Is Surfski Super Tippy?

3 weeks 4 days ago #36971 by Arcturus
Replied by Arcturus on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
It’s not my cuppa tea, but the “fat beer drinkers on their SOTs” are enjoying their time on the water, in addition to the lean jocks on skinny skis.

Ditch the image thing and name-calling, for starters. Just go try different craft to see what your family likes and doesn’t need to spend much effort learning. It’s your time, your money—might as well enjoy it.

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3 weeks 4 days ago #36972 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
I loath SoT and inflatables; but if people are enjoying paddling them (and not getting into trouble), then that is fine.

Canoes . . . yes they are slower than kayaks. Not by much though. 

Attilio, comparing an average rental canoe to something like a Jensen is like comparing a 'fat SoT' to a sea kayak.

I've paddled a lot with weaker paddlers and more sophisticated strokes will keep the boat straight without constant switching. Sit and Switch is more efficient than constant same side paddling anyway.

As for having to switch every couple of strokes; that isn't true for the leaner-faster canoes. In a solo racing canoe you would look at switching 4-6 strokes. More if you use a bit of J stroke.

There are a lot of new techniques to be learnt in paddling a canoe. New strokes, new styles. It is different to a kayak. The difference is fun!

A person who can cruise a fast kayak at 10kph will get over 9 out of a canoe. I used to have a 17' 8" Peace River Cruiser from Mad River; last time I paddled it I managed the 8km trip in one hour - upstream. That's really a two-person big boat, but even solo it wasn't slow. Crappy paddle as well. 

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3 weeks 3 days ago #36974 by Attilio
Replied by Attilio on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
Pardon the missed humor, it was quicker to say it that way with a punchline than it was to describe our abilities in detail which you now understand. I hope you noticed my noting and poking fun at my own inadequacies as well.

My recently deceased Canoe friend talked about the J strokes and whatnot. He used to try that while kayaking, would destabilize the boat. Canoes work very well for a lot of things, more comfortable on long rides too downriver. We did a 17 mile paddle with Moab Canoe & Rafting, highly recommend them. That said similar designs of Canoe and Kayak always felt slower and tippier.

I spoke to Wes Echols today who lives just down the street from my in-laws, wonderful guy and very enthusiastic.  I understand very well that Surfski's are superior from an efficiency point of view but they only work if the paddler goes through a series of learning curves that I am just not willing to learn or do. I wasn't aware of and honestly don't care for all these complicated thing, body things, balance things, knees, hips and whatnot. They just take the fun away from the experience and I come away from this experiment valuing stability a lot more because it means I can ignore those factors and focus on paddling, enjoying the scenery and having a nice time. Please notice I am not needing or saying I want SOT stability, but some is nice.

Unless I find a slightly narrower and longer double I think I will keep enjoying the fiberglass ST17 and big plastic Northstar. 

Don't knock inflatables until you tried a Grabner. They are not quite as stiff as composites but stiffer than plastic and lighter than carbon fiber.They are high end boats, rather expensive but wonderful as they can be inflated to 0.3 bar which makes them very stiff. I tried an 18 foot Grabner in Europe last year that was 30, yes, 30 inches wide. Most stable boat I ever paddled because the air also aids in not wanting to tip. At 44lbs it's so light and airy you feel like you're flying over the water. Horrible in wind and waves obviously and you have to be careful for punctures so I'd never want one for that reason but otherwise it was probably the boat I most enjoyed paddling as it had SOT style stability so you never have to worry about tipping but almost (but not quite) the speed/stiffness of our fiberglass composite ST17 and it was lighter than any tandem or kayak that size even in carbon. Inflatables, good inflatables that you can inflate to higher pressures are not pool toys and can be very stiff thus efficient. There's a very special feel to them. 

