compare/contrast beginner surf skis

1 week 9 hours ago #33068 by sski
I caught the bug 15 mos ago- a buddy visited and paddled on lakes w/ me for a few days. He was in a V10S of mine but fell ?every 15 min or so on a quiet lake.
He is pulling the trigger and buying a boat.
I tried some online research on beginner boats- V8, Nelo 520 xl?, Think Ace? Not sure Stellar-S18S?
Comments or suggestions?
He will be mostly on lakes (lives inland Midwest) with some higher wind/waves if he really seeks them out, which i believe he will want to do eventually-plenty of those like Superior!
thanks in advance

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1 week 8 hours ago #33069 by MCImes
I'd recommend whatever is available used in your area. What state are you/he in? If you're in the lower midwest, the Rivermiles forum has many skis for sale. I see a S18S right now, among some other intermediate boats like a SR or V10S.
www.rivermiles.com/forum/YaBB.pl?board=Sale

Although I dont have a lot of experience in true beginner boats, I think many will recommend to get one that is comfortable above most else. Any beginner boat that is 21"+ wide should be plenty stable to 90+% of people so I wouldn't worry too much about that. Early in your paddling career, its all about learning proper stroke, practicing remounting, learning to read waves (even small waves count), refining your balance and pushing yourself into more challenging conditions. These things can be achieved on almost any boat with similar success.

The key will be to find one with a comfortable bucket, as this is subjective and butt specific - though on beginner boats they are typically wider and more forgiving. I've been lucky and bought 3 boats sight unseen and the bucket has been fine on all 3.

If it were me, I'd be looking for the cheapest boat that fits my needs within a 6 hour drive regardless of the boat. Beginner boats have good resale value, and if you buy used to begin with he can resell the boat for little to no loss if he advances and wants an intermediate boat.

I search classifieds on Craigslist, Surfskiracing, Surfskinews, kayaktrader, rivermiles, and distressedmullet. Those are all good sources for boats.

Current Boats: Old Fenn XT, Stellar SR g1
Past Boats: Epic V10 Gen0
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all" - God from Futurama

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1 week 6 hours ago #33070 by Tecpartner
Good advice from MCInnes. I learned on a V10S, starting before other skis were available. But I've found that the V8 is very stable. I have a Nelo 520 that is slightly less stable, but a ton of fun, as I find it more responsive. I regularly paddle a Nelo 550 and most recently had an EVO II.
For a beginner to love the sport, I'd recommend one of the real beginner boats, vs intermediate.

I'd rather be paddling....

Think EVO II
Epic V10S
Nelo 520
Epic V8

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1 week 5 hours ago #33071 by wesley
The Think Zen is a nice ski too with a nice fitting bucket is you are medium to smaller paddler.

Wesley Echols
Former Stellar Kayaks and Surfskis, Performance Director, USA ,
SurfskiRacing.com, #1 in Surfski Reviews.

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6 days 8 hours ago #33077 by leolinha
I started with a V8 (black nose) 4 years ago. Oh my, how I loved that boat. Very stable and comfortable, yet fast and responsible. A boat you can really trust. I was sad when I sold it, to make room for my V10 Sport. But who knows, I will grow older and eventuallt loose interest in races, so maybe someday I sell my V10 Sport and buy a new V8.

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6 days 4 hours ago #33078 by Epicpaddler
I agree with what others have said. Find the cheapest used beginner ski and go for it. Your friend will appreciate a boat like the Epic V8 or V8Pro for the rock solid stability and decent speed. Jumping into a more advanced boat might turn him away from the sport. 

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