What is the perfect Ski for a lapsed paddler

6 years 2 weeks ago - 6 years 2 weeks ago #23494 by MatthewC
I used to know my way around a ski and have done most of the SA marathon events on a Fenn Mako. The only really fast ski available at the time.

For various reasons I have been out of paddling and am trying to find my way back.Today I can Eskimo roll my Fenn without a lap belt. The downside is after 2 minutes my legs are fast asleep. I way 135 kgs and have a 42 waist size. I doubt any of the modern fast Fenns are wider.

Looking at the internet the only Ski that claims to be able to carry more than 110 kgs is the V10. I am worried it may be too narrow. What other options are their. The Swordfish looks great but I am worried the hull won't carry the weight. Somebody mentioned Vajda to me. Despite the worry of a product for Ocean racing from a land locked country are they even available in South Africa.

Let's here from the big boys out there.

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6 years 2 weeks ago #23495 by Funny Old Fellow
G'day Matthew,
I'm a novice paddler and weigh 120kg at 180cm tall with a 42' waist. I have paddled Fenn Bluefin, Epic V8, Stellar S18S and a SR and have been told the Vajda hawk 52 would hold my weight too (although I haven't paddled on yet). They all floated under my weight.
Best advice is to find a dealer/friend and try a couple out for stability and buoyancy.

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6 years 2 weeks ago #23496 by Dicko
Try the kayak centre Zepelin. Fast, stable and my mate Big Al (somewhere between 115-140kg, says he's 6'3" but looks shorter to me and have no idea how big he is around the middle but it looks substantial)paddles one. He has had a lot of skis and IMO he paddles as fast if not faster in this ski than any ski previously. Very underrated ski.

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6 years 2 weeks ago #23497 by Stanton
Replied by Stanton on topic Waht is the perfect Ski for a lapsed paddler
IMO, the best intermediate going....EPIC V10Sport.

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6 years 2 weeks ago #23499 by Drapes

Dicko wrote: Try the kayak centre Zepelin. Fast, stable and my mate Big Al (somewhere between 115-140kg, says he's 6'3" but looks shorter to me and have no idea how big he is around the middle but it looks substantial)paddles one. He has had a lot of skis and IMO he paddles as fast if not faster in this ski than any ski previously. Very underrated ski.


For the purposes of accuracy, I am Dicko's (so called) mate. Weight is 117 and height 6'3'. I have found the Zepelin to be fantastic all-round boat, it's stable, comfortable and quick enough in most circumstances. Your not going to win any sprints on flat water but it still fast enough to hold off Dicko on a 42cm wide boat if there is a downwind.

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6 years 2 weeks ago #23501 by Dicko
Stanton, the v10 is a very good boat, but I'm not sure how it would cope with 135kg's.

Big Al has owned mako6, old v10sport, synergy, stellar se, stellar se carbon, stellar sei carbon, think ion and now a zeppelin. He is at least as fast in the zepelin as any of these other boats and a lot less concerned about conditions. Remounting is easy.

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6 years 2 weeks ago #23502 by Fuyang Guy
Oscar is not small, although not 135, he is at times quite close to that number. He is comfortable in both the V10 and the V10S.
You should at least try these two boats before buying.
I would think that you would be 100% in the V10, if not right away, then very quickly as you have a history in a less stable boat. The V10S does have a slightly wider bucket than the V10 though, so if the 10 is a little snug, try the S.

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6 years 1 week ago #23509 by MatthewC
Okay I have set up trials with Andrew and an Epic V10 in Durban when next there.

I also have an appointment with Hein of Carobonology in PE and a zest.

There are enough Swordfish here in Jo'burg for me to try one of those.

MY heart is telling me the V10 will best suit my internal desire for speed vs space in the cockpit (width) and stability. Realistically stability does not phase me much as I am still stable in my Cleaver Millenium K1.

My brain is telling me the zest will probably win with the better stability for the trips to the coast more room in the cockpit and my current personal paddling ability will not carry the speed potential of the V10.

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6 years 1 week ago #23513 by Atlas
Hi Matthew.
I'd love to hear what you think of the new Zest. I haven't seen one in the flesh but I'm very interested to know what they're like in rough conditions as well as downwind. I'd be particularly interested in any comparison to the Swordfish since that is a boat many of us are familiar with.

Adam.

Current skis:
Epic V10L Ultra, Carbonology Sport Boost LV, Fenn Bluefin, Nelo 510, Fenn XT double

Previous skis
Spirit PRS, Fenn Swordfish, Fenn XT, Fenn Swordfish S, Think Zen, Epic V10L Club

Most with DK rudders.

