Gotta have side handle!

8 months 1 week ago #35360 by mickeyA
I’m done.  Not spending another penny on a surfski without a built-in side handle.  Is Think Evo my only choice in the V10Sport, Swordfish/XT, SEI/SR area?  I have Sport, SF and XT and love them all- kind of.  At yesterday’s Chattajack race, I am thoroughly exhausted after 5 hours and 31 miles, then I have to carry my ski (red tip sport) a long ways, including up stairs with metal railings and poles everywhere, in the rain and considerable wind,
 and I’m banging the boat on every freaking obstacle around.  If I were rested, boat was dry and not slippery, no bulky PFD, no paddle, no bag of plastic drink bottles (31 miles...), I could manhandle the ski, even in wind with obstacles everywhere.  With solid built-in side handle, I think I could carry and keep ski straight with one hand, leaving my other hand for anything else with no risk of dropping.  Any reason to think this is not the case?  When I put ski under my arm, the Sport is a little too wide and with pfd, there is really not enough room under arm, plus a wet boat can easily slip and drop to ground in wind.  At Gorge, where it is windy, I watched hundreds of ski exit water, and almost everyone throwing ski on shoulder had some left/right sway from wind  (3-4 feet, but sometimes spun totally sideways).  Since no side obstacles to hit (other than other people), no big deal at Gorge, or beach....  The few guys carrying ski low with solid handle did not seem to sway and just looked safer with less effort  Am I giving too much value to side handle (“grass is greener...”)?   Thank you.

Epic V12, V10Sport, Fenn Tarpon S, Swordfish S, Stellar SE, Fenn XT, Twogood Chalupski, Findeisen Stinger spec, Huki S1-X, Burton wedge2, Fenn Tarpon

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

8 months 1 week ago - 8 months 1 week ago #35362 by SpaceSputnik
I own 2 skis, an Evo with handles and a SES with no handles whatsoever. On my regular water spot, I need to carry a ski from the lot, through a walkway, in between two closely spaced vehicle barriers and under a tree with low hanging branches. The Evo is 34 lb, the SES is 31.
I can't say which boat I prefer carrying. With the Evo in one hand, it's difficult to mitigate wind since you have almost no leverage. At the end of my carry I am at the point of losing sensation in my ring finger. The paddle is in the other hand and sometimes I have to use that hand to awkwardly correct the sway. Can't tuck the paddle under the bungees because it screws up the balance and put more strain on my carrying hand.
With the SES, I tuck the paddle under the bungees that seem to actually help the balance on my shoulder (the bullet is a limiting factor to where I can place on the shoulder). Walking like a question mark gets old as well, but seems safer on the body. If the wind is strong I can extend my left hand for extra leverage, but it can be unnerving.
The downside of SES is that I can't seem to find a good way to get boat and paddle on water without keeping the paddle under bungees, so I walk straight into water from the lot. Whenever I need to get ashore for a break, I need to tuck the paddle and shoulder carry. That part is easier with the Evo for sure. Overall, I am not sure, both are not ideal with difference being marginal at best.
With a lighter boat it may be different, but wouldn't a lighter boat be more swingy in the wind?   

I am not sure how a ski like SES can even have side handles. The bucket walls are quite thin unlike the beefier Evo. There's just not enough room to make a recession for a handle. On the Evo, there is a good recessed area, but handles arch inwards. I imagine not everyone likes bumping knees against those in this narrow bucket. I see that some Evos of that generation came without the handles, I imagine this was a factory option and I can see how making that a choice made sense on that ski. 

Current: Epic 18x Sport, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Think Evo II, Epic V7

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

8 months 1 week ago #35364 by mickeyA
Replied by mickeyA on topic Gotta have side handle!
SpaceSputnik, thanks for the valuable info.  It sounds like side handle may not be the holy grail as I assumed. I am referring only to lighter skis (red tip Epic ultra, Think elite), which I assume would be influenced more than heavier skis by wind, whether on shoulder, under arm, or hanging from hand.  With no wind, it seems like a heavier boat would be tougher, more taxing, when carrying by handle vs on the shoulder, as you pointed out.  I wonder if light boat would not cause loss of feeling in ring finger?  Maybe my question needs to be:  under tired and stressful conditions, can you handle the wind swings on a light ski better by carrying low with side handle or high on shoulder?  You said “With the Evo in one hand, it’s difficult to mitigate wind since you have almost no leverage”, which may answer the question.  I was thinking you could keep your wrist and fist straight, thus the boat straight, even in wind.  You must be saying that wind on a 20’ boat is no match for a 4” fist.  Makes sense.  Back to the drawing board...

Epic V12, V10Sport, Fenn Tarpon S, Swordfish S, Stellar SE, Fenn XT, Twogood Chalupski, Findeisen Stinger spec, Huki S1-X, Burton wedge2, Fenn Tarpon

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

8 months 1 week ago #35369 by SpaceSputnik
I don't really know from experience how much different a lighter boat would make. I think the main strain with the Evo comes not so much from from gravity but having to direct the boat (don't forget inclines as well, you don't want to scrape the  bow and especially the stern on a pavement or gravel).
I once almost hit a car next to mine with a V7 on my shoulder on a 15 knot day. I imagine half the weight would swing a lot faster.

