Question from a Newbie

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8 years 4 months ago #19535 by Lost_Youth
Hi All,
I'm new to this game (well sort of, paddled a wave ski in my late teen's). I'm 42, 6ft (183cm) and 105kg (the reason to start paddling). I've ridden road bikes and BMX(race) for years so have reasonable balance (so I think). I currently paddle a plastic kayak on the river 3-4 times a week and looking to step up to a surf ski for better fitness paddling. I'm restricted in cash ($1000) so I'm looking for advise! I will only be river paddling for now until my skill and confidence have developed and then look at ocean paddling.
I have read a lot that a stable ski is the best to start in, but also that these ski's get moved on quiet quickly.
How much more difficult is it to start in a "tipper" ski and persevere - I'm guessing this is what used to happen before the more stable ski's became readily available?
How much longer will it take to be able to be comfortable?
ATM there are a few V10's, Custom Kayak Synergy, and the plastic PRS available in my local area.
Your thoughts are appreciated. Thanks

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8 years 4 months ago #19538 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Question from a Newbie
Best bang for buck would be the PRS. Where are you?

If you decide to get into some flat water (marathon) racing (great way to meet other paddlers and get fit) you will find plenty racing the PRS in the Long Plastics class so you are really racing against them instead of all the others in the "Molokai" class.

Dont let the Marathon tag put you off, we have shorter distances at events for beginners and juniors.

Handling long skis takes a while to get used to and a long plastic will enable you to get used to it without crying when you drop it, or bang it into something etc.

They can still get along at a good pace despite their weight (approx 20kg)

Of course with any boat seat comfort is important regardless of how much it costs. I sold my PRS after 12 months because I hated the seat, while others have no issues with them.

Again, if we know your location someone can probably help out with finding you a ski to try for seat comfort.

Always looking for the next boat :)

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8 years 4 months ago #19540 by Watto
Replied by Watto on topic Question from a Newbie
See this site for a synergy review (2009 but same boat though not carbon version). www.surfski.info/reviews/story/285/surfs...-kayaks-synergy.html though I note on GearTrade that a carbon synergy for $700 just sold. Haven't paddled one so can't comment on speed and stability etc.

PRS a great boat, though is still just a fast plastic. You can mess about in the ocean for sure but they are not built as an ocean/downwind craft. Have hundreds of ks up in both ocean and river and love my PRS (predominant use downriver racing) but reckon you'd be much better off at this point getting into a composite.

Though pretty much at the low end of the scale you should be able to get hold of something like a Fenn XT for a grand - a great place to start.. There are spec skis (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surf_ski - read 'Characteristics') though these have limitations if down winding is ultimate goal. There are other brands going from time-to-time which are stable but you just have to keep your eye out and google specs if unsure.

Start stable for sure and challenge yourself in a range of conditions - haha see below, I just came across this pic hunting for some software rego info earlier today. It's a screen grab of one crazy late afternoon I went out on the river - challenging it was, gusting almost 90kmh scary even on the Swan River (Melville Water) going downhill.





Significant point - a mate who started paddling three years ago has just now I reckon developed reasonable open water paddling proficiency. After two Avon Descents in a PRS (and much flat water time in the boat) he bought a Stellar SES (elite ski effectively) same time as I did. He has been on a steep and sometimes very frustrating learning curve over the last 10 months, however at long last in today's ins and outs off Port Beach Fremantle in a small swell with 14-18 knot winds (a fresh breeze 25-30 kmh) he was having a ball. I was struggling to keep with in my SEI (more stable than SES). I bought the SEI for really big stuff over 30 knots which I can't yet handle in my SES. My mate however finally has nailed most of the tricks/techniques which take time to acquire and are very difficult to master if you're out more than in.

Stability first, challenge yourself in a range of conditions. Yes, to your second question, most do learn fast when they have to in a tippier boat (I chose the hard road), however it can be a turn-off (getting cold and wet because you're falling out often) or even dangerous because you are effectively not in control of your craft.

