Fast Ocean Racing Ski Under 6.00m

1 week 5 days ago - 1 week 5 days ago #39133 by Hackett
Looking for the fast ocean racing ski under 6.00m (storage constraints limit length). What is the difference between these - build quality, speed, stability etc? I can’t seem to find a direct comparison and the specs are all quite similar 
  • Epic v11 Elite 5.79m x 43cm 9.4kg 
  • Vajda Makai 43 Elite 5.8m x 43cm 10.5kg (9.5kg Elite Pro)
  • Allwave DNA580 Leggera bushed 5.8m x 42.8cm 9.2kg
  • Fenn Surge Elite 5.82m x 42.5cm 10.5kg

I’m 180cm tall and 84kgs looking to racing in the bridge to beach and 20 beaches ocean race next time they’re on in Sydney. 

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1 week 5 days ago #39134 by zachhandler
My opinion is that all those boats are going to be the same speed. On flatwater there may be tiny differences in hullspeed, but if the paddling ergonomics and comfort of one is better than the others that will outweigh the differences in hull efficiency. On the ocean differences in hullspeed are even less important and how comfortable you are in the bucket is even more important. Stability is also really important in the ocean, and a lot of stability in elite skis comes from how well the bucket fits you. So I would try them and get the one that fits the best. Quality wise all are good enough that quality will likely never be an issue over the years you own the ski. Go with the one that feels the best, most comfortable, and most secure when you paddle it. Add nelo 560 to your list of short fast skis. 

Current Skis: Kai Wa’a Vega, Nelo 550L g2, Epic V12 g2, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X

Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy

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1 week 4 days ago #39135 by Fath2o
First off I have no experience with any of these skis, but. I have been paddling skis for 35+ years.
As Zach said, all will have similar build quality and performance. These are all elite level, relatively unstable skis. So, the assumption here is you must be an elite level paddler that has overcome any stability issues/concerns with elite level surkskis and kayaks. I'm envious, but, somewhat confused, Why would you be concerned with the stability difference between these skis? 
If you have any concern, whatsoever, about the relative stability of a these surfskis. It may well be that all these skis are a bad choice for you?!

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1 week 4 days ago #39136 by Hackett
Thanks for you thoughts guys, it seems the only way to find out is to try and test them all out. In simple terms I’m purely looking for the fastest ski for ocean that will fit in my garage.

I come from an elite level flat water rowing background so stability isn’t too much of a concern as those boats are 28cm wide although it is a factor. I’ve a lot got a fair bit of seat time in a fast sit-in sea kayak offshore although now I’m looking to get into ocean ski racing. 

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1 week 4 days ago #39137 by simon.brem
Welcome to the sport and surfski community.

I moved from rowing elite boats on flatwater to surfski about three years ago and consider myself an intermediate paddler.

For me, an elite single skull boat is way more stable than an elite surfski as the different design with blade/oarlock/outrigger provides more stability control compared to paddling in a surfski/K1. Hard to compare, best to experience and test beforehands (especially in choppy water).

Similar to rowing, power and speed comes primarily through proper technique.

Good luck and have fun!





 

Passionate intermediate river/lake paddler from Switzerland
Current skis: Stellar SR G2, Epic V10 G3
Previous skis: Epic V8

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1 week 4 days ago #39138 by Ranga
You are making the classic mistake of thinking you can paddle an elite level ski without even trying one. Can someone go from a sea kayak to a rowing scull? I bet he will not even be able to take one stroke.
You have elite level kayakers that have problems trying to do ocean paddling. Thinking they can paddle the thinest ski they can find, yes on flat water skis are very stable, open ocean is a very different proposition.
To give you an idea of what you are paddling in your sea kayak. The Epic 18x is one of the fastest narrowest sea kayaks and in its ocean ski form as the V8 it is an entry level beginners ski, and many have problems on it?
My suggestion is to find a V8 or something similar to start out with and learn to paddle in the ocean, when you get close to 15km/hr downwind on it then think about upgrading. The benefit of having a wide stable ski you will have no problem offloading it.
 
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1 week 3 days ago #39139 by Fath2o
I used to do some rowing myself. Boy that was a few years ago. A lot of fun but a wee bit dangerous.
I have said this many times before, but, Fresh water allows an elite kayak/surfski/skull etc. to be dramatically more stable than denser sea water. NO comparison! 

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1 week 3 days ago - 1 week 3 days ago #39140 by zachhandler
 

Interestingly the difference in density between salt and fresh water is smaller than the difference in density between salt water at different temperatures, as evidenced by looking at the load lines on the sides of ships. Have you noticed if skis are tippier in colder water? I would not know how to tell if the boat was actually tippier of if i was just more anxious about a cold water swim. 

