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

2 years 11 months ago #27037 by Flowmaster
I'm just glad my I took a smaller step, use the SEI every day now and had a few more serious downwinders.
I still have to concentrate a lot in these conditions, rotation , leg drive, keeping my arms up etc, hard work .
So hard, I sometimes wonder, would't it be way more fun in the old V8.
I'm making progres , slowly but getting there and wonder if the even slower way (like a V14) would work for me.

Respect for the choyce you made, but I'm afraid the learning curve would be to steep for me.

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

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2 years 11 months ago #27042 by kwolfe
I figured the max may very well be exaggerated. I figured if I took the two falls out, I probably would have averaged about 6.8mph. The one swim took about three try's to remount.

As for stats. I'm 6ft, 192lbs. I started paddleboarding last year around June. I got my V8 around late July of last year. I get out about 3-4 times per week for 5miles. I'm a generally athletic person.

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2 years 11 months ago #27043 by Aurelius

kwolfe wrote: I figured the max may very well be exaggerated. I figured if I took the two falls out, I probably would have averaged about 6.8mph. The one swim took about three try's to remount.


I have an old picture of my Garmin Forerunner, taken a few weeks after I got my first surf ski. I had no idea how to paddle and I was wobbling all over the place, so imagine my surprise when I saw this readout after trying to push my limits a bit:



Obviously I wasn't capable of going anywhere near 9.0 mph, but those are the kind of wild readings you get when the GPS is strapped to your wrist. Try looping yours around the foot strap; that's where most paddlers like to put them.

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2 years 11 months ago #27044 by hamishglen

rhainan wrote:
You may benefit from switching to a surf rudder. I see Cliff has the current one cut down. A bigger rudder can improve stability.


Completely agree. I have an elliptical surf rudder (from Orka) on both my Fenn Glide and Fenn Elite S, this makes a massive difference.

The first image shows the difference between the stock Fenn DW rudder and the elliptical rudder.
I haven't seen any rudders for Epic which are larger than their surf rudder, but can't hurt looking.

Stellar and Think appear to be leading the way for a high amount of rudder options.
Attachments:

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2 years 11 months ago #27048 by Cryder
Finally, someone else daring enough to just go full-retard and embrace it. I was beginning to think I was the only one. Welcome to a very exclusive club. We are rarer then new Elks Club members these days... so please don't die.

As I mentioned before, I went from a V8 like ski to a V12 and then to paddling a V14 in all conditions. It didn't take long, but it took a lot of bucket time and a few embarrassing swims. If you approach the V14 as a means to an end, and as a learning tool, it has the potential to make you a much better paddler. When you get back into your V8 after getting the V14 down it's especially apparent.

I like to tell people making the move to a more demanding ski that "the catch is the best brace", and to think of paddling as similar to juggling... vs say a golf stroke. Golfer's have about the same biomechanical input, but a lot more time to focus and zero chance of hypothermia or getting whacked in the impact zone. Ask a golfer to take a hundred swings a minute both left and right handed on a balance beam for an hour straight, and you'll get the picture pretty quick how hard it is to truly paddle well.

In terms of juggling, think of every catch as a way to rebalance the ski underneath you. This requires you to trust your catch, and not rely on the ski's primary stability or your hips. Each time the blade submerges and "locks in", you can pull / move the ski around underneath you to adjust to what the water is doing. It's how the elite paddlers look so fluid, calm and planted even when paddling in huge / messy surf. A low, sweeping brace is a great way to prevent a swim - but it's not a great way to paddle.

If the ski is tippy, it's because its reacting to you making it tippy. Its a puzzle. If the ski tips quickly underneath you, it could be because you are rotating your torso before the blade is fully submerged (very common). Or it could be because you are tracking the paddle too close to the hull, or perhaps leaving it in too long. Any number of possible issues. It's a fun puzzle to work on, but having a gopro running at 120 fps can make it a bit easier to understand (as can a good coach). But focus on making the catch powerful, not tentative, and many of the other issues become secondary tweaks.

In terms of remounting, it's great to learn on a V14 because if you can get it done (and done well) in that ski, just about any other ski (except for maybe a 1st gen Nelo 560) will be a piece of cake to remount. Just remember that every time you remount, you'll be weaker / more vulnerable to the next swim. Also remember that no two days on the water are alike... so choose your days out in V14 wisely. Minimize risk to yourself and others with good safety protocol, and always paddle with a few salty friends if you are pushing it skill-set wise (and I say this because I think it's key to push yourself). The line between "ok" / "not ok" is very, very thin... often two or three swims.

Finally, take the time to experiment with finding your ideal foot brace position and foot strap tension. The more powerful your catch and body rotation gets, the more important your foot brace becomes to firmly connect you to your ski. Even a millimeter can make a huge difference, so experiment with a pad on the foot brace for distance and traction. I had the misfortune of breaking my foot brace in the first kilometer at the Gorge Downwind champs this year, and my ski became extremely hard to steer / balance because the firm connection just wasn't there. Not. Fun.

