Nelo 550 - very brief and non-conclusive impressions

5 months 3 weeks ago #31359 by Henning DK
Still happy :-)
The 550 is a little jumpy in choppy conditions, but I don't find it as wet as rumors will have it. And the jumping going upwind pays off when turning downwind, acceleration and maneurability is superb. Still having fun, winter and summer!
Updating my review on facebook from time to time.
Not selling ;-)

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

5 months 3 weeks ago #31363 by kwolfe
I'll echo his comments. The 550 is great for me chasing little short period runners that are wind generate on the river and lake near me. Super comfy and picks up speed well. It does get moved a bit side to side in confused waters which I suspect is due to the shorter length. great ski though.

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

5 months 3 weeks ago #31364 by photofr
I always spoke my mind - about any skis - based on facts I could show to anyone. Now that I am no longer affiliated with anyone, I feel even more relieved - because what I say is no longer put under the microscope.

EVERYONE wants the fastest ski.
EVERYONE should seek a ski like the 550 or similar.

For the Intermediate paddle, the 550 will have you improve on so many levels, while not taxing your balance too much. Short or long waves are a total blast on that ski. Flat water speed isn't going to make you feel like a drag either.

To my knowledge, not a single 550 is available used. That should tell you a lot, mainly: people are going to keep their 550's for a long time to come.

Perhaps we can simplify like this:
Unless you are going to be in the top 7 during every single race, you have little to do on a more Elite ski - because you shall excel on a 550.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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

5 months 3 weeks ago #31368 by tve
Thanks for the replies! I actually have a lead on a 550 to be available used in a couple of months, need to find out more, sounds like someone selling due to life changes...
WRT speed I just want to be able to keep up with the other guys around here, but most of that comes down to muscle strength and skill, not boat... They all have over a decade in the bucket...

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

5 months 3 weeks ago #31373 by tve
> To my knowledge, not a single 550 is available used.

Your web search skills need a refresher ;-) : www.surfskiracing.org/classified/show-ad...ester/mass/surfskis/
And I know of another one coming up for sale "in a couple of months".
So not everyone will take their 550 into their grave ;-) (boy, that would make for an expensive burial...)

BTW, the screws in the foot pedal adjuster blocks on my 510 are all rusting out (all 8), despite regular rinsing after paddling. Is that a know nelo issue? Does nelo offer a stainless screw upgrade :-) ?

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

5 months 3 weeks ago #31378 by Henning DK
"the screws in the foot pedal adjuster blocks on my 510 are all rusting out"

Yes, that's right - I have removed those, and I am doing my own system now, to be working like on Epic surfskis. I didn't like those adjusters in the first place.

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

5 months 3 weeks ago #31380 by Hardy
Henning, would you mind posting a photo of your system?

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

5 months 3 weeks ago #31382 by Henning DK
It's not installed yet, so at the moment my ski has a fixed leg length setup. I will post as soon as it is finished.

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

5 months 3 weeks ago #31384 by photofr
The screws will rust!
My fix to this ongoing problem is Silicon Grease (it's $3 from a scuba diving shop) and works wonders - just take care in not putting too much.

The adjustment system is, in my opinion, fantastically useful - though I would love to see a smaller, lighter, and even better system in the future.

On a different subject, you gotta to admit that there aren't that many used 550's available for sale - around the World - even if you find one or two exceptions to the rule.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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

5 months 3 weeks ago #31389 by tve
Thanks for the silicon grease tip, I'll give that a try.
WRT the number of used 550's on the market, I just had to tease you ;-).

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

5 months 3 weeks ago #31390 by TomVW
I have also sometimes suspected Ludovic of being fond of absolute statements ("not a single second-hand 550 for sale") or exaggerations ("try a 550 and you will be blown away").
But last week, I traded in my 2 year old SEI for a 550, and I must admit that, if not blown away, I am at the very least pretty impressed so far.

Ralph Baker's article on optimal surfski length (in short: 5.9m for a 90kg paddler at 16km/h) got me thinking:
- if 5.9m is optimal for a 90kg paddler at 16km/h, then surely at 10km/h the wetted surface resistance is more important than the wave-making resistance and a shorter surfski would make even more sense.
- on top of that, a shorter ski has a lot of advantage, as already abundantly covered on this forum: more maneuverable, easier to handle off the water, easier to store, lighter, stiffer, ...

So, I went to the biggest dealer around those parts (Arjan Bloem in the Netherlands), which happened to have several second-hand 560s and one 550 in stock. In the end the second-hand 550 was already sold by the time I got to the shop, but after a try-out, I just bought a new one and traded in my SEI.

And boy, did the 550 fulfill the short-boat promises:

- it is indeed lighter and stiffer than the SEI (advantage lay-up) was

- the turning radius is indeed a good deal shorter and makes short work of hairpin turns on the canal I paddle most

but best of all: my average speed over 10km at exercise pace has increased overnight from 9.7 km/h on the SEI to 10.3 km/h on flat water with an Epic small wing.

