NELO 510

1 month 2 weeks ago #38936 by Dimitris Rapesis
NELO 510 was created by Dimitris Rapesis
Hi all,
I had been paddling my 17,5 feet touring sea kayak for 13 years when I decided to join the surfski sport.
I have recently purchased a NELO 510 surfski. My only previous experience was on an EPIC V7 (my friend's
ski) which I found quite stable. I live in Greece where surfski is a pretty new sport. There are only EPIC, NELO, and FENN local dealers and  therefore it is so difficult for somebody to test a couple of surfskis before he decides
to buy one.  CARBONOLOGY, STELLAR and THINK entry-level skis are not an option for us.
Although I can manage the NELO 510 in calm to moderate conditions, I can’t get onto 3 feet waves and apply full core power to accelerate onto waves.
In such conditions, I am getting destabilized and flooding the boat. Nelo 510 has its nose down in the water and therefore it is pushing more water into the cockpit. Nelo 510 according to the company is 510 cm long and 55 cm
wide. That makes the 510 wider than EPIC V7 & V8 (54cm) and FENN BLUEFIN (53cm) which is not true. I have measured my surfski 5 times. It’s 514 cm long and only 52,5 cm wide!!  That fact and the higher sitting position probably make it less stable than the EPIC V7.
I live in an area with a lot of winds and waves of 3-4 feet. I need a  bit more stable ski to enjoy paddling and start practicing downwind without taking too much care of stability. I am 56 year old and 95 kilos. I don’t
see any reason for upgrading to the next level surfski in the long future.
Your advice will be highly appreciated.

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1 month 2 weeks ago #38937 by tve
Replied by tve on topic NELO 510
As far as I can tell what you're experiencing is normal, everyone pretty much goes through that phase. In the 510 you have to be very alert to broaching: keep good foot pressure on the pedals so the rudder doesn't swing on its own and as soon as the boat tries to turn on a wave apply rudder pressure to correct. If the nose dives under the wave, lean back. If you feel wobbly, brace or make a paddle stroke to correct. Keep practicing, it takes a good amount of bucket time to overcome the "wobbly on top of the wave" phase. Hope this helps :-).

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1 month 2 weeks ago - 1 month 2 weeks ago #38938 by Arcturus
Replied by Arcturus on topic NELO 510
If you’re comfortable in the V7, you and your friend could try switching skis for a few times, then switch back to your 510 again. 

I don’t know what the recommended paddler weight max is for that ski, but 95 kg might be on the high side for a newbie.

Also—coming from a sea kayaking background myself—what beam, hull design, and volume of SK you used matters. Some SK have fairly high volume in the bow to avoid purling. If you’re used to effortlessly edging to maneuver due to having a skegged or skegless highly rockered SK, you need to get used to using the rudder. Though I recently found I can turn my 520 pretty easily without touching the rudder controls, that’s not in 3’ waves.

And in my SK, I could back-paddle to prevent surging forward and purling. If you back-paddle a ski, the open bailer floods water IN. When I do this, if enough water floods in (like above the hump and flooding my seat), the ski starts to feel unstable even in flat water.

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1 month 2 weeks ago #38940 by zachhandler
Replied by zachhandler on topic NELO 510
www.surfski.info/forum/19-boats/18873-closer-look-nelo-510.html

This is a review of the original 510 in 2017 by a guy who had some sort of relationship with nelo. He lists the dimensions as being the same as the ones you measured. Is it possible that you have the earlier model and the 510x55 dimensions listed on the website refer to the 2020 model? All the nelo skis were redesigned in 2020.

Is the 510 unstable on the flat or just in waves? How many times have you paddled it in waves?

One thing I have noticed on the nelo 550 is that it has a lot of volume in the stern. That makes it easier to catch a wave, but also easier to descend too far down the wave and bury the nose. Leaning back or surfing the wave at an angle helps a lot. I believe that is how oscar chalupsky paddles - with lots of shifts of his body weight forward, backwards, and to the sides to control the behavior of the boat. 

Also do you have the wave deflector mounted? With the short length and wide stern / narrow bow, the nelos really seem to need a deflector. 

