Stellar SES v Fenn SL for stability

8 years 6 months ago #16745 by Polo
How much difference between SES to FennSL in open water. Is there a big difference in stability .Difference between carbon ski or vac glass in Fenn SL in performance in open water. What ski's have a similar low hump as the Stellar SES , Vajda Hawk Epic v10 also looking at.i have had the SES in big swell down at Coffs coast, I weigh around 86 to 90 kg so I am pushing the limits in the SES max load, Big swell sometimes means big beach breaks/ surf , I do enjoy doing out and backs in surf what is the best ski swell and surf . Cheers Polo

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8 years 6 months ago #16746 by Kayaker Greg
I have not paddled a Fenn SL (have an SES amongst others) but I think only Nelo have a low hump height like the SES, all other ski's I've had or tried have been a problem with the height and position of the hump for me, must have a short thigh bone or something.

I know a paddler who has an SES and was going to buy another one, (one at each club he belongs too) and he just bought a Fenn Spark, I have not spoken to him since but heard he loves it despite being a bit on the heavy side for its intended paddler (he is 90kg).

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8 years 6 months ago #16747 by Polo
Why do skis need such a hump is it just a volume point , volume as ski strength , volume as water in cockpit

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8 years 6 months ago - 8 years 6 months ago #16748 by Kayaker Greg
Yes they are trying to reduce the volume of water the ski can be swamped with, unfortunately for some of us it creates a problem. The SES is the only ski that the hump height and position has not been a problem for me, hence it is my favourite ski.

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8 years 6 months ago #16751 by Marty

Yes they are trying to reduce the volume of water the ski can be swamped with, unfortunately for some of us it creates a problem. The SES is the only ski that the hump height and position has not been a problem for me, hence it is my favourite ski.


I'm 5' 7 and also find the ses hump comfortably low but am thinking of getting a vault next, so I can go out in bigger conditions. What is your height Greg and have you tried a vault or do you know what the vault hump is like?

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8 years 6 months ago #16754 by Kayaker Greg
Hi Marty, I'm 5'8" but have not paddled a Vault sorry.
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8 years 6 months ago #16755 by Chaz
Replied by Chaz on topic Re: Stellar SES v Fenn SL for stability
Hey Polo,
I have both the Stellar SEL and Vajda Hawx and have paddled the SES, the hump in the Hawx is very similar to all the Stellar boats( very low). Also like the Nelo ski's. Bucket on the Hawx will fit like the SES though, so if your happy with the fit then you'll be even more happy with the hawx it's got a cut out in the back of the seat which is really nice. Stablity I'd say the Hawx is alittle more stable then SES and alittle less then SEL but very close. Good luck. Chaz

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8 years 6 months ago #16756 by AR_convert


I'm 5' 7 and also find the ses hump comfortably low but am thinking of getting a vault next, so I can go out in bigger conditions. What is your height Greg and have you tried a vault or do you know what the vault hump is like?


Beat me in replying to Gregs post, the Carbonology skis were built for smaller paddler, it just happens that tall buggers like me decided we liked them too. I had a Vault and while not qualified to comment on how the hump affected me (6ft 3in) I know several ladies and vertically challenged men who paddle the Vault and the Atom.

For big ocean conditions the Vault is great fun and is probably still the only ski that I would tackle almost any conditions in. The shorter length makes it great in surf too.

Always looking for the next boat :)

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8 years 6 months ago #16760 by Polo
The Vajda is on the list , may be a good idea for the ski models to have a hump description , really they don't tell you much on the web sites.

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8 years 6 months ago #16763 by NaClH2Oaddict
I haven't tested the Fenn SL but I have paddled the SES in a mixture of flat harbour and rough ocean conditions. Personally, I didn't like the amount of water the SES cockpit held when swamped in rough conditions. The water was also slow to drain from the one venturi (the down side of the low hump). I also developed a dead leg after about an hour and a half. It's a nice boat but just not suited to me. And no, I don't have a fat arse that was squashed into the small bucket. Perhaps test both skis in a variety of conditions before you buy. Cheers and good luck.

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8 years 6 months ago #16765 by grasshopper
Replied by grasshopper on topic Re: Stellar SES v Fenn SL for stability
I currently have an SES and previously owned a Fenn Elite, from what I gather the Elite is a little more stable than the SL.

The Elite is definitely less stable then the SES. Over shorter distances I didn't really notice the difference as the primary stability is very similar but the SES definitely has much better secondary stability so when I started to get tired I tended to struggle a little in the Elite.

I had a guy moving up from a plastic try the SES and Elite in flat water, he couldnt get more than a few strokes in the Elite without falling out but didn't have much trouble in the SES, he was wobbling about a bit but didn't look like falling out.

Was funny changing between the 2, the Elite felt like a racecar with it's tighter cockpit, the SES felt like a bathtub, the big cockpit is definitely it's biggest downfall. I've fitted a couple of extra bailers with bullets and this has greatly improved the drainage, I plan on blocking up some of the volume in front of the footplate as well.

