Some difficult decisions about a new ski

4 months 1 week ago #33967 by [email protected]
Hi guys, a new post from the guy with the strange name incoming (is there any way to change my forum name from this number mess? Wrote the admin with a PN but got no answer)

I am paddling my beloved v7 for almost over a year now mostly flat water and sometimes on the Rhine (large german river). Since there is no open water around here (south western germany) so it is going to stay that way. 
Now I need a second ski to go out on the water with my girlfriend and since she likes the V7 too I am willing to pass it over to her. 
One big problem is, that there are no surfski dealers in reach where I am able to test some of them which is pretty bad. So one shot to fire and it has to hit more ore less. Another problem is that I need it till july couse we going on a paddling vacation and the third one is that i would love to buy a used boat because of the price stability and overall quality of the skis I know of there should be no problem with this. 

I am out on the water every second day mostly for recriational reasons, the love for the nature and of cause fitness reasons. I am almost 2 meters in hight and have a bit over 100kg on my hips not actually the sportiest person around here ;)

Now I am a bit stuck in the choices I have. On the one hand I love the feeling of "openness" in a ski but on the other hand a traditional sea kayak would serve my needs more.
I love to have the storagy capacity in the V7 and I dream to go out on river adventures with my girlfriend with a bit of camping gear and stuff. So I am thinking about the first logical choice: Epic V6.

Buuuuuut in the last year I have never ever used the storage in the V7. And the V6 is even more bathtub style than the V7 and maybe wouldnt serve my needs for a bit of a thinner, longer and faster boat for my 2 day paddling routine. I am afraid that I am stuck with the V6 between the will for Improvement  in technique and skill and the knowlage to have the space capacity to throw my camping stuff in and go out in the wild for a few days, which would be not that often compared with my normal paddling schedule.

Another problem are the german traffic laws. Because of resaons I dont understand it is only allowed to transport a boat up to 1.5meters longer than my car or up to 3meters longer up to 100km radius from the point where i start the ride. So all boats over 5.79meters are out because 100km is not that much when I want to drive to interesting places. 
I think a V10Sport whould be soooooo awesome especialy for my size but it is much too long ;( 

A V8 would be okay(ish) but I see no improvement over the V7 other than the weight and it is widely available in the used markets around here. 
The V8 Pro would be perfect in length but they say on the webside that I am too large for it ;( (I am 1,97-98M and they say it is up ti 1,96m and I dont went to push the limits.)

There is a VAJDA dealer here in germy and the NEXT 52 looks awesome but it is maybe a bit too bathtubby? There is not much to read about VAJDA here so I am wondering about there quality. 

Then someone posted about the REVO R3 and I fall totally in love with it. It has the right length and dimensions and I  would be very proud to have one of these but there is no way to find a used one and no chance to try before such a big investment. The nearest dealer is in the UK as far as I know so there will be a huge amount of transportation cost. 

I am in need for a new boat but I dont know what to do. Oc couse I could just buy another V7 and push that decisicion to a later point in time but I thing you all know the itch to get new gear ;)

Sorry for the wall of german english text but maybe you can help me in the forrest of boats.
Cheers Justus

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4 months 1 week ago #33968 by Cerca Trova
J
Justus,
Here are some suggestions.  Vadja Next 46, Stellar S18S, Think Zen, Nelo 520.

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4 months 1 week ago #33969 by uk gearmuncher
You still might find the V8 pro fits.... but agree, it would be tight at your height (I'm 1.91 metres and have it almost at maximum stretch). Its a really good ski though and performs virtually as well as a V10 Sport on flatwater.

You might want to consider the Nelo 520 too ?

Don't knock going for a lighter ski like the V8 or Nelo. It makes everyday use so much more pleasant (carrying it around).

Previous Boat Journey: Gaisford spec ski, then Fenn Bluefin, then Epic V8 Pro, Now a Epic V10 Sport and a Nelo 550L coming in soon.
Recent Demo's: Epic V10 G3, Nelo 550L, Epic K1t

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4 months 1 week ago #33970 by [email protected]
Thank you all so far =) Even more boats to consider. The VAJDA next 46 is a nice idea, it would be too long but you can order it in two parts so I could transport it very well on the car. But I am afraid that 46cm are quite unstable? Its even slimmer than the V10sport but maybe no problem on flat water. 

