Carbonology Zest - 2014 model

6 years 1 month ago #21835 by Elardus
Hi Rob,
Happy to read and enjoy your experience.
Although I was drilled badly in my last downwind due to my inexperience and refusal to use my Garmin as an aid I agree with all you say about the bigger rudder.
My last few homecomings in (for me) big surf have resulted in no swims because even when I came in in a set(due to ignorance). i did not turn sideways and swim!
Excuse the stupid question. Why is your Garmin info not in Kph? The feature is available. I have forgotten how to read miles per hour. Another thought. Kilometers per hour is much easier to apply and follow than minutes per km.
Please excuse the ignorance.
For a newbie your comments inspire.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

6 years 1 month ago #21843 by robin.mousley

Why is your Garmin info not in Kph?


You can change it on the webpage: Garmin displays in imperial units by default, but I always switch it to metric too.

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...

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

6 years 1 month ago - 6 years 1 month ago #21847 by robin.mousley
So... Got in a cheeky little Millers Run tonight. Wind SE 22-27kt at the sailing club, with choppy seas and some nice runs. It was messy and side on for the first couple of km but cleaned as time went on.

Going out to Bakoven Rock side-on to the wind and in the bumps, I felt quite tippy again - whereas in the Evo II I'd have been solid as a rock.

But once we turned downwind, the boat just came alive. Several impressions:
  • It's REALLY easy to catch runs in the Zest.
  • I find it easy to bounce the next wave, getting over it with a couple of hard strokes.
  • The boat feels like it gets onto the plane and shoots off at (what feels like) great speed. Whether or not that's really true, it's a bloody exciting ride
So if it sounds as though I'm raving about the boat, it's because I am. I'm really enjoying it.

In terms of tippiness, it's towards the top end of what I would consider intermediate boats, ie it's perceptibly more tippy than the Evo II, but the rewards (for me at any rate) are enormous.

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: mancapbol, peteski

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

6 years 1 month ago #21848 by Elardus
That is exactly what I thought till I got back into an Evo2

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

6 years 1 month ago - 6 years 1 month ago #21849 by mancapbol
Hi Rob, do you feel it tippier than the Swordfish?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

6 years 1 month ago #21850 by robin.mousley

mancapbol wrote: Hi Rob, do you feel it tippier than the Swordfish?


Yep.

I find the Evo II just a tad tippier than the SF, and the Zest is slightly more tippy.

But it's not quite as simple as that; it depends on the situation. In choppy water it's sometimes a disadvantage to have a very stable boat I think, because it responds in a more aggressive way to the movement of the water. I sometimes find the Zest more relaxed in choppy water, it's as though being less rigidly stable, it moves independently from the water whereas a very stable boat is more welded to the surface and bounces around trying to be stable when the sea isn't. I'm not sure i'm making sense here!

On the way out to the rock this afternoon, I felt pretty unstable, whereas I know that I'd have been more comfortable on the Evo. But in the choppy water in Hout Bay the other day, I felt more comfortable in the Zest.

But superficially, definitely, the Zest is tippier than either the SF or the Evo II.

Not as tippy though as, say, the Fenn Elite.

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: mancapbol

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

6 years 3 weeks ago - 6 years 3 weeks ago #21928 by Steve Hansen
Rob, have you spent any time in a Fenn Spark? I suspect not or we would have heard about it. Perhaps you don't fit. From what I've read, although it's an elite level boat, people seem to feel more "planted" in sloppy conditions due to it's low volume. Any chance in the future you might give one a go and review it or at least give us your impressions? What do you hear from people who paddle it?
The following user(s) said Thank You: crallan

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 11 months ago #22269 by bajax
Replied by bajax on topic Carbonology Zest - 2014 model
Rob any more views on the Zest in last weekend downwind ?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago #22943 by cstek
Replied by cstek on topic Carbonology Zest - 2014 model
Any new feedback?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago #22944 by robin.mousley

Steve Hansen wrote: Rob, have you spent any time in a Fenn Spark? I suspect not or we would have heard about it. Perhaps you don't fit. From what I've read, although it's an elite level boat, people seem to feel more "planted" in sloppy conditions due to it's low volume. Any chance in the future you might give one a go and review it or at least give us your impressions? What do you hear from people who paddle it?


