Sea kayak hold outs

3 weeks 4 days ago #37877 by Epicpaddler
I know a few folks on this board  come from a sea kayak background and someone who recently left surfskis to return to sea kayaking. When I bought my first surfski I kept my sea kayak thinking it would be my winter boat ( I live in the northeast USA). After paddling my Epic v8pro the past two winters I wondered why I kept the sea kayak. When I traded my v8pro for a v10, again I thought maybe the sea kayak would be my winter boat. Finally, I decided to paddle the sea kayak after not using it for two years since my cove was starting to ice up. There is nothing wrong with the  sea kayak, but wow do I love surfskis so much more. I forgot what a PIA trying to stuff my size 12 feet with winter booties into the cockpit was. I forgot how much extra crap I needed to take like a skirt, paddle float, bilge pump. I forgot how heavy it was (and mine only weights 46 lbs). I never realized how much my forward stroke has improved. Paddling with only my toes touching the footpads and wearing a thick neoprene skirt really hindered my rotation. For the first time in years my elbow was sore (I'm guessing from not enough torso rotation and more arm paddling). I paddled my v10 on Sunday and decided as long as I don't go out in crazy conditions my Epic v10 will be just fine as my "winter" boat. The sea kayak may sit around as a guest boat, but I don't see it doing anything  better than a surfski. 

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3 weeks 4 days ago #37878 by M.v.E.
Replied by M.v.E. on topic Sea kayak hold outs
Seakayaking for me means going on a trip for several days or even weeks with all my camping gear. That´s quite impossible with my surfski. But I know what you mean. 10 years ago I did all my weekly training sessions in a sea kayak. Since I got the surfski I absolve all my training  with the ski even now in the wintertime.

Current Ski: Nelo 550 L
Previous Skis: Stellar SR 1. Gen. / Stellar SEI 1. Gen. / Stellar SR 2. Gen.

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3 weeks 4 days ago #37880 by Cryder
Replied by Cryder on topic Sea kayak hold outs
Touring by surfski? Great idea! ;)

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3 weeks 4 days ago #37881 by Epicpaddler
Replied by Epicpaddler on topic Sea kayak hold outs
Cryder, I was hoping you chimed in. Loved reading about your adventures in the custom v10. I would love to have that green machine as a touring craft.  Other than storage my surfski does just about everything better than a sea kayak. 

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3 weeks 3 days ago #37882 by Cryder
Replied by Cryder on topic Sea kayak hold outs

Epicpaddler wrote: Cryder, I was hoping you chimed in. Loved reading about your adventures in the custom v10. I would love to have that green machine as a touring craft.  Other than storage my surfski does just about everything better than a sea kayak. 


Yeah, the Envy (2G V10S) was a fun ski. Many a terrific adventure and she's in a new owners hands these days. I think I've toured a couple thousand miles at this point, so the platform certainly works (even for cold / rough water climates). I still have the Ego Smuggler (1G V12, shown in the video), and am planning to do a new build this spring so will be selling that ski when I finalize my new touring ski. One downside to touring by ski is that unless someone else has one too, you are virtually incompatible with sea kayak paddling buddies because of the speed differential. I hear there are fast touring sea kayaks out there (the Audax and Touran come to mind), so it would be fun to compare those apples to apples. Personally I can't stand the idea of paddling with my knees apart and low. 

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3 weeks 2 days ago #37885 by Arcturus
Replied by Arcturus on topic Sea kayak hold outs
Depends what you want to do on the water. I had sea kayaks for many years as an all-around vessel:  exercise, camping from it, seeing wildlife, learning interesting strange things my body could do (e.g., rolling). Some of my most treasured life experiences occurred as part of kayaking.

In recent years I realized I had not kayak-camped in a long time and had no burning desire to do so. We moved from a GREAT sea kayaking region to a crap one (no seas and only a few reservoirs). Carrying an almost-60 lb kayak was getting harder and I could see the writing on the wall. Also, I’ve always tended towards minimalism and I was more than happy at the prospect of ditching sprayskirts and pumps

So, when I tried a surf ski and ended up buying one, I knew I would sell the sea kayak. There isn’t enough indoor storage for three long boats (my husband still has a sea kayak). I did sell mine a couple of months ago.

