Boat question for newly

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6 years 9 months ago #24623 by merijnwijnen
Hi all,

For years I have been sea kayaking, and the last couple of years I made the transition to racing master-level K1's (Kirton Tor). I can stay upright in a real racing K1, but not put any power in the stroke.

I regularly take the Tor with me on holiday in top of our little campervan, but as soon as any chop arrives from the side, it is a hand full. And a K1 is neither rollable, not remountable..... The sea kayak (NDK Exlorer) does not fit on the van together with the boats from the kids, and is to heavy to put onto the van singlehanded.
Before the K1 I had a 51 cm wide Danish touring boat (Zedtech TT) that I could handle in a lot of conditions.

I am looking into a surf ski to replace the K1. I like the safety of a remount (I have a roll, but not bomb-proof), and has the speed and agility of the K1 but is far more flexible in use.

In the Netherlands Epic and Stellar are sold, but regretfully you can only try them on flat water. I am long (1.93 m) and skinny (75 kg). The ski would be used on solo trips on large rivers (boat wakes from large barges), the north sea and during holidays in the UK and Mediterranean.

Currently I have Stellar SR2g (may be to stable), Stellar SEI (may be to large a cockpit) and EPIC V10S (relatively expensive) in view.

Any opinions to what would be appropriate?

Regards,

Merijn

Seakayak, flatwater racing and a surfski on order.
Looking for other ski paddlers in South East Netherlands (Maas / Waal)

Surfski: Nelo 560 on order :-)
K1:Kirton Tor
Sea kayak: NDK Explorer HV

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6 years 9 months ago #24639 by Davelis
Replied by Davelis on topic Boat question for newly
I think Fenn Glide would be the choice for you

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6 years 9 months ago - 6 years 9 months ago #24645 by Stew
Replied by Stew on topic Boat question for newly
Worth hitting up Mickey at Think Kayak Europe to try the Uno Max. He'll actually be in your area very soon on a trip.

As ever, try as many skis as you can, so many terrific options out there.

www.thinkkayakeurope.com/
Last edit: 6 years 9 months ago by Stew.

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6 years 9 months ago #24649 by red_pepper
Replied by red_pepper on topic Boat question for newly
Since you have access to Stellar boats, give both the SR 2G a try, and the newly-out 2016 SEL. The cockpit on both boats is superb, and I think you'll be surprised at the stability of the SEL as well as the speed. You'll also probably be surprised at the speed of the SR for an intermediate ski. Since you can stay upright in a racing K1, you should have no problems with any of these boats. For what it's worth, I had a chance to paddle a 2g Epic V10S about a week ago. It feels even more stable than the SR, but the SR has a more lively feel to it. It depends on what you want, but I would really suggest giving the new SEL a shot.

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6 years 9 months ago #24708 by merijnwijnen
Thanks for the tips.
Next weekend I am going to try a SR (2015), SEI, V10S, and may be a V10, V10L and a SEL.

Main difficulty will be to assess the handling in waves. The test location for the Stellars and V10L is totally flat water, with the other EPICs it is on a small lake with hopefully at least some wavelets.
I am pretty sure that I will be able to handle any ski on flatwater, as most are more stable than an ICF K1. Does anybody have tips to get a feeling how a ski handles on waves without the actual waves present? (dumb question...)

Seakayak, flatwater racing and a surfski on order.
Looking for other ski paddlers in South East Netherlands (Maas / Waal)

Surfski: Nelo 560 on order :-)
K1:Kirton Tor
Sea kayak: NDK Explorer HV

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6 years 9 months ago #24716 by topswimmer
Replied by topswimmer on topic Boat question for newly
Hi Merijnwijnen.
I to have just recently started paddling the kirton Tor & it sounds like i'm at a similar stage to you with it.I currently use a Nordic Kayaks Squall in the sea but not any more than a novice.
Stew was right maybe you should meet up with Micky at the dutch coast race 3&4th of october he has the full range of ski's & there will be plenty of waves as well.
Good luck.

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6 years 9 months ago #24720 by merijnwijnen
Hi Topswimmer. I did not realise that at the Dutch coast race boats can be tried, thanks for the tip.I will try to go.

