Narrowing down my choices

13 years 5 months ago - 13 years 5 months ago #2316 by JCR
Hi Guys ? I?m getting closer to picking a ski and I was hoping to get a vote from some of you who have had greater opportunities to paddle some of the boats I?m considering. I?ve been paddling a glass Mako 6 off-&-on and have become quite comfortable in it in smooth to choppy waters. I like the speed, LOVE the steering system, and can remount fairly well.

Anyway, I?m gearing-up for some competitive events and I?m looking for a boat that is just as fast but a bit more stable than the Mako 6. Moreover, a boat that doesn?t lose seating comfort, or quality in the steering system would be most desired. Boats I?m considering so far are:

Think Evo
Huki SR-1
Epic V10 Sport
Fenn XT

-- Any other suggestions or should I stay with the Mako 6??

Unfortunately there are very few opportunities to test out different boats down here in Mississippi? (Yes - Mississippi). By the way, the annual Phatwater Kayak Challenge is coming up in October and we would LOVE to have some more surfski participants. The Phat is 42 mile race down the mighty Mississippi River, which has grown every year. The Phat website is down right now but I?ll post a description in the ?Events? forum. There will be a segment on CNN (in the US) coming up soon.

I appreciate all suggestions/guidance!

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13 years 5 months ago #2318 by Franklin
Replied by Franklin on topic Re:Narrowing down my choices
Hi Leao
I have owned three of the four boats you noted. The Sport and Evo at the same time.
If you are comfortable with the Mako 6 in the bumps, why would you "down size" to an intermediate boat? I have heard the Mako 6 is an awesome boat.
as far as intermediate boats go. I have heard the S1R is great, but expensive. At 225, I sunk my XT. It was by far the most stable of the intermediate boats I've had. It was also the slowest with me in it. The Sport is more stable than the Evo. The Evo is faster than the Sport on Flat water. The Sport picks up waves better. The Evo is so comfortable. More comfortable than any kayak or ski I have owned.
BUT, If i felt I had the skill to paddle the elite skis in the bumps, I would move up to the Elite boats.
A buddy of mine has an S1X Special. It is so light and one of the most beautiful boats I have ever seen. I have heard it is also the most stable. Now I hear the Think Legend is the most stable "Big Boy Boat". But I have heard it may not be the fastest. I am looking at the Legend. But, as one of my VERY fast paddling buddies told me...it's the motor stupid!
Good luck on your boat hunt. The hunting is half the fun!
Franklin

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13 years 5 months ago #2321 by superted
If you continue to put the time in then i'd stay on the mako6 as you find it comfy already or get a mako elite as the reviews seems to point that it may be a bit less twitchy but a better surfer and still fast.

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13 years 5 months ago #2324 by JCR
Replied by JCR on topic Re:Narrowing down my choices
Thanks a lot for responding guys ? Yeah, the more I was writing yesterday the more I was thinking ?why I don?t just try to perfect my performance in the Mako 6?? I'm going to continue to do that but at the same time it?s not my boat and I don?t have a chance to really test others. That ?les twitchy? aspect would be nice for when I'm on the Mississippi River. Are there a few other boats (elite boats?) that you guys would suggest that would compare with the Mako 6 that may be a bit less twitchy? I?m definitely going to research the S1X Special and the Mako Elite as suggested.

Again, I really appreciate the responses!!

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13 years 5 months ago #2341 by Zebra
Replied by Zebra on topic Re:Narrowing down my choices
The Fenn XT would be a step backwards - it is a great starter/intermediate boat, but if you've been paddling a Mako 6, then take a look at the Fenn Elite (Carbon), which seems like will meet many/most of your requirements.

