Is Surfski Super Tippy?

3 months 2 weeks ago #36943 by Attilio
So we finally briefly tried our new (to us) Nelo 600, for all of 45 seconds. Here is my first post:
https://www.surfski.info/forum/1-general/19875-surfski-without-waves.html

The only reason why the experience did not go absolutely disastrously is that I recognized this thing is as stable as a floating log and just as likely to flip. We actually never got the chance to paddle it as simply breathing, or moving the paddle in mid air to try to paddle makes it so tippy that I felt like the boat was going to go over. This was in a flatwater pond with maybe 7-8mph wind (Stillwater Pond/Reservoir in Smithfield RI). We managed to get back to shore by leaning the boat to the left and using the paddles as poles against the bottom in the shallow water to resist this inevitable capsizing, barely and sheepishly getting out without dumping the boat. 

I was attracted to the Nelo 600 because I read it was an "8/10" in stability which to us felt completely undetectable, as in zero. Now I too uncoordinated, clumsy and tall to re-enter a kayak as well so this was a possible attraction but no way, I could hardly get into the damn thing! As impossible for me as re-entering a kayak seems, I now know re-entering this ski would be for the imagination and fantasy only.

We're not terrible kayakers, have been paddling for 16 years, have a few hundred paddles under our belts in Wilderness plastic boats as well as Stellar fiberglass composites like the ST-17 doubles or their Dragonfly packboats, which reflects our intermediate skill level. We're not fat beer drinkers on the sit on tops, nor are we amazing cool people with the sexy uniforms going at breakneck speed in pencil shaped boats either.

Could it have to do with the fact that I am tall? I am 6'4", in my early 40's, 185lbs and wear the same pants I did in high school. I'm in good shape too and my high school belt is on its tightest loop. But this was over the top, crazy. I couldn't believe how we just simply couldn't control the thing. This is not a horizontal move from kayaking at all. 

I was told by an experienced skiier that swimming is a natural part of this; we've paddled for 16 years and never tipped, not even once. Is this how Skiing is? I don't like it at all, not willing to trade so much stability no matter what the speed is.  If so I might just sell the boat as it's not what I expected at all. Looking for advice....

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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3 months 2 weeks ago - 3 months 2 weeks ago #36944 by Arcturus
Replied by Arcturus on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
Did you demo the ski at all before buying it?

The mistake you made was in comparing an 8/10 stability rating for a SURF SKI to the same ratio for your sea kayaks. My surf ski, which is wider than my 19.6” beam sea kayak, is noticeably less stable than the sea kayak, both in primary and secondary stability.  But it is still stable for being a surf ski (also rated 8/10). Apples to oranges, like comparing ride cush of a road racing bike to a mountain bike.

I don’t know where you got the idea it would be a horizontal change from paddling your unspecified-model of Wilderness Systems kayaks (they have a range of tippiness, too), but it was not me. Factoring in the doubles aspect really adds to the tip possibilities.

You are the same height and weight in either type of craft.

Quote from the reply I wrote to your earlier post:

“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.”
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3 months 2 weeks ago #36945 by tve
Replied by tve on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
It's an interesting move to have a first surfski experience in a double -- with both paddlers being completely new at it. I took a friend who had sat in a beginner surfski twice before out in a double, it was an interesting experience. He was all nervous jitters for the first 10-15 minutes and then he slowly settled down. After an hour he was reasonably comfortable. Initially I had to apply a good dose of will-power to just ignore the jitters, kind'a "OK, this boat is gonna tremble, keep paddling, we ain't gonna fall in, he'll get used to it". Maybe you need to invite an experienced surfski buddy to paddle with each of you for a few outings?
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3 months 2 weeks ago #36946 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
I paddle a stab 1 racing K1. 

30+ years ago, I used to paddle a similar boat in choppy waters, and take a WW racer out sea paddling,

So I'm not inexperienced or lacking in skill.

I really dislike double paddling. Boat moves, I shift to balance it - and the other person has done the same. Overcorrection, so the boat now leans the other way, we both correct - paradoxically, paddling a double seems to require faster responses (to wobbles) than in a single. Bear in mind I have little experience in a double.

So what I'm saying is that double-paddling isn't simpler than single. Maybe if one person is very experienced (my club has a couple of stable doubles and experienced people take out beginners in them). 