Current: Epic 18x Sport, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Think Evo II, Epic V7

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

8 months 1 week ago #35387 by leolinha
Replied by leolinha on topic Gotta have side handle!
Recently I exchanged my V10 Sport for a V8 PRO, the side handles being one major factor. Both skis are "intermediate", but the V8 PRO is a superior boat in my opinion. Marginally slower, if at all, but much more stable and ergonomic - with side handles!

Current: Epic V8 PRO, Think Evo 3
Past: Epic V8, Epic V10 Sport

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

8 months 1 week ago #35389 by Epicpaddler
Replied by Epicpaddler on topic Gotta have side handle!
To the OP-congrats on finishing the Chattajack. It's on my bucket list. 

I can't complain about NOT having handles, but I will say I love the handles on my Epic v8pro. I paddled the v10sport and v8pro back to back and didn't notice a big difference in speed or stability. There are speed comparisons that put the v8ro at an average speed of 6.4 vs 6.6 for the v10sport. I'll paddle a little harder for the convenience of the carry handles. I love carrying my boat through busy parking lots or at races like I'm carrying a briefcase to work . The handles balance almost perfectly (for me). Maybe a skinnier or lighter boat would be easier to pop up on your shoulder, I don't know. I know on some of the elite boats there is no physical room for a carry handle.  Maybe someone will develop a surfski sling that wraps around the hull to serve the same purpose. 

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

8 months 1 week ago #35390 by SpaceSputnik

Epicpaddler wrote: To the OP-congrats on finishing the Chattajack. It's on my bucket list. 

I can't complain about NOT having handles, but I will say I love the handles on my Epic v8pro. I paddled the v10sport and v8pro back to back and didn't notice a big difference in speed or stability. There are speed comparisons that put the v8ro at an average speed of 6.4 vs 6.6 for the v10sport. I'll paddle a little harder for the convenience of the carry handles. I love carrying my boat through busy parking lots or at races like I'm carrying a briefcase to work . The handles balance almost perfectly (for me). Maybe a skinnier or lighter boat would be easier to pop up on your shoulder, I don't know. I know on some of the elite boats there is no physical room for a carry handle.  Maybe someone will develop a surfski sling that wraps around the hull to serve the same purpose. 


SES is easy to pop on the shoulder for sure. Evo is manageable too. You are right, on a SES there's just no way to have handles, the thickest part of the wall is about an inch (on top, a bit more down the hump). Sometimes when I do remounts my sensitive region gets on top of the wall and it's an ouch :D 

There are SUP slings that should be useable for a ski. In fact, I have one somewhere...But it's one more thing to deal with. 

Current: Epic 18x Sport, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Think Evo II, Epic V7

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

8 months 6 days ago #35395 by Fath2o
Replied by Fath2o on topic Gotta have side handle!
Another interesting conversation. Here is an example of a side handle on an elite ski that could be installed on just about any surf ski.
Attachments:

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

8 months 6 days ago #35396 by SpaceSputnik
I would worry about structural issues cutting into it like that. From the factory yes, as a modification I'd think twice. Also it's not a handle, it's a recession. I am guessing on a SES that would have to be no more than an inch deep which is presumably less useful than an actual handle.

Current: Epic 18x Sport, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Think Evo II, Epic V7

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

8 months 5 days ago #35407 by mickeyA
Replied by mickeyA on topic Gotta have side handle!
Thanks for the help.  Huki makes their skis that way, so structurally sound.  I like it because it is totally out of the way and no scrapes or cuts if wrestling with ski in unruly water.  I not sure I would try to retrofit one, though.  I now see my options are Stellar SR, Think Evo, or Epic V8Pro (or Huki S1-R) for side handles on intermediate ski.  But, it does not sound like the side handle is a perfect answer to keep ski straight on gusty day in tight area, so maybe I will take my time and keep my sport for now.  Thank you all.

Epic V12, V10Sport, Fenn Tarpon S, Swordfish S, Stellar SE, Fenn XT, Twogood Chalupski, Findeisen Stinger spec, Huki S1-X, Burton wedge2, Fenn Tarpon

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

8 months 5 days ago #35408 by uk gearmuncher
Keep an eye out for the Epic V10 Sport 'Special edition'. Made in extremely limited numbers and has side handles. You'd have to ask Epic for it (as they don't advertise it) but I've now seen a couple kicking around. It is a standard V10 Sport hull with a V11 bucket to then leave room to squeeze handles in.

Previous Boat Journey: Gaisford spec ski, then Fenn Bluefin, then Epic V8 Pro, Now a Epic V10 Sport and a Nelo 550L.

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

8 months 5 days ago #35409 by Wiid
Replied by Wiid on topic Gotta have side handle!
Keep it simple guys. Just add some surfers wax in key locations. No slip and great grip.

