Stellar SEL v Think ION

5 years 8 months ago #22190 by Dicko
Its time for a new ski. These 2 are skis I know I will fit. Has anyone compared speed and stability in these skis. I've paddled a glass SEL a bit and they do all the things a ski should do. They are pretty quick and pretty stable and easy to remount etc,etc.....but, I just can't get excited about buying one. The lines and ergonomics and cockpit are just....unattractive.

Now the ION looks good, but how does it compare in the water. Has anyone paddled both. I'd appreciate feedback either way.

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5 years 8 months ago - 5 years 8 months ago #22191 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Stellar SEL v Think ION
Rookie Paddler has an Ion, he kept his Carbonology Flash (only mention as you are familiar with this ski) and if I've got this the right way around he uses the Flash for small to medium days and the Ion for big days, but he is a much smaller paddler than you and I.

I heard on the grapevine that the SES has been redesigned, with a narrower catch and smaller bucket area? If thats the case I may be holding off, if they do this to the whole Stellar Fleet they will sell more skis in my opinion. That huge bucket has always been a turn off for me.

Current - Carbonology"Flash" Vajda "Infusion II K1" Previously ~Finn"Molokai Mk II"~Knysna "Vantage Pro K1' Carbonology "Vault"~Epic"V10L & Sport"~ [/b]Fenn"Mill Double" ~Spirit"PRS"~Finn"Affinity"
Always looking for the next boat :)
The following user(s) said Thank You: tony h

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5 years 8 months ago #22192 by Dicko
Replied by Dicko on topic Stellar SEL v Think ION
I did a paddle with Tony B in his flash and me in the SEL. The SEL was on par for speed with the flash, but was way more stable. The trouble is the flash is way more fun to paddle in most ways (except getting back in).

I've said it before, the guy that designs the hull should get a pay rise, and whoever designs them from the seam up should get the boot.

If the SEL was only more comfortable, narrower catch, less volume in the cockpit and better stickers I would buy one tomorrow, cos from a stability, speed and remount perspective, they bat way above their average.

It would be nice to hear if the skis are being redesigned in the near future. Before I spend my hard earned.

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5 years 8 months ago #22199 by lost john
Replied by lost john on topic Stellar SEL v Think ION
Dicko your comments re: ion vs SEL are exactly the debate thats been in my head the last few weeks. As a former carbon Legend owner it looks like Think has applied design lessons learned there to the Ion, from the pix I have seen. I wish more chatter about the Ion handling would appear. So far all I have to go with is seeing a couple of used Ions available worldwide but no used gen2 v10's. What does that mean?

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5 years 8 months ago #22200 by JohnK
Replied by JohnK on topic Stellar SEL v Think ION
Guys
I have been paddling the V10 2G since last year and recently did a short flatwater paddle with the Ion. The Ion has a lot less primary stability than the 10. Similar to a V12 I would say. Secondary is okay but takes getting used to. Apparently I do not have the perfect shape for the bucket as I found that I grind into it during rotation. Don't have this on the 10 at all. The Ion is a very nice boat but requires more experience than the 10. It turns better than the 10 probably due to the rocker. The 10 feels locked in and takes a long time to turn. I would guess that they would be suited to slightly different down wind conditions.
The remount on both is relatively easy for the width, V10 being easier of course.
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5 years 8 months ago #22201 by Stew
Replied by Stew on topic Stellar SEL v Think ION
Dicko, nothing for it but to give Adam a shout and take one for a rip!!

To be honest, I'm not familiar with the Stellar range, so I'm not sure what you're comparing against. I've had a few guys toss up between the new V10 and the Ion, and were pretty stoked to jump on Ions. In regards sales, the performance lay up has gone well, but the lighter Elite has been very strong, if that's a guide.

Cheers mate.

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5 years 8 months ago #22204 by lost john
Replied by lost john on topic Stellar SEL v Think ION
Thanks JohnK, the comparison with V10g2 is useful... But as tippy as a v12? Wow.
Stew, can you contrast it to the Legend? I liked how the legend handled down and upwind but had to sell it due to the crash of 2008.

