Think Six - aim of design?

4 weeks 1 day ago #36549 by CrabStick
I'd love to hear more info on the new Think Six and what type of conditions it is optimised for. The website blurb says that it "is tuned to perform well in downwind conditions" which is not that helpful.
Is it specifically for downwind like the Epic V9 and Fenn XTS from the intermediate category?
How will it differ from the Evo in performance and behaviour?
Is the stability as expected for 48cm or is it modified by the rocker / flattish hull / higher bucket relative to footwell?
How wide is the bucket? Is the volume really Ok for lighter paddlers (most brands claims of suitable paddler weight range seem a bit optimistic for those around or under 70kg)?
Hopefully Wesley can comment here as he is taking delivery very soon according to a recent post, or Stew O'Regan.

CrabStick

Current Boats: BlueFin, Swordfish
Previous: Think Eze, Stellar SR, Carbonology Boost LV

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

4 weeks 1 day ago #36550 by Canario
Replied by Canario on topic Think Six - aim of design?
A Think version of the Fenn Swordfish, maybe?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

4 weeks 1 day ago - 4 weeks 1 day ago #36551 by Atlas
Replied by Atlas on topic Think Six - aim of design?
I'm quite interested in the Think Six. The reference to primary stability puts me off a bit though. The Think Zen has way too much primary stability in my opinion. Wesley writes favourably of the Zen. I don't like it as a downwind ski. I'll take Wes's almost certainly positive review of the Six with a grain of salt. The Six will obviously be less stable overall than the Zen but hopefully it will have a better mix of primary and secondary stability as well as much better directional stability.
Think's answer to the Swordfish is the Evo. If they can make the Six perform as well downwind as the XTS or Boost; they will be doing very well.

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.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

4 weeks 1 day ago #36555 by zachhandler
I think Atlas is right about high primary stability boats in the waves. They are much trickier to handle when cutting across a wave because the flat bottom forces them to tip on edge with the wave. I think rounder designs with low primary but high secondary are better. I have not paddled the zen. But a friend who normally paddles a v12 on the flat rented a zen at the gorge and struggled with surfing and balance. Then one run he borrowed a swordfish and had an amazing time without a hint of stability issues and was grinning ear to ear. I think boats that flatten the hull to maximize flat water stability while minimizing width run into that problem.  I can’t comment on how the six is as i have never seen one. 

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

4 weeks 57 minutes ago - 3 weeks 6 days ago #36562 by wesley
Replied by wesley on topic Think Six - aim of design?
I should get mine Six this week. I will be interested too on where it fits compared to many of the boats I reviewed. 

By the way,  my Zen is a blast to paddle. Many paddlers really like the Zen for all it offers.  For all the conditions I paddle in from flat water to 2-5 seas, mixed ocean conditions with varying downwind here in Newport, Rhode Island. The true test for me with my Zen was a 2019 race blowing 30mph using a 6 inch DK rudder on the quarter beam against the current with some serious chop and it handled superbly. On the downwind leg of 4 miles, I was 1-2 boat lengths behind a long time racing buddy in his V10 2G and I finished 4 seconds behind him overall in a 9-mile ocean race. I was surprised by the flatness of the Zen hull it would handle as well as it does.  I paddled it, raced it, sold the ZEN to satisfied lighter weight intermediate paddlers who wanted a great fitting ski, that meets their needs for racing, slightly more stability than what they were paddling previously in bigger conditions. 
https://www.surfskiracing.org/2019/07/think-zen-surfski-1st-take-review/
 While the push over the last few years is to increase the rocker for more downwind handling, most of us in New England paddle in a variety of conditions, good downwind being the least of the conditions. So a ski that performs moderately well in all conditions is preferable. If your goal is racing like mine is in our conditions, where seconds, minutes count in the standings, you prefer a ski that maximizes your current skill level, fitness level, and conditions you race in. 

I think the questions lost on many paddlers is what is the Paddlers Goal for paddling, where does he paddle, what type of conditions, fit, skill level, frequency, age, weight, etc. when buying ski. If all I paddled/raced was downwind my choice of ski would be different. If I paddled mostly flat water, I would opt for another ski with less rocker or have one ski ocean, one ski flat water racing.  There are many great options these days in with all the brands which is great for all of us. So everyone's goal should go try them and see how they perform for you and your particulars needs when buying a ski.  

Wesley Echols
SurfskiRacing.com
#1 in Surfski Reviews.
Attachments:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 weeks 6 days ago - 3 weeks 6 days ago #36564 by TimT
Replied by TimT on topic Think Six - aim of design?
Regarding the Zen, I jumped in to this sport with both feet last summer by buying a Zen from Jeff at Paddle Dynamics after a short demo on flat water. I paddled the V8 Pro at the same time and picked the Zen just because it seemed to fit me better (I am small). My goal was (is) to learn to downwind. 

Since last July I have paddled the Zen more than 1100 K, including 450+ K since the first of this year, almost exclusively on Lake Superior. I have gotten comfortable being out in a range of conditions other than the most extreme.  I have opportunities to surf shore waves and paddle downwinds.  I paddled a downwind a couple weeks ago where the largest sets were 6-8 feet, talk about exhilarating! I am not pretty or efficient and I swim a bit but it is unlikely I would be having as much fun if I started with a real surf machine like a Swordfish, V10 or Evo as a beginner. Obviously, I came to the Zen from the opposite direction of someone like Zach’s friend that was already capable in a V12.