Lots of variables here but if you held off and saved a bit more you would have more buying options. A V10 in my view too big a leap, however the likes of a decent Fenn XT, Stellar SR, Think Eze, Epic V8 (some of these never seem to surface second hand though) or a step up to the next level of intermediate boats like Swordfish, and Think Evos /Evo II would do the trick. As we left the pub after a couple of pints (and food to soak it up) I did say that a part of the sport I really enjoy is that spicy bit of being challenged either by your boat, the conditions, the distance etc. That's something only you can weigh up, how much challenge you can be up for and what you want to get out of it. My two-bob;'s worth anyway Lost_Youth. Reminds me mate it's never really lost- there is still time for you:


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8 years 4 months ago - 8 years 4 months ago #19544 by Lost_Youth
Replied by Lost_Youth on topic Question from a Newbie
Thanks AR and Watto, great feedback. I'm Perth based as well.

The main reason for the river paddling is that I cross it everyday going to work so it makes it easy to go for a paddle (AKC) and continue to work.
The PRS Elite (18kg 5.7m x 50cm) sounds like it might be the best/sensible (but who wants to start being that!!) option as there is plenty of challengers ahead of me! BUT will I out grow it quickly?!?!?!
The Synergy (18kg 6.4m x 46cm) is tempting as it's a composite and will definitely provide a challenge and I feel it will last me longer (as long as it doesn't turn me off the sport, but if I spend the money I don't think I will have a chance to give it up.... SWMBO haha) but the Synergy sounds like it can have it's own challengers as well with the seat depth. I think I need to at least sit in the Synergy to test the seat width/depth!

Where do you guys paddle??
Last edit: 8 years 4 months ago by Lost_Youth.

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8 years 4 months ago #19548 by Watto
Replied by Watto on topic Question from a Newbie
Where we paddle Perth - River paddles: UWA boat shed (Crawley) > Canning Bridge > Mt Henry > Shelley Bridge (part or all); UWA > Nedlands Yacht Club / Point Resolution > Pelican Point repeats for strong sea breeze or stormy downwinders; UWA > Narrows > Causeway >Windan Bridge > Maylands return (or snippets of these depending on time available); Claremont Jetty > Stirling Traffic Bridge Fremantle return; Narrows > Freo return (chasing ferries and big boats).

Ocean: Hillarys Marina ins and outs / Hillarys > Ocean Reef (vehicle drop off); Trigg Point to Hillarys (vdo); Port Beach (Sandtracks) ins and outs / Port > Nth Cottesloe (vdo); Port > wherever north up to Hillarys.

Wish list: Cott > Rotto early morn easterly, return afternoon howling sea breeze.

Multiple permutations and combinations, just depends who is up for it and where the wind is blowing. When you get your boat welcome to join in - river first off. Early river days for 90 min paddle with a bunch its easy just to go 45 mins and turn, doesn't matter where others are you all end up back around same time, something to get you off your arse anyway.

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8 years 4 months ago #19549 by Lost_Youth
Replied by Lost_Youth on topic Question from a Newbie
Cheers Watto, it'd be good to catch up with other paddlers. Do you mainly paddle weekends or mid week as well? There is definitely no shortages of places to paddle.
When I master to stay upright, I'll give you a houy.

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8 years 4 months ago - 8 years 4 months ago #19550 by Watto
Replied by Watto on topic Question from a Newbie
Don't have a set routine but may be couple of week mornings 6am for hour and half, maybe afternoon paddle post 5pm either river or ocean, weekends much the same though generally when wind is up later in the day. Averages out at maybe three or four paddles. How often, when, where depends on who motivated but summer winter we're always at it.
Last edit: 8 years 4 months ago by Watto. Reason: Added bit.

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8 years 4 months ago #19551 by Lost_Youth
Replied by Lost_Youth on topic Question from a Newbie

Watto wrote: Don't have a set routine but may be couple of week mornings 6am for hour and half, maybe afternoon paddle post 5pm either river or ocean, weekends much the same though generally when wind is up later in the day. Averages out at maybe three or four paddles. How often, when, where depends on who motivated but summer winter we're always at it.