With respect to the Kirton Tor, I am really stable in it. I use it as a touring boat, and to train the youngsters (K1 up to 14) in our club. I never dropped out of it. I recently tried a Vajda masters boat (Spirit) and it was nice and stable as well though my feet did not fit in. The very common "feet size 12 problem" is something that luckily should not be an issue in any ski.

Seakayak, flatwater racing and a surfski on order.
Looking for other ski paddlers in South East Netherlands (Maas / Waal)

Surfski: Nelo 560 on order :-)
K1:Kirton Tor
Sea kayak: NDK Explorer HV

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6 years 9 months ago #24722 by topswimmer
Replied by topswimmer on topic Boat question for newly
i think there will also be boats from Epic & Nelo also!

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6 years 9 months ago #24738 by photofr
Replied by photofr on topic Boat question for newly
Congrats on getting into surfskis.
Nothing will really replace getting your boat in chop, backwash, and ocean swells. However, the next best thing to trying a ski in the ocean (and in each of those conditions) will be :
Take a surfski, place 1 to 2 cm of foam in the seat.
This should give you sort of an idea as to how the boat will feel when you are tired, or when you encounter ocean conditions.

I realize it's not the best… but better than nothing.
The next best thing otherwise: hire a motor boat and play around with it.

One thing that came to mind:
You can stay upright in a K1 - in flat water.
You have problems applying power to your stroke in a K1.
You may be looking for a boat a little more stable then… and so perhaps looking 2/3 of the ladder may be preferable, for versatility.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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6 years 9 months ago #24741 by merijnwijnen
Some experiences:
Today I tried two EPC boats, both v10s: an old model in Ultra, and a new one in Club. Flat water with 10 cm wavelets. First time in a surf ski. It was fun, and far more different from my other boats than expected.

The new one:
-felt really stable, a boat I think I could handle on bigger water
-Not twitchy at all
-I have to get used to the relatively high foot position (compared to K1)
-Cockpit did not fit perfectly, but quite OK. A bit on the small side (touching with the hip bones
-I like the cut-outs at the catch

The old one:
-Feels like a totally different design
-Far more twitchy and less stable
-Not sure how I would handle this in bigger waves
-Has a very pronounced roll with steering input (surf rudder). Very disconcerting in the beginning.
-cockpit less comfy, footplate to steep
-did not feel any faster than the new one

Fot both I have problems with my feet size 12.5. The ball of my feet is on the paddles, this makes it quite difficult to prevent inadvertent steering inputs as soon as you start using your legs. On the new one this was better due to the flatter footplate enabling me to put more pressure on the heels. I probably need a larger footplate.

I am going to try the Stellar and Think boats next weeks, and then decide.

Seakayak, flatwater racing and a surfski on order.
Looking for other ski paddlers in South East Netherlands (Maas / Waal)

Surfski: Nelo 560 on order :-)
K1:Kirton Tor
Sea kayak: NDK Explorer HV

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6 years 9 months ago #24742 by Fath2o
Replied by Fath2o on topic Boat question for newly
I would just like to add that any kayak/ski is going to be significantly less stable in salt water vs fresh water. Once you add waves it is a whole different ball game.
Good luck!

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6 years 9 months ago #24743 by red_pepper
Replied by red_pepper on topic Boat question for newly
Keep in mind that in addition to the design changes between the old and new V10S, you were comparing boats of significantly different weight. The weight difference has a big impact on how stable a boat feels. Having said that, the new boat felt notably more stable to me than the older one in the same layup. At least now you have a target: you probably don't want a boat too far outside the V10S in stability. The Stellar SR and Think Evo would be good comparison models.

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6 years 9 months ago - 6 years 9 months ago #24744 by Flowmaster
Replied by Flowmaster on topic Boat question for newly
We live in the same country, and I made a switch from Epic to Stellar and bought the SEI, fantastic boat, pretty fast and I think with your background, it would be stable enough for you. I'm 1.86 and, have more than enough length in the cockpit. Don't no how far away you are from Middelburg, but if you wanna have a go, youre welcome.
Also the guys in Berschenhoek are really helpful and trying out different boats should not be a problem. :)

...ooooO...................
...(.......)......Ooooo....
....\.....(.......(.......).....
.....\.__)........)...../.....
...................(__./......
JUST LEAVE FOOTPRINTS
Last edit: 6 years 9 months ago by Flowmaster.