Two inexperienced (forgive me for that, you have paddling experience but not in a ski) paddlers in a double are going to 'fall out' in several ways. Maybe an agreement that one person handles stability, one concentrates on steering?

Paddling a ski or racing K1 is very different to other craft. You really only have stability when the paddle is in the water. Establishing a rhythm is key (solo or double). Miss a stroke and you might very well swim!
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3 months 2 weeks ago #36947 by feeny
Replied by feeny on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
I believe that if you manage to stick with it, progress will be significant.
Doubles paddling is awesome, there's someone to talk to and the more I paddle a double (with the same partner) the better it gets. Just takes a bit of time, maybe more so in your case because surfski is new to you.

I do believe that you'll make rapid strides in something like a Nelo 600 or similar. You can try some basic stability drills together in the shallows.

If you've already paddled double sea kayaks, you've got the stroke basics, like paddling in sync (not the x-pattern paddling that many beginner doubles do).

For confidence, perhaps practice a few remounts together in the shallows -- if you haven't remounted a surfski before there are plenty of videos on how to do it. It's the same in the double, though both paddlers should get their chests across the bucket together, then usually front paddler in first, who then stabilises (with brace strokes) for rear paddler.

The great news is that there is lots here to look forward to - and here's hoping you have fun with it.

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3 months 2 weeks ago #36949 by waverider
Replied by waverider on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
It is hard..You are not going to paddling anywhere straight off. You need to practice basic bracing drills and the like. Search videos by Oscar Chalupsky as a good starter.  First thing you have to get over is not relying on primary stability to stay upright. That is sitting there paddle in the air, trying to keep boat vertical with your hips.  Your balance comes from allowing boat to rock while leaning weight on the paddle.

You have next to no chance learning double surfski until you can paddle single surfski first.

Keep in mind its all relative to where you are on the learning curve. 12 months ago i couldnt stay upright on a 48cm intermediate ski for more than a few strokes, now I can paddle an olympic sprint K1 comfortably (ish) which makes the ski feel like a canal barge, and any prior plastic sit on tops totally unbearable slugs.

Learn only on totally flat water to start off with, or you will get totally disheartened and you will have no chance of getting any kind of technique together. Your  first hurdle is not letting the blade go past your hips or it will pull you straight in.
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3 months 2 weeks ago #36952 by Attilio
Replied by Attilio on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
I understand and think this is not for us. Objectively speaking I need a boat with primary stability and that cannot change because I have type 1 diabetes, I need to be able to stop, check my sugar, just get stuff done. Plus it's nice to stop paddling sometimes, check stuff out, talk etc.

This learning curve is too steep. I thought the 8/10 stability on the Nelo was as a general guide. Mark McKenzie sold it to me telling me that nobody ever has issues but these factors are taken into account for people who are wanting to get into surfsk, like the harsh conditions it requires and are OK with the steep learning curve and falling in to swim.  We ourselves only go out on the ocean in the most still of conditions and even on flatwater take care to do something else if the winds are much more than 9-10mph so we're not the kind of people who are into this sport. Not that I wanted to get into surfski per se.

I just wanted the Nelo as something to go a little faster and see more beautiful places and go farther in the same amount of time and maybe be lighter and easier to carry to boot as well as easier to remount. While it's light and easy to carry for us that's where the likeability of this boat ends because if you can't even breathe without it going over the hurdle is simply too great for us to surmount. There's too much of a learning curve here and we don't want to concentrate that much, nor do we want swimming to be a regular part of out paddling diet considering in 16 years it's never happened not even once. These barriers simply take all the fun away from paddling. I never wanted to get into surfski specifically but it's become apparent that I chose the wrong tool for the job. The Nelo is not for us and I appreciate the input which helps me make the decision to turn around and sell the boat.

If anyone wants a Nelo 600 for local pickup II live in Northern Rhode Island. It's the Carbon Kevlar version in blue with yellow stripes. $3000 OBO. Will be posting something in the classifieds over the next few days.

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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3 months 2 weeks ago - 3 months 2 weeks ago #36954 by rhainan
Replied by rhainan on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
All of my tandem experience has been in the Epic V10 and V8 Doubles.