There is another question: Is the boat more unstable if you are a larger person or is it just the perception of more unstability? With the V7 I fell out quite often in the first week or so, was my first time paddeling so no problem I thought. But when my GF paddled it, it was like the most stable thing ever. Shes is muuuuch smaller 1,63m and even less proficient in paddling. So if the manufactuerer rated the stability of the ski like " 4 out of 5" is it even more critical because of the users hight? 

Cheers
Justus

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4 months 1 week ago - 4 months 1 week ago #33971 by Fath2o
Have to agree with Gearmuncher here. A lighter ski will make your whole paddling world much more enjoyable. Good luck with it! 
As far as skis go, their are a lot of old Fenn XT's around the globe.

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4 months 1 week ago - 4 months 1 week ago #33972 by mcnye1


Do they allow the "rolling roof rack" type trailers in Germany?  Here in the USA, for less than half the price of a new ski you can buy a small trailer to transport kayaks/skis.  Most fold up so they can be compactly stored.  On my, the tongue is removable so it can be stored upright leaning against a wall.

Regarding boats, if you want to carry gear you might want to consider the Epic 18x and Stellar S18R kayaks.  Both will be a bit faster than your V7 and have large open cockpits so you wont feel claustrophobic.  There is currently another good thread active on this site discussing the differences between skis and kayaks.  
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4 months 1 week ago #33973 by [email protected]
Oh with that trailer I would see the blue lights in the rear mirror in seconds ;D (Beautifull wood by the way ;) ) It is possible to get trailers but its not that easy for loooong boats. There are rules for the lighting, rules for the length, rules and paperwork for everything. There are custom made trailers but they are nearly as expensive as a new boat and mostly not foldable, so storage would be a problem. Maybe I could rent one for the vacation but not for daily use. 

The thing with the kayak is so true but I think I would mourn every day in it, when not around with camping gear, about not having a nice surfski. I know I cant get a boat for all my needs combined. In germany we would say I am looking for the "Eierlegende-Wollmilchsau" (something like "egg laying whool and milk pig" xD   So I am more days out on the water without gear than with gear so I should prioritize fun daily use before touring use. 

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4 months 1 week ago #33974 by mcbit
If you’re ok with a V7 then I don’t believe you would have a problem with a V8 Pro. I made the same move, the cockpit is almost identical and I’m on the same foot plate notches as I was on the V7. V8 Pro is a great ski with loads of stability.

A smaller step up in terms of stability is the Stellar S18S but still a good ski  with a lot of storage.

Good luck with your search for a suitable boat.

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4 months 1 week ago #33975 by Heald
There is another possible solution... get a longer car (Stationwagon / estate) and that longer ski so that you stick within the 1.5m overhang rule. You get a new car, and a new ski... its a win-win situation... :-) 

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4 months 1 week ago #33976 by M.v.E.
Hi Justus,
 I tested the Vajda Next 46 last year on flat water. It would be a big step from the V 7 in terms of stability !
Also I don´t think that it will be big enough for you. I am 191 cm/ 84 kg and I had to adjust the footplate to the max.  
The Stellar S 18 might be a good idea. It also has a storage compartment like the V 7 and should be faster. 
The quality is very good. I am using 2 Stellar Skis (SR and SEI) for many years now an just ordererd a third one (SR 2. Gen.) There is a Stellar Surfski Dealer in Würzburg !

Regards

Michael

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4 months 1 week ago - 4 months 1 week ago #33977 by [email protected]
The longer car and longer boat deal sounds pretty sweet ;D
yeah maybe the Vajda would be to much of a step in terms of stability. The Vajda 52 is such a beauty but if there is not enough room in the cockpit that is a problem.
The stellar lacks in the looks but has a vew very nice features. I will look out for the german reseller thanks for that.
So there are different opinions about the V8Pro in here so it may be critical to test it. There is an Epic dealer in northeast germany but I would have to fly there to test it. 