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8 years 6 months ago #16766 by Kayaker Greg
Yeah the SES could do with an extra bailer, did you run them inline? Would seem like a good way to have two bailers rather than side by side as per the norm.

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8 years 6 months ago #16770 by Marty
Good to know there are other vertically challenged paddlers on the water. I don't know how you people manage to get enough oxygen up there above 6'

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8 years 6 months ago #16777 by grasshopper
Replied by grasshopper on topic Re: Stellar SES v Fenn SL for stability
I added 2 extra bailers, so now have 3, I've positioned them similar to the Red7, either side and forward of the original bailer

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8 years 6 months ago #16779 by Kayaker Greg
I got swamped big time a couple of times today riding a short steep boat wash, got me thinking I should do something similar as I plan to keep the SES.

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8 years 6 months ago #16805 by grasshopper
Replied by grasshopper on topic Re: Stellar SES v Fenn SL for stability
Wasn't too big a job to fit the extra bailers, need to make sure the connection between inner and outer hull is good, I used carbon fibre strips soaked in epoxy and rolled then formed into donuts and squeezed between inner and outer.

Good guide on surfski.info - www.surfski.info/getting-started/tips-ot...bullet-scuppers.html

I got the kits from www.republicadventure.com/
same as used in the guide

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8 years 1 month ago #18684 by oceanwahine
Hi,

I'm probably one of the smallest paddlers out there at 5ft 2in, 55kg and struggle to find the best option for my size

I have an SES and opted for this one because it was the only one that fit hump-wise. I did have to get the rails moved back as I was too short for even the closest setting. I agree about the getting swamped with water, and it is very slow to drain. I think it is still too much volume for me, particularly in the nose. I do however find it very comfy and can paddle happily for 2-3 hours. I had wanted to get a more stable boat for my first ski, but they were all to big hump wise.

I'm definitely too short for Carbonology vault. It was okay in other respects though.

v10Ls fit leg length if you take the plugs of the end of the rails so you can move just that bit further back, but their hump was too far forward also, and while it was okay with the leg length adjusted all the way back, it does inhibit leg drive a bit with the hump pushing up against your calves. I also found the bucket in the v10l too big.

I have been investigating the spark (it wasn't on the market when i got the SES) as I think it's the closest thing to a small person ski on the market. Much lower volume and snugger fit. It does fit my leg length (yay), but the hump is still pushing a bit on calves. It would be nice to be able to have my weight further forward, so it's more evenly distributed towards the centre. This would be possible if they were to design a short person cockpit which does not cater to the 6ft 2in paddlers, lovely that they are...I'm sure most aren't likely to opt for the smaller volume of the spark anyway and be looking to the elite sl or glide.

I will always be keeping an eye out for new developments in smaller person skis...would love to see more little ladies on the water and enjoying it as much as I do!! :)

Of course I did try thinking big/growing more... But it didn't work!
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8 years 1 month ago - 8 years 1 month ago #18689 by 1xsculler
I have a nearly new 23# carbon Nelo Ocean Ski that would fit you very well. New they're over $4000 and I want $2000 for it . I'm selling it only because it is too small for me. Gig Harbor, WA USA

current skis: SES Ultra. sculling boats: Fluidesign Lwt, Wintech, Empacher.

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8 years 1 month ago #18968 by shortyakker
Well, oceanwahine,I may have you beat in the height category as I come in at 5', and I'm struggling to find something that fits my stumpy legs. I cannot reach the foot brace on my V6 without lots of padding and an inflatable, suction cup pillow attached to the back. Found out the hard way this weekend that its no fun trying to operate after my pillow was taken away by some wild surf.

So Ive been thinking about the Stellar SES and the Epicv10L. But from previous posts it sounds like i still may have some trouble finding a decent fit. Id also like something with a more snug cockpit. The V6 is certainly stable but i didn't realize how unsuitable it is for those on the smaller/ shorter end of the spectrum.

I'm new at this surfski stuff, but I certainly would like my next purchase to fit me welland last me for at least 2 years. As it stands, I wont be in the v6 for long due to discomfort.

shortyakker - out

“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.” -Dr. Seuss

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8 years 1 month ago - 8 years 1 month ago #18969 by Kayaker Greg
You won't fit the V10L and the SES came out with two bucket sizes, I have the early one which is more snug than the later models, you might find an early one 2nd hand perhaps. Not sure how you will go for leg length, I will have to have a closer look at my SES when I get it down from the garage ceiling in the weekend. Perhaps if you post up your inside leg and perhaps distance to/from under the knee I might be able to work out if its going to be a good fit or not. I think I must have a short thigh bone as so far the SES is the only ski that fits me well and I'm 5'8" tall.

Actually don't think inside leg would work, perhaps a measurement from back of the bucket to where your knee is and your feet reach?

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