Lightweight vs. skinnier

5 years 8 months ago #25455 by Ranga
Replied by Ranga on topic Lightweight vs. skinnier
The theory as it sits for some.
Just to let you know that I see more damaged spec skis than long racing skis? Never had a GT in for repairs as yet.
Does that mean they are weaker, Obviously they must be weaker, even though they are 18kg.
Well not as simple as it sounds. You can take things out of context and say what you want regarding them.
Spec skis go through surf and get hammered, the lightweight skis also have to go through the same surf and have less damage, WHY?
The one is racing through the surf without any consideration to the craft the other is under the realisation they have a lightweight ski hence lets be careful.
There is also another caveat, there are no GTs` here yet, but yet I can honestly use my initial statement, unlike some that have no basis of fact but are happy to degrade another brand or ski.

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5 years 8 months ago #25486 by jagter
Replied by jagter on topic Lightweight vs. skinnier
If you reckon a surfski isn't seaworthy if it breaks in the surf then I guess there are no seaworthy skis in existence.

A hollow crunching wave,sandbank or impact with another boat will break just about any ski out there. Even some spec skis.

Ocean racing skis simply aren't built for the surf, and you need to exercise proper caution when entering and exiting through the surf zone. Breaking in the open ocean of course is a totally different matter, and there I'll agree with you that a boat breaking on an ocean swell isn't fit for purpose.

Personally I like to play in the surf to improve skills, so my boat has been specially built with an extra couple of kilos of resin and cloth. I'll rather take the extra 2kg and feel confident that I can ramp a wave without breaking the boat in half on landing.

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5 years 8 months ago #25488 by red_pepper
Replied by red_pepper on topic Lightweight vs. skinnier
Side note to this topic:

For those on this forum who repair skis frequently or for a living: out of curiosity (and to confirm or disprove my own suspicions) where on the skis do you see the most breakage, and from what forces? I suspect breakage from surf loads generally occurs at the cockpit/bow interface, and handling/impact damage probably more frequently on the side of boats, but I'm curious to know what you see in actual practice (as well as damage from other sources).

Thanks!

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5 years 8 months ago #25489 by Davelis
Replied by Davelis on topic Lightweight vs. skinnier
For all of you that you think I'm wrong, do the following test go to an Epic dealer to see a gt grab it with your fingers at the narrow point of the bucket and apply some pressure you will probably hear some cracking noises then pay 5000$ and go out on the open sea.

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5 years 8 months ago #25490 by rhainan
Replied by rhainan on topic Lightweight vs. skinnier
I will take that bet.

You are welcome to come by my shop and attempt to crack a GT with finger pressure.

Western Pennsylvania Epic Kayak Dealer

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5 years 8 months ago - 5 years 8 months ago #25491 by photofr
Replied by photofr on topic Lightweight vs. skinnier
Yeah… come on over and try to crack mine with your finger: and the best of luck.
Most lighter skis will be weaker.
Pre-Preg (or more specifically the GT from Epic) is very VERY strong and no cracking.

In fact, when you come over, you can even try my V10 GT.
It's currently the only one in Europe, and the only one that's going to be BLACK & WHITE.
It's a great boat, but I want to get something different - so I am selling it.

Regarding repairs:
In my years of fixing skis before moving up the ladder to making them, I have found skis to break one foot in front of the footwell, bucket area, and back of the ski (in that order). Most time, we were able to make the ski "like new", slightly heavier, but pretty seaworthy (nothing is bullet proof).

Smaller repairs included:
Rudder shaft leaking (rocks guys… ROCKS).
Bow impact.
Deck collapse - behind the seat (back in the days when people tight them down like maniacs).
Gun rails… usually when the thing starts rolling on the beach (hopefully AFTER a good downwind).

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)
The following user(s) said Thank You: Korrigan

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5 years 8 months ago #25493 by Ranga
Replied by Ranga on topic Lightweight vs. skinnier
I do repairs as well and the previous post pretty much sums it up, mishandling is usually the biggest issue.
The design or shape usually determines where the ski will break under high load, and obviously the material used.
There are a lot of very light skis out there but not very strong, they flex a lot before they break so in ignorance people think they are strong. Yes it works, but for the top end stiffness is what you want but that comes at a price and with an issue of being brittle.

Light and flexible is cheap and people get conned and pay a lot of money for what they think they are getting.

However light and stiff is very different, that costs money, you cannot make most of the ski out of cheap light fiberglass like some manufacturers you have to use Carbon fibre which is much stiffer and much more expensive, the resin is also a big issue, Epoxy is the only resin that will give you the desired strength, however if not baked (post cured) in an oven you are wasting your time, just like the cheaper light flexible skis!

