Go Big or Go Home......V8 to V14

3 years 10 months ago #27260 by Aurelius

RedBack wrote:

Aurelius wrote: I took a look at the prices they're charging for Jantex paddles, and the room started to spin. I think I'll stick with my Chinese Epic knockoff for the time being.


With all due respect, the paddle is your power delivery device. It's as important as the craft you're paddling.

When you buy a Ferrari, do you fit it with cheap retreads? Not if you want the best performance from it.

The same applies to paddles. I know from back-to-back testing that I'm considerably faster with my Jantex than I was with another brand (which shall remain nameless!).

Indeed, the difference was as great as that between different levels of skis.

YMMV.


But surely you can understand why, having just bought a new paddle, I'm loathe to spend another $450 for one that may be no better than the one I already have. Unless Jantex has a 100% refund policy, why would I take such a gamble?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 years 10 months ago - 3 years 10 months ago #27261 by Kocho
With paddles, I don't think of as one being "better" in general. The feel and power curve (how they deliver power throughout the stroke), stability in the water, cleanliness of entry and exit, stiffness of the shaft, shape and texture of the shaft, shape of the blade, amount of twist, etc. - these are all things that are based on compromises. A particular combination will be "better" in one case, another in another situation.

What is universally "better" are things like low weight (especially swing weight), strength, and quality of construction and materials. I read the full carbon Epics are lighter (better) than the Gamma in question, and I know they are lighter than the Think paddle of a similar size. The Gamma and the Think have metal (better?) vs. plastic lock. The lock on the Think looks like it is made off things one gets for $0.50 cents at the hardware store for plumbing repairs, where the Gamma looks purpose-made but heavier. The Epic lock is lighter and works fine. So, which one is "better" - the cheaper and lighter, or the nicer looking but heavier? The Gamma has more twist than the Epic - there is no "better" here, depends on intended use and preference. The Epic has a cleaner exit (less splash, "better") than the Think. The Epic shaft is oval (I prefer oval, but does that make it "better" than round for someone who likes round "better"?), it is quite slippery (could be "better" or "worse", depending on what you need them for). Etc.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 years 10 months ago #27268 by RedBack

Aurelius wrote: But surely you can understand why, having just bought a new paddle, I'm loathe to spend another $450 for one that may be no better than the one I already have. Unless Jantex has a 100% refund policy, why would I take such a gamble?


1. Never buy a paddle unless you can test it prior to purchase. If you don't like it, then you've lost nothing. On the other hand, you might find it a revelation!
2. If you do like it, you can always sell your old paddle.
3. How much is the SEL you're considering...? ;)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 years 10 months ago #27269 by kwolfe
Update on my progress. Had a 3 day weekend so I got lots of time on the water. Friday was a miserable day in PA. Cold wind, rain and all around crappy weather. I decided (incorrectly) to grab for my wet suit for the first time this year. It wasn't the water temp so much, but the lack of sun and wind I didn't want to contend with.

Needless to say, not my best day out there. I was to hot and just could not get comfortable. Did my 5 miles but at only 6mph avg. However, I did slow down a number of times to flush water in the wet suit. It's amazing how being hot just drains you. I did get a chance to try different paddle lengths and foot plate positions.

Paddle Length: My paddle is usually set right about 214. I tried taking it down to 210 just for kicks and really didn't feel comfortable. Part of it is that I would require changing my stroke which I had just gotten used to on that ski. I also like to be able to bury the blade and get a good long pull out of it which isn't what the short length demands.

Foot plate: I tried going a hole further but it was simply too far. I might try adding a little payer of padding to the plate when its out the next hole just to see if I can hit the sweet spot. For me, I would like to have my calves just touching when fully rotated. Just another point of contact for stbiliity.

Saturday was overcast but warmer. No ski today. Took the OC1 for an 11 mile grinder. Half upwind, the other half down. Great day though. No one was out because of the weather so the lake was mine. Good mental recovery day for sure.

Sunday. I'm proud to announce that I was ALMOST swim free on the V14. I was tired from the day before so I was amazed at how relaxed I was in the bucket. Avg speed over 5 miles was 6.6mph with a top end of 7.8 (I never sprinted). The 6.6 seems odd because much of the time I was close to 7mph looking at my GPS. I suspect something wasn't right. The swim was 150yds from the boat launch DUH! I was just tired and got lazy. Went for a quick low brace and didn't commit.....splash!

Key takeaways form Sunday were:
1) don't start leg drive until your catch is planted and firm
2) don't keep driving you leg when you are exiting
3) breath!!!! (I know it's been said before but it does make a difference)
4) don't let the top hand drive down too much, it means you have over rotated and are most likely going to whack the ski with you paddle

That's it for now. I'll keep you all posted but things are coming together sometimes!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 years 10 months ago #27270 by Aurelius

RedBack wrote: 1. Never buy a paddle unless you can test it prior to purchase.


In that case, I'd never be able to buy a paddle.