There ARE things that sea kayaks make a better fit for, camping being the big one. But now that I am in a non-sea area and no longer want to kayak-camp, being on the water is mostly about getting full-body exercise in a change of environment from on land. The ski works very well for that purpose and it weighs less than half what my sea kayaks did. As for regrets, it is too early to tell.

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3 weeks 2 days ago #37888 by waverider
Replied by waverider on topic Sea kayak hold outs
I imagine switching from ski to sea kayak / rec kayak could be frustrating because of the different paddling styles, mainly the leg drive not being the same. I would find it frustrating. I was contemplating a fishing ski, but the ergonomics just dont suit leg drive, not too mention wide catch, so rather than mess with my paddling style i'm sticking with my old pedal kayak for fishing and treating it not as a kayak at all, rather a different activity altogether

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3 weeks 2 days ago #37889 by mcnye1
Replied by mcnye1 on topic Sea kayak hold outs
When I read posts like this, my first question is what type of Sea Kayak are you talking about?  From my perspective, there is a wide variety of boats designed for different uses that all share the generic "Sea Kayak" name, and the paddling experience varies with the type of boat.  We have three different styles to choose from, depending upon when, where and how we am paddling.  We have "play" sea kayaks that are small and nimble, great for shorter trips in places too tight for longer boats.  We have touring sea kayaks for longer trips that are super comfortable and can accommodate hundreds of pounds of gear.  Lastly, we have several Fast Sea Kayaks that I use interchangeably with my surfskis for racing and workouts depending upon the conditions.  Paddling the play and touring boats is clearly a different experience than than a ski, but the FSKs are very much the same as a ski.  Most FSKs are equipped with surfski style foot braces and large open cockpits designed to facilitate knee pumping/rotation, and have hull shapes similar to that of a ski.  Commercial examples are the Epic 18x and Stellar S18R.  Speed wise, the FSKs are a match with similarly sized surfskis but are more comfortable, warmer, drier and have significant storage space for long adventure races like the Water Tribe.

Pictured are two of my FSKs.  Top is a Mystery (20'x20") which races in Touring Class under USCA and as a Kayak at Chattajack.  It is equal to a V10Sport in speed but faster than the V8Pro.  The lower boat is the Yukon (18'x20.5") which rates as a SK under USCA and FSK under the Sound Rowers Classification.  In those classes, it races against the V8 (the Yukon is faster).  Both boats are equipped with wide open 18'x35" cockpits and Stellar foot braces.  For longer races, I use comfy foam seats but can install a raised rotating K1 seat for shorter races.  The Yukon is also equipped with an Epic bailer and under hull rudder, so I can paddle it in any conditions without a skirt.

As I said above, I use these boats interchangeably with my SEI (2G) and SEA depending upon conditions, length of the race and rating system in use, with the later being the primary consideration.  For races without a classification system, I gravitate towards the skis because they are a bit faster.  For me, the Mystery is about 25 seconds per mile slower than the SEA and about 5 seconds behind the SEI in good conditions.  For worse conditions, colder weather and/or longer races (+15 mile) to tend to go with one of the kayaks.   
            

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3 weeks 1 day ago #37890 by Epicpaddler
Replied by Epicpaddler on topic Sea kayak hold outs
I’m comparing my carbon fiber Necky Chatham 17 to an Epic v10g3. Don’t get me wrong, the Necky is a great touring kayak. It’s even reasonably fast for a rockered touring kayak.  I’m just trying to justify keeping it when my Epic meets my current paddling needs the best. I still have an SUP too, but after paddling a surfski it seems like the best craft for my current situation. 

Those kayaks you pictured are absolutely beautiful. 

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3 weeks 1 day ago - 3 weeks 1 day ago #37892 by Arcturus
Replied by Arcturus on topic Sea kayak hold outs
Even within the distance touring (not designed for racing)  sea kayak category, there is a huge variety of shapes and dimensions. And paddlers, and abilities!

My last sea kayak, a SKUK Pilgrim Expedition, had a beam of only 19.6”. Some other single expedition kayaks are 24.5” beam. Most fall in the 21” to 22” zone. Rocker varies from practically none to banana-y.

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3 weeks 1 day ago #37893 by Arcturus
Replied by Arcturus on topic Sea kayak hold outs
Mcnye, did you build those strippers yourself? They’re beautiful.