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6 years 1 week ago #23517 by Rookie
Quick 2c

Hi or you could try the Zeplin from Kayak Centre. Their website gives it a weight rating of up to 120kg. and at 6.4m long it certainly glides well on the downwind WITH a big person in it. In our limited experience it does not perform well for people under 90kgs who complaint that it becomes unmanagable in strong winds.

Based on your experience you should be able to have lunch on it - it is that stable. There are / were the option of two bucket sizes.

Focus, Apex 2, Zeplin

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6 years 1 week ago #23518 by MatthewC
I'll look at the Kayak Centre ski.

As Rick is built like an anorexic Ethiopian and Ken was not much more. Kayak centre have historically had little regard for the more generously built when modifying and designing boats. When they ICF rules around the minimum width were relaxed they created some large volume big paddler boats I could not fit into when I was a racing paddler. Due to this I had discounted their skis in my current predicament.

You've given me a rethink.

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6 years 1 week ago #23520 by Rookie
Ha ha I know what you mean. After they brought out the slimline mustang I knew I was in trouble :pinch: .

Focus, Apex 2, Zeplin

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5 years 11 months ago #23656 by MatthewC
A quick update

I tried a Swordfish. The bottom of the bucket is too narrow. With 4 layers of foam under me I was high enough for the bucket to stop pinching but would not want to go out in the surf like that.

Yesterday I got to try a Carbonology Zest. It was amazing I fit perfectly and even managed to paddle it for close to an hour without dead legs. I was paddling in the ocean for the first time in years and the ski felt responsive yet stable enough for me to get the hang of it again. Initial I battled a little but after 20 minutes I was perfectly comfortable in the sea with the side chop and other bumps. There were no big runs but the ski felt willing on the little bumps actually present and coming in through the surf it was controllable and I managed to keep it straight on the foamie. All around an impressive ride.

Also before trying I visited Hein's workshop. They clearly know their product and the materials required to produce a quality craft. As an engineer with an interest in materials I can see they know what is required to make an awesome ski.

I should be able to get to Durban to try a V10 within the next 2 weeks.

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5 years 11 months ago #23661 by mikatahiti
Hi Matthew, did you try the classic swordfish or the wide one?
www.oceanpaddler.com/skis-kayaks/fenn-skis/fenn-swordfish/

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5 years 11 months ago #23678 by goofish
As an aside Matthew (or others who can do this), how does one roll a surf ski without a lap belt? I was discussing this with some friends and we all agreed that when we do fall out, we actually fall out, we don't roll over with the boat. We can't even figure out how you would get yourself into a position where you would be sitting in the boat upside down. Are you just holding yourself in with the footstrap? I confess I've never tried rolling a surf ski (although I can roll a regular kayak). I can remount very quickly and doubt rolling would be faster, but you never know. I'll have to try it this summer on a calm, warm lake.

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5 years 11 months ago #23679 by Nige
I know 2 guys who roll skis, but one of them uses a lap belt and the other uses side straps for his legs : they both say they need the lap belt or straps to keep them in their skis.

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5 years 11 months ago - 5 years 11 months ago #23682 by MatthewC

mikatahiti wrote: Hi Matthew, did you try the classic swordfish or the wide one?
www.oceanpaddler.com/skis-kayaks/fenn-skis/fenn-swordfish/


Sorry I don't know. I am guessing the older one.

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5 years 11 months ago #23683 by MatthewC

goofish wrote: As an aside Matthew (or others who can do this), how does one roll a surf ski without a lap belt? I was discussing this with some friends and we all agreed that when we do fall out, we actually fall out, we don't roll over with the boat. We can't even figure out how you would get yourself into a position where you would be sitting in the boat upside down. Are you just holding yourself in with the footstrap? I confess I've never tried rolling a surf ski (although I can roll a regular kayak). I can remount very quickly and doubt rolling would be faster, but you never know. I'll have to try it this summer on a calm, warm lake.


This one is easy.
I have got so broad in the beam that I need a lot of effort to get out of the bucket. I am wedged in so tight that I can hang upside down without coming out of the bucket. From there eskimpo rolling a ski is easy.

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5 years 10 months ago #23907 by MatthewC
You guys were so right. The V10 is way too narrow. I am the proud owner of a Carbonology Zest. I got it last week Wednesday.

I took it out on a small Durban day and I am clearly not the ski paddler I was. Timing the sets was terrible. Riding the waves back in and knowing when to sprint or bail on the wave was way out. The ski got punished a bit so did I. I was impressed at how strong the new skis of today are.

I have now spent 3 1/2 hours in it and am enjoying the comfort. The seat position is good for a ski with enough height in the bucket relative to the feet to allow a good leg drive. There is space in the bucket to swivel properly and my coccyx is still whole. The stability is great also.

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