3. How much is the SEL you're considering...? ;)


I'm not sure. The local Stellar dealer has a buy-back program for the first year of ownership, and since the price for the SEL is the same as the price for an SR, it may cost me nothing. At any rate, my plan was always to move up to the SEL anyway, so there's no gamble involved.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 years 10 months ago - 3 years 10 months ago #27272 by Aurelius

kwolfe wrote: Sunday. I'm proud to announce that I was ALMOST swim free on the V14. I was tired from the day before so I was amazed at how relaxed I was in the bucket. Avg speed over 5 miles was 6.6mph with a top end of 7.8 (I never sprinted). The 6.6 seems odd because much of the time I was close to 7mph looking at my GPS. I suspect something wasn't right.


This is a topic that comes up on cycling forums all the time. It used to drive me crazy to see my "average speed" somewhere in the neighborhood of 17 mph, when I know I was doing well over 20 mph most of the way. Any time you slow down, it kills your average, and it's almost impossible to regain the speed you've lost unless you go flat out for a long period. Most serious cyclists get around this problem by setting the GPS to only start recording when they hit a pre-selected speed, and stop recording when their speed falls below that number. If your GPS lets you do this, you may want to try it.

Here's an alternative to consider. Set up an account with Garmin Connect, and then create a segment that represents a route you usually take, say from one end of the lake to the other. Every time you paddle that segment, you can upload the result to see how it matches up to your previous efforts. Here's an example from Wesley Echols' website: connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/675461832

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 years 10 months ago #27273 by photofr
In the world of surfskis, I feel that paddles are just like ski boots.

Take the best pair of alpine skis, add the worst boots: No good.
Take the best surfski, add the worst paddle: No good.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 years 9 months ago #27296 by Fuyang Guy

Aurelius wrote:

photofr wrote: There's a lot you can do with the right equipment. Chinese knockoff could potentially harm you in more ways than you think. :)


This one is a copy of Epic's mid size paddle. It may even be made by the same company that manufactures Epic's paddles, but is sold for considerably less under their own brand name. I have no complaints about it.


Just to clear up any confusion here,
Epic paddles are made by Epic staff in an Epic factory.
They are not outsourced.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 years 9 months ago #27300 by Aurelius
Just picked up my brand new Stellar SEL G2. No excuses for being slow now!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 years 9 months ago #27301 by red_pepper
Unless you're unstable in the boat. Then "falling out" is an acceptable excuse. ;)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 years 9 months ago #27304 by Aurelius
I just got back from taking my new Stellar SEL for a test drive, so there are lots of things to report.



Surface conditions on the lake this morning looked threatening, with waves as high as two inches, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and head out there regardless. :-)

The first thing I noticed was how difficult the 26 lb. SEL is to carry compared to my 32.2 lb. SR. The Excel build makes the boat so light on your shoulder that the slightest breeze threatens to spin you around, and you have to keep a close eye on it once it's in the water, else the wind will just carry it off! Yet the weight difference didn't make the SEL feel all that different when paddling. I weigh 177 lbs, and I was told by another SEL owner that at my weight, it would feel "corky" compared to my heavier SR. Perhaps that's true when you're out at sea, but on flat water, I wasn't aware of it.

The SEL also came with an 8" rudder, which I was told would aid stability. I can't say whether it does that or not, but despite being two feet longer from bow to stern, it turned on a dime compared to my SR with it's diminutive 4" rudder. The nice thing is that even under full rudder, the boat doesn't tip to one side when executing sharp turns, as my Mako XT did. Not sure why that is.

When comparing stability, it seems to me that the warnings I received have been greatly exaggerated. The SEL is noticeably more tippy than the SR when you start paddling from a dead stop, but I would say the difference amounts to no more than 20%. Once you get moving, its even more stable. It's relative instability only reared its head when approaching speeds of 7 mph, when things got a little em, "interesting". The highest speed I got up before I felt as if I was losing my balance was 7.26 mph. I've had the SR up to 8.1 mph, but I fully expect that my balance will improve in the next few weeks to compensate for the SEL's less forgiving manners. At slower speeds (5-6 mph) instability is not an issue, and there you can really feel how much easier it is to maintain those speeds in the SEL compared to the SR. Suffice it to say that in the 5 miles I paddled it around the lake, I didn't come close to dumping the boat even once.

I'm so impressed with the SEL that if I had to do it over again, I would just skip the SR and go directly to an SEL. The difference in skill level required to pilot the two isn't great enough to justify the cost of buying a beginner ski and then moving gradually up an elite ski, IMO.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 years 9 months ago #27305 by red_pepper
Congratulations on the new SEL! It sounds like you're off to a great start. Being very comfortable in a 2nd Gen SR makes the transition - at least on flat water - fairly easy. I like the 2nd Gen SEL and find it to be a fun and fast boat (I'm currently racing the Multi-Sport layup). And you're right - it does get more stable as you get going.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 years 9 months ago #27306 by Aurelius
Whatever happened to kwolfe??

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 years 9 months ago - 3 years 9 months ago #27307 by Aurelius
I've been looking at the SEL G2, wondering how they're ever going to improve on it. They might tweak it here and there, but I don't see any significant changes coming down the pike, so this may very well be my last surf ski.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 years 9 months ago #27314 by kwolfe
Aurelius,
Way to go on the boat. It sounds great!

