Which one, if any, is the most stable intermediate ski?

3 years 8 months ago #27582 by Canario
Hi!
My name is Matias Gomez. I am a 53 years old family man who discovered surfski 13 months ago. I´m 1.86 tall and still 95 Kgrs ( down from 107Kgrs 13 months ago....). I started on a Cruze and after 4 months went to a Boost. Carbonology Sport is the choice of 90% of the people here in Gran Canaria. Now Im starting of thinking on going ahead to an intermediate boat. I have always been told not to trade speed for stability, so I would like to spend my money in an intermediate boat as stable as possible. I have asked here and have got three different answers:
- There is no such a thing as all intermediate boats are more or less the same in terms of stability, so try some and go for the one you feel more confortable on.
- Carbonology Sport Zest, because of my height and weight.
- Think Evo II, even when maybe that is more a beginner/intermediate than a proper intermediate boat, like the Epic V10 Sport, but will allow you keep on going ahead more comfortably.

Any help form the forum members? Thank you very much!

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3 years 8 months ago #27585 by photofr
The comfort, and specifically how the intermediate ski will feel to YOU is most important. A proper fit on the ski means more stability.

15 years ago, there weren't that many intermediate skis on the market, today, you have pretty much every single brand making one. So I recommend that you prioritise yourself with:
What is easily available in your area.
What is well built.
What YOU are most comfortable in.
What you can afford.

Basically, yes: you have to try them first.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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3 years 8 months ago #27586 by wesley
Here is my 2 cents. Since bigger guy at 213 lbs fit in the bucket will be major consideration, only to add what Ludovic said about availability. V10 sport fits a wide range of paddlers including guys your size. You will have to try an EVO 2g or 3g to make sure it fits you properly. The Stellar SR 2g will fit you and you get excellent quality and glide. The width is the same as V10 sport but 1 foot shorter. Many paddlers that have tried the SR like the glide and better handling(turning, surfing) characteristics than Sport. The Evo 1G and 2G and I am assuming the Evo 3G, (hope to get in one) have excellent seating if the bucket fits you, and is excellent ski in big water and downwind like the SR.
Not the say the Sport is not because certainly the Sport, one of the all time best selling skis can handle all types of water and more initial stability than the others skis. More people use it as the baseline reference point when comparing skis, since many own one or have tried it.

However, solid intermediate paddlers and advance paddlers who want more stability, may prefer the either the SR 2G or the Evo 2 or 3 in big water and in handling characteristics. If you want even more performance then the New SEI 2G or the New Think Ion may draw your attention. Lastly the build quality of the Stellars gets a 5 star rating. Over the last 3-4 years most manufacturers have improved their quality significantly in most layups. I can't comment on the Carbonology since rarely see them in East Coast, USA.

Lastly, and the most important, you have plenty to choose from in this category provided they are available to you and all are good skis that you can enjoy and feel good about provided the fit is their for you.

Wesley Echols
SurfskiRacing.com
#1 in Surfski Reviews.

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3 years 8 months ago - 3 years 8 months ago #27587 by Ronbo
If you're happy with your Carbonology boats, there's a good argument for the Zest. I have a Boost (rougher conditions) and Zest (milder conditions), and love them both. The buckets are very comfortable, they are fast relative to their peers, and since they re-worked the buckets a couple years ago to have lower sides, they are easy to remount.

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3 years 8 months ago - 3 years 8 months ago #27591 by AR_convert

photofr wrote: The comfort, and specifically how the intermediate ski will feel to YOU is most important. A proper fit on the ski means more stability.
What is easily available in your area.
What is well built.
What YOU are most comfortable in.
What you can afford.


What he said.....and
If you are buying new, who is there to support you if there should be an issue with your ski, sounds like you don't have dealers for other brands within easy reach. This could be an issue if you want to add more rudders to your collection.

Bare in mind layup of ski, I know guys that have tested a ski in glass/hydrid , loved it and ordered the Carbon layup, only to find the boat handled differently due to the layup. Make sure you paddle it in the layup you want to own.

Also bare in mind if buying second hand that many skis have had redesigns in the past few years. Here are some I know who have had significant changes

Epic V10
Epic V10 sport
Carbonology Vault
Carbonoloigy Zest
Think Evo

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 :)

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3 years 8 months ago #27596 by Oskar
Bit of a trick question...

Let's take the Fenn range for example. Everyone would agree that the Bluefin is a beginner ski, while the Elite/Spark/Glide are advanced skis. Most people would also agree that the Swordfish is an intermediate ski.

But where does the XT fit in? If it is classified as a beginner ski it would be a very unstable beginner ski. But if it is classified as an intermediate ski it would be the most stable of all the intermediate skis.

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3 years 8 months ago #27597 by photofr
The XT is said to be slower than their new Bluefin. That may be true on flat water, I don't know - no one has shared hard facts.

I can only speak from experience after owning both the XT and Swordfish. Several people will agree that the XT is a fantastic ski to get started on Dead Flat Water. Yet, it's a great ski for Intermediate paddlers when conditions are super chaotic.

Is it an Intermediate ski?
I still cannot answer that. I just feel that it was slower on flat water than the Swordfish. Perhaps the XT was slower on big DW than the Swordfish, but I REALLY don't think so: in fact, it surfed wonderfully well.

Here's another way of looking at it... he V10 Sport is said to be an Intermediate ski. It's very capable as an Intermediate ski on flat water, but I personally do not think it surfs as well as the V8 or an XT on huge downwind conditions.

My only regret: I do not have an XT any more... I would have loved to compare it to the new Nelo 520 - which to me falls into somewhat the same category:
A fantastic ski for people to get started in the world of surfski (on flat water) and a fabulous ski for huge downwind conditions (that is bound to surprise you by its agility).