My first double was the V10 and I had somewhat of a similar experience as you have had with your Nelo 600.  While at the time I could comfortably paddle an intermediate level ski on flat water, I was shocked at how difficult paddling the V10 Double was.  As you have deduced, the problem is not the inherent stability of the boat, which I'm sure is fine if sitting in it alone.  Instead the wildcard is the addition of the other paddler.  It took some time for my partner and I to become comfortable with it but we persevered and actually started racing it on flatwater after several months practice.   Five years later, even though I am a much better paddler, the V10 Double remains a challenge to paddle unless I am with somebody with plenty of double experience or a ski paddler willing to put in some serious practice time.  Paddling it with a newbie to surfskis is an unpleasant experience.

The learning curve for the V8 Double is much less steep.  I can paddle that kayak all day with people who have absolutely no paddling experience.  It may not have the theoretical speed of the V10 Double, but even mild chop could make things a lot more equal if the V10 paddlers are not 100% comfortable.  I am nowhere close to being prepared to take the V10 Double into the ocean but I would have no fear with the V8 Double. 

If you give it some practice I am sure you can master the 600 in a short time.  It's specifications indicate that it is both shorter and wider than the V8 Double.  I don't think that there are any other comparable entry level tandem surfskis available on the market, at least in the USA.

Western Pennsylvania Epic Kayak Dealer
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3 months 2 weeks ago #36955 by Attilio
Replied by Attilio on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
I appreciate the advice because the illustration of what we have to do to make this work basically illustrates that this is not the boat for us.

What I like about tandem Kayaks is that they are both faster and more stable than their single counterparts. You get double the horsepower and a few inches of extra width so it's the best of both worlds and the composites are light enough to carry without breaking your back. Works great as a family boat with the kids too. I don't see us learning to ski at all. It's too much work of all the things we dislike and make us uncomfortable and that we don't want and in the end the boat itself is not stable enough for what we want and need. If just sitting still and the slightest movement like breathing or shifting slightly or moving the paddle to try to paddle without even making contact with the water makes it feel like it's going to keel over there's no way this could ever work for us.

Initially I wanted a Nelo Waterman Kayak because I thought I was willing to give up some stability for more speed. I was persuaded to get this ski as these Watermans are are very hard to find but if this is supposed to be the most stable ski out there I don't think the ski thing is workable at all. 

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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3 months 2 weeks ago #36956 by Attilio
Replied by Attilio on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
The other thing too I should share is that for my type 1 diabetes I have insulin pump and I have to bring glucose meter and various other electronics that are not really waterproof. So tippiness and swimming is off the table. 

I could disconnect stuff but interrupting the flow of insulin more than a nominal amount of time is asking for trouble. Not bringing supplies is tantamount to attempted suicide out on the water.

The stuff could go in a waterproof hip sack that I sometimes use but its' a pain in the butt to open and use so often I don't. And I have a semi-dry suit for the intermediate seasons which is wonderful to keep my insulin pump which lives in my pocket dry should I spill. But that's not an option if it gets warm.

With relatively stable boats, staying close to shore and not pushing the limits I've stayed dry all these years.

Just a lot of barriers. I want and need more stability than a ski.

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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3 months 2 weeks ago #36957 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
If your criteria is NEVER tipping over, then yes, ski may not be for you. Being comfortable remounting your boat should be your first task, regardless of what boat or boat type you paddle. If you paddle long enough, everyone tips over. Everyone. The Nelo 600 is indeed extremely stable, but 'stability is in the butt of the beholder' and is a learned skill. Most tandem sea kayaks have a very flay hull with a ton of primary stability. That is what your butt is used to.

A ski inherently has less primary stability, because flat hulls are not ideal for larger or steeper waves. Skis have some flatness to the hull, but probably much less than the typical sea kayak, so as others have said the 2 boats are apples and oranges.

I think you're giving up too soon though. How many things were you good at the very first time? Driving? Biking? Swimming? Writing? soccer? baseball? ice skating? not so much. Those are all fine motor skills that were honed over the course of hundreds or thousands of hours.  To expect to be good at something completely new the first time is unrealistic.

I know you say it was incredibly tippy but I guarantee you that was just your perception. Your butt gets used to the wobble quickly. the double aspect does increase the tippy feeling by probably 10x compared to solo, so maybe you just paddle it solo in turns and get used to leaning the boat and letting it roll underneath you. This is natural, but if you're not used to it it can be very unnerving. Once you're comfortable solo, try again together.

