NELO 520 ski feedback

4 years 2 weeks ago #26471 by photofr
It’s been more than a month, and I should have tried to spend more time on the 520 – sooner. Yesterday was different: I took my 560M out in the morning, and rushed to take the 520 out for a late afternoon Downwind run with a buddy.

Since I represent Nelo surfskis in France, I’ll let someone else provide you with a complete review. In the meantime, here’s what I keep hearing from customers testing out the 520 ski:
Turns super-fast
Stable, very stable.
Feels like you are paddling a much narrower ski.
Fast (I think that one surprised everyone, including myself).
Light.
So easy to surf (DW).

So I kept listening, and I kept paddling next to them without “really” spending much time on the 520 myself. I actually spent a few hours on flat water (testing out max speed, stability, etc…) but never really put it on a chaotic Downwind – until yesterday. Here’s how I see it:

It accelerates really fast = catching more bumps with more ease.
It’s super maneuverable = linking more bumps with (too such) ease.
Very reassuring in rough water = waiting for friends is actually relaxing.
I could have had a beer while flying DW; it’s that comfortable in cross-chop DW runs.

Probably worth noting:
I placed a 5’1” (42 kg) paddler on the 520 in the morning. Needless to say, she isn’t very big, but she found the bucket very comfortable. In the afternoon, I placed a novice kayaker on the same 520; but a very different individual. He was 6’1” and about 75 kilos. The foot-plate can accommodate the extremes.

So far, I find the 520 to be a great contender for…
The novice surfski paddler: on flat water, on calm water, and on windy days.
The intermediate paddler: to gain more confidence and skills in rough conditions.
The advanced paddler: on those insane DW days, or to add safety in group situations.

I now can’t help wondering: we are at the end of July, and how many intermediate and advanced paddlers have actually tried the Nelo 520?

File Attachment:

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)
The following user(s) said Thank You: SurfskiEstonia

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4 years 2 weeks ago #26472 by SurfskiEstonia
Photofr, thank You for providing information on the Nelo skis.

I personally have a lot of interest in the 520 to gain confidence and venture further from the shore. Also the ability to give it to beginner paddler friends.

In my view, the absolute best thing about the Nelo is the weight. Having handled and paddled heavier boats, I won't consider buying a heavy vessel in the nearest future (surf skis, sea kayaks, slalom kayaks).

At the moment I am between buying a beginner ski and a surf kayak. The surf on the Estonian beaches is not very violent (sandy, few rocks, get shallow on a long stretch of sand, no reefs etc). So, I was thinking that I could use a beginner surf ski in the surf? Have read many caution notes that it's a bad idea.. Do You think it applies to small 1-1,5 meter waves on a sandy beach as well?

Then there's another question of choosing between Vajda and Nelo. Vajda's answer to Nelo 520 is the Vajda Hawx 52. I think that they are more or less similar in terms of weight and price. Does anyone have any comments comparing these two? :)

Nelo Ocean Ski L, Jantex Gamma Mid, Jantex Gamma Rio Large Minus

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4 years 2 weeks ago #26473 by photofr
Replied by photofr on topic NELO 520 ski feedback
There are a few Vajda in Europe. You should have someone who will be able to tell you a bit about them.

For now, all I can say is:
- You will need to get an Elite construction (12 kilos) in the Vajda to get the same weight as the 520.
- The 520 will be nearly $2000 less, and still will most likely weigh less than the Elite.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)
The following user(s) said Thank You: SurfskiEstonia

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4 years 2 weeks ago #26475 by Fath2o
Replied by Fath2o on topic NELO 520 ski feedback
Estonia, I don't understand why anyone would say that it is a "bad idea" to take a beginner surf ski or any surfski in the surf. I have taken every ski I have owned in the surf. That being said, you will most likely end up damaging your ski in the surf. More likely if you haven't spent much time riding waves. I don't recommend wearing a leash in the surf. Use your foot straps. Start out in real mild mushy waves and have fun. Just except that you will have to repair your ski at some point, or else, stay out of the surf zone.
A 1.5 meter ground swell wave can pack a lot of punch in shallow water. If you drop in too late, pearl and hit the bottom, there is a good chance you will at the very least buckle and pop the seem on your ski. Or, break it in half. Best to find an offshore reef or sand bar where the waves breaks soft and then peters out into deeper water. Anyway I say go for it and have fun!!!
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4 years 2 weeks ago #26476 by Ranga
Replied by Ranga on topic NELO 520 ski feedback
Can not wait to get my hands on one. Raced the V8 quite a few times and never gone below 14 km/hr average, no matter what the conditions are, well except dead flat, I don`t bother!

