× Tips and techniques for getting the most out of surfskiing.

Newly Purchased Epic V10 Ultra Doesn't Allow Proper Leg Pump

2 months 4 weeks ago #36402 by jjhall
While I've been a long time kayaker (mostly WSBS Thunderbolt X and English Rapier) I'm new to surf skis.  I recently purchased an Epic V10 Ultra (Gen 2) and now that I'm learning the nomenclature/fit of this ski I find my legs to short, and/or the hump to high for proper leg pump.  I'm 5'-7" tall at 155 lbs.  Both the Epic website and Epic rep said this boat would be a fit as it accommodates paddlers as short as 5'-4".

I've tried padding the back of the bucket in order to move forward.  This did not work.  In tandem, I tried padding the bottom of the seat, but found this caused a high degree of instability.

The only thing I can think of is to move the rails, thus footplate, higher and I see no realistic means of doing so even from a professional installer.

This boat is in excellent condition and I would very much like to keep it.  The stability and construction are great.  So if anyone has a thought in the matter (even if it includes "there's nothing that can be done") I would sincerely appreciate hearing it so I can take whatever steps, necessary.

Thanks,
Jack

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2 months 4 weeks ago - 2 months 4 weeks ago #36403 by MCImes
Are you expecting to pump your legs almost straight like a K1 or WSBS boat allows? No ski allows K1 style extreme pumping (legs almost straight when fully extended) and close maybe a full 30° of pumping (150° when fully bent, just guessing an angles here).

Epic buckets generally get good reviews for both fit and ergonomics, so my guess is its just your perception. 

I have never heard of anyone raising the foot pedals (unless they have monster feet). You're on the smaller side so I doubt that's you. 

I think your expectations of pumping in a ski are just not in line with what the boat allows. Its not a open cockpit K1. Im interested to see what others say though. Maybe others think differently

Edit - good point dicko. Here is a video of jasper on his record Millers's Run that shows him paddling from the side . It wont imbed to start at 7:00, but look around 7:00 for some good side shots. 

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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2 months 4 weeks ago #36404 by jjhall
MC, thanks for your thoughts in the matter.  You're probably right, after this many years in an "X" or K1 I'm probably expecting a little much.  

Bruce Poacher (from this forum) responded to me by email and said he has the same issue, but just learned to live with it so I guess I can do the same.  

I do, however, have a get together scheduled with the Epic rep in our area who said he has seen such cases with people that are not only short, but have small torsos as well.  He said he'd take a look and we could go from there.

You mentioned some with larger feet raising the footplate.  Just curious how they do that.

Thanks again for the thoughts.
Jack

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2 months 4 weeks ago #36405 by Dicko
I reckon you need to go and ask someone if you've got the boat set up right. My guess is you have your legs too straight already. Check out the leg angles on guys like Jasper Mocke. He would be around your height, he paddles Epic ski's and he has no trouble with his rotation. 

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2 months 4 weeks ago #36406 by jjhall
Thanks!  I'll do that.

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2 months 4 weeks ago #36407 by waverider
Unfortunately skis need that hump to keep you in the seat when surfing skis. I find that a more positive hip swivel is required on my ski compared to my K1 to get that leg drive happening. Also it takes time to get used to the fact that full leg drive stops far shorter than full straightening of the leg. This may feel unnatural at first, but that last bit of extension doesnt actually add much anyway.

Do you pull back/brace your bent leg on your foot straps?  I know the theory of "pulling back" is counter to moving forward but that gentle hooking of the toes back  often helps to instigate hip rotation and leg drive on the otherside. It also helps prevent you inadvertenty pushing back in your seat causing the hump to create interference

I do sometimes add a loose seat pad for flat water paddling where stability is not an issue. This helps develop the technique which then carries back over to open water paddling.

I think it is likely just a case of adapting to the different ergonomics of skis, it is a known characterisic

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2 months 4 weeks ago #36409 by jjhall
Thanks for the thoughts!  I'm sure you're right in that it will just take a little time to acclimate to a ski.
Jack

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2 months 3 weeks ago #36411 by waverider

jjhall wrote:
You mentioned some with larger feet raising the footplate.  Just curious how they do that.