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 weeks 3 days ago #36975 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
I encourage you to open your mind to the possibility of enjoyable learning, vs frustrated or scared learning. We all have had moments in our surfski career when we said (pardon my french) F This. the experience you describe sounds bad and left you with a very bad impression of how difficult this is and how rewarding it can be.
If you open yourself to trying even 10 more times for 30 minutes i guarantee you will progress to a point that you begin to see the fun and potential in surfski. go out solo until you're comfortable, it will be slightly untrimmed, but it will work. watch the ivan lawler masterclass and some oscar chalupsky videos too, they are incredibly helpful.

or depending on your goals and mindset this may not be for you. it is probably true that surfski inherently requires a dersire to learn when it comes to stability, wing paddle technique, and reading waves. I have paddled thousands of hours and have a ton to learn, but also intentionally challenge myself in wind and waves because its fun and fufilling to me. 

in the grand scheme, if you're on the water and happy that's all that matters. sea kayaks are fine craft as well and work for many people. I still encourage you to give it a 2nd (and ideally 10th) try. its super fun. I promise.

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 weeks 3 days ago - 3 weeks 3 days ago #36976 by waverider
Replied by waverider on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
Just to put up an alternative have considered a double fibre glass fishing ski, these have great primary stability as required for stationary hands on fishing, with a decent amount of accessible hull storage.  Any half decent paddler will adapt to these very quickly
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtzqxSWO7io
https://stealthkayaks.com/profisha-duo-2/
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3 weeks 3 days ago #36977 by Attilio
Replied by Attilio on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
Wes mentioned he knew two people with type 1 diabetes who ski I wonder what their setup is as I know I am using old equipment that is not waterproof or IPX rated but again I am not a very "learn new things" kind of guy because we have a lot on our plate right now. I am more of an if it ain't broke don't fix it kind of guy. I probably should get newer glucose meter, newer pump that are waterproof but right now I have two devices that are at best slightly water resistant so tipping and swimming is not an option. I should ask Wes contact info of those two to learn what they are doing. I should probably see my endocrine to ask about new equipment as I haven't seen him in 12 years but been taking care of it myself all my life (am a physician). I know if my sugars are high or down as it's obvious, I watch it like a hawk as my plan is to die a little old man of the natural causes I was supposed to and at this rate it looks like I will.

Waterproof diabetes equipment is the first step in overcoming fear of tipping. But again, it's more work, getting used to new equipment, stuff, having to change out all the spare parts, spare infusion sets, getting a reserve of testing supplies, more time, money effort. It's not easy to change if everything is working so well. So that's a project.

He made it very clear that surfski is definitely better owing to the efficiency. Like you and everyone, he promises it's so much better! The nice thing is he lives right next to my inlaws place which is from where we do most of our sea paddling on the Sakonnet River. His videos basically show him paddling in all of our haunts there on the Sakonnet. It's interesting because every once in a while I see people with surfski's there, I think it was him as they are always Stellar boats. 

He told me that I just need a ski that is more stable and this is definitely something I want to try for sure over the long term. I definitely want to get some lessons and try it on for size as he made it obvious that is the point to where most sea kayakers will eventually progress.

The way things are now are rather challenging for us. I am not going to bore you with our lives this year because most of it is actually beautiful and good but we're seeing many challenges; most are not coronavirus related thankfully, just deaths, injuries, illnesses, not being able to travel and see relatives, that sort of thing. So for the immediate future I am in a "playing it safe mode".

