Nelo 550 - very brief and non-conclusive impressions

2 years 6 months ago #31459 by Wombat661
Is it possible to replace them with some 316 Stainless steel self tapping screws. Or can you drill thru and put a nut on the other side.

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2 years 6 months ago #31460 by Henning DK
You can remove the adjuster and just do some simple knots instead, like. e.g. a figure eight loop on the rudder line and a buntline hitch or a double half hitch on the other line, so it's easy to adjust. But not something you will want to modify during a downwind ;-)

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2 years 6 months ago #31463 by Hacker Mike
My issue with what looks like galvanized screw, is why on earth, a company of Nelo's size, history and reputation, would skimp on such a small and inexpensive, but critical component. Surely 5 high quality stainless steel screws, should be the absolute minimum.

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2 years 6 months ago #31464 by photofr
Another way to look at this:
Nelo just bought the hardware - the best hardware they could find. They didn't make the adjustment plastic piece, and they most certainly didn't manufacture the screws that will rust if you don't take preventing measures on your own.

Having said this:
The system is actually the best system I have experienced on a surfski. I would however make the following modifications - if I was given the choice:
1. The adjustment piece could be way smaller.
2. The cam trigger could be easier bigger to make it easier to handle.
3. The screws should not rust.

In the meantime, I will just replace them every couple of years (after ensuring proper maintenance with silicone grease) and / or replace them every 6 months if I never tend to them. The price is ridiculously cheap - so why even complain about it?

You should be complaining about companies charging in excess of 130 euros for a rudder. Think about all the Nelo adjusters you could by with your rudder savings!!!!

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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2 years 6 months ago #31465 by Henning DK
To be fair, a number of new ideas have gone into the design of the new generation of Nelo surfskis, and they are mostly very succesful.

Rusty screws are unfortunate, and I assume there will be a better solution. I made my own for the time being.

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2 years 6 months ago - 2 years 6 months ago #31466 by Hacker Mike

Henning DK wrote: To be fair, a number of new ideas have gone into the design of the new generation of Nelo surfskis, and they are mostly very succesful.

Rusty screws are unfortunate, and I assume there will be a better solution. I made my own for the time being.


More than unfortunate in my opinion. It is a product flaw that should be rectified by the manufacturer. These are not prototypes, but full production products where more attention to detail and quality should be given. The photo was after using the ski twice.

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2 years 6 months ago #31473 by photofr
I now have ZERO affiliation with Nelo... but I want to be clear and share my opinion here:
a) it shouldn't be this way
b) it's not however the end of the World as we know it
c) we buy things every single day that aren't perfect (see note below about cars)
d) Nelo is by far amongst the very top in the World in terms of details to construction and craftsmanship.

CARS:
Cars are designed to be driven in snow, ice, and rain... at the very least RAIN. One would think that nothing should rust on your car. Perhaps we all need to get on our knees, look under our car, and take notice of the discuss. I don't see you guys hammering car innovators for their rusty bolts, so yeah, it cracks me up - because most people are missing the point about strength of the Nelo skis, durability, and performance - minus couple of screws that are like brake pads: wearing parts.

Food for thoughts, right?

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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2 years 6 months ago - 2 years 6 months ago #31475 by Hacker Mike

photofr wrote: I now have ZERO affiliation with Nelo... but I want to be clear and share my opinion here:
a) it shouldn't be this way Agreed
b) it's not however the end of the World as we know it Agreed, but see (a)
c) we buy things every single day that aren't perfect (see note below about cars) See (a)
d) Nelo is by far amongst the very top in the World in terms of details to construction and craftsmanship. Clearly not if a critical component is rusting within 2 days of purchase and sure to fail if not rectified by purchaser

CARS:
Cars are designed to be driven in snow, ice, and rain... at the very least RAIN. One would think that nothing should rust on your car. Perhaps we all need to get on our knees, look under our car, and take notice of the discuss. I don't see you guys hammering car innovators for their rusty bolts, so yeah, it cracks me up - because most people are missing the point about strength of the Nelo skis, durability, and performance - minus couple of screws that are like brake pads: wearing parts. Cracks me up too that people are prepared to defend a clearly inferior and unsatisfactory component. Using your analogy, it should be considered OK to have to replace a new cars steering column on purchase, because if you don't it will fail in a month or two

Food for thoughts, right?

absolutely

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2 years 6 months ago #31476 by photofr
I didn't know any better, and I am responsible for letting my screws rust on my first Nelo ski. I kept using it - always ready for them to "let go" and fail miserably in open ocean. I have at least 3 ways to fix this problem while at sea.

You car steering was probably rusted out after the 3rd rainy day - it didn't fail. My screws were completely rusted out on my Nelo after ignoring them, and didn't fail after over 9 months.

I'd be more concerned about certain skis that have crucial parts rusting, as well as their inside rotting out... because I don't even have a solution for those other crucial parts.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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2 years 6 months ago #31477 by kwolfe
I agree with other=s in the sense that Nelo should have specified a certain grade of stainless when outsourcing these parts.
Don't get me wrong, I love my 550. Its a great ski for me and I enjoy it every time I'm out there however, between this, the soft footplate and the useless weedless rudder, its seem they were so close to a really REALLY good product.
In my opinion, I would take a dab of epoxy and just fill over the screw. You are never going to need to unscrew it.