Just saw this now, ooops! No, I've not been in the Spark, at about 86kg, I was told that I'd be a bit too heavy for it.

But there are quite a few lighter paddlers who seem to love it. One of the guys who races in Hout Bay with us, Graham Rowe, has been in one this season and has been consistently thrashing me, whereas last year (especially in chop), I was well up with him.

Feedback? I've also heard that it's more stable than the bigger Fenns; also that it's great in downwind. Jasper Mocke likes it a lot (although I've also seen him on the new Elite S more recently).

So I'd say that if you're a Fenn fan but you find the volume in the bigger Elite boats too much, it's a no brainer.

I had the Elite S for a week a couple of months ago and did some downwinds in it. I found it a little tippy after the intermediate boats that I've been paddling. I also found the cockpit quite narrow (but got back in without too much issue when I came out in some windy and choppy conditions - momentary lapse of concentration!) Lovely boat, catches runs very easily. I found, and other people have confirmed, that it does bury its nose in big conditions.

The Elite S is proving very popular with the guys down here at any rate.

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...

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago #22945 by robin.mousley

cstek wrote: Any new feedback?


I've been back on the Zest since I got back from Oz.

I love it, it's lively, I can catch runs easily on it, it's stable enough that I seldom lose a stroke even in choppy conditions. The situation I do least well in is when the waves are bigger, but there's side-chop and slop about. Then I find I get pushed around and find it difficult to get sufficient boat speed up to link runs... If the waves are bigger or smaller, not a problem.

In the Cape Town Downwind I wasn't all that pleased with my result, but I don't go upwind very well (lack of technique, strength or fitness - or all three) but I caught people going downwind.

On the two subsequent Millers Runs, I beat a bunch of the guys who beat me in the CT Downwind race, so I definitely blame my speed going upwind! Not blaming the boat however; in chop in our Tuesday races in Hout Bay, I have no particular problem staying with the guys around me.

So yeah, still think it's one of the better all-round intermediate boats around. It's a bit more tippy than the Evo II. And my bum doesn't like the seat - I have to use vaseline to waterproof my coccyx otherwise I get chaffing.

Which do I prefer between the Evo II and the Zest? Difficult to say! I feel more bullet proof in the Evo - so in hectic conditions I'll feel more confident. I don't think there's much difference in my performance in either boat.

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...

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago - 5 years 10 months ago #22946 by bajax
Replied by bajax on topic Carbonology Zest - 2014 model
Hi Rob how does it compare speed wize to a carbon Swordfish ?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago - 5 years 10 months ago #22949 by AR_convert
What's better than a Zest?

Two of you paddling a ZEST...double!

Got to do a review on this Rob.

www.facebook.com/180871041935663/photos/...8/?type=3&permPage=1

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 :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 9 months ago #22961 by cstek
Replied by cstek on topic Carbonology Zest - 2014 model
Thanks Rob!
what are your feeling about nosediving? Zest nose looks quite low volyme. I own a Stellar SE and the nose volyme is much larger compared to Zest...I am quit heavy 95kg.
I am looking for a ski for larger conditions and cold water paddling.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 9 months ago #22962 by robin.mousley

what are your feeling about nosediving?


I haven't noticed any particular propensity to nose-dive. I weigh in at about 86kg at the moment. I haven't paddled the Stellar so I can't comment on any differences.

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...

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 9 months ago #22963 by robin.mousley

Hi Rob how does it compare speed wize to a carbon Swordfish ?


Difficult to say. I think I go better in the Zest and Evo II, but that's by no means true of other people. The Evo and Zest also behave differently and different conditions suit either boat. In small, messy, choppy runs, I prefer the Zest (even though it's basically tippier than the evo); in big, messy runs, I prefer the Evo because I find it easier to paddle in those conditions.

But I regularly get beaten by guys driving SF.

It depends on so many things; how comfortable you are in the boat; how well you know it and how it reacts in the water; your weight; the conditions on the day!

In terms of raw hull speed, I just don't know, we haven't done flat water tests... But I suspect the difference in any case would be in the order of 1-2% and such a small difference would be far overshadowed by the other factors.

I like all three boats, they all perform well, none of them is a barge.

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: bajax

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 9 months ago #23084 by iangage
Replied by iangage on topic Carbonology Zest - 2014 model
I have been paddling the shop demo boat that Andrew form Brian's Kayaks in Cape Town was kind enough to lend me and have really fallen in love with the Zest.