Cheers
Chris

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13 years 5 months ago - 13 years 5 months ago #2345 by Franklin
Replied by Franklin on topic Re:Narrowing down my choices
Hi Leao
Glad to hear there are surf ski paddlers over there! If you ever come over to the east coast (northeast Florida), give me a call. You can try out a Fenn XT, an Epic V10 Sport, a Think Evo and a Huki S1X.
You might want to contact the following about finding and trying boats.
Bruce Gibson at Venturesports. Bruce sells Fenns and other: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Chris at Epic to try Epics and find out where their boats are: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Daryl Rhemmer (owner of Think Kayaks) He could see where you could try the Think Evo and Legend: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Good luck and let me know when and if you ever come this way.
The above are all great guys. The are very nice and helpful. You will really like working with them.
Good luck!
Best regards
Franklin Dickinson
Ps. Bruce currently has a Fenn Elite. I know that was one of the boats you were interested in looking at. It is sold but he paddled it last weekend. His thoughts might be interesting. I know he would be happy to give you a comparison between the Mako 6 and Elite. Note: Bruce has been paddling for thirty years and was one of the first to introduce ski's to the States. He is an elite paddler and he will tell you everything is stable...at least it is to him! It's all perspective!?

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13 years 5 months ago #2351 by JCR
Replied by JCR on topic Re:Narrowing down my choices
Zebra & Franklin ? Thank so much all the valuable input. I've been doing quite a bit of research lately and have pretty-much narrowed it down to the s1-x special. May push the order button today actually.

Franklin - I'll definitely give you a buzz when I make it your way -- (I actually received a job application today for a position in Flagler County? are you close to there?) Moreover, we would love to have you all down here as well. Check out the Phatwater Challenge info I posted under the "Events" section. 42 mile race down ole muddy... We'd love to have you (all of you on here!). Looks like Oscar C. is coming this year too. It's a great race and a fun time is to be had by all.

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13 years 5 months ago #2352 by Franklin
Replied by Franklin on topic Re:Narrowing down my choices
Hi Leao
Flagler County is abutting and just south of St. Johns County (where I live). You will love it here. The people are very friendly and the economy has always been more resilient than the rest of the county. Great places to paddle too.
I once had dinner with Greg B and Big Oscar. It was at a cookout with our club, Florida Sea Kayaking Association, Inc. I always smile when I think about that dinner. They were both very nice and if you didn't know who they were, you'd think they just worked at a kayak shop. Imagine having dinner with Tiger Woods and getting to ask him questions? Unbelievable that the top guys are always so approachable and helpful!
I love my Think Evo. You should definitely look at that boat before buying. It is fast, stable, light (mine weighs 25.5 pounds), VERY comfortable and it is artwork to look at.
On the other hand, my buddy has the Special. It too was light, comfortable and a work of art. It seemed very stable BUT I only paddled it in flat water. Note: the wind is blowing 25-30 today. The waves in the river will be 3-4 ft. I love going out in those kind of conditions. My Evo is a blast. Not sure I'd "be da man" on an Elite boat? More than likely, I'd "be da swimmer"!
Testing boats is fun. Make sure you try the Think boats, the Epic boats and Fenns before you buy! The Hukis are VERY expensive. The trying/hunt is half the fun!
Email me outline at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Try and come over...if it's not too far and try some boats!
Best regards
Frankin

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13 years 5 months ago #2353 by JCR
Replied by JCR on topic Re:Narrowing down my choices
Thanks Franklin - Well, my buddy and I have been looking for someone (or some place) not so far from here where we could try-out a few boats before we buy, in particular:

Think Evo & Ledgend
Huki S1-X Special
Fenn Elite

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13 years 4 months ago #2419 by DanGrubbs
In addition to the Phatwater Challenge, keep in mind the ultra-marathon race, the Missouri River 340 next summer. This year it was dominated by Carter Johnson paddling a Huki. However, my friend just sold his Huki and picked up a Think Evo. I think he's much happier with his Evo. He raced the Huko S1X in the MR340 and sold it shortly after that to buy the Evo. Read into that what you will.

I, too, have been trying to descide between the V10S, the Finn XT and the Think Evo. I'm all ears about what you find out and what you purchase and why. I've paddled the V10S and loved to be in it (would need hip pads, however). I haven't paddled either of the other two (hard to find skis in Kansas City).

You can find information about the Missouri River 340 non-stop paddle race at www.rivermiles.com

Cheers,
Dan

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