- Stability is about similar on both, so its not that I felt too unstable on the SEI to apply power.

- The 550 is very light going at lower speeds, when paddling with friends in sea kayaks, I have to exert even less than before in the SEI. And even at my "nominal cruising speed" of 10km/h, the shorter length does not seem to be any problem

- Sitting position and bucket shape seem to have contributed to improved technique: due to the higher seat height relative to the heels, I can "go-over" the stroke much better. The bucket is also more rounded than the SEI, and I seem to rotate my hips more freely than in the SEI, where the bucket was at the same time bigger but more constricting at my hip bones (for reference, I am 1.82m tall and weight 87 kg)

SO, all-in-all, I am a very happy camper and I will cut Ludovic some slack in the future, when he makes another one of his bold claims. After all, he was right with this one...

Tom
The following user(s) said Thank You: tve

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

5 months 3 weeks ago - 5 months 3 weeks ago #31391 by Watto
Great mini review TomVW. My SEI Gen 2 my go-to ski for most conditions however on the lookout for an upgrade.

Sounds like majority of your paddling on the flat or small conditions. Anything at at all in bigger stuff, uphill, downhill and longer swells?





Dean Gardner coming in Sunset Series race pre-Doctor Perth 2017 - longer swells.

Attachments:

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

5 months 3 weeks ago #31397 by TomVW
Hi Watto,

Most of my paddling is indeed on flat water, as I have the luxury of having a canal literally behind my backyard. It's just a matter of grabbing the boat and walking to the end of the garden...
I do plan to take the 550 to the North Sea in the summer. But even then, the Belgian coast is not really known for its great downwind conditions.

I guess that other people just have more relevant feedback on how the 550 handles those conditions.

Tom

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

5 months 3 weeks ago - 5 months 3 weeks ago #31416 by Henning DK
Following up on rudder line adjusters getting rusty, I have now finished my replacement, so I can move the footplate without need for adjusting either rudder lines or footpedal angle, same functionality as e.g. Epic.
I had to create a set of adapters to make the rudder lines pass through close to the hinge axle. You could probably use the ones that are originally used for the short pieces of deck line, that keep the pedals in place (I had to skip those), but they may be a little sharp on the edges, and you would anyhow need to move them so they are attached to the pedal. And yes, you have to drill some holes in the pedal, close to the axle. It's very important that the rudder lines are directed exactly towards the axle so they are not sliding through the holes when the pedals move.
I attach some pictures, hope they explain the idea ;-)

Attachments:

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

5 months 3 weeks ago #31419 by Hardy
thanks for the pics, looks like a well thought out mod. I'm currently thinking about how I could modify the footplate to make it more rigid and prevent the little rubber feet from pressing into the bottom of the boat all the time. I thought of feeding a strong rope from the last hole of the sledge around the bottom of the plate and back to the other side of the sledge, but haven't tried it yet. The pulling angle would be a bit steep so it would probably not have a great effect. Maybe someone here has better ideas on that...

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

5 months 2 weeks ago #31439 by Hacker Mike
I also have the rusting problem, which I see as a major flaw as if these tiny screws fail, it could lead to complete steering failure. I did report the problem top the local agent and to Nelo, but the response was totally unsatisfactory.
Attachments:

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

5 months 2 weeks ago #31443 by tve
Hey, one out of four screws isn't rusted, you have nothing to worry about! Stop whining!
:-) :-) :-)

Q: is there a purpose in taking the screws out, e.g. to feed a new cord through? If not, could put them in permanently...

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

5 months 2 weeks ago #31445 by Fath2o
That's a pretty sad looking bit of hardware that is clearly doomed to fail, and therefore, not serve it's intended purpose. What a shame! Reminds me a bit of Rube Goldberg.
Why is that, what appears to be a pulley, even necessary? The Think/Epic approach works just fine.

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

5 months 2 weeks ago #31446 by Slimey
My screws are rusting too. Coming from a sailing background I've been thinking of using some floating clamcleats. You'd have to be a little more accurate setting your lengths as you'd lose the ratchet click, but I don't think it would be too awkward. Anyone see a reason why these would not work. www.clamcleat.com/products/aero-cleat-range.html

Steve

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

5 months 2 weeks ago - 5 months 2 weeks ago #31458 by Fath2o
No not at all! Been using them for years on all three of my skis. Works just great. I like this style better though. (Sorry for the crappy pics proudly sent from my flip phone :laugh: )

Attachments:

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

Latest Forum Topics

tve's Avatar

Annoyed, frustrated and disappointed. (11 Posts)

2 hours 38 minutes ago
mickeyA's Avatar

Fenn - Love at first paddle (14 Posts)

5 hours 30 minutes ago
Protected by R Antispam