-Cryder
The following user(s) said Thank You: SurfskiEstonia, seajak

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2 years 11 months ago #27052 by kwolfe
Thanks for the encouragement and the indoctrination into the club to the colossally stupid!

Yeah, I'm learning that the catch and leg drive is extremely important. Not only getting a good solid catch but the timing of the leg drive and matching the power of the two is a delicate dance. If either they are timed correctly or applied with the same power, you are put off balance.

This mornings effort was good but the average speed wasn't good because I was at the small lake I normally train at in the morning. It was raining, dark and I couldn't see the spots with pond weeds so I made a smaller loop I knew would be clear of them. The dark definitely tests your senses a bit. I could still see the white bow but couldn't see the water as well so had to trust the "feel" of it. Tried a few hard "sprints" and got up to 8.5mph. This is with the gps attached to the boat this time.

This boat really feels like it wants to be fast. At that pace, the V8 would feel like a was pushing a barge. The V14 feels like it has so much more to give. Just need to keep working to get there.

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2 years 11 months ago #27054 by MAS
Thanks kwolfe and Cryder sharing your experiences in making the leap. Where I paddle I get to see quite a few junior sprint & marathon K1 racers making their leaps to next more unstable & faster K1s. It's amazing how fast some of them go from "remove hand from the pier and 2 secs later swim" to paddling & swimming every few minutes to paddling pretty well. Besides having the benefit of youth and learning the balance it seems to be exactly what Cryder writes about strong self-confidence and trusting the catch for balancing aid.

Myself I keep on struggling with the deadly loop where fear of swimming results in tentative catch impacting balance and ruining technique and thus does not really help progressing with learning. Perhaps took a too big leap for my abilities (mental & balance) and perhaps should have gone with a ski that can be remounted rather than sprint K1 style where swim is a swim to the shore and even there remounting is tricky without a pier.

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2 years 11 months ago - 2 years 11 months ago #27055 by Aurelius

MAS wrote: Myself I keep on struggling with the deadly loop where fear of swimming results in tentative catch impacting balance and ruining technique and thus does not really help progressing with learning. Perhaps took a too big leap for my abilities (mental & balance) and perhaps should have gone with a ski that can be remounted rather than sprint K1 style where swim is a swim to the shore and even there remounting is tricky without a pier.


Ugh. The more I read about K1's, the less enthusiastic I become about buying one. It's a shame they don't make them like surf skis, to facilitate remounts and to keep them from filling with water.

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2 years 11 months ago #27056 by MAS
Ugh. The more I read about K1's, the less enthusiastic I become about buying one. It's a shame they don't make them like surf skis, to facilitate remounts and to keep them from filling with water.

Well, that's what you have surf skis for ;=) I have only tried ski once, V8Pro for a test paddle. I was surprised how much worse the ergonomics felt vs. my Nelo Viper vs. even my Epic 18XS. Bucket and hump both limiting leg drive and hip rotation. So there is a price to pay for remountability. Though much prefer pedal steering vs. tiller bar in my Viper.

Taking the note from Cryder's comment above I tuned my Viper's foot brace a bit, brought carbon pull bar closer to toes and adjusted bottom of brace to better support soles of my feet. Whether it was all that or just good day I felt a lot more stable on a subsequent quick test paddle.

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2 years 11 months ago #27057 by photofr
I am not going to say WHO... but I guarantee that before 2018 is over, we will be seeing some amazing things for the consumers: PADDLERS!!!!

They may come in the form of really nice ergonomics for surfskis, as well as some pretty cool things as in: surfski-type K1, or at least K1s with pedals instead of a tiller. :)

Okay... dream a little dream: it can't hurt.

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

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2 years 11 months ago #27059 by Cryder
Since you are focusing so much on technique and asking all the right questions, take a look at the Epic technique video series (if you haven't seen these already) to cross reference some of what you are thinking about and working on.

www.epickayaks.com/article/article/epic-technique-series

If you can travel to a big race where the pros attend, you'll be able to sign up for a demo / technique sessions taught by the best. These are often when paddlers make huge leaps and bounds in sorting out technique, and getting much faster at the same time. Not to mention the camaraderie of having other people around just like you.

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2 years 11 months ago #27076 by kwolfe
I would love to go to a big race but being a single dad in central PA doesn't lend itself much to traveling for paddling. :huh:

Good news is, I ordered a GoPro yesterday, so in about a week I should be able to post some video. I'm also going to try and get my V8 out later this week to get some GPS stats for comparison.

Aurelius,
By any chance would you want to part with the surf rudder from your V7. Do you know the dimensions?