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2 years 6 months ago #31478 by TomVW
Hi kwolfe,

I agree on the rusting screws: it's ugly, but on the other hand, easily fixable.

The size of the adjusters is more of a concern, plus the fact that they constantly rub against the gelcoat. After a few weeks, you can already see rubbing marks in the gelcoat on my ski. Again, easily fixable with a bit of clear vinyl tape, but other designs like the Epic and Stellar ones, do not even need these adjusters. That seems more elegant to me.

Now concerning the "useless weedless rudder": which one do you have? The K2 nylon rudder or the small surfski rudder?

I have the nylon K2 rudder and, to me, it is perfectly fine for flat water usage. It was a bitch to install correctly with the copper collars. But once installed, I have had no reason to complain about them.

Tom

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2 years 6 months ago #31481 by Fath2o
Sorry, no excuse here for poor quality control and manufacturing defects. That would be like me as a general contractor building a deck with drywall screws. Or installing hardware a on a boat with ferrous metal screws. I would lose credibility real fast.
Total BS. If the screws are rusting the whole component is suspect, not just the screws. No way I would replace with same defective components and shouldn't have to.

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2 years 6 months ago - 2 years 6 months ago #31482 by kwolfe
Hey Tom,
I agree, the adjustment system is a bit over engineered. I feel the same way about the footplate. A lot of thought went into it, then they made it out of plastic which flexes. I would rather have a regular carbon footplate like most other skis have.

I have both the surf and K1 rudder with the copper collars. I used the nylon once. In order to install it, I had to sand down the copper a bit because it was too big for the hole (problem with their tub cutting tool). Once in, it was sticky and would not track straight. Just felt like an after thought instead of making a new rudder, they just tried to piggy back of what they had on the shelf.

For $3500, I would prefer the entire thing be thought out. Like I said, I love the ski. Super glad I bought it, but things like this could probably have been addressed during testing.

Besides padding or changing the footstrap (comfort items), I don't think anyone here wants to drop that kind of coin on something they know they will need to modify to make it correct (the rudder was really annoying).

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2 years 6 months ago #31483 by Fath2o
BTW, amazing what you can discover with a magnet and so called stainless steel.

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2 years 6 months ago #31484 by zachhandler
Tom - as far as the k2 weedless rudder, I have paddled it on the 560 and found it very inadequate. On flatwater it is probably ok, but a lot of the paddling I do is surfing boat wakes on a large and weed choked lake. I found that while the 560 was amazingly low resistance at 8-12 mph sitting on a boat wake, the steering was horrible. The rudder seemed unable to turn the boat at all, until suddenly, and unpredictably, it would catch and then cause a massive oversteer that was thenhard to recover from. This is in comparison to the epic weedless which is perfect in that situation on every epic hull, as well as think and don kiesling rudders which were also up to the job.

The other strange screw up nelo did was to release the first batch of oscar’s 560 with stretchy steering lines that had to be replaced.

I don’t have a horse in this race and I don’t have a bias for or against any ski maker. That said, it amazes me that the best kayak maker in the world (nelo) and the most innovative ski designer in the world (oscar) could release a product with so many screw ups. Pun not intended...

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2 years 5 months ago #31649 by tve
Is a DK rudder worth it on the 550 for (smallish) surf?

I just upgraded from a Nelo 510 to a 550 and am loving it! The finish is really great and the ergonomics are great for me. I got a 550 ML to be precise and it fits better than a "plain" 550. I'm ~72kg and ~32" waist (sorry for the mixed units) and in the plain 550 I feel loose but OK while in the ML it's a great snug fit. I believe the seating position in the ML is a tad higher though, so it feels a little tippier, at least both a friend of mine (who has the plain 550 we compared with) and I feel that way.

I got a K2 surf rudder with it, which fits easily (they evidently fixed the copper tube fit issue) but which I find absolute hell. The shaft is at the tip of the rudder, so it's not balanced at all. I wonder whether they're including it for sprinters that come from K1's to give them the same rudder feel, or what...

The stock rudder works fine it seems to me. My friend has a 7" DK on his rudder, and it certainly bites much less. He finds the stock one very twitchy, but that doesn't bother me. I'll see whether we can do a rudder swap, but I'm wondering whether I'm "missing out" on something and if so what... Any thoughts?

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2 years 3 months ago #32325 by Henning DK
One year later... still happy and not looking back ;-)

I have updated my facebook review of the Nelo 550 from time to time, but after one year and 3000 km I think it's now the final version :-)

www.facebook.com/henning.hansen.7771/med...1835.100000202063061

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2 years 3 months ago #32330 by tve
Nice review Henning!
I ended up getting the DK 7" rudder for my 550 and I really love it. It has the same surface area as the stock rudder but is much more swept back. The stock rudder is balanced, meaning that if it's deflected to make the boat turn then it stays in position without foot pressure. I thought that to be good, but using the DK rudder, which is not balanced, taught me otherwise. With the DK rudder when the boat yaws due to be pushed around by waves coming from odd angles I feel it in the feet and can compensate by pushing back. That makes the boat less twitchy and me take fewer baths :-). The DK rudder also has a little less bite than the stock rudder with is mostly good, except on some larger waves perhaps.
Overall I'm really loving my 550, especially in slightly confused seas where there are waves coming from different directions. Some of the best fun is to surf the secondary waves that I often can't see anymore yet still feel and surf.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Henning DK

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