Think Zen...any news or reviews

2 years 4 days ago #29615 by Jef58
I haven't heard anything about the the Zen as of late. I actually had this boat on my radar as a replacement for my EZE for fitness paddling. I know this is not the target ski for most of the board members here, but was hoping to hear more about this thing by now.

It seems to fall in the same line as a V8 Pro and creates a new level beginner ski to choose from. I guess it is supposed to fill the gap between Ace and EVO while the EZE stands alone as a lighter weight paddler's ski. I almost wonder if it should be in 18 -19" range though....

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

1 year 10 months ago #29988 by Canario
Hi! I am also looking at the Think Zen as an option for a second boat for me and would like to know about your opinions on it. I am 53 years old, 93 kgrs weight and started paddling two years ago. I spent four months on a Carbonology Sport Cruze, then 14 months on a Carbonology Sport Boost and now have been 6 months on a Fenn Swordfish. After those 6 months I feel confident on flat water and moderate wind and waves conditions, but I still find myself unstable when wind blows over 17/18 and/or waves grow over 1.7m. As a result, I dont enjoy downwinds and see myself at the bottom of the pack , bracing every ten paddles, during those heavy conditions days. A vast majority of my friends here tel me to carry on training an paddling the Swordfish, but a a few of the whisper to me: go and buy a second more stable boat if you can afford it or, if you can not, sold your Swordfish and buy that more stable boat.
I have paddled the Boost again , Glass vacuum, the Epic V8 Pro, glass vacuum (very expensive!!!), and yes, even the Think Zen at the past Spanish Championship a few weeks ago (I was accompaning my son, who finished third in juniors). I found the three very comparable on terms of stability. About comfort, the three where very comfortable for me. About speed, I cant tell, because the Zen felt fastest, but it was of the Hybrid layout and that could be the reason. The only one clear difference for me was the behavior on the runs. There was a moderate conditions day, not a big one, but the Zen reacted fast and easily to the direction changes and I saw myself easily surfing with confidence. I guess that it was in part because of being "only" 560 long, but probably the layout had something to do also....
I would like to know if anybody has any info/experience on the Think Zen , because considering my age, probably "going back" to a more stable boat, of a lighter layout, can be the more reasonable movement.
Thank you in advance!

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

1 year 10 months ago #29990 by Fath2o
Can't comment on the ZEN, but I think your making the right decision.
I am sure you would be much faster and enjoy yourself more on a more stable boat in bumpier conditions.

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

1 year 10 months ago #30197 by [email protected]
I have a ZEN. Love it. I downgraded from an EVO II which was fine for me while I was paddling several times a week, but after my little future ski paddler arrived I didn't get out as much, and found I was reverting back to the ACE when it was big.

I find the ZEN has the usual Think snug, comfy bucket. It feels lively and exciting to paddle even in small conditions. I've had a few downwind runs in it and it's really manoeuvrable, something I have to learn to control better as I often find myself turning too quickly.

On bigger waves it seemed to handle even better. I was out recently on my local sand bar and the faces of the waves were longer than the ski. These were the biggest waves I've paddled and the ZEN was very well behaved. It actually felt a lot more comfortable than in the smaller stuff!

My only criticism is that the bow is lower volume than the EVO and ACE, and is quite flat as it approaches the footwell. In my EVO when the bow went in the water, it would split around me because of the angled top deck, but the ZEN just shoots the water straight at my face.

Hope that helps :)
The following user(s) said Thank You: Fath2o

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

1 year 10 months ago #30198 by Fath2o
747, thanks for your post the info is very enlightening for me.
I am planing on "upgrading" from an EVO to a shorter, wider boat with more rocker. I am realizing that longer, higher volume, low rocker boats are not ideal for extreme downwind paddles. Your comments about the zen being more lively and maneuverable are very helpful. Now, if we can just solve the nose diving issue on shorter boats.
For me the ideal ski would paddle well up wind without slapping. Would be nimble like a surfboard in extreme confused downwinds and not have a tendency to pearl and throw buckets of water in my face.

I'm 100kg, Can anybody recommend such a ski?

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

1 year 9 months ago #30222 by Stew

[email protected] wrote: as it approaches the footwell. In my EVO when the bow went in the water, it would split around me because of the angled top deck, but the ZEN just shoots the water straight at my face.


Stoked to hear you're enjoying the Zen. We now have a wave deflector available to help in bigger, steeper waves, which might help.
Attachments:

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

1 month 2 weeks ago #34655 by Jerryd
I have a new Zen and couldn't be more pleased with its fit and performance. Having owned Fenn's, Epic V10 Sport, and 2 Nelo's, this Zen fits best and is a great paddling ski. However, there were a few items I would change.

The steering cables are the smallest diameter dyneema lines I've used and exit through rough drilled holes in the hull. I had to clean around the holes to prevent abrasion, especially with these smaller lines. Also, for $3600, you would think that an allen wrench would be included to remove the rudder steering bar. Nelo included one in a bracket behind the pedals. Also, I miss having a water bottle holder or shock cord at the front of the cockpit to hold a bottle. I would have liked an extra different size rudder like Nelo includes with their boat. Although the Nelo 550 I had didn't have carrying handles, so I guess its a matter of weighing the cost. Lastly, it would be great if Think had  some user info  about the boat on their website and maybe some YouTube maintenance videos like other manufacturers.

All in all though, a great performing boat which I would recommend very highly.

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

1 month 2 weeks ago #34656 by robin.mousley

an allen wrench would be included to remove the rudder steering bar.

Perhaps the dealer just forgot it?  Every boat I've ever bought has come with an Allen Key.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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

1 month 2 weeks ago #34659 by wesley
See My 1st take on SurfskiRacing.com. I will update this with since I have more bucket time.  I just raced it for the first time a few weeks ago in very windy, mix condition, 4 miles downwind,  9 mile race and placed 7th in the same place or 1 place behind my normal positioning since I race with the same guys for years. This was the first time ever I race the a ski in this class so I exceeded my expectations due the Zen and obviously my fitness level leading up to my biggest race the The Blackburn, 20 miles, July 15. I will add this to my review that I did in January 2019. You can see my post race summary on my site where I raced it. I call it the little ski that could. The customers I have sold them to, particularly small to medium size paddlers are enjoying  them. So more specifics to come in the next few weeks once I update my 1st take. It has a much different feel than the other skis in this class.  I like many skis but a few standout for me over the years and the Zen is one of them. 

Wesley Echols
SurfskiRacing.com
#1 in Surfski Reviews.
Attachments:

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

1 month 2 weeks ago #34660 by TimT
Thanks Wesley, I am happy to read this positive review. I am a rank beginner that is excited to pick up my new Zen tomorrow!

Tim

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

1 month 1 week ago #34671 by Jerryd

robin.mousley wrote:

an allen wrench would be included to remove the rudder steering bar.

Perhaps the dealer just forgot it?  Every boat I've ever bought has come with an Allen Key.


You would think so, but it didn't. We unwrapped the boat together. Not really a big deal compared to some of the other items I mentioned. Still a great boat!

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

Latest Forum Topics

Interval training, good or bad? (9 Posts)

12 hours 22 minutes ago

Getting lost (9 Posts)

12 hours 36 minutes ago

Surf-ski rental in Copenhagen, Denmark (6 Posts)

18 hours 20 minutes ago
Protected by R Antispam