Trying different skis

7 years 9 months ago - 7 years 9 months ago #20282 by peterpav


What do you do if there's no wind. Get some mates together with a few different skis and swap back and forth until there's a winner... That was the plan anyway.

The skis as pictured
Epic V10 series 1 full carbon
Fenn Elite full carbon
Think ION carbon
Think Uno Max carbon
Red7 Full Carbon
Epic V10 series 2 performance layup

First up this was never going to be a full test as none of us are fit enough or consistent enough to get accurate repeat 1km runs which is the ideal. Instead we just did sprints to see which was faster in a head to head match.

The first surprise was how close they all were. The next surprise was we actually had a clear winner. The oldest ski here, a carbon Epic V10 was fastest no matter who was on it.

The next places on the podium weren't so clear cut as individual differences in paddlers had more of an impact than the boats. The consensus was that the Think ION would take out 2nd place and the heaviest boat by a huge margin, the new V10 would sneak into 3rd by the barest of margins.

Does this mean anything? Not a whole lot, as comfort and confidence in the boat would still be the deciding factor and this was the biggest revelation of the whole day. For example, on a downwind paddle the Fenn Elite seems to be able to stay ahead of the others here yet was at the back of the pack in our sprint testing.

It was an awesome couple of hours though and I must say a huge thanks to David and Eddie for their insights and tireless sprinting. Al also needs to get a mention for trusting us with his ION while he went to work.

Cheers Peter

Sidenote: I'm putting together a more thorough test between the Elite and V10 aimed at the second hand buyer but still have a handful more down winds on each before I'm ready to finish it.
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7 years 9 months ago #20285 by Ole
Replied by Ole on topic Trying different skis
Hi Peter,

very interesting.

Where did the Uno Max end up? I am surprised that he Ion was faster than the Uno Max...

Cheers
Ole

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7 years 9 months ago - 7 years 9 months ago #20287 by superted
Replied by superted on topic Trying different skis
Good post Peter,

As Ole said very interesting result for the Ion. For me the Uno Max Kevlar was/still is a weapon on flattish water.

Agree with your Fenn Elite/ downwind comment.

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7 years 9 months ago #20289 by Jmuzz
Replied by Jmuzz on topic Trying different skis

Where did the Uno Max end up? I am surprised that he Ion was faster than the Uno Max...


That always comes down to the paddler stability and ergonomics. If the boat is too unstable then you can't get power down and it is slower.
What is fastest for the worlds best probably isn't for regular intermediate paddlers.

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7 years 9 months ago #20297 by Stew
Replied by Stew on topic Trying different skis
I'd be very surprised if someone could paddle an Ion faster than an Uno Max if they are able to handle elite level skis. The Ion is a ripper in that intermediate to advanced level, but the Max is a seriously quick design.


The Ion and Uno Max pictured are both our Elite construction (carbon/kevlar,honeycomb,kevlar, 12.5kgs), not Ultimate, which is our Carbon construction (10.5kgs).

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7 years 9 months ago #20305 by peterpav
Replied by peterpav on topic Trying different skis
I do need to point out that all of these skis were pretty close and we were on dead flat water. Stability wise the Black V10 and the Fenn Elite felt the tippiest.

We were all surprised at the lack of pace from the Max, none more so than the owner who was faster on the ION and my black V10 (which feels tippier than the Max)

From my own point of view I didn't feel unstable in the Max and it's not my first go in it. I just couldn't seem to generate the speed. None of us could. Maybe it needs someone with a really big engine. It might be better if we took the time to make sure pedal placement was perfect, but having said that, none of the other skis were spot on either. To keep swapping between skis most of the time we didn't even bother with adjustments.

The ION was a real surprise. It was extremely easy to go fast on.

Downwind everything changes! For me the Elite is still measurably faster despite preferring to paddle the Red7 or the black V10

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7 years 9 months ago #20306 by peterpav
Replied by peterpav on topic Trying different skis
All of these sprints were side by side with rolling starts so even small differences became noticeable. My GPS stayed on the black V10 the whole time and it was remarkably consistent between the 3 paddlers with each sprint recording between 15.8 and 16.4 kph

I would love to do the test again and have all boats hooked up to corrected GPS's but logistically that's a nightmare. I have paddled most of the others with the same GPS and am usually in the mid 15's on flat water sprints. The ION and new V10 can both get to 15.6 kph time after time even when tired. My Elite can also get to that speed most times but not with the 9" Elliptical rudder on. The Max feels really fast but I can't consistently get it into the 15's. I even went to a think demo day and had the Max set up for me properly. Only then did I manage to get to a mid 15 and that was once only. I'm obviously just not suited to it. That's why there is no best ski... Everyone is different.

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7 years 9 months ago #20307 by peterpav
Replied by peterpav on topic Trying different skis
Yep, could be ergonomics. I am 95kgs and 6'1 and hips feel more comfortable in the ION. Eddie the owner of the Max is 20kg lighter than me so he should still be quicker though.

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7 years 9 months ago - 7 years 9 months ago #20308 by Ole
Replied by Ole on topic Trying different skis
.... in contrast, I am 6'3, 92 kgs and feel great in the Uno max...but uncomfortable in most other skies (seats being just too wide in my case). But I am not an experienced paddler and might be totally wrong - time will tell.
I use the Max on flat water while I use an Evo II, and sometimes even a V8, for rougher conditions. So yes, different conditions - different skis.