Yeah I'm still around. Being a single dad, its hard to find time for everything sometimes. :dry:

I have been out in the 14 a couple of more times. The latest attempt got me an average of just above 7mph for 5 miles. Funny part is, I feel less tired at that pace than I do getting a 6.5 avg from the V8.

I have really been trying to work on getting a sooner and firmer catch which enables me to exit a little earlier. Seems to be working pretty well but as you can see in the video, I need to keep my top hand a little higher.

V14

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 years 9 months ago #27316 by Aurelius

kwolfe wrote: Aurelius,
Way to go on the boat. It sounds great!

Yeah I'm still around. Being a single dad, its hard to find time for everything sometimes. :dry:

I have been out in the 14 a couple of more times. The latest attempt got me an average of just above 7mph for 5 miles. Funny part is, I feel less tired at that pace than I do getting a 6.5 avg from the V8.

I have really been trying to work on getting a sooner and firmer catch which enables me to exit a little earlier. Seems to be working pretty well but as you can see in the video, I need to keep my top hand a little higher.

V14


Glad to see that you're still with us!

I spoke with the the Southern representative for Epic, who invited me to a demo they're having in Daytona next week. I mentioned wanting to try out the V14, but he kept trying to steer me away from it. When I asked how it compared to the other skis in their fleet, his reply was that, "It's either our fastest ski, or our slowest." I got the impression that the level of skill you need to be fast in one is so high that only elite paddlers could put a V14 to good use. No matter, I'm going to try one anyway. B)

Judging by the dimensions on Epic's website, the V14 is almost identical to my new SEL G2, only the G2 seems much more stable. Even on my first time out, I never came close to tipping over in it. But I wasn't going as fast as you do. Is your V14 tippy even at more modest speeds of around 5-6 mph?

How much longer can you paddle up North? I used to live in upstate NY, and I remember seeing ice on the driveway as early as September. I think I'd need a dry suit to be paddling up there at this time of year!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 years 9 months ago #27317 by fredrik
Unless you compete in your surfski and are eager to achieve those incremental improvements there are few reasons to be in a too tippy ski.

For most paddlers tippy skis ( v14, ses, uno, elite s....) are less fun, catches fewer waves, slower, harder to sell compared to the more stable skis.

Having said that I believe all paddlers need to buy increasingly tippy skis until they reach their max level of instability. We have all done it, I guess. If you buy quality skis, 2nd hand, the cost is not that prohibitive either. A V14 at a mirror lake is an incredible feeling. .......

....but just dont sell your stable ski that give you all the fun on those hairy, bad weather days. An buy the lightest version of the stable ski you can afford.

Modern stable skis are not slow either. Very few people paddle faster than their potential in the 11-12,5 km/hr range anyway. If you want to paddle that fast stick to your stable ski and do the technique work. When you are ready for an upgrade do the same technique work with increasing seat pads. No need to pad the sides in a wide bucket either, it just helps you maintain a stable rotation

my guess is that if you can pick a stable and tippy ski, you will very quickly pick the stable ski every time after som initial novelty sessions with the tippy one.

So make the tippy purchase, sell it fast .....and start enjoying your stable paddling in flat and hairy conditions

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 years 9 months ago - 3 years 9 months ago #27318 by kwolfe
I'm gonna keep paddling until the water is frozen. I only missed two weekends last year paddling in a 3/2 wet suit. I stay close to shore and wear my pfd. Now the V14 will most likely get put away when the water starts to get seriously cold, but I'll keep putting in the V8 and my OC1.

I have heard that the G2 is a really stable boat. Only slightly less than the V10. Yes, the V14 is still twitchy at slower speeds. I find that when I am relaxed an not thinking so much, I paddle better. Over rotating and reaching are the two biggest causing for swimming. It's fun when you see the speed you can achieve with less effort however it does remind you that you need to pay attention.

The day I took the video, I swam once. It was my fault. I got lazy when coming to the beach to re position the gorpro. Tried to paddle through the ski tipping a little to far and it said "nope, sucker"!
I said before, I'll probably paddle this and the V8 most of next year. Might then sell them both and get a V10. Use the extra money to get a new OC1.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 years 9 months ago #27319 by kwolfe
Not a surfski, but here is what I did last Sunday. Was 71 and sunny in central PA. I have to admit, I do love my OC1. It's just fun to paddle. Faster than my paddleboard but less technical than a surfski. You can just hop on and grunt out the miles while listening to some good tunes.

OC1 Fun

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

3 years 9 months ago #27321 by Aurelius

kwolfe wrote: Not a surfski, but here is what I did last Sunday. Was 71 and sunny in central PA. I have to admit, I do love my OC1. It's just fun to paddle. Faster than my paddleboard but less technical than a surfski. You can just hop on and grunt out the miles while listening to some good tunes.

OC1 Fun


That is one cool boat! How do you transport something that big though? Does the outrigger detach from it?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Latest Forum Topics

Bucket comfort/padding (5 Posts)

1 hour 35 minutes ago
zachhandler's Avatar

Kai Wa'a Surfski (97 Posts)

1 day 14 hours ago
Protected by R Antispam