As for catching waves on these long skis? Go for it! You wont help my business here in Aus but spread the news around it will eventually catch on here and I will be the happier for it. On a more serious side, as the ski`s get shorter they effectively get stronger so less damage on waves, but they are still composite and don`t like to bend much, so user beware. V7 / V5 are your perfect choice for this.
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4 years 1 week ago - 4 years 1 week ago #26486 by Uffilation
Replied by Uffilation on topic NELO 520 ski feedback
Hawx 52 vs. Nelo 520 ...
besides price per kg, which gives 900 Euro price difference +- for the 11-12 kg range, do not forget length, the Hawx 52 is 34 cm longer.

from a swedish website (google translate link) on the nelo 520:

translate.google.de/translate?hl=&sl=sv&...lo-surfskis_2838.htm

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4 years 1 week ago #26501 by mckengmsurfski
Excited about the positive reviews of the Nelo 520! First ones will be arriving in the USA in two weeks, can't wait to start testing and demoing!

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4 years 1 week ago #26502 by photofr
Replied by photofr on topic NELO 520 ski feedback
Interesting data I have gathered so far with the 520:

For beginners:
Totally convinced from the feedbacks that it's very stable.

For Intermediate paddlers:
I dare compare it with the Swordfish, because it's faster (based on my own data after having owned the swordfish for over a year). Flat water: it doesn't feel like I am pushing water the way the SF did on the dead of flats. Downwind, the 520 provides TONS of control, tons of fun, plenty of security and I seriously doubt you will be disappointed with speed. It's also my go-to ski for photography on the water.

For advanced paddlers:
Well, I'll let Oscar tell you all about his experience. :)

Here's a very recent photo on a calmer day with an Intermediate paddler"
File Attachment:

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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4 years 1 week ago #26505 by SkiFun
Replied by SkiFun on topic NELO 520 ski feedback
Nelo surf ski seems nice.
Does anybody know if Nelo plan to release a ski like 520M for smaller persons in near future?

Nelo 520 : Athlete kg Range: 40kg to 125kg.
Can anyone explain what this means ?
Is the high volume ski (for 125 kg person) good for light weight person (40 kg) ?

Thank you

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4 years 1 week ago #26506 by photofr
Replied by photofr on topic NELO 520 ski feedback
Don't look too deep into the paddler's weight range. Here's what I can tell you first hand:
I placed a paddler that was less than 45 kilos in the 520: she was at limit based on her leg length, but she enjoyed the ski so much that she is now trying to sell her old surfski.

I have placed 80+ kilo paddlers on the same ski: they loved the ski on big conditions.

My wife is 60 kilos: the ski is ideal for her.

Otherwise, take a look at Oscar (about 92-105 kilos) and see how the same stock ski handles super rough conditions with him on it.

I think that Nelo headquarters realized the weight range WAY BEFORE I did - based on their trials / tests. It's that simple.

You can otherwise see for yourself: with photos to show you exactly what I am talking about. Here's a direct link to paddlers using my demo ski: the Nelo 520
photofr.smugmug.com/Portfolio/Nelo-Surfski-520

I hope the photos help visualize more than just the words.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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4 years 1 week ago #26508 by PhilSE2
Replied by PhilSE2 on topic NELO 520 ski feedback
I have heard this comparison to the Swordfish from our local dealer. Must be a company direction. I have tried the 520 and both 560's on the flat and came away with a different conclusion.
I currently own a Swordfish and a Stellar SES gen 2. Tried the 520 with GAS attached and can categories ally state for me the 520 is defiantly sloe that the SF. On the flat I can maintain 11.5 to 12.0 km/hr for 1 to 2 km in the SF. I found I was pushing very hard to maintain 11 km/hr for 300 to 500 meters in the 560.
In ter.s of performance I found the 520 very similar to the Think EZE. In Australia the EZE is some $1500 less costly than the 520 which given the similarities in the two boats would lean me towards the Think.