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7 years 9 months ago #20310 by cheeseman
Replied by cheeseman on topic Trying different skis
Hi Pete we will try it again. Big can off worms been opened!!We should include the vault and switch this time.

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7 years 9 months ago #20312 by peterpav
Replied by peterpav on topic Trying different skis
I had a quick paddle on the switch. Inititial impression is that it would challenge our front runners for flat water speed and can see why it's so fast on the small downwind conditions we get in the bay. Would be fantastic in the Anaconda and quite stable.

I can also see why Tony is tired at the end of a downwind to Peppy. It might be better with a bigger rudder, but with the current set up it moves around a lot. Quite a weird feeling. Both ends get pushed around by even small waves so a messy downwind would be constant work.

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7 years 9 months ago #20313 by cheeseman
Replied by cheeseman on topic Trying different skis
Hi Pete I think we better pick our weapon and stick with it!

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7 years 9 months ago #20322 by mckengmsurfski
Maybe I missed it, but just for clarification, how long were these sprints? 200m? 500m? 1km?

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7 years 9 months ago #20324 by Stew
Replied by Stew on topic Trying different skis
I'm genuinely surprised that someone cannot get an Uno Max to go faster than an Ion. You're talking about a ski which won Worlds last year, in addition to several world cup races, national titles etc.

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7 years 9 months ago #20325 by Ranga
Replied by Ranga on topic Trying different skis
Stew this is a common problem in surfski paddling. People try to paddle above their means in terms of the ski and go slower!

No matter how hard you try to explain this, deaf ears are the order of the day. "I want the fastest ski available!" or " this ski is slow because it is stable."

They do their test paddle on a flat lake for 2 minutes and then think they are good enough for downwind paddling.

A common phrase after a downwind is, "I never fell out this time." It however should be "I could put all my power into getting onto runs and felt rock steady and had great fun."

I managed to change a friend over from a V10 Sport to a V8, he went twice as fast on the V8, "how can that be?" Simple, no matter how fast you can swim with your ski it is still faster to float whilst on top of the ski without even paddling in downwind!

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7 years 9 months ago #20333 by peterpav
Replied by peterpav on topic Trying different skis
Im glad a manufacturers rep is reading forums, but thought they'd appreciate some unbiased feedback rather than criticising.
Maybe the Max just needs more of an acclimatisation period than the ION to get the best out of it.
I'm not an elite paddler by any stretch of the imagination, but as pointed out, we were all instantly fastest in the V10 which is older and tippier. One of us had never been in the Max, ION, or V10 before. If we went further the gap just got wider. Maybe if I was an elite paddler and trained 14 times per week instead of 4 the results might be different.
The skis I have spent the most time on are a Green7 and more recently in the Fenn Elite. Both were slower than every other ski here in a flat water sprint. As pointed out, I am splitting hairs as they are all quite close and a faster paddler will beat a slower paddler.

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7 years 9 months ago #20334 by antonsa
Replied by antonsa on topic Trying different skis
Me thinks the skis look at the humans and say to each other "I wonder who has the faster body for that one will beat the rest regardless of which one of us he rides?"

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7 years 9 months ago #20338 by cheeseman
Replied by cheeseman on topic Trying different skis
Hi Pete you wasting your breath.

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7 years 9 months ago #20347 by Stew
Replied by Stew on topic Trying different skis

Im glad a manufacturers rep is reading forums, but thought they'd appreciate some unbiased feedback rather than criticising.
Maybe the Max just needs more of an acclimatisation period than the ION to get the best out of it.
I'm not an elite paddler by any stretch of the imagination, but as pointed out, we were all instantly fastest in the V10 which is older and tippier. One of us had never been in the Max, ION, or V10 before. If we went further the gap just got wider. Maybe if I was an elite paddler and trained 14 times per week instead of 4 the results might be different.
The skis I have spent the most time on are a Green7 and more recently in the Fenn Elite. Both were slower than every other ski here in a flat water sprint. As pointed out, I am splitting hairs as they are all quite close and a faster paddler will beat a slower paddler.


Who is criticising? I'm saying I'm surprised that you cannot get an Uno Max to go faster than an Ion. I can't get an Ion to go faster than an Uno Max in flat water, hence my comment.

I also don't train 14 times per week. I wish I had the time to live the dream like that! :)

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7 years 9 months ago #20348 by Stew
Replied by Stew on topic Trying different skis

Stew this is a common problem in surfski paddling. People try to paddle above their means in terms of the ski and go slower!

No matter how hard you try to explain this, deaf ears are the order of the day. "I want the fastest ski available!" or " this ski is slow because it is stable."

They do their test paddle on a flat lake for 2 minutes and then think they are good enough for downwind paddling.

A common phrase after a downwind is, "I never fell out this time." It however should be "I could put all my power into getting onto runs and felt rock steady and had great fun."

I managed to change a friend over from a V10 Sport to a V8, he went twice as fast on the V8, "how can that be?" Simple, no matter how fast you can swim with your ski it is still faster to float whilst on top of the ski without even paddling in downwind!


Couldn't agree more on every point here, Ranga. Both speed and enjoyment go through the roof when a paddler is matched with the right craft.

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