The "Feel" of a Surfski vs. a Kayak

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7 years 9 months ago - 7 years 9 months ago #21851 by acroreef
Dear Folks,

I have never paddled a surfski but I have paddled various kayaks. All things being equal, does a surfski "feel" faster than a kayak? Again, assuming all things equal. Another words, even if a surfski is traveling faster, would it feel faster than a very similarly sized kayak? Also, if not paddling at near to maximum hull speed, does a surf ski feel sluggish? Thanks in advance to all who respond.

Dave
Last edit: 7 years 9 months ago by acroreef.

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7 years 9 months ago #21852 by Ranga
Is that a proper racing ICF K1 or Sea kayak?

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7 years 9 months ago #21853 by acroreef
I was referring to a "normal" sea kayak, 16 - 18 feet long.

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7 years 9 months ago #21854 by Coast Steve
In my opinion, a good Ski is:

faster
lighter
thinner
Longer
And you sit higher off the water and the boat is then much tippier.

They feel like a race boat after paddling a houseboat (sea kayak)
There is no bulkheads or hatches on a ski.

In short: No comparison

That's my opinion.

Steve

NELO K1 Flatwater
26 foot montgomary OC1
(Seven Of Nine)

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7 years 9 months ago #21856 by Ranga
Well you are comparing apples and oranges for most of the skis however the Epic V8 has the same hull as the Epic 18x sea kayak, so to compare those two would work and they are very similar. However there are no hatches so the deck is sleeker and there are big cut aways for good paddle entry so it might feel quicker.

I a nutshell Steve is correct as skis are designed for racing, not touring there is a vast difference. Like comparing a family wagon to a racing car!

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7 years 9 months ago #21857 by Kayaker Greg
It depends on what you are used to paddling. I have paddled different sea kayaks, one being my Slingshot that was 5.7m long and it "felt" slow to paddle, it plows through waves etc and was a boring ride, although the numbers compared to my 5.2m low volume Breaksea which "feels" fast and was a lot easier to push through the water, its a lot livelier and more fun to paddle, almost effortless in comparison to the 5.7m Slingshot, however average numbers were similar.

When I first started paddling skis I was surprised that the speed was not higher than I expected, yes it was faster, about 1kp/h for me at endurance pace (some say thats a lot but I thought it would be more) it takes a lot of work on technique and practice to get the skis moving but the potential speed is much greater, the sea kayaks I have hit a wall at about 10.5kp/h, the skis are capable of a lot faster, but again my 5.2m sea kayak feels fast and is fun to paddle even though my endurance pace over several hours of paddling is only about 8.5-9.0kp/h. My average over the same distance in a ski is usually 9.2-10kp/h. Once the effort goes up, the ski leaves the kayak for dead. Both are fun to paddle.

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7 years 9 months ago #21858 by acroreef
I realize the differences between a sea kayak and ski. But I was just wondering about the "feel of speed." Does a ski feel faster? Is it more fun regarding a sense of speed?

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7 years 9 months ago #21862 by Sandy
yes

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7 years 9 months ago #21863 by uk_exile
My 'feel' thoughts comparing it to another sport is it's just like jumping from a MTB to a road bicycle. Feels freer, faster & requires a bit more balance. But that feeling difference disappears relatively quickly once get used to it. However change back & difference becomes very obvious again

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7 years 9 months ago - 7 years 9 months ago #21869 by epic5253
I was where you are now a couple of weeks ago.... I am a Sea Kayaker (Epic 18x) and took a Fenn Swordfish & Epic V10 Sport for a paddle. My advise to you... go borrow a couple of friends' ski's and paddle them... Start with the more stable ski's.... "Feelings" should be experienced...

What to expect:
1 Surfski's don't turn as wide as kayaks... they turn SHARP - be prepared.
2 Check out this clip of me paddling my 18X next to a V10 - look at how the kayak nose go "over" the swell and the ski "cuts" through the swell..
Last edit: 7 years 9 months ago by epic5253. Reason: wanted to add to the comment

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7 years 9 months ago - 7 years 9 months ago #21871 by Coast Steve
Quote from Ranga:

"however the Epic V8 has the same hull as the Epic 18x sea kayak, so to compare those two would work and they are very similar.

skis are designed for racing, not touring there is a vast difference. Like comparing a family wagon to a racing car!"


So that makes sense to me Ranga, when I took the new V8 out for a spin it did feel like a fast sea kayak or a slower ski.
Although I haven't paddled many sea kayaks to know what they feel like.

I guess there are also some really fast sea kayaks that may be close to some slower entry type skis?.

Epic5253, that's quite the difference.

My old V10 Sport was much slower compared to my original
(but new to me) Elite V10

The V10 Elite like a race boat when compared to the V8.

NELO K1 Flatwater
26 foot montgomary OC1
(Seven Of Nine)
Last edit: 7 years 9 months ago by Coast Steve.

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7 years 9 months ago #21875 by red_pepper
A couple of years ago I paddled a Stellar S18R (conventional sea kayak), then paddled a Stellar S18S (surf ski version of the same hull). In spite of having identical hulls, the surf ski felt noticeably faster, livlier, and just a lot more fun. A big part of it is the ergonomics: the seating position, much lower deck, closer paddle catch, etc. After paddling skis for the last 6 or 7 years,a standard sea kayak now feels like a barge.

