Is the New 2016 Stellar SEL really that good?

1 year 1 month ago #31115 by Atlas
Hi Mick.
Don can be reached at; surfski (at) gmail (dot) com
IMO the Bluefin's rudder is placed too far aft for optimal downwind performance. Therefore this boat is transformed by a very aggressive rudder. I’ve had DK make me a downwind specific rudder (which is obviously overkill for most paddling) as well as an all-round weed free rudder. I’ve been very happy with these rudders.
Cheers. Adam.

Current skis:
Epic V10L, Think Zen, Fenn Bluefin, Fenn XT double

Previous skis
Fenn Swordfish, Fenn Swordfish S, Fenn XT, Spirit PRS

Most with DK rudders.

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1 year 1 month ago #31116 by owenfromwales
Paging Dicko -
Hiya matey, just re-read your words on leg length and the SEL g2. Just how tall are you, or rather, how long is your inseam? I`m 6'3" with a 36" inseam. I have no worries with fitting in my SEI. It has a small pad behind the top of my bum and with bare feet I`m on no.5 on the rack - so at least another inch to spare. I was wondering if the SEL g2 and the SEI g2 have similar or different maximum leg lengths?

Happy paddling,

Owen

189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy

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1 year 1 month ago #31117 by owenw
G'day Mick, I have discussed this with Don Keisling and am considering getting a big and a small for the SEL. He will make and send them here for a reasonable price (despite the current exchange rate). I've to check the shaft size and get back to him. Maybe we could pool our order (his suggestion) to save postage. PM me if you are interested.

Life truly lived is full of risk; to fence out risk is to fence out life itself

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1 year 1 month ago #31126 by Dicko
Don't know my inseam, but I am a similar height to you. I have reasonably long legs. In the gen1 SEL I have 1-2 cm's of adjustment left. In the gen 2 I was a good 3-4 cm (an estimate) short of comfortable. Would have bought a gen 2 if it had fitted. In hindsight I'm glad I got the older ski. Stability is king as I get older.

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1 year 1 month ago #31131 by owenfromwales
Thanks for the info Dicko.

Owen

189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy

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1 year 1 month ago #31135 by TaffyMick
PM sent on FB Owen.

Mick

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

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1 year 3 weeks ago - 1 year 3 weeks ago #31366 by Watto
Really sorry missed the post TaffyMick. Have two Keisling rudders standard and long surf - get both. Direct contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Brilliant rudders each to its own standard rudder normal conditions big surf for big surf! Though had reservations about longer rudder catching weed, hasn't to date however post storms or big swells in Perth there can be a lot of crap in the water, yet to have one of those days - weed guard the go I reckon.

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11 months 3 weeks ago #31645 by cogdoc
Followup after a month with an 8" DK rudder.

On flat water I've noticed no difference, extra drag or even a change in my typical speeds, and at straight ahead you wouldn't even realise it has a different rudder. What was apparent straight away, the boat leans a bit the second you start to turn, this rudder bites, not enough to throw you out, but it's obvious it grabs the water a lot more even at shallow angles. I can now turn in about half the radius of the stock rudder, and it is making a lot more noise on full lock. Sure it still stalls, but at now at more typical speeds.

The change is more impressive in the chop, all of a sudden the primary instability I struggle with is largely gone, and even this morning in 20+ knots SE and a solid 1.5m swells, only once did I need to brace travelling along the coastline. THAT is huge for me in the SEL. I can now get onto a wave and simply keep paddling, whereas before I had to brace stroke once starting to plane, slowing me down. I've never been able to keep paddling when on a wave, and it sure opens up a whole new world of wave catching. The 8" is what Don K recommends for best all round, I think I'll order a 9" beast as well for the true downwind days, as I am liking having "more rudder".

So a VERY worthwhile addition to the SEL gen 2, and thank you for all the help transforming the boat into a much more useful rough sea weapon. THIS is how it should come from the factory!

Now: Stellar SEL Gen 2

Prior: Ozflyte R21, Competition Kayaks Fireblade K1, MaxKayak Clever X K1, numerous SLSC Spec Ski's.

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11 months 3 weeks ago #31651 by wesley
so what was the angle of the rudder you from Don?

Wesley Echols
SurfskiRacing.com
#1 in Surfski Reviews.

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11 months 3 weeks ago #31653 by cogdoc
There's angles? Don and I were discussing the 9" Gorge Downwind Special, and this looks like an 8" version of that. I'll try and attach a pic, need to go take one first!

Now: Stellar SEL Gen 2

Prior: Ozflyte R21, Competition Kayaks Fireblade K1, MaxKayak Clever X K1, numerous SLSC Spec Ski's.

