Boat Volumes

2 months 1 week ago #32090 by Meerkat
Hi everyone!

So here is my next update. I was supposed to paddle the Think Zen in the race I did on Saturday but unfortunately with reasons beyond my control it didn't turn out as planned.

I always wanted to do the Spit to Zoo race and thought that if there is a chance to put this boat to the test it would be in this race. Luckily I could still use my brain (as the adrenalin was pumping through my veins) and I quickly rushed over (ready to race) to Sydney Harbour Kayaks, 20 min prior to the race, to get set up in a rental ski, the Fenn XT.

This boat was never really on my list to test but I didn't have much of an option so got them to set that up for me. Just before I signed the form they told me I won't be able to do the long course (16 km) because it extends beyond their boundary. You can imagine the disappointment as I've been waiting a year to do this race and now I have to revert to the short, 8 km course. I have paddled the series in the Long Course and I wanted to end it on a high note...

Anyway, I was there and it was a beautiful day so a raced. By the time I got into the boat to be set up, I only had 10 min before the race started. I had to miss the briefing but that was OK because I know this course pretty well. I tell the guy, OK, you can go one more click closer and he apologetically looked at me and said, I'm sorry but that's it...

Oh OK, damn, it will have to do then. I paddle away and try to get comfy but being just one click too far, and having this huge hump under my legs I immediately thought it's better that I will only be doing 8 km's. My heels couldn't reach the bottom of the footplate so I had to revert to my K1 skill in leg driving with my toes...

Halfway through I started getting a semi-dead leg. I was still smiling though and I will tell you why in a minute. I managed to paddle up to the start line in time and then still had a few moments to chat with my partner. Calmer now I was ready. I didn't have the best start, well because of the one click and the hump. BUT, the next moment I started moving faster than I expected. It was very soon that I realised that the XT loves a bit of a bump and just glides over the water, and it loves the mess that the other boats created.

I made it to the top turn, smiling all the way with a bit of a (very small) swell from behind, mostly created by other boats and boats with engines, where we would head into some crappy side chop, I simply kept powering through the water where so many others had to brace-paddle-brace-ooops-brace. I was passing people I never thought I would pass, all because this boat was eating up every little bump and because I could apply power through the water with every single stroke without bracing.

It was then that I realised that the Fenn boats are fast. I was always of the opinion that the sleeker and the more tippier, the faster. It turns out that those sleeker boats, in this instance, fell behind because I was more confident in a more stable boat so I could keep moving.

I came 2nd in my division in this race so happy with the outcome in the end. To sumarise, this boat would be even better with a lower hump, a smaller footplate (I couldn't keep pedals straight as my feet are too small) and one to two clicks closer.

Next, I'm hoping to again get my hands on the Think Zen for a test paddle and then the new Carbonology Boost Low Volume. I've heard some good things about this LV Boost so let's see. Stay tuned...
The following user(s) said Thank You: jateureka

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2 months 1 week ago #32091 by Atlas
The XT is a fantastic downwind / rough water ski. It’s such a shame that Fenn have dropped the ball on this one. I think they have forgotten that it even exists. The jump from a Bluefin to a Swordfish is a big one and Fenn are losing paddlers to more ergonomically appealing “transition” skis. The XT really needs an ergonomic update. Apart from having the rudder moved forward; I don’t think the hull needs any changes.

Current skis:
Epic V10L, Think Zen, Fenn Bluefin, Fenn XT double

Previous skis
Fenn Swordfish, Fenn Swordfish S, Fenn XT, Spirit PRS

Most with DK rudders.

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2 months 1 week ago #32092 by Scode
I have heard that the updated version of the XT, the XT S, will be out very shortly with changes similar to what you describe. Updated ergonomics - similar to what they have done with the Swordfish S and Bluefin S.

Agree that it is a great ski and a revision is well overdue.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Atlas, Meerkat

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2 months 1 week ago #32093 by robin.mousley

I have heard that the updated version of the XT, the XT S, will be out very shortly


I can confirm. Just spoke with Travis at Fenn...

Hoping to get my hands on one here in Cape Town, will post a review.

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: Meerkat

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2 months 1 week ago #32094 by Meerkat
Thanks for the comment Atlas. Looks like Fenn after all made those changes to the XT. Would be nice to test the new XT S ;)

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2 months 1 week ago #32100 by Meerkat
Hi Robin

Wow that great, glad they made these changes and didn't forget about the XT.

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2 months 1 week ago #32101 by robin.mousley

Wow that great, glad they made these changes and didn't forget about the XT.


Interesting... they were a little cagey about when the boat would actually be available but I'm hopeful that it won't be too long.

The S versions of the Elite and especially the Swordfish have been real improvements, so let's hope the XT benefits to the same extent!

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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1 month 2 weeks ago #32300 by jateureka
Hi Meerkat, looks like Stu just unloaded some Think Zen skis. Hopefully one will be coming up to Brisbane as a demo so I can get a test paddle.

I did get to test paddle a Nelo 550 M/L bucket on Sunday. I had just paddled my Fenn Swordfish S carbon for 10km and so it was great to compare them back to back. The 550 felt very stable on flat water, the flatter hull gives heaps of primary stability. It accelerated well and allowed great leg drive as the hump is so low, felt more like my intermediate K1 than any other ski I've paddled. The bucket drained really quick with the bailer open 1 click, something my Swordy struggles with (hopefully fitting bullets behind the venturis will fix that). The volume on the Nelo 550 felt right but I would like to test it in some waves.

Think EVO II ocean ski newbie paddler,
Grafton Paddle Sports K1 kayak intermediate marathon racer.

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1 month 2 weeks ago #32302 by Meerkat
Thanks very much, jateureka. I saw the full container pics on Facebook. I will have to arrange a test when they do their time trial on a Saturday. Now if only I can get a free Saturday to arrange it! Lol!

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1 month 2 weeks ago #32303 by Meerkat
Hi there, me again!

So here is my next update, this time, YES, finally the Carbonology Boost LV!

My partner and I decided to go out on a very windy day at Clontarf, the idea was to replicate the Spit to Zoo race. Unfortunately, the wind was just not our best friend on the day and we only had an hour as the shop where we rented the Swordfish for my partner actually closed because of the crazy wind conditions.

We set out and immediately I felt very comfortable in this boat. I didn't at first realise why but I will let you know in a sec. On the flat, the boat needed a few hard paddles to get going but I think this was only because it was the heaviest Glass build (15 kg). As soon as it caught a bit of a bump, off I went. I paddled effortlessly and the crazier the water got the better this boat responded. The Swordfish is known as quite a fast boat and usually my partner paddles a ski faster than me but this time I could keep up quite easy and even paddle past.

My partner and I decided to swap boats and I jumped into the Swordfish. Immediately I realised why I was so extremely comfortable in the LV, the seat is raised higher which immediately make me feel I can apply more power through the water rather than feeling as if I'm paddling uphill...My very small feet fitted in nicely on the footplate and I could easily reach the pedals. It felt nice and cozy around my hips but not too tight. I was just really really comfortable and loved every moment!

After 3 months of testing boats, I think I might have found my boat. I just have one more boat to test, the Think Zen. Seeing that the capacity of the Zen is 100 kg, vs the Boost LV's 90 kg I think the LV would suit my 58 kg much better. I do however believe in still trying all the options before making a final decision.

Now for the last question, should I go for the Boost LV, do I get the Hybrid (13 kg) or the Carbon (11.5 kg)...?

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