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6 years 9 months ago #24745 by merijnwijnen
Hi Flowmaster,

Why did you switch from EPIC to Stellar, and which ski from EPIC did you use?
Actually, the SEI is on my wish list to try, together with the SR gen 2. Stellar's prices in the Netherland are pretty competitive, at least up to Excell layup.
The other boats I will try are Think's EVO II and ION, before or during the Dutch coast race.

I live in Eindhoven, so Middelburg is not around the corner, especially with a busy schedule. But thanks for the offer, I will keep it in mind.

Seakayak, flatwater racing and a surfski on order.
Looking for other ski paddlers in South East Netherlands (Maas / Waal)

Surfski: Nelo 560 on order :-)
K1:Kirton Tor
Sea kayak: NDK Explorer HV

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6 years 9 months ago #24747 by Flowmaster
Replied by Flowmaster on topic Boat question for newly
Hi again,
I still have the Epic v8, the minister off finance is using this sometimes and it's a stable workhorse when the going gets tuff. The v 8 surfs ok and quality is good.
Personelly I think Stellar, for the price they are for sale over here, is a better boat for the bucks , quality is very good, has a perfect fit (for me), strong and light, strong foot board connection ect.
The SEI is a fast boat and with a little getting used to, stable enough for the northsea/wind conditions, I'm force 5/6 Bft. on the ladder, depending on the direction.

So for me, Stellar is Stellar :evil:

...ooooO...................
...(.......)......Ooooo....
....\.....(.......(.......).....
.....\.__)........)...../.....
...................(__./......
JUST LEAVE FOOTPRINTS

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6 years 9 months ago #24769 by TaffyMick
Replied by TaffyMick on topic Boat question for newly
Over the past few years I have gone from Fenn to Epic and now Stellar. Back when I transitioned from sea kayaks to skis my new-found paddling buddies on Sydney's North Shore steered me towards Stellars. Unfortunately and at great expense I did not follow their advice. Primarily because I was unaware of any dealer in my area on the NSW South Coast. Be that as it may my first ski was a Fenn Bluefin. A brilliant learners ski, but one which I soon outgrew.

This was followed by a Fenn Swordfish. Again, a brilliant ski but with a very tight and deep seat that was difficult to remount offshore (though I understand they have a wider seat version now). A 2nd Gen Epic V10S (performance) soon followed, which in fact was one of the first 2gen V10S boats sold in Australia. A great boat, very stable but not as fast as the Swordy.

Then.... Stellar... :)

Purchased an SR in excel layup that I found to be the bees knees and something I enjoyed paddling. Out goes the V10S... and also bought a Stellar S18S for the wife and something that I used on bigger, rougher conditions. After a while an opportunity came up to purchase a run out stock excel SEI which I did and sold the SR. The differences between an S18S and SEI is pretty dramatic as can be imagined. With the release of the 2015 SR, a completely redesigned boat from the previous model, I had found my perfect ski. So much so that the S18S and SEI were sold and I have consolidated on the one ski... the 2015 Stellar SR in Excel layup.

As you can see, this was an expensive and long term task to get the perfect ski (for me). Should have listened to my mates four years ago. Would have saved me thousands of dollars...literally! :ohmy:

Mick

Stellar SEI, Fenn Bluefin S, Sladecraft Comet Long Rec & Vajda K1

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6 years 9 months ago - 6 years 9 months ago #24776 by Watto
Replied by Watto on topic Boat question for newly
Well spoken Taffymick and Flowmaster. Know this not a Stellar advert post however I've just purchased the latest Stellar SR Excel, adding to my SEI 2G and SES 1G both also Excel layup. Brilliant boats all and as Taffymick points out, the SR 2G surprisingly quick and nimble. This boat definitely narrower, sleeker overall than 1G, a little less stable but surprisingly quick. Handles brilliantly in chop but haven't been out in any big stuff (25-30 knots plus) yet.