Jack

Taller footplate on same rails. This effectively raises the steering pedals so that those with large feet dont have the balls of their feet on the steering pedals.  You still need to keep your heels on bottom of the hull, so even if you fitted larger footplate you could raise your feet but your heels would not be braced on the bottom, which is not only less stable but will tend to wander and become uneven on the footplate. Raising your feet higher would make it feel even more weird coming from K1s etc.

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2 months 3 weeks ago #36412 by jjhall
Thank you for the detailed understanding!  I can now see, in my situation, to attempt to lengthen the footplate would not end well.

I'll keep things as they are and work on getting accustomed to the ski.

Thanks again.
Jack

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2 months 3 weeks ago #36420 by zachhandler
I am no expert in surfski and kayak stroke but Teneale Hatton (k1 1000m record holder and former world surfski champion) is. I asked her once about the difference between the two sports and she said that the surfski stroke is very different because of how much the bucket restricts movement. Maybe that is what you are experiencing. Or maybe you have long torso and short legs and you really don’t fit. Have someone else look as your setup and try some other skis for comparison. 

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2 months 3 weeks ago #36424 by Paddle California
Hi paddlers

"leg pump" or what we call leg drive, is very necessary to paddle with correct technique - and is vital that your boat is set up to allow this.
As a smaller paddler myself (5'7) with short legs, I have battled with this as well.
Don't fit yourself to the your boat - but rather fit the boat to you!
In the past I would have to raise my seat up to be able to overcome the "bump" in the ski - and in big conditions this is less than ideal due to the instability of the raised seat.

Now I just use a ski that fits me :)

cheers,
Michele

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2 months 3 weeks ago #36426 by jjhall
Wow!  She would certainly know.

Coincidentally, today we bumped into a few of the guys who paddle competitively (FCPA).  I only know two of them by name, but they all seemed like great guys.

They took the time to check things out and even let me paddle a few of their boats for comparison (I was most comfortable and stable in a first generation Stellar SEL carbon).  I could get all the leg drive I need and more as the hump was much lower and the cockpit was very much narrower.  The seat was much lower as well.  It seemed a bit less stable than the V10, especially initially.

After they observed for a time it was the consensus I may be better off in another boat.  This was not that I couldn't adapt, but after trying every adjustable option I still was somewhat limited and honestly felt restricted when compared to the SEL.

(Not wanting to alienate anyone, but as a peripheral observation, the V10 Ultra seems a much higher quality build than the SEL.  At least the one I paddled.)

Thank you for the thoughts/suggestions.
Jack

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2 months 3 weeks ago #36427 by jjhall
"Don't fit yourself to the your boat - but rather fit the boat to you"!  These are words of wisdom. 

I got a very good buy on this boat and would be lying if I were to say it didn't play a large part in my reasoning to purchase. 

To be honest, I struggled with lack of leg drive from the first demo, but somehow convinced myself I could make it work, and I can.  However, this comes at the sacrifice of both comfort and the amount of leg drive that I personally need.  It kind of ruins the experience.

Some suggested a V10L and maybe a Stellar SES if I could handle it.  I really liked the SEL, but was a little put off by what I felt was not the best quality.

As we're roughly the same size I'm 5'-7" @ 155 lbs, but I have unusually short arms and legs (my inseam is only 27") could you tell me what boat you decided on?

Thanks,
Jack

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2 months 3 weeks ago #36428 by Paddle California
Hi Jack

I think my inseam is also 27". I weigh about 140 lbs, so we are pretty close.
I currently paddle the Nelo 560 (both M and L). The M is tiny and fits me perfectly - and the L (original model) is a bit big on the cockpit for me - and I had to have the rails pulled closer to the seat - but both have no hump so I can use my legs and rotate correctly.

I am getting the 2020 model of the 560ML in a few weeks - and am looking forward to the smaller cockpit for sure, I will put up some reviews when I get it.