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5 years 8 months ago #22207 by Stew
Replied by Stew on topic Stellar SEL v Think ION

lost john wrote: Thanks JohnK, the comparison with V10g2 is useful... But as tippy as a v12? Wow.
Stew, can you contrast it to the Legend? I liked how the legend handled down and upwind but had to sell it due to the crash of 2008.


Lost John, to be it feels different to the Legend. More forgiving, nice boat run etc, but it's how it surfs which has impressed me most. Downwind it's an absolute freak, serious fun. The Legend was excellent downwind, but tracked harder perhaps. The Ion is totally "chuckable". Easy to maneuver on faces, and carries momentum in the most surprising manner. Really eeks out all the energy from a run and helps pop you onto the next one with ease. If you can get your bum on one, I'd love to hear your thoughts in comparison to the Legend.

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5 years 8 months ago #22228 by lost john
Replied by lost john on topic Stellar SEL v Think ION
Thank you Stew. Since you are a Think rep asking for it I will give my frank assessment of the Legend (assuming my opinion will be kept in the strictest confidence by forum readers ...)
I thought the (carbon) Legend went upwind / and downwind much better than the kevlar Evo. I owned both at the same time for a few years. Less banging on the waves with the Legend, as it seemed to cut through them, and it steered much more responsively on a wave with less broaching.
On a downwind wave, it seemed more stable than the Evo to me. This may be due to the Evo seat being much larger and sloppy fo me. I noticed in big confused chop the Legend would let me stabilize the boat by engaging my core ( if i had the right thickness of neoprene pants) , where the Evo wanted to roll underneath me. Part of this may be teflon tape over a 3 mm seat pad I put on the Evo.
The Legend seemed very stiff and weighed < 23 lbs.
Sometimes side/ rear quartering chop seemed to make it jump around or slip sideways- not your usual notion of tippy. I had a Red7 early model surf 70 that did that much worse ( but it was very stable on a straight downwind!).
The Legend was well built with two caveats:
I dont think it rides wash on other skis as well as the Evo, based on multiple instances of time trials with my training buds. I dont have this complaint with my other skis ( Atom and Red 7).
1- the gunwales were just too delicate for my remounting skills, and the edge would get crushed. I had to reinforce and repair this.
2- the steering box "leaked", though not as alarmingly as it sounds. Basically water would come thru the rudder shaft tube on bigger outings, and trap in the box cavity. The "leak" happened when I inverted the boat for cartopping and storage- the trapped water then leaked thru a gap between the deck and the rudder box housing, and of course it would show up in the hull later. It was a time consuming task to diagnose and fix (i pumped in RTV to seal the gap). The local dealer I bought it from should be grateful I solved it myself and kept this headache from him (Deep Cove Outdoors in B.C.)
Oh and its a nice looking boat in carbon and a source of compliments. Though not from K1 guys, who look askance at the chines.

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5 years 8 months ago #22261 by Stew
Replied by Stew on topic Stellar SEL v Think ION
Very in dept report John, great to get that.

The original Evo was updated a while back, and one of the features of the newer design was moving the rudder forward a little to help with even better steering.

Funny that K1 guys would not like the chines. It was certainly a radical design at the time, but we used that same technology when the Uno and Uno Max were created, and they sure aren't slow boats!! Plastex have created some new K1s with chines also.

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5 years 8 months ago #22263 by boss
Replied by boss on topic Stellar SEL v Think ION
A bit off the subject , but has anyone installed an extra bullet scupper to a Stellar SEL excel. I did a race in perth on saturday arvo and pretty much paddled the whole race with a full foot well full of water . Just got it emptied and it filled back up.

I like the ski and feels extremely stable and runs well, this is my only concern with the ski.

I haven't done too much ski racing but it seem to take a long time to drain compared to my swordy.

