Custom Kayaks Focus

8 years 3 days ago #13328 by JC
Custom Kayaks Focus was created by JC
Looking for additional impressions of the Focus - haven't paddled one but have heard good things. Apparently the hull is basically the Synergy hull, but the Synergy had a reputation for being a bit lethargic on flat water but great downwind. Is the Focus reasonably fast on the flats? Faster than the Synergy? Any sense of how it compares with the Swordfish? Also, do those thick gunnels allow a close catch for the paddle, or is there a lot of whacking of the paddle? Any thoughts appreciated!

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8 years 3 days ago #13332 by robin.mousley
I've only paddled it once in moderate downwind conditions, but none of my usual markers were there so I couldn't gauge myself against them.

It seemed to be quite vice-free as far as it went. The Synergy I thought was quite prone to broach in our diagonal, steep, wind-generated waves, and I didn't experience the same thing in the Focus.

Can't remember whether I was beating the sides of the hull with my paddle.

I find Fenn, Genius buckets suit my arse-shape (Epic, Carbonology do not). The Focus was comfortable for me, so I guess it's more like Fenn than Epic.

The boat seems to have generated a lot of positive action from the paddlers in Durban, and the sole owner that I know in Cape Town was raving about it.

I'd love to have another go on one (hint, Mark Lewin!)

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...
The following user(s) said Thank You: JC

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8 years 3 days ago - 8 years 3 days ago #13356 by Ric
Replied by Ric on topic Re: Custom Kayaks Focus
I often paddle with that "sole owner" (or perhaps there are 2 Focuses / Focii in CT)... and depending I use his Synergy II or his Focus.

I can't really paddle the Synergy - feel horribly unstable, like I don't sink the boat enough (perhaps its just beyond my skills - weight 76kg). Of course, getting in is hard with the high bucket.

The Focus, I find it easy to paddle (can't remember hitting it much on the side - I would remember this in a borrowed boat), more stable, and easier to get in. It seemed to steer pretty well on the Muizenberg waves I played on.

Oh, and I find it faster, but that could be just because I can stay stable in it... I'm very slow in the Synergy.

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8 years 3 days ago #13359 by sylv1
Replied by sylv1 on topic Re: Custom Kayaks Focus
Hi JC
I buy the Focus recently before I used the swordfish & my first boat was Synergy.
For resume, the Focus was Funtastic in downwind condition, more stable & faster than the Synergy, easy to remount. No broaching & have a good manoeuvrability on the surf.

On flat water it's a great boat too, but nobody here to compare with the same level & different boat. I make a test this morning with friends, but elite boat & paddlers, I behind but I'm sure the boat difference didn't explain all ;)

Focus Vs Swordfish. For me, the focus looks a little bit more unstable than the swordfish at the beginning (not far) but faster in any condition, downwind or flat.

The last think, for the focus, the impression (I don't want to test it) of stronger construction. For the Fenn, impression of better finish in small details.

I try to be objective, but when you talk about passion, all paddlers thinks her boat are the great one on hearth !!
For me it's not different, the Focus is the One !
The following user(s) said Thank You: owenfromwales, Rod Thomas, JC

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7 years 11 months ago #13472 by CoastPop
Replied by CoastPop on topic Re: Custom Kayaks Focus
In Cape Town and would like to try one! I am currently on Custom Horizon and thinking of moving up a notch and no idea what that will be. Love the Horizon but need a faster ski? and need to get fitter! Any Custom Focus in CT that I can try out?

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7 years 11 months ago #13477 by Christopher
Replied by Christopher on topic Re: Custom Kayaks Focus
Phone Mark Lewin from custom kayaks & he will give you the email of a guy who is willing to let others test his focus, that's what I planned to do before I purchased a custom kayaks synergy

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7 years 11 months ago #13501 by Warwick
Replied by Warwick on topic Re: Custom Kayaks Focus
I upgraded a few months ago from a Custom Kayaks Mentor to a Focus and felt immediately at home. I personally believe that an absolute novice could start on a Focus without too mush trouble as it is deceptively stable. it's also great to catch up to and overtake those guys who always finished up 600m ahead of you in a race.

I have been in some pretty hectic conditions with a Focus and felt pretty stable. Swordfish vs Focus .... I am still waiting for the shootout.

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7 years 10 months ago #14345 by Rod Thomas
Replied by Rod Thomas on topic Re: Custom Kayaks Focus

Warwick wrote:
I have been in some pretty hectic conditions with a Focus and felt pretty stable. Swordfish vs Focus .... I am still waiting for the shootout.


Has this shootout happened yet??

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7 years 10 months ago - 7 years 10 months ago #14360 by PJ1
Replied by PJ1 on topic Re: Custom Kayaks Focus
If anyone wants to see what it looks like in the water check out youtube "Paddling my FOCUS surfski in Durban 2012". I love this boat!