Full disclaimer - I import Nelo into the US, and have been doing so for 3 years. And on top of that I have used their boats for over 10 years - for my Olympics and for all my athletes Olympics, and when they started making surfskis in 2008, I was super excited, as most manufacturers make boats for a 90kg guy. Nelo has always built boats for any sized athletes, me included, so of course with that in mind, I was stoked with their smaller person-sized surfsks. And I never looked back after that! 
As a smaller athlete, I have had to rely on good technique to help me win races, and if the boat is restricting my chances to achieve this, then I would be wasting my time!
Plus it has to be able to surf, cause why else do we paddle? :)

Hope that helps!

cheers
Michele

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2 months 3 weeks ago #36429 by jjhall
Thanks for the info, Michele!

I did paddle a Nelo 550.  The gentleman told me the model was ML.  It was roughly 18x18.  I understand the 560 is a faster, but more unstable boat.   

I look forward to your reviews of the 560ML.  Do you have another ski you could compare this to for speed and stability?

Thanks,
Jack

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2 months 3 weeks ago #36432 by mcnye1
Hello Jack,  
Sounds like you ran into Doug, he is the only one that I know in FCPA who paddles a black SEL.  He is bloody fast!  He won the annual points championship in open class, even though he could have competed in the Senior (50-59) division.  I am sure that they invited you, but I will repeat the invitation to join us at FCPA.  About 15 free races per (non-COVID19) year all over the state, and member ship is only $10 per year.  Best way to plug in is on the FCPA Facebook page, but if you don't do FB give me an email and I get you connected. 

Besides racing, FCPA is a great way to see a lot of different boats.  Two of our regular competitors are surfski dealers, one carries Epic (Orlando area) and the other carries Think and Revo.  (As a side note, his first shipment of Revos just arrived so he has boats to demo and buy).  Also, the Stellar/Nelo dealer in Orlando is one of our corporate sponsors.  Additionally, it is pretty normal for members to trade boats for demo paddles after the races.  Our next race is scheduled for May 9th on the Wekiva (near Orlando).  With things starting to loosen up in Florida, that race may happen.  The next couple after that are Wakulla (near Tallahassee) on May 16 and Sunshine State Games (Parrish) on Jun 7.  Please come join us!

Now to get to the subject of a ski for you.  I am roughly the same size, 5'7", 150# with 30 inch inseam and have a SEI (2G)  and a new SEA.  The bucket on the SEI is probably a little too big for me but I fit well when wearing a pair of Deckbeater shorts (9mm padding).  The bucket on the SEA fits me better but I do sit on a Skwoosh pad for comfort.  You are welcome to try either boat once things loosen up.  Either at an FCPA event or just meet someplace between depending upon where you live.  I am in Jax.

A couple of other boats that I have paddled that might fit you well are the Nelo Viper 46 Ski and the SES.  (If you look back a few weeks, you will find my posting about that demo paddle).  The SES has a bucket designed for a small person.  I found it very comfortable fit, but the that boat is not stable enough for me.  The Nelo was also very comfortable and a blast to paddle, but not fast enough for what I wanted.  I have not paddled it, but one of the small ladies in our group has paddled the Think Jet and loves it.

The one part of this discussion that is missing, is what you intend to use the ski for.  Are you looking for a good boat in rough water or a fast boat for flat water?  The SES would be fast in flat water but maybe not stable enough for big waves.  The Jet and Viper would be better in waves but probably not fast enough for flat water racing.

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2 months 3 weeks ago #36433 by jjhall
MC, thank you for all the help including the invite and the opportunity to try your boats, as-well-as the thoughts including what skis might work.

I have seen Doug, at times, I believe at the Silver Springs and perhaps on the St. Johns.  I've never met him, personally, however.  Some of the names I remember meeting over time are Tommy Thompson, John Edwards, Larry Fredericks, Bob Waters and Ed Engles (he's the one who let me try the yellow SEL Carbon).  I've met literally dozens of others whose names escape me, but all seem nice folks.

In the last year or so I've "bumped" into the FC paddlers at the race on the Ocklawaha (Eureka I think).  And then again some months ago at the race on the Silver River.  There are some excellent paddlers involved in this group!  I will make the effort to attend the next race at Wekiva and look forward to meeting you and taking a look at other skis now that I have a little more knowledge of there nomenclature and what may work for me.