Has anyone large tryed the Revo 3 here? And I heard about an upcoming Revo 4 but there is not much information about it (about revo in general). That Dreadnought bow is soooooo appealing! 

Thank you all for this very helpful conversation!

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4 months 1 week ago #33978 by Atlas
The Nelo 520 is much faster than it's dimensions might suggest. It is not as stable as other 52 cm wide boats but it should be manageable. Nelo skis generally have quite long cockpits so I'd be surprised if you did not fit.

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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4 months 6 days ago #33980 by SpaceSputnik

There is another question: Is the boat more unstable if you are a larger person or is it just the perception of more unstability? With the V7 I fell out quite often in the first week or so, was my first time paddeling so no problem I thought. But when my GF paddled it, it was like the most stable thing ever. Shes is muuuuch smaller 1,63m and even less proficient in paddling. So if the manufactuerer rated the stability of the ski like " 4 out of 5" is it even more critical because of the users hight? 

I am hardly an expert, but so far my observation is that yes, for taller guys it seems more challenging to keep balanced. I know of a guy here who started with a V7 at about the same time as me. I am 166 cm on a good day and I never had the initial swim period with that ski. Lots of comfort issues, but no swimming. That guy's is tall and he swam at first. I surfed a beach break after a few months. Another tall friend bought a tippy sea kayak and still struggles with it. I am on my second season and breaking in an intermediate boat (Evo) without an awful lot of swim time so far. Can't quite see my tall friends going at the same pace.
But what do I know...

Current: Think Evo II
Past: Epic V7

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4 months 6 days ago #33981 by uk gearmuncher

SpaceSputnik wrote:

There is another question: Is the boat more unstable if you are a larger person or is it just the perception of more unstability? With the V7 I fell out quite often in the first week or so, was my first time paddeling so no problem I thought. But when my GF paddled it, it was like the most stable thing ever. Shes is muuuuch smaller 1,63m and even less proficient in paddling. So if the manufactuerer rated the stability of the ski like " 4 out of 5" is it even more critical because of the users hight? 

I am hardly an expert, but so far my observation is that yes, for taller guys it seems more challenging to keep balanced. I know of a guy here who started with a V7 at about the same time as me. I am 166 cm on a good day and I never had the initial swim period with that ski. Lots of comfort issues, but no swimming. That guy's is tall and he swam at first. I surfed a beach break after a few months. Another tall friend bought a tippy sea kayak and still struggles with it. I am on my second season and breaking in an intermediate boat (Evo) without an awful lot of swim time so far. Can't quite see my tall friends going at the same pace.
But what do I know...


No, you're right. This is since taller paddlers will have a higher centre of mass which means more instability. The only advantage to counter it could be that if they are heavier, it may slow the rate of roll down a bit compared to a lighter paddler. If you're both tall and relatively lean though, you luck out.

Previous Boat Journey: Gaisford spec ski, then Fenn Bluefin, then Epic V8 Pro, Now a Epic V10 Sport and a Nelo 550L coming in soon.
Recent Demo's: Epic V10 G3, Nelo 550L, Epic K1t

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4 months 6 days ago #33982 by Helldiver
I can only recommend Nelo 520. It's quite short (5.2M), so it's unlikely you will have any problems with the german traffic laws (unless you car is very small, I have almost 5m long station wagon and when I load the ski on the roof, reasonable balanced, it overhangs just just about 40-50cm in the rear).
It's stability profile is interesting, it doesn't have as much initial stability as other beginner boats which have almost flat bottoms (Nelo 520 is more rounded), but once you lean it, the secondary stability is massive a totally reassuring.
I can compare it with Vajda Oscar I tried last year (I heard its stability profile is almost identical to Epic V8), it's only 1cm wider on paper (53 vs 52cm), but feels very different, Oscar was like a barge, from the very first moment you sit in the boat, it feels like you are sitting on flat block of foam, you have to try hard to induce some roll and that's very reassuring (at least on flat water), you don't think even for a second that you can fall out.
Nelo 520 is different, the boat has a "lively" feeling and leans from side to side very easily in a split-second, not unlike Vajda Hawx which I also tried last year (Elite ski, 43,5cm width).
The big difference is that Hawx will continue the roll with just small increase in stability (barely perceptible for the beginner) as it's leaned more and eventually you will fall out if you don't know what you are doing - Nelo 520 very quickly builds-up resistance to roll as it's leaned behind some threshold and it feels like there is an outrigger float attached to the side which had just hit the water as that moment comes. So even if you panic and do nothing to counteract the undesired roll, the boat will save you from swimming :)