There is also the one thing that is above all, they are hand made by humans, no machine can laminate a ski.
I don`t doubt there might be a few skis that are not 100%, this happens, just like any other thing you buy, you have a warranty and if it is faulty it will be replaced or repaired at the manufactures expense.

Just a note there is more material in the GT than most the other light skis, it is just in a different form. For instance laminated woven 200g carbon fibre is heavier than 200g Unidirectional carbon fibre but no stronger because it uses less resin. Hand laminated is heavier than pre-preg. With pre-preg the resin is added to the material before lamination by a machine in a factory at the exact ratio required, hand lamination you have to over saturate the material at a higher resin ratio to make sure it is fully saturated, over 3 square meters for a hull a small percentage adds a lot of extra weight for NO strength gain.

Just these two processes out of many will make a ski lighter but at NO loss of strength.

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5 years 8 months ago #25494 by Scode
Replied by Scode on topic Lightweight vs. skinnier
Thanks for that Ranga, I was wondering what "pre preg" was all about. Is this the way of the future or is it too expensive at the moment to go mainstream? Any other companies besides Epic looking at this process or doing this process at the moment?

Also Photofr which ski is next on your list? Has anybody heard anything about the revised Nelo 560 that Oscar C has been paddling or when it may be released to the market?

Cheers

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5 years 8 months ago #25495 by red_pepper
Replied by red_pepper on topic Lightweight vs. skinnier
Stellar's carbon boats have been pre-preg for several years (I had an SE from 2011 if I recall correctly that was built with pre-preg carbon fiber). Vacuum bagging a boat also helps reduce weight by compressing materials and driving out excess resin. Resin is obviously necessary, but too much adds weight with no benefit - and if a layup is done incorrectly excess resin can actually reduce the strength (if the resin is taking the loads instead of the fibers).

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5 years 8 months ago #25498 by photofr
Replied by photofr on topic Lightweight vs. skinnier
There's one more big expanse of required for Pre-Preg (pre-imprignated).
You basically wet your desired fabric ahead of time (as mentioned above), but THEN: you have to keep it refrigerated. Just imagine the size of the fridge !

Then, there's baking:
The secret is basking at super high temperatures for added stiffness & overall strength.

TWO QUICK NOTES:
Keep in mind that even the strongest boat in the world will break at some point.
Super light boats are Super Fun - but for the novice, they are actually tippier than their heavier counterpart (yeah, I am sure this has been said a few times, but worth reminding). :)

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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5 years 8 months ago #25503 by Ranga
Replied by Ranga on topic Lightweight vs. skinnier
Yes the logistics of pre-preg are a big expense, has to be kept frozen before use and you have to have an oven to cure it. It has been around a very long time, most your high tech parts are made this way like your $5000.00 bicycle frames and Formula one race cars, aviation also use it a lot, generally any top end composite facility will work with it.

Epic were using pre-preg many years ago, before Stellar even existed. They (Flying Eagle who make Stellar) have their own manufacturing facility to make the pre-preg so it costs much less.

As for the Nelo 560, yes I have paddled it. Found it very fast and turns with a tickle of the rudder. Quite stable for a top end racing ski, I still prefer a little more stability my balance is doing a runner on me. I am waiting for the 520, that might suit me, sounds too short but from what I have heard the prototype is very quick. I think February was mentioned somewhere for the official launch, but could be wrong.

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5 years 8 months ago #25504 by Kayaker Greg
Yes, the revolution is coming, the revolution of the shorter ski, long overdue! :)

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5 years 8 months ago #25505 by photofr
Replied by photofr on topic Lightweight vs. skinnier


Also Photofr which ski is next on your list? Has anybody heard anything about the revised Nelo 560 that Oscar C has been paddling or when it may be released to the market?

Cheers


I am looking VERY CLOSELY at Nelo :) :)

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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5 years 8 months ago #25508 by wesley
Replied by wesley on topic Lightweight vs. skinnier
Don't want the readers to get the impression that all pre preg boats are made are the same quality. This is not the case. Much goes into this process as you alluded to. Stellar has being make quality pre preg skis since 2010 and mass producing them. Stellar boats, skis and kayaks are produced in an Iso 9001 certified manufacturing plant(Flying Eagle). We have a great deal of expertise in this area(composites) since also make Wintech Rowing shells years before we started making Stellar surfski and kayaks. We are proud of our manufacturing process of our quality boats. We now have 5 different layups adding the multisport layup a few months ago. Our newest models the SEL and SES will now be offered in our pre preg layup as well.
Wesley Echols, Stellar Performance Director, SurfskiRacing.com.

Wesley Echols
SurfskiRacing.com
#1 in Surfski Reviews.

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5 years 8 months ago #25509 by rhainan
Replied by rhainan on topic Lightweight vs. skinnier
Who offers pre preg boats besides Epic and Stellar?

Western Pennsylvania Epic Kayak Dealer

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