The other thing i'd recommend is to let yourself use the secondary stability. Let the boat roll side to side. a 24" boat like the 600 has plenty of reserve stability and is probably much harder to flip over than your initial impression may indicate.

Last, I come from an open canoe racing background (canadian canoe / Jensen canoes / 3x27 pro boat - not those fake olympic canoes :). "Boat Bonding" with your partner over the course of many hours is key to a successful tandem team. Eventually you stop wobble-fighting each other. You get in sync, you know when to sprint or relax and what the other person is thinking, you know when they're struggling, you know what is a normal 'close to the edge' lean and when to 'brace for your life'. That preception comes more quickly if you have other experience, but even 2 experienced racers have their own nuances that the other must learn.

Double ski is the same.

So we'll be sad to loose you if you decide to sell it, but I recommend you give it more than 1 try, and maybe start out solo until you're comfortable with the feel of the roll. You cannot find a more stable ski than the 600

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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3 months 2 weeks ago #36958 by kwolfe
Replied by kwolfe on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
Yeah I think you may have made a purchase which you shouldn't have.  Having paddled a a couple hundred times in 16 years in really wide kayaks is a way different level than what you will probably see around. During the summer months I paddle 6 times per week.  I probably have a couple of thousand days in the 5 years I've paddled skis.  As others have said, I would have suggest two singles instead of a double.  The nice part is, you can chat face to face with your spouse while paddling.

Mark sold you a good stable ski for sure.  I've talked with him lots of times and bought a Nelo from him.  His 8/10 advice was solid when it comes to skis.  What you were used to paddling is a totally different animal.

If you are an occasional paddler, I would stick with large wide kayaks.  Surfskis offer a great reward, but you do need to spend a little time in the seat to get used to them.  I paddle a very "tippy" ski these days (Epic V14) on flatish water, however I feel very comfortable in it because I love this sport and have dedicated some real time to it.
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3 months 2 weeks ago - 3 months 2 weeks ago #36960 by Arcturus
Replied by Arcturus on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
OK, Type I diabetes, balance issues, no desire to paddle in wind or waves...

How about renting some standard double SOT kayaks designed for leisurely cruising and dealing with their heavy weight by using a sturdy portage cart? Plastic SOTs have a big advantage in that portage carts are made with simple plastic protrusions that you put unde the scupper holes.  No strapping required. The SOTs themselves have watertight hatch compartments or tankwells to carry a full day of food, water, and “kit,” and some carts are easily disassembled without tools so you can carry them right on the deck.

With no concerns about strong winds, carrying objects on the deck won’t cause weathercocking. And besides, the weight of two adults who are comfortably paddling (not wobbling or lily-dipping) steadies the whole thing.

Do you paddle single sea kayaks at all? Or just wide doubles?

Many times I’ve heard people say they are experienced kayakers. But what constitutes the experience has a huge range that makes the term almost meaningless. For comparison, I came to surf skis after paddling 1300-1500 times in not quite 19 years, in progressively narrower single sea kayaks AND in a range of conditions both fresh and salt water. So my stability-8 surf ski merely feels tippier than my sea kayak, but it has been easy to adapt to. I have so far not been dumped in the drink with it, but several times I had to do a quck brace, which thankfully is instinctive and does carry over well from sea kayaking. I know I can get remount it because I did it in my first minilesson, so there is no fear of getting tossed over. 

Regarding the doubles thing, the only double I paddled was one occasion with my husband on a wide SOT, which was as stable as a barge and about as thrilling. However, another time I paddled in a canoe with one person and one large dog. The canoe felt tippy but OK...as long as the dog didn’t move from port to starboard and back! Moving ballast, YIKES. No way would I hop on a double surfski unless the other person was at least moderately comfortable or cheerfully willing for us to possibly swim a lot. Could be fun on a hot day. 
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3 months 2 weeks ago - 3 months 2 weeks ago #36962 by Atlas
Replied by Atlas on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
Hey Attilio. Thanks for sharing your experience. Your honesty and lack of ego is refreshing.
At first I was going to tell you to swallow a mouth full of cement and HTFU but your further comments and those of the Surfski.info community have been quite enlightening and have helped me to develop my own thoughts on a topic that I find confusing and interesting.
Paddling a double surfski is one of the hardest sporting pursuits I've ever tried. It is harder by a huge margin than paddling a single. The first time I ever paddled a double was with Michael Booth as pilot. As one of the greatest watermen in the world and a very experienced doubles paddler there is no way that Boothy was going to let us capsize. Although I knew this intellectually I just could not relax and got out of that boat with the sorest abdominal muscles I can ever remember. I did the same thing a week later behind Oscar in a Nelo 600. Same experience. Trying to understand and explain why it is so hard is almost as difficult as the paddling. Having said all that I did go out and buy a double for my partner and myself and boy; it sure is hard but we are making slow progress. I can well understand if you don't want to put in the time and effort. Although my partner and I both enjoy paddling the double we are looking for a challenge and a workout; something completely different to what you are looking for.
I imagine that a double "ski" based on a double sea kayak hull would give you some of what you're looking for. The feeling of freedom that an ocean ski provides without the instability but faster than a plastic SOT. That doesn't seem like too much to ask for. I don't know how common such things are but surely there are some out there.