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4 years 1 week ago #26509 by Ranga
Replied by Ranga on topic NELO 520 ski feedback
You clearly mean the 520 is what you paddled at 11km/hr, not the 560?

I find it strange that there are now very short skis and people are still wanting smaller ones, Whats the deal with this? One of the biggest selling skis of all time the V8 is longer than the 520 and that seems to suit everyone from very small to rather large, now there is a ski shorter than that and we now want one even shorter than the 520, have I missed something, who told you you need a ski for EVERY weight of paddler?

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4 years 1 week ago #26510 by photofr
Replied by photofr on topic NELO 520 ski feedback

PhilSE2 wrote: I have heard this comparison to the Swordfish from our local dealer. Must be a company direction. I have tried the 520 and both 560's on the flat and came away with a different conclusion.
I currently own a Swordfish and a Stellar SES gen 2. Tried the 520 with GAS attached and can categories ally state for me the 520 is defiantly sloe that the SF. On the flat I can maintain 11.5 to 12.0 km/hr for 1 to 2 km in the SF. I found I was pushing very hard to maintain 11 km/hr for 300 to 500 meters in the 560.
In ter.s of performance I found the 520 very similar to the Think EZE. In Australia the EZE is some $1500 less costly than the 520 which given the similarities in the two boats would lean me towards the Think.


I recommend you take a buddy of similar ability and speed into open ocean - with a swordfish and a 520.
Paddle upwind, swap skis every 1km. Try to put in a little more than just one swap. Compare who is faster. .

Then repeat this with the downwind part, because I have no doubt that you need to see how the skis will differ.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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4 years 1 week ago #26511 by photofr
Replied by photofr on topic NELO 520 ski feedback

Ranga wrote: You clearly mean the 520 is what you paddled at 11km/hr, not the 560?

I find it strange that there are now very short skis and people are still wanting smaller ones, Whats the deal with this? One of the biggest selling skis of all time the V8 is longer than the 520 and that seems to suit everyone from very small to rather large, now there is a ski shorter than that and we now want one even shorter than the 520, have I missed something, who told you you need a ski for EVERY weight of paddler?


I think that the notion of a "ski for every weight of paddler" is a correct notion for flat water racing. People now attempt to carry this idea into surfskis, but I feel paddlers have to be reminded:

Surfskis, by nature, are very versatile: Open Ocean, wind, no wind, totally flat water, etc... They can in fact handle it all, and you can in fact have a blast on them. Surfskis are however, primarily built and designed for Open Ocean.

When choosing a ski, each paddler will have to asset:
- stability (am I stable enough on this ski?)
- fit (do I feel comfortable in the cockpit?)
- your weight (can this ski float me well?)

It gets tricky, a lot trickier for flat water racing (a different sport, where you are looking at a perfect waterline).

You can conclude (if you want) that paddler's weight is not as important on a surfski as flat water racing. However, heavier paddlers will want to stay away from a few skis, just like super light paddlers will want to also stay clear of a few other skis.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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3 years 11 months ago #26570 by SkiFun
Replied by SkiFun on topic NELO 520 ski feedback
Thank you photofr

I am interested in Nelo 520. It seems very nice. It is short, light weight, stable, and fast according to you.
Do you have any idea where I can test/buy it in California ?

I looked at your picture.
> photofr.smugmug.com/Portfolio/Nelo-Surfski-520

The cockpit of the yellow ski (520?) seams much wider than that of the blue ski (560M?).
You seems comfortable in the cockpit of 560M. Are you also comfortable in the (wide?) cockpit of 520?

photofr wrote: Don't look too deep into the paddler's weight range. Here's what I can tell you first hand:
I placed a paddler that was less than 45 kilos in the 520: she was at limit based on her leg length, but she enjoyed the ski so much that she is now trying to sell her old surfski.

I have placed 80+ kilo paddlers on the same ski: they loved the ski on big conditions.

My wife is 60 kilos: the ski is ideal for her.

Otherwise, take a look at Oscar (about 92-105 kilos) and see how the same stock ski handles super rough conditions with him on it.

I think that Nelo headquarters realized the weight range WAY BEFORE I did - based on their trials / tests. It's that simple.