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4 months 6 days ago #33983 by SpaceSputnik
So I guess this would be a big fat no-no on German roads. Canada doesn't seem to care.

This is 20 feet plus boat on a small car. I guess anything in the 18 feet range would be acceptable? I think Nelo 520 or 550 would work as a next step boat and be ok length-wise. 550 is an intermediate boat that is only a foot longer that a V7 which is fairly unusual.

Current: Think Evo II
Past: Epic V7
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4 months 6 days ago - 4 months 6 days ago #33984 by [email protected]
Much love for the Nelo out here :) 
I will try to to test one out, there might be a nelo dealer not  that far away.
There is a V8 in Ultra layup for sale pretty cheap (2500€) maybe I should try to get it to have at least a second boat until I have the chance to try some others. I have mixed feelings about the ultra layup because of flat water and logs or stones in the water. But there was a Threat about the stability of the different layups and the ultra was praised for its stability. And with that price it should not loose much of its value in thext year or so (at least if I dont crash it to bits)

About SpaceSputnik s photo.... that looks quite legit in terms of german traffic rules ;) It is not allowed to hang over the front at all, but the ladder thing is legal.

here is my setup
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4 months 6 days ago - 4 months 5 days ago #33985 by SpaceSputnik

About SpaceSputnik s photo.... that looks quite legit in terms of german traffic rules 

 It is not allowed to hang over the front at all, but the ladder thing is legal.


Or really? I though the overall overhang was too much (172 cm). Well for long travel that is.
The ladder thing (V rack) is pretty much a must with that length. The dealer who sold me the boat said the the boat needs to be supported at least 7 feet apart, which is very different from the way I carried my V7. I treated that boat as a sea kayak and carried it on closely spaced J racks with bow/stern tie downs. That boat is a tank and doesn't care much.

Current: Think Evo II
Past: Epic V7

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4 months 4 days ago #33989 by Selkie
To describe the V6 as a bathtub (I wonder what experience you have to make such a judgment) shows a complete lack of understanding of various craft and there uses. I own a small fleet of skis and have owned several well-known sea kayaks. I currently own V10, V8 and V6 skis. Paddled at a touring pace up to 4.5 knots there is little difference in forward effort. The V8 and the V6 outperform the longer skis in conditions where wind and waves come from variable directions. The V6 is a touring boat that carries camping gear etc. It is faster than most 17.6 sea kayaks. For exploring rugged coasts, caves, inlets etc you are looking for ease of acceleration and turning. The V6 is the best Epic for this. 4 years ago I took a team of 4 across the strong tidal waters of the English Channel at it's the widest point. Non-stop for 80 miles. The average age of the paddlers was 50. Oldest was 61. They all used V6's except me (a V8) They set a record that still has not been broken. On the same night, a very experienced sea kayak group bailed out due to conditions. The marines also failed to get across until their 3rd attempt. Is the V6 a bathtub? Absolutely not. It's the right boat for many trips that others would struggle to complete. 

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4 months 4 days ago #33990 by [email protected]
 I am sorry I dont want to be disrespectfull against anyone or anything. I only used the word bathtub to describe shorter and wider boats/wider cockpits,. In no way I ment that this is a bad thing, in fact I love a cozy bathtub ;) 
If you felt offendet I am truly sorry. 

Your Informetion about the V6 is verry welcome, because it is still a contender. What you described is exacly why I have problems to decide. A perfect stable allrounder with camping capacity for the times I feel the need for adventure or a more demanding boat for the day on day off flat water fitness routine. 
My post is not about V6 shaming, but to get different Ideas in which direction to lean. I maybe have to get both ;D

 

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