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02 Nov 2021 18:55
Wattos advice is sage. The caveats I would add is that 1) as mr charley said the option of paddling with a partner not a luxury everyone has and 2) that partner is likely of less use than you would think. There are times of course when a partner is a hero and saves a life. But often that is not possible. Paddlers loses sight of each other, can’t find each other when they try, lack communication devices, and often paddle with the goal of racing start to finish with safety and sticking together a mere afterthought. Also, many paddlers are not capable of providing true assistance when two fragile tippy boats are banging into each other in high seas, and two paddlers can end up in the water in a hurry. So yes, having a partner is better than not, but ideally we want a skilled partner who has the right gear, knows how to use it, and is willing to change the way they routinely paddle so as to be an effective partner. And even that is not perfect. No system is bulletproof. This is a good discussion to have so thanks for speaking up watto! 
23 Sep 2021 06:54
Replied by robin.mousley on topic Carbonology Zest X
Yes, I've been paddling the Zest X for a couple of months now and rate it very highly.

I had been on the Fenn Swordfish S for a couple of years - love that too, but find the seat very uncomfortable, in spite of using a butt pad.

The primary difference with the Zest X for me is the comfort of the seat - it's much wider than the Swordfish S, but also has a much more angled cutaway at the back, which means that it's easy and comfortable to lie back when going down big runs.

I've paddled it both on the flat, and in many downwind runs in lots of different conditions.

In terms of performance, I'd say it's an incremental improvement on the old Zest.  The new one has a slightly smaller profile nose, so when we go out to the rock at the start of the Miller's Run, when we're paddling into and over waves at an angle to the wind, it doesn't get blown sideways as much as the old Zest.

Going downwind, I catch runs easily, and it holds its line (albeit with a big surf rudder): if we have to work diagonally (sometimes in a reverse Miller's Run, the wind is slightly offshore and we have to work right and it's useful to be able to surf diagonally down the face of the waves).

It's also a relatively dry boat in downwind conditions and so far I haven't felt moved to spoil the sticker pattern with a wave deflector.

Even if you do flood the cockpit - and I've managed to do so very occasionally - the bullet-assisted scuppers drain the water fairly quickly.  The cockpit is relatively shallow (or perhaps that's a perception caused by the width) so it doesn't feel like the boat has tons of water aboard.

The wide cockpit means it's a relatively easy boat to remount.

In interval sessions, my buddies report that I'm just as fast on the flat.

What's not to like? 

Well, I don't like the handles on the sides of the cockpit - they're only really useable when there's no wind at all, and my paddle leash sometimes catches on them when I'm going downwind. 

I hope that helps.
11 Sep 2021 03:58
It's a tricky balance between lightweight and "tough". My Epic red nose v10 weighs 25 lbs, but it seems very susceptible to impact damage. I've never bumped, dragged, or crashed into anything, but there are several impact impressions along the seam from the previous owner. 

My 2008 Necky Chatham 17 sea kayak in full clear coat carbon construction is practically bulletproof when it comes to crashing over waves and bumping into stuff. It doesn't have a Nomex or foam core. That being said it survived a drop off  the roof of my 4Runner with a US quarter sized chip that cost several hundred dollars to repair. Carbon is strong, but brittle. I'd like to try one of the pre-preg carbon layups from Kai Waa. I've heard the monocoque construction is pretty tough and is very light. 
07 Sep 2021 09:14 - 07 Sep 2021 09:17

I'm interested in a related question, which is how can one tell whether one should upgrade to a larger paddle size?

The thing I would tell you is that you can increase the force exerted by the paddle by lengthening the shaft (and moving 
 which can easily cause injury. I have to remind myself frequently about dropping the shoulders. Bigger paddles make the risk of injury worse. You may want to make sure you have your stroke down very well before looking at huge paddles ;-).

Just my 2c :-)


All good points! In truth, I seem to have a bulletproof stroke, in the sense that I paddle sometimes 4 days a week, and whatever the heck I am doing doesn't seem to hurt my shoulders or cause soreness, even over 20+ years in regular kayaks... Doesn't mean my stroke is technically great, but at least not prone to injury from it. (knock wood).

I wonder if gymnastics and weightlifting over the years built stabilizers in my shoulders... as I don't seem to injure my shoulders in other activities now... (I digress)... getting older I am more interested in minimizing injury/wear, for certain though.