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3 weeks 20 hours ago - 3 weeks 20 hours ago #37896 by SpaceSputnik
Replied by SpaceSputnik on topic Sea kayak hold outs
I went back to sea kayaking after finally admitting that skis weren't working for me. Much prefer a my Zegul Arrow Play to any of the skis I paddled and quite frankly an 18x sport which I also own (although I have a ton of respect for that boat and will paddle it again).
Employing ski style stroke may or may not work in a kayak depending on your setup. But it's not entirely necessary. Sea kayaking stroke is just different and can be efficient. You can't expect to transfer technique between two radically different boat styles, it just won't work. Contrary to a popular believe sea kayak stroke is still driven by large muscles and does involve leg drive that tends to be shorter. Specifically a greenland paddle stroke is designed pretty intelligently and is based on the unique efficiencies found in that paddle type. I generally prefer that paddle to a wing and see no difference in power output (another popular belief is that GP is less powerful which is just not true). I am faster now than I was in a beginner level ski.

Edge control in a non-ruddered kayak is a dimension of art that is just not there in a surfski.

If you have issues with feet being tight, I suspect the kayak is too small for you. Rotation, should you want to preserve it can be helped by selecting na skirt with a nylon tunnel as opposed to all neoprene.

In closing, I just want to say that sea kayaks are intelligently designed boats that come from respectable minds. I find the bias against them found in surfski circles unbecoming. I rarely hear sea kayakers speaking negatively about surf skis.

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3 weeks 18 hours ago #37900 by Epicpaddler
Replied by Epicpaddler on topic Sea kayak hold outs
Merry Christmas!

SpaceSputnik, 

My commentary was in no way meant to be derogatory to sea kayakers. I was just making an observation of my experience in a particular situation. This wasn't intended to be one is better than the other. As far as paddling a sea kayak, it's a different experience and mindset. When I paddle my sea kayak, and particularly with a Greenland paddle, it's all about taking in the environment. I can paddle 20 miles at a relaxing pace and watch ospreys and eagles and enjoy a sunrise or sunset. In a sea kayak I can use my body to communicate with the boat. Edging turns and surfing are fun in a sea kayak. It is  definitely warmer with my legs under the deck with a skirt paddling in the winter. 

The surfski puts me more in a performance mindset. When I hop on a ski, my intention is to go fast and work on perfecting the forward stroke. Even in the winter, when I set out for a paddle it inevitably  devolves into a performance paddle. It's hard to switch back to a sea kayak after spending my last couple of years learning and evolving as a surfski paddler.

So it's all about horses for courses. For ME, in my current situation, I tend to favor my surfski. When I paddle the Maine Island Trail I'll take the sea kayak. When I want to go fast or race, I'll paddle the surfski. 

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3 weeks 17 hours ago #37902 by SpaceSputnik
Replied by SpaceSputnik on topic Sea kayak hold outs
Epicpader, I didn't mean you in particular. It's just happened to come up recently somehow so I thought I'd mention the depth of  sea kayaking as a sport.

Personally I tend to combine athletic pushes with the experience aspect and seem to be getting faster per effort with a gp. My gp is a pretty aggesive carbon Gearlab that has a ton of power which seems to work just as well if not better than my epic mid wing. This is my main point here is that it seems that a sea kayak seems to be able to perform well for me in fitness scenarios. In fact, thinking about what would make me choose my 18x vs the Zegul, I can only think of extra long pushes like a 57km run I have done this summer. Being able to switch leg positions helps with fatigue and so does relying on rudder when I am tired. But it would take 40+ km distance to make a difference and the 18x doesn't feel as natural in rebound cross-chop we get in channels leading to TO harbor.
So, what I am saying here is that I have a bit of an issue classifying British-style kayaks as touring/play specialists. I think depending on an individual they can be used as a performance craft as well.

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2 weeks 6 days ago - 2 weeks 6 days ago #37906 by mcnye1
Replied by mcnye1 on topic Sea kayak hold outs
Thanks for the kind words regarding my boats, which were my 7th and 8th builds.  I am currently building a ski/kayak hybrid which will have a Spindrift Surfski hull with a kayak deck.  The Spindrift was designed by Bjorn Thomasson who has done a number of commercial skis produced by Scandinavian companies.  I have scaled the width/height down and lengthened so that it will basically match measurements of the V10 (20.5' x 18").  Here the Spindrift is pictured next to the 20' x 20" Mystery.  The plan is to use the Decked Spindrift for racing in the HPK and Unlimited divisions depending upon the classification system in use.  