Current Skis: Kai Wa’a Vega, Nelo 550L g2, Epic V12 g2, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X

Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy
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1 week 3 days ago #39142 by LaPerouseBay

 I’ve a lot got a fair bit of seat time in a fast sit-in sea kayak offshore although now I’m looking to get into ocean ski racing.   


"Never ever ever, ever ever never, sacrifice stability for speed."  David Mocke.

Get a lesson from a pro.  A bit of knowledge goes a long way at your stage of the game.  A pro will let you know what you need and where to start.  

downwind dilettante
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1 week 3 days ago #39143 by CrabStick
Ranga is right. Try some surfskis on the ocean first, If you are bored with how stable you are in an entry level ski you could consider going up a category but don't consider narrower than 48cm. Learn how to catch waves and paddle with great strong technique, not how to balance something skinny. 

CrabStick

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

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1 week 3 days ago #39145 by zachhandler

 

Interestingly the difference in density between salt and fresh water is smaller than the difference in density between salt water at different temperatures, as evidenced by looking at the load lines on the sides of ships. Have you noticed if skis are tippier in colder water? I would not know how to tell if the boat was actually tippier of if i was just more anxious about a cold water swim. 

Actually i am wrong here! I read up more on those lines. The differences in height of the lines do not reflect density of the water but rather the expected storminess of the waters the boat is traveling in. Tropical waters are expected to be calm and the north atlantic in winter stormy. Cold water is denser than warm but the difference is way smaller than the 3% difference in density between fresh and salt water. So when I feel tippier on cold water it is just nerves. 

Current Skis: Kai Wa’a Vega, Nelo 550L g2, Epic V12 g2, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X

Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy
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1 week 3 days ago #39146 by mrcharly
<Disclaimer; I don't race my surfski>
I paddle a very wide, very stable surfski. Sometimes I think about getting something skinnier, faster; then the wind picks up, the foam spray makes long streaks on the water; and I'm really glad I have a very stable boat.

That is for two reasons. One is that I'm paddling by myself. Nobody to help out if I fall and can't remount. Nobody to go for help. 
The second reason is that I can paddle my boat in any weather we get here, from glassy calm (actually I'd take my K1 out if it is like that) to 50knot winds. 

I used to race K1 and trained in Cambridge (which is pretty well known for rowing. There are over 100 clubs.).
A few people crossed over and did paddling as well, including a couple of very experienced coaches. All of them, without exception, had to start in the stable 'beginners' boats. Those beginner's K1s were similar stability to a fast sea kayak.

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1 week 2 days ago #39148 by Arcturus
I never raced any boats at all but I paddled sea kayaks extensively both in flat and rough conditions. The sea kayak I paddled for 10 years before getting my stable ski (Nelo 520) was actually narrower beam than the ski, by about one inch.

You can’t judge based solely on numbers when crossing over different kinds of hulls!

The sea kayak was rock solid stable for me, no matter what. I could have used an even narrower one, and in fact I had done so with loaner skin-on-frame kayaks. When I started paddling the ski, it felt less stable, notably mostly with beam wind and even dinky side waves. It didn’t feel tippy to the point I was tensed up—and it still has not tossed me over—but I didn’t trust it the way I had trusted my sea kayak.

By the end of the first summer, though, I was “at home” on the ski. In the beginning, I sometimes put legs out to the sides when I stopped, “just in case,” which I soon abandoned doing. That level of security stuck with me when the long winter off-season ended, and I gradually increased my average speed and overall comfort during this, my second year. And just to be clear, I’m talking increases in tenths of a mile per hr, not whole miles per hr!

The wing paddle stroke, the lack of thigh braces for edging and rolling, and the different ergonomics make paddling the ski different enough from paddling a sea kayak that I agree it would be better to err on the side of stability. You can’t work on going fast if your overriding priority is merely staying upright, relaxed, and in good posture.

 

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1 week 2 days ago #39149 by BigFish
Yea I rowed for almost 20 years, maybe not "Elite" level like you as I didn't make the national team, but I owned 4 different single sculls and a double, pulled a 6:15 2k and would generally go about 7:20 in a single scull. I've been paddling ski for 5 years now. I had a sea kayak background also as well as white water kayak. Started in an intermediate ski (a swordfish) and fell out a fair bit. After a year I moved to a v10 and didn't fall out much. Now I can paddle elite level boats pretty comfortably.

I have taken rowing friends out who literally won olympic medals who couldn't even stay upright in an beginner ski.

Try before you commit - rowing doesn't count for much - they're trickier than you realise.

Current - Fenn Elite S, Think UnoMax, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10 Double
Past - Fenn Elite Glide, Think Ion, DD3 Albatross, Red7 Surf 60, Epic V10 2G

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