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 weeks 2 days ago #36982 by Wombat661
Replied by Wombat661 on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
I started no long ago, so I still remember myself say no way, this is totally wrong. Almost could not get back on the boat. Unlike any other boats, you cannot just move around. Every motion has to be symmetric. You have to be aware of your body at all time. Is a different idea of fun. You are on a boat that is not supposed to stay upright. You are far away on a thing that is not really a boat. That is adventure. 
If you have critical equipment that can't get wet, that would be a problem. I can sit sideway with both feet out on one side and stay there while using my phone while fishing for hours. But that is totally different than doing that while using critical equipment. Is like walking on a plank versus walking on a plank on top of grand canyon. One I will do, the other, no way.
If you like the speed, but not the balance of surfski, there is OC2. I see them all the time in the harbor. They are narrow with an outrigger. They look much easier to paddle.
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3 weeks 2 days ago #36983 by kwolfe
Replied by kwolfe on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
Not to draw out this topic more but that's a good point.  Unless you want to pack a lot of stuff with you, OC2s are a great option.  I paddle OC1 and well as skis and it's my go to boat in crappy water.  Not saying that you can't flip it but lean to the ama side if things go wrong and you are good.  There are also quick in the water.
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3 weeks 2 days ago #36986 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
Excellent point about the OC. If you put a 1-5lb weight on the ama an OC is nearly impossible to flip over accidently.

We would do this for noobs in the winter in Connecticut when i paddled outrigger out there. Works very well

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 weeks 2 days ago - 3 weeks 2 days ago #36987 by Attilio
Replied by Attilio on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
I've seen those Outrigger canoes. My former paddleshop (now just sold and under new managment) owners have an OC one they showed me once. It's an incredible boat, never tried it though. They are a little more fragile and expensive than I'd like but something like that might be on the longer term horizon.

It's awesome though, you can stick the outrigger on there in seconds, it's super easy. I had a friend who tried building an outrigger kayak but it was horrible. Took 2 hours to put together, 2 hours to take apart on account of its excessive complexity.  Nuts!

I definitely like the analogy of walking a plank vs walking a plank on top of the grand canyon. But it's not just about staying out of the water and keeping equipment dry. If I want to stay alive on the water I also have to be able to stop and check sugar from time to time. No matter what equipment choice it boils down to being able to stop in your boat and do fine motor skills like even opening a piece of candy while stopped. So no matter how I try to crack this nut I always run into the need for a certain amount of minimum stability in moments that I am not moving at all. When you're on insulin life can be amazing and wonderful as mine is, but it's nightmarishly complicated in ways no one who had to live it could possibly imagine.
 
With a few unicorns that are hard if not impossible to find, you either have recreational like performance for the stability, or you jump right up to a straight race boat or ski. I am good enough that I don't quite need a rec boat any more, but need some kind of stability that is present when the boat is not moving at all to do the things I need to avoid getting sick and stay alive on the water. That is why I got fooled by the 8/10 stability on the Nelo.

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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2 weeks 2 days ago #37043 by Attilio
Replied by Attilio on topic Is Surfski Super Tippy?
Story has a happy ending. I unexpectedly came across a Nelo Waterman for a good price which is what I was looking for in the first place. It's stable enough to change clothes while you're stopped, barely but yes I can stop and do everything I want you don't have to keep going to remain stable and it's not the kind of boat that you're going to fall in that easily or where swimming will have to be a regular part of your diet as a paddler. It is a little tippy and it's important for my wife and I to be in perfect sync but it's not that hard and now that we're used to giving it more gentle control inputs given its so light, stiff and responsive I think everything will be fine. Already after a couple paddles the last 2 days our confidence has grown immensely. 

I have a few minor gripes. The non-padded carbon only seats are hard and uncomfortable but that's nothing that cannot be fixed with inexpensive mods/upgrades. I love how the seats can be lowered or raised, stuck them at the very bottom for better stability and that helped. Ergonomics are different from what I'm used to but it's a different boat. Rudder is amazing, no dead spots unlike the Smart-Trak with its vague spring, you know exactly where you're pointing but don't accidentally turn the boat if you dig into paddling while you brace hard with your legs. Fantastic speed! It's *REALLY* fast, like going around a lake that is a hair under 4 miles around that normally takes just under 1 hour in our Stellar ST17 in 41 minutes taking a couple short breaks to enjoy scenery, take photos or look at animals. Very happy with this boat. Mission accomplished!

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

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

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