Surfski Without Waves?

1 month 2 weeks ago #36687 by Attilio
Hello;
Wife and I are in our early 40's, pretty good to almost nearly good shape, very active in a variety of exercise and outdoor activities. We have been kayaking for many years and enjoy a pair of very stable doubles for the family with our strong and capable 11 and 13 year old sons, an old Wilderness Northstar and a Stellar ST17 in both flat and sea/bay waters. We also enjoy a pair of Stellar Dragonfly's for some harder to reach flatwater which is where we spend most of our time paddling.

 Despite being in good shape and close to our high school weights she hates wind/waves and rough rides and I am 6'4" and have the momentum of a whale with the reflexes of a sloth at best. We're not that good at rescue either and the prospect of surfing waves is totally *NOT* appealing. We generally avoid paddling if wind and waves are more than a small amount. However surfskis, especially more novice friendly versions have other advantages vs sit insides that I wanted to ask the greater forum about as you guys seem to have a pretty high level of knowledge and skill.

1. Faster speed to reach beautiful waypoints, especially in the bay or sea because that's what it's about!
2. Lighter weight, easier to carry and get around vs 55 or especially 85lb boat.
3. Easier to get back into/rescue.

Someone local is practically giving away a carbon/Kevlar Nelo 600 in relatively good shape at a fire sale price which is why I am thinking about it. Thoughts on someone not attracted to surf & waves? 

BOATS:
Stellar ST17 double Kayak
Stellar ST14 Single
Stellar Dragonfly packboat
(counting the inlaws boats they more or less let us use when we want below)
Wilderness Tsunami 140
Wilderness Northstar

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1 month 2 weeks ago #36688 by robin.mousley

1. Faster speed to reach beautiful waypoints, especially in the bay or sea because that's what it's about!
2. Lighter weight, easier to carry and get around vs 55 or especially 85lb boat.
3. Easier to get back into/rescue.

The Nelo 600 is an exceptionally easy-to-use boat, very stable.

For a surfski it's not the fastest boat on the block - it was designed as a family/teaching boat, hence the stability, but I think you'll still find it at least as fast and as fun as your current sit-insides.

Not sure which layup your prospective buy is, but even the heaviest layup 600 comes in at about 44lb which is a lot lighter than your existing boats.

And yep, that's what surfski is all about - sit-on-top is much easier to remount than a sit-inside.  That's not to say it's completely trivial, however, and you need to practice it. 

While respecting what you have to say about rough water, I'd recommend keeping an open mind - going downwind, accelerating onto the runs and riding them is about as fun as paddling can get!  

I'd highly recommend getting the 600 - I think you'll be converted in a trice, and that you'll find yourself going downwind before too long!

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...
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1 month 2 weeks ago #36689 by tve
Replied by tve on topic Surfski Without Waves?
To your list I would add that surfskis have very different ergonomics, for good and bad. You will want to get wing paddles and they enable a quite different stroke using your core muscles instead of your arms thereby unleashing a lot of extra power. On the negative side, if your outings include a lot of time sitting still then a surfski isn't the greatest because the bailer will inevitably let water in, so in cold water it can be rather annoying and you will want to keep up a bit of minimum speed.
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1 month 2 weeks ago #36690 by robin.mousley

tve wrote: To your list I would add that surfskis have very different ergonomics, for good and bad. You will want to get wing paddles and they enable a quite different stroke using your core muscles instead of your arms thereby unleashing a lot of extra power. On the negative side, if your outings include a lot of time sitting still then a surfski isn't the greatest because the bailer will inevitably let water in, so in cold water it can be rather annoying and you will want to keep up a bit of minimum speed.


Good points, all!

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...
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1 month 2 weeks ago #36691 by Attilio
Replied by Attilio on topic Surfski Without Waves?
The Nelo 600 I was looking to get was the mid level Carbon/Kevlar layup that weighs 36lbs. The wife hates waves so maybe the double rudder will help put her in the back but I'm awfully unsteady. 

What attracted me was just the performance and ease of things. All the rational thoughts says that weight doesn't affect performance on the water much at all but the equations that derive this only calculate top speed not the overall experience. IMHE (E being experience) I've paddled some lighter craft and they are always so much more wonderful and amazing. Even a handful of pounds really makes a difference.

Regarding wing paddles we have a Stellar mid wing paddle but the others are all high angle. I am going to have to fight my 11 year old for it. Most of our paddles are the high angle top shelf carbon ones from Werner of different types like the Cyprus for my wife and Ikelos for me. We like high angle paddling as it seems more efficient.  It's crazy how expensive these carbon paddles retail yet what the discounts can be even when just a demo or lightly used. I always ask the seller to include the optional scratches so I don't have to bother with breaking them in over a paddle or two as it seems highly correlated with steep discounts!

BOATS:
Stellar ST17 double Kayak
Stellar ST14 Single
Stellar Dragonfly packboat
(counting the inlaws boats they more or less let us use when we want below)
Wilderness Tsunami 140
Wilderness Northstar

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1 month 2 weeks ago - 1 month 2 weeks ago #36692 by agooding2
Replied by agooding2 on topic Surfski Without Waves?
The Nelo sounds like a good option, if it leaks at the bailer there is a recent thread of how to fix it the DeBrito bailer, it just requires a screwdriver and a piece of neoprene.  You should enjoy it. Use your high angle paddle and the mid wing to start, but try to get a second wing soon.  If stability is an issue, either of both of you can do a low brace.

36 pounds is so much more fun to get to the water than 50 or 75 pounds, you'll want a VRack to cartop it, Goodboy, Llama, and EZVee all make ones, definitely a good investment.
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1 month 2 weeks ago - 1 month 2 weeks ago #36693 by Arcturus
Replied by Arcturus on topic Surfski Without Waves?
I prefer the ski’s ergonomics to that of sea kayaks and (worse yet) whitewater kayaks. I am very new to this sport but liked the seating position better from the get-go. It will take a lot more training before I get more of the advantages; expect there will be a learning curve, not just a straight-across transfer.

Regarding the bailer, today (third time in my ski), I left the bailer open most of the time. Before, I had left it closed and periodically purged the water by going a little faster, The minimum speed to get purging was somewhere north of 4.1 mph (averaged, not momentary speed which I could not measure) in this ski. At that end,  the purging comes in audible alternating bursts and silences, maybe the effect of catch/drive/glide. At some point faster than that, the purging is continuous and louder. It makes good feedback for a newbie, letting me know when I start to slack off.

If I want to sit still, I close the bailer before I slow down. This keeps the cockpit reasonably dry,  not accounting for waves. 

Speaking of which, in my ski the gunnels are low. Even small waves on the beam dumped water inside a couple of times. Make sure you wear clothing that won’t leave you cold when this happens. It is something you don’t even think about in a decked kayak with a sprayskirt on.
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1 month 2 weeks ago #36696 by waverider
Replied by waverider on topic Surfski Without Waves?
Just keep in mind they have very little room for storing anything
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