Current Skis: Kai Wa’a Vega, Nelo 550L g2, Epic V12 g2, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X

Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy

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1 month 2 weeks ago #38941 by Dimitris Rapesis
Replied by Dimitris Rapesis on topic NELO 510
Hi all,
My sea kayak has both skeg and rudder with a good amount of rocker. The hull is 60 cm wide but without a flat point. It is rounded like NELO's hull. I have used the skeg option so far and therefore the rudder is something new to me.
I picked up the NELO 510 because I like the higher sitting position and I knew that this makes my board less stable.
However the 52,3 cm width instead of 55cm of the specifications was a surprise and an issue to me. I ask the local dealer to measure the width of a brand new 510 and let me know about it. I am still waiting for his answer.
In my NELO, I feel stable when I paddle upwind or downwind at a max of 30 degrees to the waves. However, in the area where I paddle, in moderate weather conditions, wind and waves may change direction 3 times in an hour.
My friend (EPIC v7 owner) is an entry level kayaker 6,2 feet 190lbs.  He tested 4 times my NELO 510. In waves, he feels also very uncomfortable. He doesn't find a good idea to switch surfskis at this time.
Keep practising and a wave reflector are going to help me to resolve some problems. My new wing paddle FENNIX 1 (old name FENN 6) is also somethin new to me.
So my question is if it would be easier for me to get a bit more stable surfski like EPIC V7 or FENNIX BLUEFIN S and start practicing with it. Is that gonna help me to improve basic skills faster and surf in waves?
Thanks in advance for your time.

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1 month 2 weeks ago #38942 by tve
Replied by tve on topic NELO 510
How many hours have you spent paddling your 510?

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1 month 2 weeks ago - 1 month 2 weeks ago #38944 by Arcturus
Replied by Arcturus on topic NELO 510
60cm is wide for a sea kayak, and at least 2” wider than your 510. That’s a big jump down in one step. I went from a sea kayak with a narrower beam to the surf ski. However, the sea kayak was less tippy due to differences in hull design.

You state that your kayak has both skeg and rudder (very unusual) but you did not use the rudder. It would probably help you handle the 510 better in waves to get solidly stable in calm water first, including using the rudder and the new-to-you wing paddle. That would be part of the “more practice” suggestion.

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1 month 2 weeks ago #38945 by Dimitris Rapesis
Replied by Dimitris Rapesis on topic NELO 510
Hello again,
I don't have stability issues with my NELO 510 on calm waters where I can apply full core and accelerate up to 6mph.
In waves up to 1-2 feet, I am more focused on my stability, and I keep heading upwind or downwind. Stability issues start when waves hit my ski at 30 degrees or more with respect to my waterline and the cockpit is flooding with water.
I have only 25 hours in my NELO 510 and 25 more canceled due to bad weather conditions, where I prefer to use my TAHE MARINE REVAL HV which is much more stable and safe. My REVAL is 3'' wider but without a flat point in the hull (similar to my NELO). 
So I think that getting a more stable and dry surfski will allow me to spend more time practicing. I think that my time curve in learning in this ski is gonna be a long one. Do you think that an EPIC V8 or FENN BLUEFIN will help me with this? 
Thanks again for your time. 

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1 month 2 weeks ago #38946 by CrabStick
Replied by CrabStick on topic NELO 510
Usually either one of those 2 surfskis would be great options for converting to skis in the ocean. I'm not sure how they compare to 510 (other than measurements) but there's a good chance you'll want one if you try one. They probably have a bit more volume and the BlueFin in particular has more rocker.

CrabStick

Current Boats: BlueFin S, Swordfish S, Fenn Spark S
Previous: Think Eze, Stellar SR, Carbonology Boost LV

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1 month 2 weeks ago - 1 month 2 weeks ago #38947 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic NELO 510
I own a 510 and paddle it in short choppy conditions. (no experience of other surfskis.)

I have noticed that it is important to paddle early to catch the bigger waves (3-4 ft). Put the effort in early, get speed up. Then let yourself 'ride up' the wave. 

If I wait for the wave to pick me up, then two things happen. One is that I start to broach (the 510 has a large rudder which really catches the water). The other is that it is very hard to get speed up, the crest reaches the cockpit and I flood. I'm about 86kg in my kayak gear, so a bit lighter than yourself.

I think that the 510 is a very stable ski - I can paddle broadside on to very steep chop quite comfortably. 

Downwind is actually more challenging, and I think it is due to the need to 'catch' the wave by accelerating early.
The rocker on the 510 sweeps up a lot toward the stern. This, combined with the large rudder,  increases the tendency to broach when water is moving past the boat (stern to bow).

[edit]
Looking at the profile of the v7 vs 510 on this page surfskicomparison.com/ (this is a fabulous resource), it is very apparent that the 510 has most of the total rocker in the section sweeping up from midway to stern. The v7 has a bit less total rocker, but it is distributed more evenly. 
Also, the v7 has more volume in the bow - the 510 is more towards the stern as previously stated.

