Sea Kayaks

10 years 11 months ago #3875 by chriswalkeralive
Sea Kayaks was created by chriswalkeralive
I own a valley rapier 20. It's sort of a ski with a cockpit... I'm hoping there's space for discussion on this amazing site for "sea kayaks" and the cross over for training, racing and boat selection... Any interest?

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10 years 11 months ago - 10 years 11 months ago #3879 by nell
Replied by nell on topic Re:Sea Kayaks
. . . A ski with a cockpit, meaning that they're just the same - only different. Which reminds me of a riddle:

A flute without a hole is still a flute,
but a donut without a hole is a danish.

My guess is that you won't find much interest on this site regarding discussions specific to sea kayaks. But, any topic related to rough water paddling / racing / safety or what lightweights the Aussie and Saffa paddlers are should generate some interest.
Cheers, Erik Borgnes USA

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10 years 11 months ago #3880 by ckmacgyver
Replied by ckmacgyver on topic Re:Sea Kayaks
I own a sea kayak and a surf ski. Sea kayaks are like big comfortable family cars and surf ski's like a sports car. You need to get yourself a surf ski and experience the thrill. Eish, as for the yankee's comment, ja well no fine the proof is in the pudding as to who is soft. Check out which nationality's dominate the front

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10 years 5 months ago #4475 by chriswalkeralive
Replied by chriswalkeralive on topic Re:Sea Kayaks
ahhh yes, expected this answer... but recently competed in an open race with open minded people and finsihed ahead of the offloaded swimmers searching for their v12's, the next bunch taking valium to calm the rattles and the other 80% of the field who, in spite of blood sweat and tears, had bought skis the size of their ego, rather than paddle level. I know, get a life, and i will buy a ski... thanks for the riddle...

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10 years 5 months ago #4476 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re:Sea Kayaks
Jump in something like a Epic 18x and you may find the feel of it blurs the line between a high performance ski and a so called sea kayak.
Very similar feel and speed to a V10 sport.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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10 years 5 months ago #4477 by nell
Replied by nell on topic Re:Sea Kayaks
Chris, try out something like a V10 sport - the new one with the better seat, an Evo, Stellar, or something like that. As a former sea kayaker myself, the lack of "stuff" needed for ski paddling is quite liberating. Also, because capsize recoveries are (or should be) so quick and easy to deal with on a ski, you might find yourself having more fun in rough water than before. I for one would be scared to death to be in a rapier on a big downwind.

Your race observations are correct and also applicable to all walks of life. For example, I keep thinking that the buxom blonde on the other side of the bar is staring at me . . .

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10 years 5 months ago #4479 by aracer
Replied by aracer on topic Re:Sea Kayaks

Also, because capsize recoveries are (or should be) so quick and easy to deal with on a ski, you might find yourself having more fun in rough water than before. I for one would be scared to death to be in a rapier on a big downwind.

Speak for yourself. Personally I reckon I'd be happier in something which I can roll - or more to the point make a positive brace so you never capsize in the first place. The only real reason for going for a ski instead of a Rapier 20 is the lighter weight, slightly higher speed and better handling (due to understern rudder) of a top end ski. I doubt a V10 Sport is really that interesting to a Rapier paddler given it's almost certainly slower.

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10 years 5 months ago #4480 by chriswalkeralive
Replied by chriswalkeralive on topic Re:Sea Kayaks
Some keen Rapier paddlers in Aussie are installing understern rudders to overcome the handling in following seas issue but given the challenges of getting into and out of the rapier in deeper water, don't know if this is wise. I got a quote for doing this of $500 from a boat repairer, and probably the same again the first time I wipe out the rudder coming to shore. I contacted Valley in the UK but no response. Certainly I tried a jumbo stern rudder, and it made little difference in a following sea and now the Aussie importers of rapier are also selling the V10 sport... I guess it's horses for courses. Don't see too many rapiers entered in Molakai...