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

8 months 5 days ago #35412 by tve
Replied by tve on topic Gotta have side handle!

mickeyA wrote: Thanks for the help.  Huki makes their skis that way, so structurally sound.  I like it because it is totally out of the way and no scrapes or cuts if wrestling with ski in unruly water.  I not sure I would try to retrofit one, though.  I now see my options are Stellar SR, Think Evo, or Epic V8Pro (or Huki S1-R) for side handles on intermediate ski.  But, it does not sound like the side handle is a perfect answer to keep ski straight on gusty day in tight area, so maybe I will take my time and keep my sport for now.  Thank you all.


Nelo 550 also has side handles. I find that they help a lot when lifting the ski up from the ground or the water, e.g. crouching on the dock reaching down. Half the benefit of the handles is an easy way to locate the center of gravity. The handles on the 550 are perhaps half an inch deep, if that, they're really just a set of slightly recessed ridges that provide grip.

I don't find the handles helpful when carrying over distance: there's no leverage against wind and with the ski held low it doesn't take much for one end to hit the ground. I always put it on my shoulder and walk like a question mark with my hands holding the ski as far forward as I can to get leverage.

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

8 months 5 days ago #35426 by uk gearmuncher

tve wrote:
Nelo 550 also has side handles.


Oddly mine is an L and doesn't have them. I know the drawing on their site shows them but I've never seen a 550 in the wild with them. Have you seen them ?

Previous Boat Journey: Gaisford spec ski, then Fenn Bluefin, then Epic V8 Pro, Now a Epic V10 Sport and a Nelo 550L.

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

8 months 5 days ago #35427 by TomVW
Replied by TomVW on topic Gotta have side handle!
I have had 2 Nelo 550L's: one made in 2017 that was exchanged under warranty for a small leak and one made in 2018 that I currently paddle.
None had those recessed side handles. I do sometimes carry it as if it had such handles, but I must say it is not much better than carrying over the shoulder, if at all: less control over the boat from my wrist alone than when carrying on the shoulder. And indeed, since it is so much closer to the ground, it doesn't take much for the bow or stern to scrape the ground.

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

8 months 5 days ago #35430 by DrA5
Replied by DrA5 on topic Gotta have side handle!
I did see a pop up ad regarding a shoulder sling system for SUP's.  No reason someone couldnt make a two loop system you can then click into with a shoulder sling. One loop fore of the cockpit and one aft.  

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

8 months 5 days ago #35435 by SpaceSputnik

DrA5 wrote: I did see a pop up ad regarding a shoulder sling system for SUP's.  No reason someone couldnt make a two loop system you can then click into with a shoulder sling. One loop fore of the cockpit and one aft.  


Plenty of those ion Amazon.

Current: Epic 18x Sport, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Think Evo II, Epic V7

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

8 months 4 days ago #35452 by mickeyA
Replied by mickeyA on topic Gotta have side handle!
I love the idea of surfboard wax where side handles would go. I’ve used wax on my paddle shaft before (Oscar tip), but I guess I put too much on in a very long race and it caused terrible blisters—never again will I put it on the paddle.  Surprised I did not think of wax for gripping boat. Nice idea.  I have tried numerous non-slip tapes and none worked well. They either peeled off or were not sticky enough when wet. I will certainly get wax as I know it works.  While getting a better grip on the gunwales helps, it is still not as solid as a fixed handle., but will certainly help.  Thanks

Epic V12, V10Sport, Fenn Tarpon S, Swordfish S, Stellar SE, Fenn XT, Twogood Chalupski, Findeisen Stinger spec, Huki S1-X, Burton wedge2, Fenn Tarpon

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

8 months 2 days ago #35475 by davide
Replied by davide on topic Gotta have side handle!
I have always used a 3mcar tow-strap. If you thread it through each loop at the end, it makes 2 slings that you slide over your ski and a shoulder strap that you can then comfortably carry your ski for great distances. It's then easy to 'wrap' up under a bungy while paddling or wind around the torso. My last strap lasted 4 years before sun and salt frayed it beyond use, and my new Bluefin has comfy carry handles.

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

1 month 1 week ago #36697 by Sailkayak
Replied by Sailkayak on topic Gotta have side handle!
I demoed Nelo skis including the 550 L and M/L these did not have handles. I ordered a 550 M/L which came with those recessed handles and I do indeed find this makes life easier and more secure when lifting the ski from the ground up and helps give a "little" purchase if I have the inside of the cockpit resting on my shoulder while carrying.
I noticed Nelo have now brought out new designs on which handles are I believe glued to the cockpit sides and options are to order with handles both sides one side or neither or loose to fit yourself.
I wonder if it might be possible to buy these and epoxy them to the cockpit sides on other makes of ski PROVIDED the laminate in the area they were placed was sufficiently robust.
As I have not seen the new handles in person I am unsure if I would want them and if they are plastic a two part glue for glass/plastic might be best

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

Latest Forum Topics

MCImes's Avatar

Soft spot repair worth it? (3 Posts)

35 minutes ago
Possum's Avatar

Carbonology Boost (8 Posts)

14 hours 50 minutes ago

new V9 (16 Posts)

1 day 13 hours ago
Protected by R Antispam