Sounds good. Cheers

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8 years 4 months ago #19553 by patblaw
Replied by patblaw on topic Question from a Newbie
Hi, Fenn XT is a great boat to start with, stable and reasonably light and good for all conditions. The challenge with a more "twitchy" boat is if you are not comfortable on it, you can get frustrated and loose interest in paddling.

Good luck
Cheers

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8 years 4 months ago #19559 by surfskiforfun
Hi
I am in same possision as you. I like to get me a surfski, but have only done seakayak for one season. I was told to try different skis, but doing it in cold water (Norway) is no point. If I did try some boats, would a boat be best for me if I stayed in for 30 sek, and not 15 sek as another boat?. Its like the first time you try a slalom boot on, and they ask you, "how does it feel?". It feels like the worst thing you ever had on your foot!
I tried to sit in a couple of boats on land, and since i am 1.98m and 100 kg, I bought a v10sport (will arrive in may). I will use it in flat water until I will be in control, and then take it to the sea...
I think i will swim a lot, and become a champ in remount, before I grow into the boat.
Lets talk in september, and see what strategi worked for you and me... :)

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8 years 4 months ago #19564 by Rookie
Replied by Rookie on topic Question from a Newbie
hi there, sorry had to rush in to state the Custom Kayaks Synergy is NOT a entry level ski. In the custom kayaks range rather look at the horizon or focus. The XT and think eze are also great skis to start out on.

Focus, Apex 2, Zeplin

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8 years 4 months ago #19565 by Lost_Youth
Replied by Lost_Youth on topic Question from a Newbie
Thanks Rookie.
It may pay to sit and wait until the right ski becomes available at the right price. I guess it's better than regretting the decision!!
Cheers

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8 years 4 months ago - 8 years 4 months ago #19566 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Question from a Newbie
For larger/heavier folks, IMO skis with shallower buckets work better - like the Epics for instance, where skis like the Thinks that have deeper narrower buckets with more vertical sides might be tight squeeze... Also, for a 100kg+ person, low volume skis are likely to underperform and get swamped in waves more easy. Lastly, for s beginner who is serious about the sport, I think something like an Epic V10 Sport is a good start that will be challenging initially, but will offer years of enjoyment and access to rougher (i.e., more fun) conditions down the road. A V8 or similar is a great option for recreational paddling (where one is not after top speed on flat water) and for really rough days on short period waves.

My first ski (after several years of sea and white water kayaking) was the V10 Sport and I mastered it on flat water quickly. Rough water was a pleasure downwind, with a bit of a challenge sideways even after a year, so not a boat that one would outgrow easily. Bought the new V10 this year and again, flat water is easy in it, with more of a challenge on rough water (while still not a total torture as the tiptoes skis would be for me). I also bought a Think Eze for rougher days and casual paddling as it is a bit more stable and a lot more maneuverable, plus a joy to handle off the water compared to longer skis (but I think there is no way you would fit in the seat - I am just under 90kg at 192cm height and could use a smidgen more cockpit width for perfect comfort (and I am sinking it a bit too deep already).
Last edit: 8 years 4 months ago by Kocho.

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8 years 4 months ago #19570 by Lost_Youth
Replied by Lost_Youth on topic Question from a Newbie
Thanks Kochi
Sounds like the V10 sport may not be for me due to bucket size. I'm probably not the normal 100kg+ person as I carry a lot of weight in my legs from my cycling days and fit 36in jeans. I'm hopping to get out today to have a look at a few boats.
Cheers

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8 years 4 months ago #19571 by Trilobite
Replied by Trilobite on topic Question from a Newbie
Hi, Lost_Youth,

I don't think you'd have an issue with the V10 Sport in terms of bucket width. I weigh in at 215 lbs., 6'1", and currently also sport a 36 waist. Like you, also, I'm a former cyclist and my my thighs testify to this. Raced road, track, and mountain for years. ;)

I currently have a V10 Ultra with absolutely no issues in cockpit fit, even with full on neoprene and drysuit, our de rigeur uniform for Northeast US winter paddling. I've also paddled a bud's new V10 Sport, and fit was never an issue. The Epics have very low side gunnels, so unlike some of the other skis, a larger frame fits fine. Kocho's recommendation here on the Sport is solid; it's well-mannered enough for a relative novice to climb in and paddle away, yet a boat you can also grow into, and won't get tired of for some time, if ever.

