1st time - what do u recommend?

7 years 8 months ago #19494 by m_hmeid
I'm a 1 st timer. Been kayaking for 6 months and wanted to take it to next level. Need your advise on the best Surfski to buy that would last as I advance my skills. I live in Dubai. The only two brands available here are Epic and Fenn. Which one do you recommend?

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7 years 8 months ago #19498 by Jmuzz
Depends more on you. Your size, fitness, balance, ambitions.
Starting with a test paddle in V10S or XT would be a good start to see where your balance is at. You will understand a lot more about the features, comparisons and how your balance is going to react once you have something to compare with.
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7 years 8 months ago #19499 by mancapbol
Try a Fenn Bluefin and you will enjoy it.
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7 years 8 months ago #19500 by m_hmeid
Thanks for the tips. I'm quite tall and built with high endurance. Need to work on balancing I guess. How about fenn swordfish? How does it rate?

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7 years 8 months ago #19501 by barrypaddle1
If yr keen and have time the glass vac swordfish is a good place to start, it wont be a ski you will have to upgrade if you get more experience in surfski paddling. I see many guys start on the newer slow wide barges like the V8 then want to sell them 2 weeks later.

Previous to the beginner level v8 and Bluefin skis most people started on the "beginner" level XT/ v10 Sports/ Evo.

Try them before you commit.
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7 years 8 months ago #19513 by Yankee Paddler
Replied by Yankee Paddler on topic 1st time - what do u recommend?
I was paddling a 21" beam sea kayak for years and just bought my first surfski last year which was a Swordfish. It was a little less stable than I expected and it took a month or 2 to get comfortable on it, but I never took a swim and I am looking forward to my second season. If I had bought a more stable ski last year, I would be looking for a new, faster ski this year. The Swordfish is definitely a Ski you will be able to grow into.

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7 years 8 months ago #19520 by photofr
There's also another way of looking at it for new-comers to surfskis.
Epic V8, Nelo Viper 55 and similar are rather stable. In fact, they are extremely stable on flat water. Call them barges if you must, but the same surfski could be a bit tippy with larger swells.

It's a matter of personal preference, because as a surfski instructor, I would prefer to see someone having fun from day one… concentrating on paddling technique more than on constantly balancing their boat. Though, very true that after 3 months of paddling at least 3 times a week, most paddlers will "graduate" to the next level surfskis (a good intermediate boat, or even an easy elite boat).

In my opinion, it's best to stick with the entry-level surfskis for an entire year, and really understand paddling strokes / ocean before moving up. Once moving up, go straight to a much more aggressive Intermediate - and keep the beginner boat for your friends, or for personal touring needs. Nothing's lost.

Since it's so hard to find a new comer to the sport, the last thing I want to do is to discourage them. Unfortunately, I have seen good athletes give up because of balance problem.

A friend of mine is paddling a V8 - and 2 years later, it's still paddling 3 to 4 times a week. Clearly, he loves his boat - and yes, he wishes now to try different boats, but today, he also knows better what he's looking for.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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7 years 8 months ago #19521 by Ranga
Well said, my sentiments as well. Have fun from day one!

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7 years 8 months ago - 7 years 8 months ago #19522 by Trilobite
All good points. The other piece of it is, should you start off with a very stable craft (V-8, etc.), and decide to move to an intermediate boat, you have two very strong options: keep the stable boat in your quiver for really big days, or sell it (There always seems to be a market for used entry level skis, particularly the V-8s, at least where I am.)

Coming from FSKs, I started off in what was then, a very tippy boat for me: a Custom Kayaks Mark 1. I was frustrated much of the time in bumpy water, greatly improving upon my swimming skills. Gave up surfski for a bit and went back to FSKs, then had another go with an XT, and immediately after that, an S1-R. The progression up through the ranks was for me, necessary. (Much later, bought their Synergy Lite and had a blast, once skills rose commensurately...) I still keep the S1-R and now, a V-8, just to purely have fun, or for winter paddles when conditions kick up, in addition to my elite boat. As noted, having a stable platform also allows you to develop proper form. White-knuckled brace strokes really don't do much for forward momentum. ;)

Some folks are able to start out with an intermediate/stable elite boat boat and stay with it, but I'd say they're the exception, rather than the rule, particularly if they're not paddling with groups that will coach them along/support their acquisition of skills. Have one friend who jumped right into a V10L from sea kayaks and swam so frequently, his remount skills were legendary-still he stayed with it. He just bought a new V10 Sport and is happier than a pig to slops (Or for our Brit friends: 'a dog at broth.'). He's faster in everything, and stable, stable, stable. He battled the ego thing for quite a while; once he relinquished this, his fun factor increased considerably.

I'd also recommend buying used to start, as if you do decide to make an immediate upgrade, it's pretty much a turnover to the next boat. Cheers.

"Nice? It's the only thing," said the Water Rat, solemnly, as he leaned forward for his stroke. "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."
'The Wind in the Willows'~Kenneth Grahame

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7 years 8 months ago #19523 by photofr
Glad that your Mark 1 didn't rule out your good sense of humor though!
…. Love the comments about the white knuckles and the other one about legendary remounts…

This is excellent and brings back some FINE MEMORIES.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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