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7 years 10 months ago #14361 by Warwick
Replied by Warwick on topic Re: Custom Kayaks Focus

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7 years 10 months ago - 7 years 10 months ago #14364 by sylv1
Replied by sylv1 on topic Re: Custom Kayaks Focus
Hi,
You can watch in downwind condition the Focus here :

www.youtube.com/user/sylv1974?feature=watch

The last 3 video was filming with it....

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7 years 10 months ago #14366 by Rod Thomas
Replied by Rod Thomas on topic Re: Custom Kayaks Focus
Nice videos. Lots of whitecaps there, it must have been pretty windy.

Going back to the Swordfish comparison, in general is the Focus for bigger paddlers and the Swordfish for lighter, shorter ones?

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7 years 10 months ago #14369 by sylv1
Replied by sylv1 on topic Re: Custom Kayaks Focus
Hi Rod,
The Focus and the Swordfish could be good for small paddler, I'm not a "big" paddler (1,76m/70kg) and the two are perfect for me, for the bigger paddler I don't know !?

For me the Swordfish could be a little more stable, but the Focus offer a very good stability to, with a greater performance in downwind condition and a larger scale of progression.

Not far from Elite performance in rough water with accessibility, it's the concept of intermediate boat !
The following user(s) said Thank You: Rod Thomas

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7 years 10 months ago #14372 by gwynnd
Replied by gwynnd on topic Re: Custom Kayaks Focus
Hi Focused People

I have enjoyed the Focus for the last 6m in the Harsh Durban conditions. I am 70kg, 50yr old paddler of 3-4yrs experience and manage about 10 -11km/hr.

This robust boat is ideal for intermediate level paddlers. I feel it will also suit better paddlers who understand the speed/stability 'equation'.
You are unlikely to outgrow this boat.

I cut my teeth driving a Synergy (20kg). I wish the Focus had been around then, but
struggle, for some, can accelerate progress . The Focus weight (15kg hybrid) and build dynamic gives me a feeling of much greater control and connectedness.
Negotiating surf in this craft is easier than some other craft I have tried - less 'Biff Factor'.
Downwind - 'nuff said.
Aesthetically - beautiful craft. After Sales service - 'nuff said.

Mark Lewin, in building such a WIDELY appealing craft, has worked some kind of magic.

Cheers - got to go downwind now.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Rod Thomas

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7 years 10 months ago #14408 by Warwick
Replied by Warwick on topic Re: Custom Kayaks Focus
I took my Focus for my first real downwind yesterday in pretty hectic conditions (according to me).

I was expecting much wailing and gnashing of teeth as I thought I was out of my depth in those conditions- but wanted to test myself and my ski.

To my surprise, I had the time of my life. I felt pretty stable the whole time, even when I was being spun around numerous times by the whitecaps - it sounded like waves were breaking behind me they were so big. I did fall off twice - mainly through lack of concentration - but remounted easily both times in the lumpy sea.

I truly believe the Focus is a ski that can cater for novices on flatter water right up to intermediate paddlers in howling downwind conditions.

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7 years 10 months ago #14412 by stretchstruwig
I have being paddling ski's for 20 plus years, therefore in the Masters Cat - wish means i'm able but old and slow - paddling with the Custom Kayak Focus has given me back the edge to be competitive again, the ski is stable which means yu can generate all yur power into a forward movement - flat or rough water no difference the ski is fast (now that all depends who is paddling it)for me !!! i'm 1,985m tall and weigh 98Kg.
Try it out for at least three times before making a judgement call !!

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7 years 10 months ago #14417 by Rookie
Replied by Rookie on topic Re: Custom Kayaks Focus
Hi I picked up my focus in the morning and entered a 30kt millers downwind in the afternoon not having a chance to paddle the ski before the millers. I swam 3 times and not being sure of myself and the ski's sabilty changed the rudder after the race. Since then I have grown accostomed to the skis secondry stability and now tend to lean in the direction I want the ski to go rather than use the rudder. There was no need to change the rudder - It is fantasic I literally LOVE my new ski!!
I have not paddled the swordfish (so no comparison) but I am 1.92m and 94kg and being able to strech out my legs has made the world of difference to me. I would strongly recommend that you at least try it.

Focus, Apex 2, Zeplin

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7 years 5 months ago #16398 by Choco32
Replied by Choco32 on topic Re: Custom Kayaks Focus
Hi could anyone tell me the pros/cons about different layup in the Focus. I am intermediate level paddler, looking to paddle in rough and flat conditions.

Can't wait to paddle one!

Thanks

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7 years 4 months ago #16412 by Rookie
Replied by Rookie on topic Re: Custom Kayaks Focus
Hi i have the standard glass and it comes in at around 19kg (not bad as it was also meant as a demo boat). This has been strong and stable. A friend ordered the hybrid and has not had much joy with it; weight wise or strength of ski. Took a few knocks early on which left some surprisinly big holes.
I would recommend the std glass to avoid issues.

Focus, Apex 2, Zeplin
The following user(s) said Thank You: Choco32

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7 years 4 months ago #16414 by Choco32
Replied by Choco32 on topic Re: Custom Kayaks Focus
Thanks Rookie

Do you think there would be much difference in speed between hybrid and standard?

Cheers

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