I don't think there is any right or wrong. Giving skis a category is helpful, but it's just a guideline to go from.

The answer to your question may (perhaps) be: Don't take categories too literally.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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3 years 8 months ago #27599 by Canario
Thank you all for your help! Now I'm getting a better idea about what can I expect and what to do. Here in Gran Canaria there is just one Fenn XT. It is considered to be in between school/starters boats and intermediate boats, just as my Carbonology Boost. I have tried it and found it about the same stable and no faster , so it's not what I'm looking for. There is no Fenn Swordfish here, so I can not try it, but it's only 45 cms width, so not good for me. There is just one Think Evo II and I have just contacted the owner asking for a try. It's supposed to be only a tad unstable than the Swordfish and wider than it, so the Evo II could be a good option for me. The problem is that there is no Think dealer for Spain.... The Epic V10 Sport is very expensive for our standards and also could be another beginner/intermediate as the XT, so it's not an option. That lets me only with the Zest, the tippiest intermediate boat so far , but wide enough to fits me, easily available here and at a reasonable price. I will have to face the challenge, maybe making the economical effort of not to sell the Boost till I get a reasonable control of the Zest. If I ever get to that control....That is when having a local dealer is of the upmost importance.

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3 years 8 months ago #27600 by Hiro
I paddle a Fenn Elite... but, when the swell is huge, I'm more than happy to paddle my old faithfull XT. Dead slow on flat water, but as fast as any wave on huge downwind conditions. More than stability, I like how easy it is to remount should you capsize. With the Elite, I sometime chose not to catch a big wave because I fear I might capsize and lose a lot of time remounting the ski. With the XT I chase any wave.

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3 years 8 months ago - 3 years 8 months ago #27601 by robin.mousley
I own and have paddled the Zest and Evo II extensively.

As you say, the Zest is slightly more unstable than the Evo II, but that's not the reason I favour the Evo II... They're very comparable and the main reason I mostly paddle the Evo II is that the Zest grinds my coccyx raw - I'm one of those unfortunate people who is incompatible with the Zest bucket.

Otherwise the Zest is a fine boat, give it a try.

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...

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3 years 8 months ago #27637 by Canario
I have tried the Zest twice so far. On flat water I can paddle reasonably, but when out of the bay, I combine paddling and swimming. Anyway, not as bad as I expected. I tried the Vault and found it to narrow for me, but more stable than the Zest, maybe because under my 97 Kgrs the Vault was too deep in the water....I'm hopefully trying and Evo II next Saturday. There are no Epics Sports here neither Fenn Swordfish. About the Swordfish, I have read about people paddling on them being as tall and heavyweight as me. How is that possible having only 45cms wide?

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3 years 8 months ago #27640 by zachhandler

Canario wrote: I have read about people paddling on them being as tall and heavyweight as me. How is that possible having only 45cms wide?


They have been doing it longer and their balance is better

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3 years 8 months ago - 3 years 8 months ago #27641 by OSS
..and there is the former OCEAN OSS3, 6245 x 460mm. It's an advanced intermediate ski in terms of speed but with the stability of a very stable intermediate ski (paddlers say it's much more stable and much faster than the Swordfish - I can't say as I am biased).

After 12 months of testing, improvements and re-testing of all 4 (actually now 6 ski models), production is in full swing and first boats will land in Australia very soon (under a new brand!!!). We plan to enter USA in early spring time and hopefully Europe in early summer. More to come soon, watch out!

New, innovative, different!

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3 years 8 months ago #27642 by PhilSE2
I have paddled both. A little bit more stable than Swordfish. Definitely not faster. Stability and speed between SF and V10 Sport. A good combination for an intermediate.

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3 years 8 months ago #27644 by photofr
I think that you guys need to start measuring the skis you own:
- at the widest point
- with the same measuring tool

You'd most likely find that the Swordfish isn't 45cm at its max width as advertised.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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3 years 8 months ago #27645 by Canario
So the SF is wider than 45cc? There is no one here in the Canary Islands. I am 1.86 tall and 97 Kgrs, so I guess the SF could be too narrow for me.

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3 years 8 months ago #27648 by photofr
I use an archaic measuring tool; one that I should upgrade. When I measured an Epic V10 (specs calling it a 45cm) I came up with 45cm. When measuring my Swordfish (with specs calling it at 45cm) I came up with 47cm.

Saying that you will fit is like taking a wild guess: you are at the limit, you could find yourself in a perfect seating position.

Mind you: I am making reference to the old Swordfish (1st generation). Apparently, and I could be wrong, but I believe that the new SF is actually wider.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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3 years 8 months ago #27649 by albert
I've recently demoed both the Think Evo (2nd gen) and the Carbonology Sport Zest (thanks Brian's Kayaks in Cape Town!) Interestingly I found the Zest to more stable than the Evo. I got my new Zest on Wednesday :-D

I am about 1.86m tall, and weighing in at 108kg - perhaps that is what makes the difference.

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3 years 8 months ago #27650 by OSS
Hi PhilSE2,
are you referring to the OCEAN?
If yes, I sometimes paddle with a friend who uses a Swordfish and he thinks that even our OSS4 is faster!

Cheers

New, innovative, different!

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3 years 8 months ago #27651 by PhilSE2
Yes it was the Ocean. I paddled an easy oss2 and the oss3. I found both tight in the seat, but other than that not bad at all. I found the oss2 similar in speed to the v10L but a touch more stable and as I said the oss3 between SF and v10 Sport I weight 75kg and this may affect results. I still have the SF but also have a Vault which I find a little less stable but faster than the SF and a delightful boat to paddle with excellent seating position and great catch.

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