Thanks

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5 years 8 months ago - 5 years 8 months ago #22265 by Simon Haywood
Boss,

I have the SEL (Ultra) for flat water / marathon paddling...I fixed the drainage problem by installing a Andersen Bailer...not that hard.
Here is how I did it on my SEI:
www.surfski.info/forum/15-tips/18192-ven...y-bailer-plasty.html

Previous craft: Affinity, Endorfinn, Multisport, Epic V8, V10sport, V10, V12, Fenn Swordfish, Spirit PRS Elite; Stellar S18S, SR, SE, SEL, S2E, S2EL

Current Skis:
Huki S1-R
Stellar S18S - Excel
Stellar SR - Ultra


Skis on order: None!

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5 years 8 months ago #22277 by JohnK
Replied by JohnK on topic Stellar SEL v Think ION
Lost John,

I noted your surprise that I felt the Ion to be as tippy as the V12 in the flat. This surprised me too and I wondered how this could be explained. The 0.5 cm in width may make it a little mor tippy than the V10 but not much I would think. However looking at the Think website I see the Ion has a weight range from 75kgs to 125kgs whereas the Uno Max and Evo 2 have ranges of 60-110 kgs. I only weigh 72Kgs and maybe this means I do not seat the boat sufficiently in the water. I wonder why there is such a difference in the weight ranges?

John
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5 years 8 months ago #22506 by thebigadski
Replied by thebigadski on topic Stellar SEL v Think ION
Hi guys

I'll give you my biased opinion of the Ion, being a dealer and also never paddled a Stellar!

I've based this review on last seasons paddling as this year I haven't been on the water.
My usual race boat/normal ski is the Uno max, and love how it runs in the ocean & on flat water.

The Ion was a pleasant surprise! As you can see from the attached facebook link, the comparison in the hulls is very different.

- fatter tail
- more rocker
- wider hull under seat
- similar/identical paddle entry area
- nose shape

The Ion I've found is a great ski full stop.
And due to the fact my time on the water has been limited this year, it will be my go to ski from now on. Its downwind surfing ability is great - tracks and picks up the runs very well, and most importantly maintains boats run - no stalling. This of course is a feature of all the Think Kayak range. It is marginally slower on my PB's for our local downwind run here compared to the Uno max.

I won't go babbling on too much, as I've said this is a "biased" review based on my brand loyalty! However to summarise I would say the Ion is still an advanced ski, requiring a pilot that has experience and competent stability platform but not up to the level required for an elite level racing ski.

Its turning and direction response is extremely good. (with the standard 9" surf fin) So much that on my first downwind paddle on the Ion I nearly "bucked" myself out of the seat it turned so quickly!
Now its just a tap of my big toes to get it going in the direction I want it in.

It has a slightly wider seat as well, so for those guys who didn't fit into the Uno max the Ion may accommodate you!

I weigh 90+kgs and would say it has great functionality for the "bigger" paddler, but smaller guys also love its handling ability in the big stuff. It definitely has more "volume" in the rear of the ski, hence why it has a higher weight rating for paddlers compared to the Uno max

Here are some comparison pictures up against the Uno max:

Ion Vs Uno max

Sean Rice also had a few things to say about the Ion here:

Sean Rice - Ion Review

Happy to answer any questions or if you are located in West Aus I can easily arrange a demo.

Cheers

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5 years 8 months ago #22521 by Bermy
Replied by Bermy on topic Stellar SEL v Think ION
Good read thanks Adam.

2 questions for you - why no paddling this year, and are you around over Christmas and New Years as I will be in WA then and would love to try the Ion?

Sincerely miss my Evoii but no Thinks in the Caribbean.

Other side of the coin is Simon H swears by his Stellars and while I haven't paddled one of their single ski's in a long time their carbon double is absolutely phenomenal.

When is Think joining that tea party? (ok that was 3)

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5 years 7 months ago #22701 by thebigadski
Replied by thebigadski on topic Stellar SEL v Think ION
Hi SS

Yep, "life" has got in the way of paddling these days!!

I'm around over summer & would be happy to get you on an Ion whilst you are here.

Hope you are well!

Cheers

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