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10 years 5 months ago - 10 years 5 months ago #4481 by aracer
Replied by aracer on topic Re:Sea Kayaks
I'd really like to see a vid of Busto getting in his Vanquish at Euro challenge. I can get in my K1 in deep water, but it's not really something I'd like to try in race conditions (or in any sort of swell). Though you could always flip your Rapier, climb in and then roll :silly:

No surprise that a bigger stern rudder didn't help much - it's the positioning and leverage of the rudder which makes all the difference.

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10 years 5 months ago #4484 by philipnye
Replied by philipnye on topic Re:Sea Kayaks
Rapier is a good boat but rather old now - its a shame Valley have never really followed it up as there are several improvements that could be made. An understern rudder being the obvious one. Valley also charge an arm and a leg compared with more modern Portuguese designs which are certainly faster but don't usually have the positive lock-in needed to roll them.

I think the Rapier cockpit is big enough to sit in with your feet out, then hoist your feet in afterwards. This is probably the best technique for getting in in deeper water with an understern rudder. I have no trouble getting into my Sipre Millennium this way.

That said - I paddle my ski much more than my kayak these days.

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10 years 5 months ago - 10 years 5 months ago #4485 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Re:Sea Kayaks
Being new to ski racing, you'll have to excuse my ignorance, but has anyone ever put thigh straps on ocean racing typer ski's so they can be eskimo rolled instead of having to bail then remount? (My plastic Finn Affinity Ski has them and eskimo rolls quite easily)

Current - Carbonology"Flash" Vajda "Infusion II K1" Previously ~Finn"Molokai Mk II"~Knysna "Vantage Pro K1' Carbonology "Vault"~Epic"V10L & Sport"~ [/b]Fenn"Mill Double" ~Spirit"PRS"~Finn"Affinity"
Always looking for the next boat :)

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10 years 5 months ago #4487 by garykroukamp
Replied by garykroukamp on topic Re:Sea Kayaks
Hi AR-Convert

The consensus on this forum a while back is that sure it is possible, but the beauty of surfski's are that they are easy to get back into, and that you should use the opportunity when falling in more often while learning to perfect the technique. Also once reaching a certain level of proficiency one doesn't actually fall in that often.

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10 years 5 months ago #4490 by nell
Replied by nell on topic Re:Sea Kayaks
AR_convert, there was a company in Florida that used to sell their ocean racing skis in the 90's with a waist belt - I don't know how many paddlers actually buckled up, though.

thigh straps aren't needed and would get in the way of leg pumping / technique. When you come from a closed kayak, you're very used to using your psoas muscles / thigh flexors for balance, thus the feeling that thigh straps or some other kind of over-the-top-of-you support system would be good. In time, though, your balance skills and core balance strength will improve, and like Gary says, eventually you'll rarely even fall off your ski (like maybe once every 150 hrs of paddling).

Remounting the ski is, or should be a non-issue. Usually, when I fall off the ski, I don't even get my head wet and am back on and paddling in 15 seconds. Setting a ski up so that it could be rolled is kind of superfluous, and I think you'll understand that after a season or two in a ski.

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10 years 5 months ago #4501 by philipnye
Replied by philipnye on topic Re:Sea Kayaks
AR_convert wrote:

Being new to ski racing, you'll have to excuse my ignorance, but has anyone ever put thigh straps on ocean racing typer ski's so they can be eskimo rolled instead of having to bail then remount? (My plastic Finn Affinity Ski has them and eskimo rolls quite easily)


Paddling a ski, like a K1 requires you knees to be free and together to drive forward with the padddling action - this is quite different from a white water paddling style (and most traditional sea kayakers) where you lock in with your thighs/knees. It is hard to picture paddling a ski properly with thigh straps in place, and by the time you've capsized it is too late to get your knees into them.