Current skis:
Epic V10L Ultra & Club, Carbonology Sport Boost LV, Fenn Bluefin, Nelo 510, Fenn XT double

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

Most with DK rudders.
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3 months 2 weeks ago #36964 by Attilio
Replied by Attilio on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
We're not SOT people either, I did mention that we are way better and faster then "the fat beer drinkers on their sit on tops". But we're not into the bracing, the rolling, the re-entry either and nowhere near as the "cool people wearing sexy uniforms in the pencil shaped boats".

I have paddled single kayaks but don't like them as much. They are fun and maneuverable but in a given time period you get more tired. We have two kids that are 11 and 13, huge for their age (5'6" and 5'9"), extremely active and stronger than many adults from all the sports they do. So the doubles are amazing for this. And what I like about double sit insides is they are both faster and more stable than a single at the very same time. On the other hand I am not uncomfortable in a single either. I enjoy paddling my Stellar S14 (kayak not ski) or Dragonfly packboat especially in swamps, narrow river, class 1-ish rapids and tight spots like that or pond hopping. But I need a boat that you can sit there and change clothing on it without paddling or bracing it even in some wind and waves. That's the primary stability level I need to check my sugar for example. 

Strangely I kind of like some wind and waves, nowhere near what ski people like, but my kids can get lazy so some wind and waves that kick up mean whoever is in the front has to actually paddle like they mean it. So the relative effort for me in some wind and waves is actually less if I am with one of my sons!

The amount of learning curve for ski and, other barriers I have just takes the fun of ski away. I work very hard at my day job, I don't want to put this much effort in having fun! All I was looking for was a flat(ish) hulled boat that sacrificed a little more stability than the Stellar ST17's or S14 for more speed. But I need a boat that is pretty rock solid, not a SOT by any means. The S14 kayak for example is 23.5 inches long and it's a little tippier than the ST17 doubles at 28" but still quite manageable. And it's FUN. So I figured a ski that my limit to still be comfortable was 24".

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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3 months 2 weeks ago #36965 by mcnye1
Replied by mcnye1 on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
Attilio - Sounds like you are looking for something faster and/or lighter, but with stability similar to your ST17.  On the commercial market, that is a pretty tough order to fill.  Most commercial kayaks are either short horrible paddling things or long very heavy beasts.  If you have the time and space to build, you may want to take a look at some of the homebuilt designs out there.  If you go with strip construction, you can build a 17.5' tandem at well under 50# or a 21' tandem under 60#.  A good place to start looking is at clcboats.com.

Another point to make is that depending upon how hard you and your wife paddle, you may not be faster in a "longer/faster" boat.  See this discussion on this forum:   https://www.surfski.info/forum/19-boats/19914-boat-length-interesting-analysis.html

Pictured is the Shearwater Double (18.5' x 27") that I built several years ago.  Designed for touring/camping with three storage compartments and a 575# total payload, this is a fast and stable boat but probably a bit heavy for your purposes.
  
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3 months 2 weeks ago - 3 months 2 weeks ago #36966 by Attilio
Replied by Attilio on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
Building is off the table for us. I sort of helped a friend and paid for some materials but that was a little more of a rabbit hole than  I would have liked. Wood is probably the best layup in terms of tradeoffs between cost, durability, stiffness and weight but the biggest pricetag here is time and steep learning curve. They stand out for sure as they're gorgeous and you don't see many of them.