 That said, I am also completely ignorant in the comparison of the Zen to other surfskis. I have no one to paddle with and I haven’t paddled any other ski. Do I have control and stability issues? Well, yeah! How much can be attributed to the Zen or just me being low on the learning curve? Time will tell, or ignorance is bliss?

I am very interested in reviews of the new intermediate, downwind tuned surfskis (Six, V9 and maybe the Flex). Now that I am gaining some experience my plan is to buy a second ski next year and I would like the best downwind ski that I could realistically handle.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 weeks 6 days ago - 3 weeks 6 days ago #36565 by zachhandler
Hey Tim it sounds like you are improving really quick. I wouldn’t second guess your choice of ski at all. All skis behave different. When you are used to a round bottom ski and change to a flat bottom ski you get caught off guard because the boat leans whichever way the water is tilted. I am used to elite boats with round bottoms and when I DW in a flat bottom beginner boat I actually come out of the ski a bit more. Usually it is with no warning. The boat feels rock solid and then suddenly a wave tips me in. I think if you are used to a flat bottom boat that would not happen much and on the contrary you would struggle if you suddenly changed to a round bottom ski. As a beginner what you need more than anything is stability so that you can focus on learning the paddle stroke and DW technique. The Zen provides that. As your skills build and you try more boats you will figure out what hull style you enjoy most. 

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 weeks 6 days ago - 3 weeks 6 days ago #36566 by agooding2
I agree with Zach, when I demo'ed the Zen and compared it to the Ace I found the Zen a little more wobbly in 1.5-2' waves while the Ace which is 1.5" wider was rock solid stable in following waves.  I found the Jet tougher to balance but I am a bit heavy for it.

However I am used to a flat bottom ski, a Think Fit and now paddle another flatter bottom ski a Nelo 550, so I do feel more uncomfortable in side wakes as a result.

A much more experienced paddled prefers a rounder bottom boat for downwind, think it is a Fenn Elite  as it doesn't have the issues with waves that the flatter bottom boats do.  I think I would feel uncomfortable in that in bigger water due to the lack of initial stability,

I would think an Ace would be an excellent all around boat for a novice and a Zen for intermediates, but I paddle inland on lakes and rivers, not downwind.
The following user(s) said Thank You: TimT

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 weeks 6 days ago #36567 by TimT
Replied by TimT on topic Think Six - aim of design?
Zach, thanks for your response. I wasn’t thinking you were questioning the choice of the Zen I just wanted to state my experience as a beginner with this ski as a comparison. Interestingly, most of the time I swim are exactly as you describe, quick with no warning. I find this happens when I get blindsided by a reflected or secondary wave cutting across the direction of the primary waves. I am looking forward to trying some other boats but it may be tough to get the opportunity to do this in the conditions I like to paddle. I am realistic in that I am starting this sport as an old man so I am excited at the possibility of advanced beginner/low intermediate boats that may be tuned for downwind. 

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 weeks 5 days ago #36568 by CrabStick
Thanks everyone for your thoughts on the Six. I'm looking forward to some reviews once it's out on the water.
Well done on your rapid progress Tim. If there are Carbonology Boats in your area you should try the Boost LV which immediately comes to mind for a lighter intermediate paddler keen to get into downwind. May not be a big step up from the Zen but likely a better fit for you than other boats in category. For anyone wanting to learn downwind on the ocean though, Fenn BlueFin is weapon of choice. Sorry to those rolling their eyes as I have banged on about this before!

CrabStick

Current Boats: BlueFin, Swordfish
Previous: Think Eze, Stellar SR, Carbonology Boost LV

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 weeks 5 days ago #36569 by Atlas
Replied by Atlas on topic Think Six - aim of design?
I agree with CrabStick. The Boost LV is a fantastic alternative to the Zen for people more interested in paddling downwind. The Zen is a nice boat for some people in some conditions. The Boost LV is exactly what I replaced my Zen with and I'm very happy. The Boost LV is a fantastic downwind and general rough water boat for people like me who enjoy such conditions but don't have the weight, strength or skill to get the best out of high performance downwind skis. That's not to say I'm not curious about other skis that might be in a similar category. Hence my interest in the Think Six. In my experience Think skis have a stunningly beautiful finish and the most complete fit out. Much nicer than any other brand I've owned so I'm keen to paddle a Six in some waves.
I think CrabStick is also right about the Bluefin. That ski is underrated. It seems to have been designed specifically for learning to paddle downwind. It is also a blast for half arsed intermediates like me for those (literally) gale force downwinders. It seems to have more rocker than any other beginner ski so it sits on waves really easily. It does need a very big aggressive rudder though. Don Kiesling can sort you out there.
It's probably obvious but my comments can be largely ignored by anyone not interested in paddling in rough or downwind conditions.

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.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Latest Forum Topics

MCImes's Avatar

Trying to decide on the next step. (9 Posts)

1 hour 55 minutes ago

Ivan Lawler YouTube channel (6 Posts)

12 hours 32 minutes ago
Tinus's Avatar

Stability difference up vs. down wind (10 Posts)

1 day 4 hours ago
Protected by R Antispam