By way of background I am getting back into paddling after a 5 year break as my kids are getting older. I have done a fair bit of river racing (Berg, Dusi, Fish etc.) and am very much a mid-pack paddler (when I am fit). From a physique perspective I am 80kg's and am 5' 10".

The little ski paddling I have been doing is on a Fenn Mako 6 (glass layup) and I have struggled to get back to a point where I feel comfortable in the ski. I can attribute this to poor fitness (especially core strength) and a very rusty paddling technique.

I have test paddled the Zest and the Think Evo II as they are both in my price range and both ski's have received good reviews. They are both quality ski's but the Zest really works for me. Over a two week period I have paddled the Zest for just over 90 km's in a range of sea conditions and it really is a good ski.

The stability is great and really allows me to focus on paddling rather than bracing and I find myself crusing at a higher speed than I would in the Fenn. To me there are a couple of reasons for this.

Firstly the Zest is inherently more stable than the Mako 6 and the additional stability really helps with my paddle stroke. I am getting to the point where I can link all leg drive and trunk rotation consistently without bracing even in messy sideways chop.

Secondly the Zest is a lot lighter than the older Fenn and it feels like the Zest gets onto a plane far easier. In flattish conditions I can sustain an average speed of 12.5 km/hr and have seen north of 13 km/hr when doing intervals - this is a quick ski. As a result it also picks up small runs really easily. On larger runs I found myself picking up the wrong wave. I would tap off (because of low fitness) because I could see a bigger wave on the way and then would start picking up the tempo as I expected the bigger run to arrive. What would end up happening is that I would pick up a smaller preceding run and never get to ride the bigger wave I had targeted. This led to a lot of head scratching until I figured out what was going on and could adjust my timing. From that point onwards it was magic!

I did one down wind paddle from Milnerton to Big Bay on the same day Rob and Oscar did their Millers Run and the wind was pumping. Linking runs was really easy and the ski really flew. I swam several times and was so pleased to have a paddle leash as the wind and swell would have taken the ski away very quickly it is so light. Remounting in big seas took a bit of practice but I had it waxed by the end of the paddle.

The Zest has lower volume in the nose than the Fenn and it does bury it's nose a little bit when heading down bigger runs (i.e. 6' +) but the ski doesn't slow much and the nose comes up very quickly. There was one instance where I caught a really big run that saw me picking up so much speed I litterally ramped over smaller runs in front without paddling - brilliant! Max speed on the GPS was 24.4km/hr which is fast for me on a single ski.

I did struggle a bit with broaching which led to most of my swims. I think the reason for this is that towards the end of the the swell starting coming from 8 o'clock rather than 6 o'clock. This combined with what feels like more rocker on the ski and my poor fitness meant I struggled to take off at an angle on the run. Fitting a larger rudder for bigger conditions and improving my fitness will address this.

The build quality is top notch and the carry handles are great. It is with a heavy heart I return the shop demo version and have to wait a couple of weeks before my ski is delivered.

Thanks to Andrew from Brians Kayak's for letting me paddle the ski for an extended period.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 8 months ago #23285 by iangage
Replied by iangage on topic Carbonology Zest - 2014 model
After testing the Zest over the Christmas break I and falling in love with it I decided to order one. I picked up my new boat in early Jan but was not able to paddle it due to a nasty lung infection that took 3 weeks to get sorted.

I went for my first paddle yesterday and am even more pleased with my decision. The Zest is really a super boat and it is rediculous how easy it picks up even small runs.

The finish is excellent ans with a larger rudder fitted the additional control it gives is great - I would happily sacrifice a bit of speed for the stability in big conditions.

I asked for birght orange bow and stern for visibility and the vinyl wrap is the business. The Carbonology logo is black and green rather than the standard blcak and red and it looks good. So much so that my wife who has a morbid fear of deep water and sharks has started saying "maybe we should get the double?". :woohoo:

Thanks to Hein and the guys at Carbonology for a great boat.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Latest Forum Topics

New Allwave Skis (4 Posts)

1 day 22 hours ago
sarzelopez's Avatar

Video thread (453 Posts)

3 days 1 hour ago
kwolfe's Avatar

Installing Andersen bailer? (5 Posts)

4 days 11 hours ago
Protected by R Antispam