I started out thinking maybe a Nelo Waterman as it has a reputation for being stable for a racy boat. It's a little narrower than the ST17 at 24 vs 28" and I can deal with 24", at least in a relatively flat bottomed kayak. That is what I was looking for and I found Mark McKenzie as a US dealer for Nelo. He  told me they are hard to find and suggested the ski as he had a second hand rental that was a few years old and very reasonably priced. But I think he is really into surfskis as all you guys are. It's all a question of perspective. A log shaped boat that you sit on top of is nowhere near as stable as a boat of the same width but with a flat bottom that you sit as low as you can given the same width and I didn't realize that, I was only looking at width. 

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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3 months 2 weeks ago - 3 months 2 weeks ago #36967 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
You've talked about not wanting to paddle in rough water (ok, that is mostly your partner, but you don't come across as someone seeking thrills and spills).

In that case, a boat with a flat bottom will be ok for you. 

I do really wonder why you've haven't considered canoes. They are versatile, can be quite quick and apart from some exotic racing models, stable. 

There are models that are decent paddled two-up, or solo. 

Canoes really start to not be good craft in high winds (too much air draft makes them difficult to steer) and steep waves, where they can be overwhelmed by waves. 

I'm primarily a kayaker, but will consider any craft; pick the craft for the task.

Here is a description from someone else of the Jensen 18:

I felt it was time to make a short entry on the Jensen 18, because I've owned one for about 3 years now, and someone should sing the praises of this remarkable canoe.
I bought mine to do the Devizes to Westminster race, ended up doing it, and the Watersides etc twice. I would say the boat is as close to a perfect starter C2 for that sort of thing as you can get. It's fast enough that you aren't an embarrassment (in the right hands it's very fast indeed), it's stable and actually turns very much better than anyone would expect.
Although it looks long and low, it's pretty seaworthy. We normally do the Poole Harbour 15 mile race every year, and the waves around Brownsea can get pretty big, but with a deck we are OK (touch wood!)
We've also used ours for camping trips. I mean, obviously it won't hold a mountain of gear, but for normal stuff ours is fine. Plus if you have a slower team in your group, you can transfer stuff to other boats and the slow team can keep up easily in the Jensen. (Yes, I know camping trips aren't about speed, but if you have to make a campsite, maybe at a Thames lock, before a certain time and there isn't much flow, that's the way to do it.)

This text is from Song of the Paddle forum. 

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3 months 2 weeks ago #36969 by kwolfe
Replied by kwolfe on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
Yeah, you are looking for a bit of a unicorn.  Faster and stable are to words that really don't go together typically.  The other thing is if you go down an inch or two in width, you really won't see much of any gains in speed at the rate you are paddling.  

Here in the surfski community have discussed many times the difference in speed between intermediate vs advance boats.  For the mortal man, the speed differences only really show up when the boats are being pushed in racing scenarios.  
The canoe is a good idea.  Lots of space, comfy seating position and be made it pretty light carbon layups.  Otherwise, I think you are where you are and without compromise, you have the best choice for you right now. 

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3 months 2 weeks ago #36970 by Attilio
Replied by Attilio on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
I understand now that this is probably the best setup for us.

The reason I don't consider a Canoe is that I already have Kayaks, kind of know what I am doing with kayaks more than a little (but not a lot, ovbiously), and started my paddling career with kayaking 16 years ago. I also don't like a Canoe because technically it's harder to steer and they are a lot slower. Whereas with a kayak you can stroke on both sides and have a faster cadence, you can only do a couple strokes on each side with a canoe and you have to keep switching which slows you down. I do have some experience with Canoe from a few rentals, a few camping experiences and with a friend who really knew what he was doing and had a very high Canadian certification for Canoe instruction.  Past tense because he died of a horrible and rare cancer very quickly earlier this year. We did more kayaking actually because his boats were at his summer home up in Canada and found the Kayak to be for the same effort faster and more stable although a lot depends on the boat too. The other huge benefit of kayak is if one paddler is stronger than the other then both paddlers, as long as they maintain the same cadence or stroke rate, can keep the boat going straight. On the other hand the Canoe will always turn away from the side of the stronger paddler that needs to keep switching. This is very noticeable with kids.

I do appreciate everyone having spent the time answering my questions. This was very educational. In life sometimes certain things do not make any sense until you see it and do it even just briefly. Then it all comes together. Thank you very much!

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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