Think's new entry-level ski tested

8 years 11 months ago - 8 years 11 months ago #8750 by Nat Bradford
I've just tested the as yet to be named entry-level Think ski, and for the market it's aimed at, it's pretty bloody good! First impression suggests to me it's better than an Epic V8.

Check the review at:

sydneysurfski.com/2011/11/18/thinks-new-entry-level-ski/

Cheers, Nat
www.sydneysurfski.com

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8 years 11 months ago #8753 by Rightarmbad
So your partial review raises a lot of questions as to why you consider it better than a V8.

Like:

What is the balance and overall level of the primary and secondary stability as compared to the V8?

How does it behave to steering inputs in various conditions and how is it weighted?

Do you have any direct comparisons of speed such as a paddle with a regular paddle buddy with boat swaps to compare?

Comfort/seating position/fitout?

General feel on the water ... . . . . . . etc, etc

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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8 years 11 months ago #8760 by Nat Bradford
You're right, there's a lot more time that would need to spent in the saddle to make the definitive comparison.

As I've said, I've lived with and loved my previous boat, a Club spec V8, which was my first ever ski. I maintain that even with the limited testing time I had in flat conditions, the Think Eze is a better all round boat for a new paddler.

Questions of primary and secondary stability, steering inputs etc are all valid concerns for elites looking for minute differences in the way elite skis perform.

This boat, and the V8, are targeted at beginners who are more concerned with "can I paddle it without falling off" considerations.

As I also said, there are many people better than me in the paddling stakes equipped to pass professional judgements on skis, mine are based on my experiences (admittedly limited) in the local conditions in and around Sydney.

I'd love to compare notes once you've taken the time to obtain, photograph and review one.

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8 years 11 months ago - 8 years 11 months ago #8765 by AdamV10L
I read your partial review and your reply to RAB's relevant questions around your claims on the new think ski and I have got to say Im with RAB on this one.
Your reply still does not quantify why you think it is better for the beginer than the V8.

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8 years 10 months ago #8776 by Stew
Glad you enjoyed the ski, Nat, sounds like we have done a pretty good job on this design. If anyone is around Sydney and would like to try the new Eze out, just drop me a line. For interstate paddlers, demo craft will be with a lot of our agents before Christmas.

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8 years 10 months ago #8778 by AR_convert
Good on ya doing a review Nat, dont be discouraged by comments otherwise.

Maybe look at some of the reveiws done by Rob and have that in mind when paddling a ski and writing up a review.

We need paddlers at all levels reveiwing ski's, it's no point those of us who have been paddling a few years reviewing how a particular entry level ski handles.

We may be able to comment on fitout, finish, bucket fit, etc but in the end our balance has improved so much we really cant comment on stability if we are paddling much tippier ski's.

Current - Carbonology"Flash" Vajda "Infusion II K1" Previously ~Finn"Molokai Mk II"~Knysna "Vantage Pro K1' Carbonology "Vault"~Epic"V10L & Sport"~ [/b]Fenn"Mill Double" ~Spirit"PRS"~Finn"Affinity"
Always looking for the next boat :)
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8 years 10 months ago #8779 by paddlerpete
I am with RAB and Adam10L on this review.

Maybe we could ask Rob what his feelings are on what looks like blatant abuse of a normally excellent forum. With Think's timely "advertisement" after Nat's "review" of the new Think boat, one could be forgiven for thinking this is a setup.

Nat, maybe you can explain how you "obtained" the new Think ski ... have you purchased it or is it "on loan" ...

I have recently got back into paddling and have been looking at this site for independent information on paddlers experiences. How about we stick to genuine reviews and not thinly veiled product plugs.

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8 years 10 months ago #8780 by Stew

paddlerpete wrote: I am with RAB and Adam10L on this review.

Maybe we could ask Rob what his feelings are on what looks like blatant abuse of a normally excellent forum. With Think's timely "advertisement" after Nat's "review" of the new Think boat, one could be forgiven for thinking this is a setup.

Nat, maybe you can explain how you "obtained" the new Think ski ... have you purchased it or is it "on loan" ...

I have recently got back into paddling and have been looking at this site for independent information on paddlers experiences. How about we stick to genuine reviews and not thinly veiled product plugs.


Sorry that you think there has been some sort of set up here, there certainly hasn't. If you surf across to Nat's website, you will see him write glowing reports on the V8 and how it has helped him improve as a paddler over the past 12 months, and have a lot of fun out on the water. He is also very supportive of the Epic brand as a whole.

In regards to how he got the boat, I have a demo boat here in Sydney, Nat called up and asked if he could take it out for a paddle with some journalist buddies of his last Friday. That's the whole story, nothing more, nothing less, and certainly nothing sinister as is being suggested.

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8 years 10 months ago - 8 years 10 months ago #8781 by Nat Bradford
Thanks for the encouragement, AR!

I'm constantly amazed by the ski community's ability to read into things inferences that just aren't there.

I come from a journalism background, and run a blog for fun, so when the opportunity to test an unreleased ski that suits my level of ability popped up, I grabbed it. In the media game, this is called "a scoop", and I don't apologise for that. I was not paid, nor do I expect or have I received preferential treatment as a result from the vendor as a result of my review. If you thought any consumer product you have ever read a review about was introduced to the market without tests and review prior to the launch by the media, then you're kidding yourself.

If a vendor then chooses to then endorse that review, that's called "marketing". By participating in a forum, I assume the knockers here acknowledge it's not that hard to follow mentions of your brand in social media.

