Custom Kayaks Synergy, anyone paddle one?

10 years 2 weeks ago #6095 by Moll
I am thinking of upgrading to the Custom Kayaks Synergy Ski.
The reason I like the brand is they cater for the larger taller paddler. I currently have the Horizon and it has been really stable and comfortable.

Has anyone paddled one and would it be too "Elite" for a weekend warrior that spends most of their time on flat water?

Current Quiver:
- Think Evo
- XT Double
- Popes Big Foot Assegai K1
- Wilderness systems Tarpon 160

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10 years 2 weeks ago #6098 by mckengmsurfski
My first long-term ski was a Custom Kayaks Synergy in the Hybrid layup. For me it was a great all around ski. The reviews by Rob on this site and by Mark on www.surfskiracing.com are pretty much spot on and most of what I would say would just echo what they've already written.
If you're comfortable in the Horizon and have been paddling for at least a few months I think the Synergy would do you well. It has very nice secondary stability, is reasonably fast, and should fit a taller paddler well.

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10 years 2 weeks ago #6105 by Robmobius
I second this, except its faster than reasonably fast!

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10 years 2 weeks ago #6107 by rubberDuck
Definitely a good boat for the bigger guys. It has a lot of volume in front and the back. Only slightly tipier than my Evo.

My wife has one and although she can easily paddle it, it is a bit too much for her to handle when the wind is stronger than 15 knots. She has the Synergy 2 and we might have to let go of it to get a smaller ski.

The only bad thing I can mention about it is that it is quite difficult to remount compared to the Horizon, so you might want to practice your remounting on it before going out deeper.

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10 years 2 weeks ago #6111 by Nige
I've paddled the Synergy and a couple of guys at our club have them. They definitely seem to be well suited to the bigger paddler, one guy who owns one is about 1.98 m (6' 6") and well over 100kg and he loves it. Personally I found the bucket of the Synergy too wide for me, but this seems to have been addressed with the Synergy 2. The ski is reasonably stable and catches runs well, with pretty good flatwater speed, especially for larger paddlers.

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10 years 2 weeks ago #6119 by mckengmsurfski
Of the skis I've owned, it was the most difficult remount. But I found that by practicing a little more I adjusted quickly and had no real issues.
Again, a great all around ski for an advanced beginner/intermediate in my opinion.

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10 years 2 weeks ago #6123 by Moll
Thank you all for the responses, I will more than likely go ahead with this. Out of interest though, what makes them so hard to remount?

Rubberduck, where are you based? Maybe we can look at a trade deal for your wife. Horizon for Synergy????

Current Quiver:
- Think Evo
- XT Double
- Popes Big Foot Assegai K1
- Wilderness systems Tarpon 160

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10 years 2 weeks ago - 10 years 2 weeks ago #6126 by rubberDuck
The Synergy has got high sides around the bucket area, and that makes it difficult for the remounts.

I reside in Strand, SA.

She already has an Horizon (very nice starter ski BTW). An Epic V10L would be nice for a swap :cheer:

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10 years 2 weeks ago #6129 by Moll
I bit far from me as I am in the Big Smoke and I don't have a v10l but if you're interested in selling the Synergy let me know the price. I believe it is not that hectic to courier and only a couple of hundred Rand .

Current Quiver:
- Think Evo
- XT Double
- Popes Big Foot Assegai K1
- Wilderness systems Tarpon 160

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10 years 2 weeks ago #6131 by johnno1977
Replied by johnno1977 on topic Re:Custom Kayaks Synergy, anyone paddle one?
No one has mentioned it but I would be hesitant to recommend the custom kayaks craft simply based on build quality. They are very inconsistent with the construction. I had the opportunity to see the internal construction of mine when it broke and the structural foam was not even touching the deck thus no support at all. It cracked along the sides near the seat within a few weeks of paddling. I know of another two boats that had issues also from the same delivery. With all the great skis out there from Epic, Stellar, Fenn and Think I would only look at a custom kayaks boat if there was no other option.

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10 years 2 weeks ago #6132 by Moll
I have had nothing but good reviews till now and have seen the operations in the factory which is largely the reason for wanting to stay with the brand.
What boat did you have and what type of paddling did you do prior to the problems?
One of the biggest win-overs I had was paddling a Mark 2 double that was one of the first produced and had done many years of racing. The boat was still in perfect condition and the only reason we did not buy was the cockpits were not adjustable so we did not have a perfect fit.