Due to the closing of the parks and boat ramps I'm pretty much restricted to either the St. Johns, Ocklawaha and/or Silver River.  (I was surprised to see how many paddlers are still active on those waters.)

In regard to what I use the boat for: I no longer do the Ocean or Great Lakes as I once did.  Age and conditioning have slowed me.  I paddle flat water now and chose the Epic V10 Ultra as it provides a bit of speed, but a lot of stability which allows both touring and an occasional friendly "grudge" race.  As a ski, it also is much easier to deal with when the occasional swim takes place, especially when compared to the Thunderbolt X.  I simply find the V10 does not quite fit me.

There are some regulars I meet on these waters who enjoy the same, spontaneous opportunity to race.  It's fun and always ends up a good time, regardless.

Thanks again, MC!  (My wife is on FB and she's already connected to the FCPA so things should go smoothly.)

Jack

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2 months 3 weeks ago #36436 by mcnye1
Great to hear that you have been paddling with us.  Sorry but I can't picture you from the races.  I was the race host for  the Ocklawaha Race at Gores Landing.  My wife kept time and I raced the yellow SEI.  I also paddled the SIE at the Silver Springs Race in Dec and my 20' wood boat at the Silver Lake Race in January.  Did you paddle your Thunderbolt at Silver Lake?  I remember one there.

The SEI(2G) may very well be a good boat for your intended use.  It is stable enough that I can stop and look around but still fast enough to race.  Above, you mentioned that you were unimpressed with the build quality of the SEL(1G) that you paddled.  I cannot speak to the older Stellars, but I have had three of their newer boats and all are well built.  I bought the SEI Nov of 2017 and it has held up very well despite hard usage.  One thing that I really like about the Stellars is that they come equipped so that you can convert between an under-hull and over-stern (pop up) rudder.  Many FCPA races are on waters with lots of obstacles where use of an under-hull rudder is risky.

For your usage, I would also look at the Nelo Viper 46 Ski.  I did a demo paddle on one and LOVED it.  It is a little slower than the SEI but a bit more stable.  At 17' long, it is very quick and easy to handle.  The one negative is that you would have to add the OTS rudder.

Hope to see you at Katie's Landing in three weeks!

Mark
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2 months 3 weeks ago #36438 by jjhall
Mark, sorry if I gave you the impression that I regularly paddle at the FCPA races or belong to that organization.  I'll have to reread my post to see where I went wrong.  What I intended to convey was that I often meet paddlers, impromptu, who belong to the FCPA (and a few who don't), on the water and often we'll end up racing for fun and training.

I didn't attend the Silver Lake Race, but I did have my Thunderbolt at the Silver Springs Race, but was not entered as I don't belong to the association.  I met the Epic rep there (Bob Waters) and he let me try a few Epic skis (that's how I ended up getting the V10 Ultra).  

Mark, it would be against the odds, but could it be possible we met some years back, twice?  You mention the wooden boat and I distinctly remember seeing a beautifully crafted wooden boat.  The first time would have been at the race held at Gores Landing.  It was one of the times I got there and by chance you and the others from FCPA were having a race.  It was shortly after the hurricane.

The second time we potentially met was some time later at the Johnson Boat Ramp (on 19).  I had paddled to the St. John's and you mentioned you had paddled to the damn.  We both got back to the ramp at about the same time.  

I'm sure the Stellar boats are, for the most part, of high quality.  It was that single boat I was referring to.

I fully intend to join the association and to attend the Wekiva race (I assume that's Katie's Landing).  Whether I enter the race will depend on how my old bones feel.  I was pleased to see there's a short race.  In any case I'll enjoy meeting you and others, as-well-as taking a look at boats that may be of interest to me.

Thanks,
Jack

 

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2 months 3 weeks ago #36450 by SpaceSputnik
Yes, unfortunately humps get in a way of ergonomics. This is a big issue for me at 5'6" the extent of which I am now realizing having spend a winter on an ergo. I just can't rotate that well in the Evo, so I will be selling this boat. SES is better, but also not ideal. I am actually considering a switch to an FSK like 18x because I am just not getting anywhere with surfskis.

Current: Epic 18x Sport, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Think Evo II, Epic V7

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