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7 years 9 months ago #21877 by Uncle Frosty
I just started paddling a Stellar 18s ski as my regular boat instead of my sea kayaks. Hull shape and weights are almost infinitely variable, but with a surf ski one is using proper paddling ergonomics, not sitting like a frog as in a decked kayak. This to me this is the great speed advantage. It is not just perception or feeling. I did reduce boat weight by 36-18 pounds depending on the kayak. I figure I am cruising about 25% faster based on GPS measurements of speed. I hope to go even faster once I learn how to use a wing paddle.

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7 years 9 months ago - 7 years 9 months ago #21881 by acroreef
Thanks again to all who have responded. My paddle-sport journey has been a work in process for me. I've experimented with various kayaks in the past but have not had the good fortune to try a ski. And, because of time constraints, most paddling is enjoyed on local inland lakes. I also seem to enjoy fitness paddling much more than just "putzing around." So I paddle hard from point a to b, then turn around to get back to home base.

I've just never sensed the feel of speed as I pushed my kayak hard. But it seems, from the above responses, that a ski will "feel faster" hence be more fun to paddle for the effort expended. I'm not looking to get into anything competitive, just want to enjoy learning new skills, be out in nature, reap the benefits of a great workout and have fun in the process.

Dave
Last edit: 7 years 9 months ago by acroreef.

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7 years 9 months ago - 7 years 9 months ago #21885 by Coast Steve
Dave once you try a newer ski, your sea kayak will be on Craigslist.

Trust me.

NELO K1 Flatwater
26 foot montgomary OC1
(Seven Of Nine)
Last edit: 7 years 9 months ago by Coast Steve.

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7 years 9 months ago #21886 by ptomblin
I have a West Side Boat Shop Thunderbolt, which is pretty darn fast for a kayak. I've also got an Epic V10 Sport, which is considered a slow and stable ski (although not as slow or stable as a V8). These days I almost never paddle the Thunderbolt. The ski is a tiny bit faster than the Thunderbolt and turns better. Mostly I prefer the ski because when you fall in, you just remount and go on your way, unlike a Thunderbolt which is almost impossible to remount and would need to be pumped out afterwards.

As far as "feel" goes, a kayak puts you on the water, but a ski puts you in the water. Some people don't like the fact that you're always wet, but except in the early spring or late fall it doesn't bother me.

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7 years 9 months ago - 7 years 9 months ago #21887 by uk_exile
Flow makes what I believe are direct equivalent skis & kayaks
www.flowkayaks.com/site/
Rockstar kayak = Superstar ski
Rush kayak = Addict ski
I’m not certain they are absolutely identical other than deck & rudder though. There may be differences.
I know the Sharpski felt a bit/lot tipper than the Sharp kayak.

Would be interesting to get opinions from someone who has paddles both in same conditions. I guessing kayak feels more stable as easier to brace legs.
Last edit: 7 years 9 months ago by uk_exile.

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7 years 9 months ago #21889 by mtnsutton
I spent quite a bit of time in a Seda Glider which is a fairly fast sea kayak. When I first transitioned to a ski I was no faster because I was fighting the balance. My remount did get pretty good though. Now when I use the Glider it feels super stable. Almost like I could stand up in it! Definitely slower than the ski. Feels like I am trying to push a big wave with the bow. Currently I am using a Think Legend.

Creativity Cures Complacency

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7 years 9 months ago - 7 years 9 months ago #21904 by TaffyMick
Very interesting discussion, timely too. Went for a paddle with a mate of mine this morning who was paddling his Delphin sea kayak (he also has a newish V10S)as he has not paddled over the Winter and is getting over an illness. I was paddling my Stellar SR.

Conditions were a tidal river with a very solid wind chop against and with a run out tide. During this morning's session it really hit home the difference between a ski and sea kayak. Now my mate is a fairly good and technically correct paddler but there was no way I could sit side by side with him...chalk and cheese. Had to leave him behind.

Also noticed the same at an ultramarathon race I competed in last weekend. In this event I deliberately sat at the back of the pack at the start. When the race commenced I reined in and passed all sea kayak paddlers within 1.5kms until my pedal cable came undone and I lost all steering (that's another story).

While skis are inherently faster than sea kayaks, what I have found over the years is that if I have a stable boat I can go just as fast as a high end intermediate ski and my stroke is technically correct. Some people ask why have I gone "down" from a Swordfish and V10 to a Stellar SR (Excel layup)... simple, the bucket/cockpit and the stability of the swede hull design suits me to a T and enables me to paddle faster.

I also have a Stellar S18S in the Advantage layup that I use for long distance inshore / estuary day tours (got to love the hatches) and agree with Uncle Frosty that this boat is a good 25% faster than any sea kayak I have paddled.

Will I ever go back to a sea kayak? Probably not...again...chalk and cheese.

Mick

Stellar SEI, Fenn Bluefin S, Sladecraft Comet Long Rec & Vajda K1
Last edit: 7 years 9 months ago by TaffyMick.

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7 years 9 months ago #21905 by Coast Steve
Good points there Mick.

Mine's a handfull...I miss my old V10 Sport

NELO K1 Flatwater
26 foot montgomary OC1
(Seven Of Nine)
The following user(s) said Thank You: TaffyMick

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