Current Quiver:
- Think Evo
- XT Double
- Popes Big Foot Assegai K1
- Wilderness systems Tarpon 160

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10 years 2 weeks ago #6133 by johnno1977
Replied by johnno1977 on topic Re:Custom Kayaks Synergy, anyone paddle one?
It was a Titan spec ski. I paddled it in surf the same as I paddle any other spec ski. It cracked early on along the seams and sides of the seat which probably lead to complete failure near the footwells. I also had heard only good things till I got the ski and realised it was a bit of a lemon. Mark offered a discount on a new ski but was so disappointed with the problems on the first one it wasn't worth the risk. I know of another that had the seat crack out of it (a synergy).

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10 years 2 weeks ago #6134 by mckengmsurfski
My Synergy looked and felt very solid, at least as solid, if not more so than any other I've owned. Everything was fit to the ski properly and the finish was excellent. I've also spoken with a few others who have had Synergy skis and have had nothing but positive things to recount, with no mentions of failures. I've read about 'failures' on all of the major brands johnno1977 mentioned as well, so if one was trying to find a ski that has no reported failures, well...

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10 years 2 weeks ago #6135 by Moll
Thanks for the feedback guys, Johno1977 I can empathise as I had an issue with a dud Can Am quad. It is not a nice experience and took ages to get things sorted, from here the manufacturers are not contactable, you cannot even get an email address for anyone so have to do everything through the dealer who will not spend a dime on your problem. they cost more than 10 times more than the ski. I suppose as this is the only supplier I have access to I am happy to take the risk, any other brand and I have to deal through a 3rd party. if it's anything like my current ski I will be happy.Realistically I only actually get into the Surf a couple of times a year so 99% of the paddling will be done on flat water so the most stress on the boat is in transporting it.

Current Quiver:
- Think Evo
- XT Double
- Popes Big Foot Assegai K1
- Wilderness systems Tarpon 160

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10 years 4 days ago #6230 by Moll
So decision is made deal is done, I should be getting my new ski in the next week or 2.

Current Quiver:
- Think Evo
- XT Double
- Popes Big Foot Assegai K1
- Wilderness systems Tarpon 160

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10 years 4 days ago #6237 by Rightarmbad
Being touched by a bad lemon product is something that you never forget.
Neither do your friends.

With the low, real failure rate of ski's, I can't see why any brand would argue if there was a problem with the product.

Just admit a bad one got through and look after the customer better than they expected.

Any other response is just silly.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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10 years 3 days ago #6250 by Guy.S
I would certainly recommend the Synergy. I am a tall (6' 6") intermediate paddler, and find the ski to be very stable, but also adequately fast and very good in big downwinds.
I do not believe that there is a general problem with the build quality of Custom Kayaks. They are based in Durban, where surfski paddlers probably experience bigger waves and more crunching shore breaks than any other location - they would definitely not sell well in Durban if they were fragile.

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10 years 3 days ago #6251 by Moll
Thanks, I am looking forward to it. I am sure I will enjoy the speed and in some ways miss the awesome stability of the Horizon.

Current Quiver:
- Think Evo
- XT Double
- Popes Big Foot Assegai K1
- Wilderness systems Tarpon 160

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9 years 11 months ago - 9 years 11 months ago #6328 by Moll
All done, collected my new Synergy 2 on Friday.

Sadly though I had a couple of restless nights sleep as I only got her on the the water last night.

it is a little unfair to compare the Horizon to the Synergy, a bit like and Audi A3 to a R8 but I was pleasantly surprised.

I went with the expectation of swimming within the first meter or so. it is diffucult to explain and I dont want to call it tippy as that sounds inherently unstable it is just so much more responsive. I never really came close to going over however the ski just feels a little nervous like a racehorse being held back, and once paddling admitedly quite tentatively it was easily 2kph faster than the Horizon. I can't wait to spend a little more time an paddle more positively to see the real difference.

Most noticable to me was the rudder response, with the boat being a meter longer than the Horizon my expectation was for it to feel more like my K2 in a turn but not so I was amazed at how little input was required to turn the boat.

So far so good, i look forward to stepping up my paddling, the last 5 months have seen 2 bouts of flu and serious work commitments keeping me off the water.

Current Quiver:
- Think Evo
- XT Double
- Popes Big Foot Assegai K1
- Wilderness systems Tarpon 160

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9 years 11 months ago - 9 years 11 months ago #6365 by bussellt
Has anyone who has paddled a Synergy had a lot of trouble getting back on either side saddle or straddle I find the straddle a lot easier on account of the high sides at cockpit are there paddlers out there with same problem be good to see what you say.
I find them an excellent ski in rougher water easy to paddle its just the remount thats giving me the you no whats the sh?ts construction seems quite good I had a Honcho Rookie before the Synergy and could remount this very quickly doing the straddle and it was a high volume boat like the Synergy but I dont think the sides were as high hope to hear from other paddlers look up cronulla on your map and have a look at my waterways we paddle on as Ocean skis are very big here now
Regards Trevor
Wanda Surf Club
Sydney Australia

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