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Latest Forum Topics

Think Six - aim of design? (14 Posts)

11 hours 50 minutes ago

Suggestions for ski upgrade (10 Posts)

19 hours 17 minutes ago
MCImes's Avatar

Soft spot repair worth it? (3 Posts)

1 day 4 hours ago
Protected by R Antispam