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2 years 11 months ago #27080 by Aurelius

kwolfe wrote: I would love to go to a big race but being a single dad in central PA doesn't lend itself much to traveling for paddling. :huh:

Good news is, I ordered a GoPro yesterday, so in about a week I should be able to post some video. I'm also going to try and get my V8 out later this week to get some GPS stats for comparison.


Too late I guess, but I would have steered you toward the Garmin Virb Elite, which you can get new on e-bay for under $100 bucks. It comes with a built in GPS, so you can choose which stats you want displayed in the video, such as speed, acceleration, heart rate (if you have a heart monitor), direction, etc. And if you use it in conjunction with some Garmin GPS units (Edge 520, 800, 820, 1000) you can also turn on and off remotely. I have a GoPro Hero 2 which served me well for a couple of years, but it doesn't compare to the Virb Elite in terms of features, battery life, and ease of use.

Aurelius,
By any chance would you want to part with the surf rudder from your V7. Do you know the dimensions?


Judging from the photos and measurements posted here, it's no larger than the one you already have. I'm assuming the term "surf rudder" refers to a longer than usual rudder, but that isn't what came with my V7. The Stellar dealer advised me that if I were to upgrade to an elite level ski like yours, I would need a 9" rudder for the extra stability it affords, at least until my balance improved.

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2 years 11 months ago #27081 by kwolfe
Thanks for checking. Well my girlfriend was wondering what to get me for my birthday, so the elliptical rudder might be in store. I know some here are not convinced that it makes a difference however i would think that a 9" rudder (essential vertical) would deter some twitch better than the cut down weedless I have which is probably 4". It would act a bit more like a skeg.

Even a marginal difference would be beneficial in the feel of the boat. Next session will be Thurs or Friday. My OC1 is getting jealous and I do really love that boat. It is just fun because you can get out and just grind out the miles. Technique is important but a fraction as important as with a ski.

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2 years 11 months ago #27082 by Newbflat
Remember, larger rudders are two faced. They help with reducing twitching and slow the roll down a little but only when your not moving the rudder. The moment you step on the rudder they have a much stronger twisting force on a ski than a smaller/ shorter rudder. So you can be paddling along thinking how this rudder takes the edge off my tippy ski and think it's super, then step on the peddle and just about throw yourself out of the ski. The lighter and skinner the ski the more aggressive the torqueing/ twisting of the hull. It will teach you to lean the direction of your turn in a hurry!

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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2 years 11 months ago #27083 by Aurelius

kwolfe wrote: Thanks for checking. Well my girlfriend was wondering what to get me for my birthday, so the elliptical rudder might be in store. I know some here are not convinced that it makes a difference however i would think that a 9" rudder (essential vertical) would deter some twitch better than the cut down weedless I have which is probably 4". It would act a bit more like a skeg.


Oh, it definitely makes a difference. My SR is equipped with a 4" rudder, making it very slow to turn compared to my V7. A bigger rudder definitely makes a ski more nimble, but like Newbflat says, put a big rudder on a super skinny boat like your V14, and it may put you in the water if you try to execute a sharp turn.

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2 years 11 months ago #27085 by nell
A thick large rudder creates too much lift for my tastes, even in good size downwind conditions. To get a large surface area rudder with less tendency to catapult you over the side when you step on it, have DK build you one. I like a thinner NACA profile that's swept back a bit.

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2 years 11 months ago #27088 by WingSuit
Regarding the Garmin and estimating what your avg speed minus the swims would be, some of the Garmin's allow you to set a minimum speed. For example, when I reach 4 mph mine starts, and if I slow below 4 it stops.

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2 years 11 months ago #27098 by kwolfe
nell,
Who is DK? Having a custom rudder would be great unless it's crazy expensive. I emailed Epic and their surf rudder is 4.5X9 inches while their universal is 1 inch shorter.

On another note, I did find out that the difference in shaft length from a gen1 V8 to the V14 is 7.5 vs 6.5 inches so I might order a surf rudder for the V8 and simply drill another hole and inch down. This was I could use it on the V8 for days when the wind really pics up and we get steep, short interval chop on the lake.

Wingsuit,
I think I saw an autopause setting on my Garmin. I'm going to have to check that out especially because on the small lake I train at in the morning, I go 1/2 between the damn and the buoy (past the buoy has too much lake weed). Turning 180 degrees can definitely hurt the average speed.

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2 years 11 months ago - 2 years 11 months ago #27099 by Newbflat
DK rudders is Don Kiesling ( posted earlier in this thread adout rudders as Waterbornewarrior). He works out of Seattle, WA or Hood River, OR depending on the time of year. He will build what ever you what for what ever you want . I am a fan and addict having had 7 rudders over the years. Of late he made me a 9" 15° wide cord rudder for my new Stellar SR (excel) and it transformed the ski (over the 8" stellar rudder) from not something I was interested In to my first choice while demoing skis.
Rudders can make BIG differences in ski handeling, especially downwind. His rudders are reasonably priced, ether similar or cheaper than stock rudders.

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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