Ski Fit

7 months 2 weeks ago #34396 by kwolfe
Ski Fit was created by kwolfe
So I know this probably goes without saying and for most this is a know fact already, however for you new guys and people who just haven't had the time to have different skis, fit makes a difference!

Since a started paddling three years ago, I've had V8 performance, V14 performance (sold for SEL), SEL excel, 550 wwr, V14 ultra.  Taking out the V8,   I still own the V14 and 550.  The 550 was supposed to be my messy water and winter boat however the more time I spend in the V14 (majority of the time) the more I am finding that the stability (at least for me) isn't that different.  I have come to the conclusion that the deciding variable is ski fit.

The V14 fits me like a glove not too tight but just makes enough contact with my hips that I am very connected to the ski.  This in turn gives me the ability to get really good feedback from the boat and also let's me respond immediately.  I find the Nelo bucket be be bigger.  It flares out a little more towards the top, therefore the feedback that I am getting from the ski (especially in small frequent wind chop) is delayed before it registers in my hips.  This makes the ski feel less stable that I think it should be because I know it has way more secondary than the V14.  It feeld more corky.

Needless to say when I get some free time, I'm going to pad it out slightly to see what kind of difference that makes.  Just thought I'd shared for any of you wondering.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Wingnut

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7 months 2 weeks ago #34402 by paddlepop
Replied by paddlepop on topic Ski Fit
your quite right and i haven't really thought about it since doing my initial internet research a year ago before buying my first ocean ski.  everyone was commenting on or complaining about how a seat was too narrow, too wide, too uncomfortable etc or that the hump was wrong or that the bucket was too big...etc.  this was concerning to me when i had lots of ski's to choose from as at that time ski length wasn't a problem.  when i decided i was going to  to transport my ski cradled inside my campervan and not on racks on top, then the choice came down to one ski - at 4.36m, my V5,  plus it had such positive reviews i couldn't resist. 
the interesting thing is that when i went for a test paddle my main concern was stability, having read so much about that as well on forums.  but i just sat in, did a bit of a wiggle and paddled away.  obviously it was such a perfect bum to seat fit that i didn't give it a thought.  all i did was to add a thin cork seat pad for grip in the surf.  so i was very lucky to not have to add hip or back padding and even though my V5 is not in the same league as what you're riding, the importance of being comfortable and confident is paramount for easy paddling


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7 months 2 weeks ago #34403 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Ski Fit
I never had a problem with fit on my first 3 boats - or so I thought. It seems to me that beginner and intermediate boats , like 19"/48cm and wider, often have a bucket that could be too wide for your butt. Likewise, advanced and elite boats <46cm/18" often have a bucket that may be too skinny. 

A bucket that's too skinny is quite obvious, typically you wont fit at all, feel pressure points quickly, or develop discomfort after a short while. I think too wide is much harder to judge as a beginner though. 

My first 2 boats (a SRg1 and old XT) both had buckets that were far too wide for me, but I never really thought about it because they were quite comfortable in the grand scheme. I could sit in them for hours with no issues. I only noticed how much the wide buckets were impairing my stability in rough water when I got into the Swordfish-S bucket which is aaaaaalmost too small for me, but is still ok after a couple hours and does not chafe. I noticed almost no stability difference between the XT and SF, and I think that is in large part because of the bucket fit. In fact almost immediately I felt more comfortable in sloppy conditions in the SF because the boat-butt interface was so much more connected and I have nowhere to slide around (in addition to the fact that the SF-S is just a great design IMO. I was very happy to see Fenn's take the top spots in the Molokai)

With the XT's wide and shallow bucket, sometimes the boat would just fall out from under me, but now I realize that this was because my butt would slip and slide to the low side of the bucket, throwing my center of gravity way off center and resulting in an immediate and unpredictable swim. I had never had a well fitting bucket so didnt know what i didnt know in regards to proper fit. Same with the bathtub that is the SR bucket (although its very comfortable!).

So to reinforce what kwolfe says, if you can slide around in your bucket and are in any sort of rough water, it is definitely worth your while to pad it out (or better yet, find a bucket that fits you properly without padding).

It will pay back more than you think!

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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