You can otherwise see for yourself: with photos to show you exactly what I am talking about. Here's a direct link to paddlers using my demo ski: the Nelo 520
photofr.smugmug.com/Portfolio/Nelo-Surfski-520

I hope the photos help visualize more than just the words.

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3 years 11 months ago #26573 by photofr
Replied by photofr on topic NELO 520 ski feedback
@skifun

I am not sure where you can purchase them in the CA area. My understanding is that the US is getting its container really shortly (if it hasn’t already) – but only because I have been made aware of what is going on out in the SC area. Check with your local surfski dealers, and if you are unsuccessful, get back to me via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I will see what I can do.

Otherwise, regarding the different skis, yes, they are totally different. Different width, length, and different kind of fun.

The 520 is 5.2 meters x 51 cm.
It’s geared towards entry level surfski paddlers, but will most likely amaze intermediate paddlers. Advanced paddlers can find great pleasures when conditions get completely out of hand and chaotic. Expert paddlers will even have a say-so when it comes to its surfing abilities. I am not an expert (even though I have been paddling surfskis for over 30 years) but the 520 is a blast – and quite fast I might add.

My great-grand mother was Italian, my parents are both French… that makes me short, and a small-framed paddler (read small hips). I am way more comfortable on the 520 bucket than on a V8 or Fenn XT.

For info:
I have padded every single ski I have ever owned, including the Spark and the V10L.
I will not be padding the 560M or the 520.
The 520 isn’t a small bucket.
I can’t explain how I can be so comfortable on the 520, and a large framed 88 kilo paddler is also right at home on the same ski.

The 560M is 5.6 meters x 43.8 cm.
Make no mistakes about it: it’s an elite ski, and clearly a very fast ski. It’s geared towards the advanced and expert paddler who is: small or medium framed, not too tall, and weighing less than 75 kilos. Its main assets: sheer acceleration to get you on any wave (big or small) and its surfing abilities that are currently unmatched on any surfski I know of.

The Intermediate paddler wanting a challenge on very calm water may find happiness with the 560M, as long as said paddler falls into the built mentioned just above.

This ski is clearly for smaller paddlers for Open Water, but will probably surprise a few heavier paddlers in super calm conditions. The cockpit is completely different than that of the 520.

Hope that helps clarify a few things. Sorry I don't have more specific answers for you.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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3 years 11 months ago #26581 by mckengmsurfski
SkiFun, our Nelo container is set to dock this week here in South Carolina, and we have Nelo 520 skis in both the WWR and A1 layup available. We are the agent for the Eastern US outside of FL. Michele Eray will be the Nelo agent in CA, but her first shipment has been delayed until the end of the year due to her coaching commitments and travel. So, in the meantime, we can certainly get you a 520 ski from our supply.
Feel free to contact me regarding options via email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thanks!
Mark

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3 years 2 months ago #28902 by Hacker Mike
Replied by Hacker Mike on topic NELO 520 ski feedback
I had a change to test paddle a 520 today. It is very stable, doesn't feel like a barge and changes direct quickly while on runs. Paddling into the wind and swell I found it very wet with the nose ploughing into the swell rather than going over the top. It was the 1st boat I have paddled that had water splashing into my face from a wave deflector going into the wind. The bailer works very well. Seat was comfortable.

My primary boat is a Swordfish. Guys who I normally paddle away from easily in the SF were able to stay with me easily today whilst I was in the 520, so I would definitely not agree, nor expect, the 520 to be faster than the SF.

I am still considering getting one to replace my Bluefin for those crazy big days.

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3 years 2 months ago #28905 by Ranga
Replied by Ranga on topic NELO 520 ski feedback
Not sure who said the 520 is faster than the Swordfish! It is in the V8 territory in terms of what it was designed for. The 550 on the other hand is a comparable ski to the Swordfish.

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3 years 2 months ago - 3 years 2 months ago #28916 by Uffilation
Replied by Uffilation on topic NELO 520 ski feedback
Ranga, I guess Hacker Mike refers to #26502 etc. (a few posts up),
also more explicit in another thread, forgot which one though and saw that
comparison on a website, too, did not find it now by googling.

reg. the 550, thanks for the comparison,
seems there will be a 550ML for 40-80kg paddlers besides the 550L (> 80kg), but maybe no 550M? Details anyone?

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