I paddled the Think for about an hour in calm conditions, hardly a full scale test, and said so in the review. I've put hundreds of hours in on V8 and loved it and wouldn't discourage new ski paddlers from trying or buying one.

In simplest terms , which seems to be the level at which things need to be broken down here, I said that I thought the as then un-named ski from Think was a better boat due to its weight and speed advantages, thanks mainly to the reduced volume in the nose, without any noticeable stability loss. I'm sorry if that's not complicated enough for the purists.

I'm starting to wonder when the fun went out of the sport for some of you guys :) .

Cheers, Nat
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8 years 10 months ago #8782 by Dicko
Lighten up guys. If Nat thinks it's a better boat he is quite entitled to say so. It's not like he's saying a Ford is better than a Holden or something important. He sat in it, he liked it better than his current ski. We all do that, then we buy a new ski.
I do it once a year.
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8 years 10 months ago #8784 by Rightarmbad
I wasn't hinting at anything sinister.
I just wanted you to tell me WHY you thought it was better, not just that you thought it was better.

Rob has probably spoilt us by posting up great reviews in the past.

For me a review should at least qualify and hopefully attempt to quantify any statements made.

This is not a review in my book, not even a mini review.
Had the poster just posted up and said that he had paddled it, liked it and thought that it was for him, better than the V8, it would be hard to critise, as it would be simply his opinion.

No doubt it would have been followed by a bunch of questions from others as to why he thought that.

So, how about some personal comments on the things you like about it and the things you don't, especially if you can directly compare those same things to the V8.

Then you will have the beginnings of a review start to appear.

In don't want to scare others from posting reviews or opinions about boats, but please explain why you came to your conclusions.


Great name by the way.
Who was the lucky namer?

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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8 years 10 months ago - 8 years 10 months ago #8788 by EK Sydney
I write reviews for boats we sell all the time. I do my best to make them balanced and point out the good and bad points, but my golden rule is to never, ever mention another boat design as 'better' or 'worse'. As soon as you do that you invite the reaction to Nat's post.
Better to speak of the features of a particular design as honestly as you can and let readers work out if there is anything in the copy that piques their interest.
A really well written review will actually hone the market for a design, rather than make it sound so good that everyone should have one, that's hardly realistic.
I think everyone can see straight through a full on plug, not implying Nat's post fits that description.
My 20c worth.
Mark.

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8 years 10 months ago #8789 by Nat Bradford
Lesson learnt - don't call something here a "review" unless it fits the narrow-minded definition of one that only elite paddlers can understand or feel comfortable reading. I should have called it a"first look" or "initial thoughts" rather than a review, and that seems to be the thing which the audience here is most stuck on.

EK - you're right, I did open myself up with an "opinion" - again, lesson learnt.

But given everyone interested in beginner level boats asks, "is it better than a V8", the current benchmark for all beginner skis, it would be kind of stupid not to offer an "opinion" (notice parenthesis - an "opinion", not being offered as a categoric, definitive, last word fact - similar to "I like chocolate ice cream, but you like vanilla" - who's wrong in that circumstance? That's right - neither! :) ).

If I had Rob's years of experience and wisdom, I'd be Rob, but I'm not, I'm at the other end of the spectrum. His awesome reviews have no doubt guided hundreds, if not thousands, of paddlers into boats over the years. But most of them aren't for me or other beginners because they are reviews of boats we simply can't manage yet.

I appreciate the all the feedback, and the next time I have the opportunity to paddle something new, I'll keep all of this in mind before sharing my thoughts with the surfski.info community.

The 500+ people who've viewed the "opinion" I posted seem not to have the minority concerns this forum raises, so I think I'll keep running my blog the way I like - light-hearted, opinion-based, and fun!

Cheers, Nat

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8 years 10 months ago #8790 by Spudnut72
Nat, as somebody who is not an elite paddler and who uses this forum as a source of both information and entertainment, I say keep up the good work. Without commenting further on any recent posts, I must say that I am enjoying your blog and coming along for the journey with you. Paddling has also changed my life. I am lighter, fitter, healthier and have a renewed passion for life which filters through to my family. My kids see dad with goals and now they want to get involved in this sport.
Don't change anything about your web-site, keep it honest and we can all enjoy this sport from a different view point.
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8 years 10 months ago #8791 by EK Sydney
Don't mistake my post as having a shot there Nat, I'm just attempting a commentary on how these things are perceived, especially on a forum. This one in particular does seem to be used & abused by the industry a bit more than most so consequently the alerts are out when something is looked on as a plant. It's a pretty robust place!
I've also enjoyed reading your blog & posts, and also consider myself to be a beginner ski paddler, with a lot to learn. No harm putting forward your opinions, for the 1000 odd people who've read this thread only a handful have had a go, just understand the dynamic. If you've got a media background I'm sure you understand that better than most.
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8 years 10 months ago #8792 by boss
Whats rhe new name ??

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8 years 10 months ago #8793 by Nat Bradford
EK - no offense taken :) I've got a pretty thick skin, so it'd take more than what's gone on here to upset me (except paddlerpete's suggestion that I'd somehow lied or deliberately misled the forum - for a bloke with zero profile I can ascertain online, it never ceases to amaze me the courage anonymity can provide - that pissed me off).

And you were right - I should have branded the write up differently to help with everyone's expectations and should have been clearer that it was an opinion piece, rather than a full-blooded review.

Boss - they've called it the "Eze".

And for the record ski fans, the new name is NOT something I'm a fan of. ;)

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