All of this combines to make the 510 a ski that turns very very quickly, but is prone to broaching. A broach is quite hard to deal with (one of these resulted in the first and only time I've capsized).
My suggestions, based on my experience are:
  • If you feel yourself getting too high on the way, starting to swamp, let the wave go. Immediately after the crest has passed, dig in, paddle hard, to catch the following wave.
  • Watch out for a broach, push those pedals hard and early.
  • Start your wave-catching sprint early - the 510 is a slow, heavy boat, so it will take longer to get up to speed. You can only reliably catch waves if you can match speed with them. The bigger the wave, the faster it moves (well, wave speed is dependent on wavelength).
  • Sometimes, it is better to paddle beam-on to waves for a bit, then go straight downwind. With very short steep waves, trying to surf across them can be difficult. 

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1 month 2 weeks ago #38948 by zachhandler
Replied by zachhandler on topic NELO 510
I think the 510 is based off the 520, and i recall others on this forum saying that the 520 was slightly more advanced of a ski than the v8 and other beginner skis. If it is relatively easy for you to change from the 510 to a different beginner surfski that you know you like more then it might be worth doing. Life is short after all. But I also suspect the instability of the 510 is not so much that you cant learn to master if you work at it. 

Current Skis: Kai Wa’a Vega, Nelo 550L g2, Epic V12 g2, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X

Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy

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1 month 2 weeks ago #38955 by Dimitris Rapesis
Replied by Dimitris Rapesis on topic NELO 510
Hello to all.
I would like to thank you all for taking so much time to reply and giving me useful advice.
I novice ski boarder like me could spend months to find out and correct mistakes by himself, (high pedal pressure, lean back enough, accelerate earlier to catch the next wave, etc). 
At the same time, I will borrow and test a bluefin S,  which has a significantly higher volume than my NELO 510.
Hopefully, my 96kg  (close to 100kg with my gear) won't be a problem for that ski, and I will have fewer flooding cockpit issues to deal with. Bluefin has been reviewed by some owners as a bit more stable ski comparing to EPIC V8 and has an obvious higher rocker to avoid its nose-diving.
I can see myself staying for many years with my NELO 510 and/or a BLUEFIN S.  I paddle 95% alone (5% when my EPIC V7 friend comes with me). There are no others skis/kayaks within a range of 10 miles. So there is nothing to compete and after all safety comes first.

Thanks again for you replies. 

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1 month 2 weeks ago #38960 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic NELO 510
It is always interesting to talk to someone who has the same boat as myself, get their feelings and input.
I do wonder if your weight is reducing the stability; there will be less boat above the waterline for secondary stability. Many boats have a load point beyond which they go from 'stable' to 'quite tippy'.

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1 month 1 week ago #38966 by Dimitris Rapesis
Replied by Dimitris Rapesis on topic NELO 510
Hi Mrcharly,
the pleasure is mine. 
The max load of Nelo 510 should be 250 lbs (113 kg). Nelo's official site doesn't provide info about that.
However, there is a French site (where 510 is produced) that reports a max. load of 110 kg. You may check the following link: www.rtmkayaks.com/en/nelo-510-2/
So I think my 100 kg (including gear) plus 20 kg ( 20 lt) of water in the cockpit exceeds the manufacturer's load limit and makes the ski pretty unstable. I estimate that the cockpit flooding with water gets more than 20 lt by having the paddler inside.  
Yesterday I broke the fin of my 510, so I am just waiting for the new one from the local dealer.
Could you pls measure the width of yours?
I think that Nelo redesigned all Nelo surfskis in 2020, but Nelo 510 !!! 
My friend's EPIC V7  has a capacity of 300lbs (135 kg). That is probably the reason I don't have stability issues while flooding water on V7. Maybe I am wrong but I don't really have other logical explaination.
Kind regards.

 

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1 month 1 week ago #38967 by zachhandler
Replied by zachhandler on topic NELO 510
Sounds like it could be a weight issue then. An overloaded ski has good primary but poor secondary stability, so it feels stable on the flat but unstable in waves. An underloaded ski is the opposite. 

Current Skis: Kai Wa’a Vega, Nelo 550L g2, Epic V12 g2, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X

Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy

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1 month 1 week ago #38974 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic NELO 510
I'm away from home. Will measure my Nelo when I get back, early next week. Mine was a demo model, so certainly pre-2020.

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