As for a waist strap Nell, I can't imagine rolling with one - being able to flick the boat around with your hips is too much a part of the roll and a waist strap would impede this rather than help.

I do expect to roll my sea kayak because I can easily lock in when required, but a surf ski is a different beast - learn to remount.

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10 years 5 months ago - 10 years 5 months ago #4503 by aracer
Replied by aracer on topic Re:Sea Kayaks

philipnye wrote:As for a waist strap Nell, I can't imagine rolling with one - being able to flick the boat around with your hips is too much a part of the roll and a waist strap would impede this rather than help.

On the contrary, I've used a lap strap (which is presumably what we mean by "waist strap") on a wave ski (ie short thing for doing turns on waves). No problem at all with rolling using that, and I definitely use hip flick - the thing is the lap strap effectively makes the boat move with your hips which is what you need.

Not that I'd want one on a ski - being locked in at the waist would also get in the way of paddling efficiency.

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6 years 2 months ago #21383 by K Racer
Replied by K Racer on topic Re:Sea Kayaks
Old thread but.....

Well, now that I have owned and paddled both, Rapier 20 and skis, V8 and V10....I can add a genuine reply.

The Rapier does two things very well....it has very good initial stability and it is quite fast on flat water and LIGHT downwind conditions. Here is the rest of my experience......
Get the boat out into cross wave or sloppy conditions and the boat is unpredictable. The secondary stability that is detectable on flat water gives way to a very quick "dip and roll" in rough water. If you find yourself in a certain wave frequency going downwind the over stern rudder leaves the water and now you are on an amusement ride. If the boat is ordered with tiller bar steering go ahead and cut the thigh hooks out because they are useless with your feet and legs close together. (The thigh hooks line up best with the side gas pedal set up.) I have never tried to roll my Rapier and the cockpit coaming still cam loose. Even if you learned to roll this boat well you can count on the stress against the thigh hooks to cause separation of the coaming. Trying to remount the boat in anything but flat conditions is pretty much a joke. And if you do, then you have a cockpit full of water to deal with.
The seat that the boat comes with is too small for anyone except a 150 lb. person. The rudder is a nice design Smartrack foil rudder but it is made of flexible plastic. No doubt, a carbon under stern rudder would be a big improvement.

Now, after being on skis for a while, the difference in the way a ski handles compared to the Rapier is very apparent. My V8 and V10 both have what I call a "self righting" motion. You can feel this motion paddling hard on flat water and also when out in waves. It's like these boats always want to return to center even if your ability leaves something to be desired. The Rapier just does not have that characteristic. Instead of it seeking a center down position like the skis, it tries to roll right past the secondary. Look at the hull sides of a ski from the seat back and then look at the sides of the Rapier from the seat back. What makes it fast on flat water also hurts it in the rough stuff.
And last, the leg and foot position in a ski is far more comfortable. The only way to get you butt over your heels in a kayak is to shim up the seat or put stack pads in it. That will raise your CG which is not what you want to do in the Rapier.
If my wife and I want to go for a nice river paddle then I will take the Rapier. If I am going where there will be any kind of conditions it stays home and I take a ski.

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6 years 2 months ago #21464 by partymarty
Replied by partymarty on topic Sea Kayaks
I've also got a fast seakayak gathering dust in the garage, although I'll admit I do refall in love with it everytime I take it out.

It's an epic endurance 18, which I've been told is pretty much the same hull shape as a V8. I now mainly paddle a V10s (2011 shape).

I think there's definitely room in my garage for both of them. There's no way I can cover the same distances in my ski as my kayak, and theres no way I could have so much fun on waves and downwind with that stern hung rudder.

So horses for courses.

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6 years 2 months ago #21467 by Kayaker Greg
Replied by Kayaker Greg on topic Sea Kayaks
Have to admit, while I love going out in the sea kayak in rough conditions, the fact that neither of them have been used in over a year had me thinking of putting them on the market just today, along with a few motorbikes and cycles.

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