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11 months 2 weeks ago #31690 by Newbflat
As Wesley said "what’s the angle"?.. it can make a big difference in how aggressive the rudder is both in surfing and feel on the ski. My 9” 15° wide cord downwind rudder from Don is super on my SR and is ample stability, but will just about throw you out of the SEL if you not very light in with your toes and lean appropriately. If I was getting a downwind rudder for the SEL I would dail back the angle a bit to 20° to take a bit of the aggressiveness out of it. I did this with my Swordfish S and it’s Just right for me. His rudders generate more lift than most standard rudders so take a little time getting use to.

FENN Bluefin S
FENN Swordfish S carbon hybrid
Lot and lots of DK rudders.


Had:
Stellar SEL excel (gen 2)
Stellar SR excel (gen2)
Stellar S18s g1 (excel)
Epic V10 Double (performance)
Stellar SR (gen 1)
V10 sport (gen 2)
V10 (Gen 2)
Beater SEL (gen 1)

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11 months 2 weeks ago #31720 by cogdoc
Don tells me I have a 20 degree in 8", so my review is at that level. 15 degrees would sure be a thrill !

Now: Stellar SEL Gen 2

Prior: Ozflyte R21, Competition Kayaks Fireblade K1, MaxKayak Clever X K1, numerous SLSC Spec Ski's.

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11 months 2 weeks ago #31737 by Newbflat
That sounds like an excelente choice. While I have 15° DK rudders on my SR and previous S18s, I suspect even a normal cord DK at 15° might be too aggressive on the SEL. I put my 15° 9” wide cors on my SEL two summers ago and it will just about throw you out of the ski if your not carful. When I got meh Swordfish S last summer I had Don make a 20° 9” normal cord rudder for it and it’s perfact. Aggressive but not as too aggressive/ twitchy on the Swordfish S, and it’s a more stable ski than the SEL. It’s all relative to what you’re use to, but I doubt you will gane much and will loose some of the forgiveness of the 20° If you switch to a 15°. Better get a fast weedless instead. Even a 7” 35° weedless works better than the stellar 8” for everything.

FENN Bluefin S
FENN Swordfish S carbon hybrid
Lot and lots of DK rudders.


Had:
Stellar SEL excel (gen 2)
Stellar SR excel (gen2)
Stellar S18s g1 (excel)
Epic V10 Double (performance)
Stellar SR (gen 1)
V10 sport (gen 2)
V10 (Gen 2)
Beater SEL (gen 1)

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11 months 2 days ago #31878 by Dicko
The rudder thing is very confusing. I have now tried a modified epic 9 inch, the stellar 9 inch surf rudder and a DK 9 inch rudder on my gen 1 SEL.
The epic rudder had too much drag. It felt like I had weed on my rudder. It also was too aggressive when turning.
The stellar rudder looked shocking, the workmanship was questionable, the tiller is offset 10 derees from straight, but it produces no drag compared to the standard rudder. I changed to a DK rudder because the Stellar rudder is a weed magnet during winter.
The DK rudder is a bit of a let down to be honest. It has a ton of drag. I reckon in a flat out sprint I lose more than a K an hour in top speed. It also is incredibly slow to turn the boat. I can see at a place like the gorge where the waves line up in rows it would be good, but in the smaller less organised runs that I catch, I was struggling to get the speed up to get on the runs. I think my 9 inch will become an 8 inch rudder in the near future. All my mates use 8 inch DK's and love them.
Rudder choice is not as simple as it seems. The conditions you paddle in, the type of runs you catch, even the way you use the pedals to steer all have a bearing on rudder choice.
So its back to the crappy looking Stellar rudder which despite all the negatives actually works best for me, on my boat, in my conditions.

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10 months 3 weeks ago #31937 by Dicko
Just in case anyones interested. The 9 inch DK rudder is now an 8 inch DK rudder.
Much, much better. The drag is minimal, which is important on an SEL because you need speed to get on to runs. It also turns much better. I assume this is because there is less lift behind the shaft which makes turning more difficult. Bit odd that you make a rudder smaller and it turns better. Had a lot of bounce back this morning and very small runs and the rudder felt good.

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10 months 3 weeks ago #31973 by Vage
I'm still only paddling in flatwater, and have a lot of challenges ahead of me, but the stability of the SEL seems amazing. I think that if you are making a transition from a sea kayak, and think the SES might be the right boat for you, you might try an SEL before you pull the trigger. I may outgrow the SEL in awhile and wish for an SES, but the difference in stability between the two seems remarkable to me.

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