I love my SES which though big in the forward cockpit is the best fit for me at 86 kilo's and 39 inches (about 98cm) at hips. I pad out the SEI and SR at the hips a 100mm x 150mm x 10mm adhesive backed foam (Clarke's Rubber). Obviously conditions you paddle in and experience you bring to bear are factors in boat choice, and yes stability before ability. Each of my boats has its place with SES main go-to boat unless a sloppy choppy day so I'll use SEI with both SEI and SR as mates /family boats - yet to go out with both sons but both adequate for them on the river or small stuff. Paddling with my wife tomorrow using SR ("Hey nice looking boat, beautiful" she said at first view - wow what an endorsement!).

Direct answer in regard to Stellars - pad the SEI out a bit and should have a good fit. Best option for your paddling in relation to Stellars would be the SR 2G.
Last edit: 6 years 9 months ago by Watto. Reason: added bit

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6 years 9 months ago #24829 by merijnwijnen
I promised to keep you posted.
Today I tried a Think EVO II on the sea thanks to Micky MacDonald. Hardly any waves, the dutch coast race might going to be a flat water race....

Regretfully one thing was clear within a couple of minutes: I do not fit in the bucket. Although light and skinny, I am rather wide in the hip bones and without any natural padding in that area. In the V10 Sport new I already feel the bones but still can rotate, in the EVO II I am pinched, and any rotation is impossible. No chance to find a comfortable position.

I took the boat out for forty minutes, and I did like the handling. Solid secondary stability, but more twitchy than the sport on the primary (bit like the old sport) with a definite roll when steering that is rather unsettling for me. The new V10sport feels much more stable, but that might have to do with the bad fit in the EVO II.
And just being out on the sea in the nice weather was fun.

Conclusion for the moment:
I want something between the new sport and the EVO II stability-wise, but with a wide bucket that fits those bony hips of mine. The sport might be ok when I sit on half an inch of foam, should not impact stability to much.

Tomorrow I will try the Stellars.

Seakayak, flatwater racing and a surfski on order.
Looking for other ski paddlers in South East Netherlands (Maas / Waal)

Surfski: Nelo 560 on order :-)
K1:Kirton Tor
Sea kayak: NDK Explorer HV

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6 years 9 months ago #24830 by Orman
Replied by Orman on topic Boat question for newly
Do you have access to the Fenn range in the Netherlands? In theory the new Swordfish (Swordfish S) could work well for you.

The Swordfish S has a wide bucket. It is considerably wider than the Evo II bucket (I have a Think Ion, which has same bucket as the EVO II, and have paddled a friend's Swordfish S a few times, so I can confidently comment on the buckets!).

In terms of stability the Swordfish S felt a little bit tippier than the 'new' V10S, to me, but not by much. I have not paddled an Evo II, but from what I have read the Swordfish is possibly between the Evo II and the 'new' V10S in stability...?

Good luck finding yourself a ski!

Takapuna Boating Club
Current: Think Ion, Think Evo II, Custom Kayaks Mark 2
Previous: Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf 70

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6 years 9 months ago - 6 years 8 months ago #24833 by merijnwijnen
The nearest Fenns are in Berlin and South Germany (Bodensee), that is to far, it would take a weekend out of a busy family schedule.

I did some searching on this forum (great resource) on bucket widths, and Kocho considered the EVO II bucket suitable up to 14.5 inch, preferably 14 1/4. I measured my hip width (sitting in paddling pose, between a wall and a wooden block, with soft tissue (if I have any..) compressed) and I reach 15.3 Inch. So I should not have been amazed.
Other question: do you large feet guys use extra long footplates? For my feet size 12.5 I am on the paddles with the ball of by feet, this interferes width leg power. I heard that EPIC has a longer footplate version available.

Up to the Stellars next week, and then decide. From reading a SEI might fit both size and stability wise.
Thanks for all info.

Seakayak, flatwater racing and a surfski on order.
Looking for other ski paddlers in South East Netherlands (Maas / Waal)

Surfski: Nelo 560 on order :-)
K1:Kirton Tor
Sea kayak: NDK Explorer HV
Last edit: 6 years 8 months ago by merijnwijnen. Reason: typo

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