Advice needed in upgrading to an Intermediate ski

5 years 3 days ago #17275 by bajax
Rob how does the Genius Blu compare to the Swordfish and which are you using ?

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5 years 2 days ago #17282 by robin.mousley
I'm paddling three intermediate boats at the moment:
  • Knysna Racing Kayaks Genius Blu
  • Fenn Swordfish
  • Think Evo II

In a nutshell, I like all of them, but they all have different characteristics and seem to go better in some conditions than others.

To me, the Swordfish is the most stable of the lot. I feel pretty much bullet proof in the Swordfish and can sit and crank away in cross-chop, upwind, downwind no matter what. I have a big elliptical rudder on it that allows me to track diagonally down short steep chop, and I never, ever broach unless something radical happens (like I slow right down and a wave breaks diagonally behind me!

The SF is also a fun boat downwind. I've had some pretty good results in it - especially in really rough conditions.

The Genius Blu is slightly less stable, but it feels to me a little more sprightly downwind and I think I go a little faster than in the Swordfish - downwind. On the flat or in chop, however, I think the SF has the edge. My paddling partner Dale and I did some sprints in Hout Bay harbour and the interesting thing was that over a whole series of sprints, we were neck and neck going into wind, but he pulled away downwind. So we figure that the hull speed of the SF is slightly better than the Blu.

The Think Evo II has a more comfortable seat I think. It feels slightly higher than the other two so you're in a slightly better position with your heels a little lower. It's a longer boat than the other two and, I think, is faster in bigger conditions.

However, I find it difficult to maintain my rhythm and to accelerate with hard strokes when the runs are really small and confused. Where I'd be able to power the SF into catching the little runs in the mess, I sometimes feel that I'm being bounced around in the Evo II.

On the flat, I don't seem to be any faster in the Evo II than the SF.

When the sea is flat and the wind is calm, we often chase an 88ton tourist catamaran in Hout Bay, riding the wake for km at a time. In order of preference for these waves, which are short, steep and need to be ridden diagonally, my preference is for the SF, with its big rudder and shorter hull. With its longer waterline, the Evo tends to lift the rudder out of the water and spin off the wake.

Not sure that helps! They're all nice boats and I feel comfortable in all of them in choppy weather.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others!

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5 years 2 days ago #17284 by Kayaker Greg
Rob, I've been wanting to get an elliptical rudder for my Swordfish and there are several options, which one have you found works well for you? I'm a fan of big rudders on my Stellars.

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5 years 2 days ago #17285 by robin.mousley
I've used one from Orka and I've used one from Fenn themselves.

The Fenn rudder is smaller than the Orka one, and I found that I prefer the larger Orka rudder.

I always note though that our conditions here often give short, steep wind chop and so I suspect that our waves are sometimes more challenging from a broaching perspective than, say, the larger ocean swells in Durban or elsewhere.

The Fenn elliptical rudder is "better" than the Fenn sharkfin rudder, but not as good (in my opinion) as the Orka rudder in our conditions.

I think the rudder from Carbonology is pretty much similar to the Orka rudder.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others!
The following user(s) said Thank You: Kayaker Greg

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