I owned a Synergy Lite for some time. Great downwind boat, but my primary impetus for selling was remounting-I had a difficult time dropping down and in with those cyclist's thighs. The side rails are high and narrow; what makes for a high, dry ride has its tradeoffs. I'd echo that it's not a beginner boat; it's an intermediate to elite (with quite a bit of secondary). That said, the Synergy would lift off on the slightest swell and just go. I'd love to try a Focus!

"Nice? It's the only thing," said the Water Rat, solemnly, as he leaned forward for his stroke. "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."
'The Wind in the Willows'~Kenneth Grahame

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8 years 4 months ago #19576 by Lost_Youth
Replied by Lost_Youth on topic Question from a Newbie
Thanks Trilobite.
The V10 Sports don't seam to come up for sale that often or they sell very quickly!

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8 years 4 months ago #19577 by Christopher
Replied by Christopher on topic Question from a Newbie
I'm 6'1 and was +-110kg when i got a custom kayaks synergy 2. I had ski'd a bit previously on a lifesaving spec ski but the spec ski I used was such a tug boat it could be comparable with a plastic kayak.

When I first tested the boat I really struggled with balance but bought it anyway. As long as you're willing to practice you'll find your balance improves rapidly.

In 3-4 weeks any balance problems were gone and I'm glad I went for an intermediate boat as it's almost 2 years down the line and I didn't have to buy a new ski

Remounting the ski takes some getting used to but I really enjoy the boat overall.

Here is a post from when I got the ski

"Got a synergy 2 about 6 weeks ago and really enjoy it.

It's not the easiest boat to remount (coming from a lifesaving spec ski) but it's not impossible either, don't let this put you off as after reading a few comments about remounting this ski I almost never bought it.

When I first tested it I must've fallen off 3-4 times every time I remounted and now I get on first time. "

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8 years 4 months ago - 8 years 4 months ago #19578 by Lost_Youth
Replied by Lost_Youth on topic Question from a Newbie
Thanks Chris,
How do you tell the difference between the Synergy and the Synergy 2?
The one that I'm looking at is approx. 3 yrs old?
Last edit: 8 years 4 months ago by Lost_Youth.

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8 years 4 months ago #19597 by Lost_Youth
Replied by Lost_Youth on topic Question from a Newbie
Well... the first paddle of a surf ski is done and dusted.
I grabbed a demo Stellar SR and went for a paddle on the river at Matilda Bay in a 15kt breeze this morning. Driving there I was expecting that I would be having a swim or three! But to my surprise I was off and paddling without a second thought (almost) but no swimming. After the third 15min loop I was really starting to concentrate on correct technique and building up the speed. I can see why this is addictive!
I found the bucket tight on the hips but not uncomfortable. Hmmm.... where to from here??

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8 years 4 months ago #19601 by Lost_Youth
Replied by Lost_Youth on topic Question from a Newbie

Watto wrote:
Stability first, challenge yourself in a range of conditions. Yes, to your second question, most do learn fast when they have to in a tippier boat (I chose the hard road), however it can be a turn-off (getting cold and wet because you're falling out often) or even dangerous because you are effectively not in control of your craft.




Well...... I took the advice and have purchased a Fenn XT, it came with a Bratcha 7 carbon paddle, thanks to all for your comments.
Now it's time to get on the water, start paddling and build up to the challenges ahead!

And as for growing up! I started BMX racing at the age 38 and have now had 2 surgeries from it.... I figure that hitting the water instead of the ground maybe a little more forgiving.... Time will tell!

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