For me, this entire discussion is one of form following function.  By that I mean that the best type of boat (form) is entirely driven by the type of paddling (function) that you are doing.  One of the side benefits of my building addiction/obsession is that I have a variety of boats to choose from depending upon how/where/why I am paddling that day.  This week for example, I did three paddles.  Monday was a 10k aerobic workout in the SEA.  Tuesday was pretty chilly so I did a 16k endurance paddle in the Mystery.  Wednesday was a 4.5 hour recreational paddle with friends in my 17' touring boat.


     

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2 weeks 6 days ago #37907 by Epicpaddler
Replied by Epicpaddler on topic Sea kayak hold outs
Wow! Those boats are a work of art. I wish I had skills like that. Congrats on your amazing talent. 

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2 weeks 6 days ago #37908 by Kennneee
Replied by Kennneee on topic Sea kayak hold outs
This is a great thread! I paddled and raced kayaks for many years. Raced my wood strip and skin boats with a native blade with surprising success.  Over that time the kayak racing classes dwindled with more and more people heading to surf skis and SUPS. In the PNW the FSK class got so small that it wasn’t much fun to race with only a few if any competitors. The writing was on the wall and I grudgingly switched most of my energy to SKIs and wing paddles. I got to love the ski and appreciate the ergonomics and simplicity. I installed ski footbraces in a couple of FSK boats and had a bit of both worlds. I would agree with some of the other comments about the advantages/disadvantages to both types of boats. Sure, a ski with a wing paddle and a good motor can’t be beat. At  least one of my kayaks can hold it’s own against all but the fastest skis, however. On a cold, long day there is no question which style of paddling is more comfortable. I could paddle long miles in my well outfitted kayaks that my butt wouldn’t allow in a ski. Touring, well I guess it depends on how spartan you are willing to go. If you want to go far, be the most comfortable and be kindest to your body, a native blade and a kayak are hard to beat. And yes, a native paddle is surprisingly efficient. A lot of the traditional skills like rolling and many different strokes are lost in a ski in exchange for the “perfect” forward stroke. Different strokes for.......  Link below to a few of the boats that I paddled over the years. A pretty wide range. And yes, there are those among us that have a building addiction. There seems to be no vaccine for it! Nice work Mcnye1!
 https://goo.gl/photos/wo6HJCee3yQ4cmAYA

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2 weeks 6 days ago #37909 by Arcturus
Replied by Arcturus on topic Sea kayak hold outs

Kennneee wrote:
...I could paddle long miles in my well outfitted kayaks that my butt wouldn’t allow in a ski.
.........
 A lot of the traditional skills like rolling and many different strokes are lost in a ski in exchange for the “perfect” forward stroke.
.......


The scenario in the first excerpt is something I fear. I can paddle the ski long after the point that my butt starts to hurt. Adding a pad at the end of the season helped, but I have a feeling it still won’t equal the comfort of my bare-gelcoated fiberglass kayak seat (no padding). OTOH, I like the leg position of my ski better than I did any kayak I ever paddled. It is easier to get good rotation with the legs closer together.

I also prefer the feel of the wing blade to Euro blades. But you are dead right in that there really is a tradeoff of stroke versatility, plus with a kayak designed for skeg but not rudder (or neither), the fun of edging is huge!

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2 weeks 5 days ago #37912 by mcnye1
Replied by mcnye1 on topic Sea kayak hold outs
Hello Ken, I have seen your boats before and you do beautiful work.  It is rather funny that we share similar tastes.  My first strip build was a Wahoo.  It came out a bit heavy so I don't race it except for races too rugged for the lighter boats.  I love the way it paddles and it is my favorite for scouting races and fast recreational paddling.  I have the plans for two Baidarkas (Dark Start and Aleutesque) but I doubt that I will build either because I don't enjoy low volume cockpits.  I read what you wrote regarding the Spindrift which helped me decide to build one.  I decided to go with a decked version because there is so little cockpit detail in the plans.  No doubt that I will eventually build a true ski.  Again, beautiful boats.
       

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2 weeks 5 days ago #37913 by Kennneee
Replied by Kennneee on topic Sea kayak hold outs

Mcnye1 - I love it. A kindred spirit or “nut” as some might refer to us. Where are you located? Perhaps we can float some wood strips together some time.
Ken

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