Carbon vacuum layup

8 years 1 month ago #12790 by coldwater
To owners of carbon skis...

How do you rate the longevity and durability of ski's in the carbon layup?

I've heard they are very fragile and susceptible to dings & become brittle etc?
Bunk or truth...?

I'm considering getting a FENN in the carbon layup and am interested to hear opinions please!

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8 years 1 month ago #12797 by Nige
Replied by Nige on topic Re: Carbon vacuum layup
Hi,

I've owned 3 carbon Fenns, first the Mako 6, then the Elite and now the Elite SL, so I have 6 years of experience with carbon Fenns. I paddle 4 times a week in the ocean and have done the full Durban Winter Series every year in my carbon Fenns, including lots of big surf. My carbon skis have taken a lot of punishment while paddling and have survived well.

I have found carbon skis to be at least as strong as glass ones in use, and they are a lot stiffer and lighter, so are a pleasure to paddle and well worth the extra cost, in my view. Basically the only thing you have to watch with carbon is impact damage, especially from sharp objects. Its quite easy to puncture if hit by a sharp object.

I sold my Elite to a fellow paddler and its still going strong after 5 years, with no visible signs of degradation. (The Mako 6 wasn't so lucky, the guy I sold it to got wiped out in the monstrous shorebreak at La Mercy during the 2010 World Cup, but any ski would have broken the way he hit the beach!)

So in summary, I've had very good service out of Fenn carbon skis and they're nowhere near as fragile or disposable as many people think.
The following user(s) said Thank You: coldwater, leolinha

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8 years 1 month ago #12805 by coldwater
Replied by coldwater on topic Re: Carbon vacuum layup
'Impact damage' is certainly an often heard phrase when talking about carbon ski's.

What about the usual bang a ski gets every now and then at the catch area on the ski from the paddle as it enters the water?

Does this easily affect the carbon layup and damage it?

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8 years 1 month ago #12806 by drjay9051
Replied by drjay9051 on topic Re: Carbon vacuum layup

coldwater wrote: 'Impact damage' is certainly an often heard phrase when talking about carbon ski's.

What about the usual bang a ski gets every now and then at the catch area on the ski from the paddle as it enters the water?

Does this easily affect the carbon layup and damage it?


Good question.. I recently purchased an Epic in kevlar layup and have been advised to be "very careful". Yesterday afternoon went for a paddle and accidentally banged the side of the ski on the side of dock. It was not a big impact, more of a tap but I had visions of delamination etc.

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8 years 1 month ago #12808 by JeandeFlorette
Replied by JeandeFlorette on topic Re: Carbon vacuum layup
I have a surf ski of a different brand made of Carbon/Nomex/Kevlar composite and have had numerous repairs for soft spots causing delamination and even had 1 ski replaced altogether... From reports I've had from Fenn owners, they are of more solid construction than others and will last longer. I am of the view that a ski is to be used in all conditions and will inevitable have impacts of various kinds: paddlers should not be walking (nor be paddling!) on egg shells. Certain manufacturers are producing super light but somehow disposable skis out there (or skis that spend more time in workshops than on water). Paddlers should give them feedbackon this forum as from what I have observed, boat repairers are rubbing their hands due to high maintenance/repair to keep them afloat: good from them, but what about the paddlers who have to do hard negotiation with their spouses to purchase their floating pride & joy?!!

On a different note, I'm a light paddler (76kg) and have tried carbon skis of various brands, and I find them quick but too bouyant and I get blown sideways and feel more comfortable in a heavier fiberglass ski, particularly in big offshore conditions. You might want to try the vacuum bagged fiberglass too as they are lighter than your standard glass ski and perhaps better value for money too.

Have fun!

JDF

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8 years 1 month ago #12817 by Nige
Replied by Nige on topic Re: Carbon vacuum layup
Impact damage occurs when your ski strikes a sharp object, especially on one of the flat surfaces. For example, I once bumped the side of my carbon ski against the sharp corner of a trailer, and it was enough to punch a small hole in the ski.(This is the only damage I've ever done to my ski.)

In practice, I don't treat my carbon Fenn with any special attention, and have never had any problems, and certainly no soft spots or delaminations of any kind. I paddle in opean ocean conditions where the ski regularly thumps over waves while paddling upwind. As far as carbon Fenns go, in my experience they can handle years of regular paddling in demanding conditions.

JeandeFlorette raised a valid point : a carbon ski is more unstable and is more affected by crosswinds than its glass counterpart , so be aware of that when considering a carbon ski.

Its all worth it though, and after 3 carbon Fenns my next ski will also be a carbon ski, probably Fenn, because as their advert says, they're designed to last.

PS I have no vested interest whatsoever in Fenn : I'm just a very satisfied owner!

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