In truth, I'm not seeing a down-side to a larger paddle. The mid-wing paddle someone gave me just slips through the water sometimes and I don't feel like it's transmitting my power to the water. I don't have the language to describe it in technical terms, but it feels like a clutch slipping. At speed not as bad.

have experimented with hand position and shaft length on paddles, and discovered that even a cheap, heavy paddle with a long shaft out-worked the fancy mid-wing I have now... so want a long shaft and a huge paddle blade now... :)
02 Sep 2021 00:37
Just adding the Nelo 540.
In 2013 there were about 50 ski designs on the list, today (August 30, 2021) it`s up to 242 and there must a few more out there that are absent. Feel free to let me know what`s wrong with/missing from the list. Happy paddling all!
Owen
(present set up: Stellar SEI 2G in Advantage lay-up, and Knysna Racing Delta L paddle.)


Surfski Width x Length Chart – September 1, 2021

Manufacturer Name of Ski Width Length

O'Krea Oya 40 605

Huki S1-Z 40.64 635
Huki S1-A 40.64 5588

Scofits Ayahavela SSR 41 633
Scofits Ayahavela Bullet 41 633
Knysna Mc Gregor Classic (2018) 41 590

Stellar SEA (June 2018-) 41.2 619.5

Carbonology K1 Downriver ski 41.5 520

Stellar SES 41.6 620

Neumann Adventure Racing 42 660
Vajda Orca 42 650
Think Uno (pre 2016) 42 648
DD3 Envy 42 645
Sipre Sea Vortex 42 645
Knysna Genius G40 (2018) 42 640
Nelo M/XL (2010) 42 640
DD3 Turbo G2 (2017) 42 638
Elio Mazu Pro I 42 627

Fenn Elite SL 42.5 644
Fenn Elite Spark 42.5 644
Fenn Elite Glide 42.5 644
Fenn Elite Surge (2018) 42.5 582
Epic K1T  42.5 520

Kai Wa'a Vega (2018)  42.7  640

Allwave CX 42.8 640
Allwave DNA (August 2018) 42.8 640
Ocean Built Kona K-64 42.8 640
Ocean Built Konastorm KS-64 42.8 640

Epic V14 (2g) 42.9 640

Kayak Pro Oquendo 43 659
Zed Tech Dominator 43 658
Honcho Oceans Pro 43 647
Knysna Genius GTO (2018) 43 645
Opium Infinity 43 645
Think Uno (2016) 43 645

Think Uno Max 43 645
Fenn Mako Elite 43 644
Think Legend 43 643
DD3 Turbo (2012) 43 640
Epic V12 (2g) 43 640

Epic V14 (1g) 43 640
FG Lampu (Jan 2019) 43 640
Flow Kayaks Addict 43 640
Flow Kayaks Sharpski 43 640
Knysna Genius 40 (pre 2018) 43 640
Nordic Kayaks Nitro (to 2017) 43 640
Nordic Kayaks Nitro 64 (2018) 43 640

Revo R1 43 635
Carbonology Flash (2017) 43 635
Honcho Extreme 43 634
Vajda Next 43 630
Knysna Genius 20 43 628
Nordic Kayaks Fusion (2009) 43 625
Ozean OSS 2 43 6245

Elio Pro Elite 43 620
O'Krea Ozo 43 616
Carbonology Pulse 43 605
Knysna Mc Gregor Classic (2017) 43 600
Epic V11 1g (2017) 43 579
Sipre Ackua (2018) 43 575
Nordic Kayaks Rapido 1 Super 43 565

Huki S1-X 43.18 640

Epic V10 g1(2005-2012) 43.4 650
Epic V10L (old) 43.4 650

Red7 Surf70 43.5 660
DD3 XLR8 43.5 655
Ozean OSS I 43.5 6495
Stellar SEL 2G 43.5 645
Vajda Hawx 43.5 643.5

Epic V12 (g1) 43.5 640
Nordic Kayaks Nitro+ 43.5 640
Seabird 6.4 43.5 640
Vajda Hawx 43 43.5 633

Kayak Centre Eos 660 43.6 660

Custom Kayaks Bullet ?? 640

Ygara Xama 44 660
Stellar SEL 1G 44 655
DD3 Albatross Gen 6 44 650
DD3 Albatross 44 648
Opium Molokai 44 644

Kayak Sipre Sea Vortex + 44 642
Fenn Mako 6 44 640
Nelo XXL 44 640
Felci Yachts Windseeker 44 620
Knysna Genius BLU (2018) 44 620
Carbonology Pulse 44 610
Epic V10L (new) 44 615
Carbonology Pulse (2017) 44 600
Nordic Kayaks Nitro 60 (2017) 44 600
Carbonology Atom 44 595
Knysna Mac Mk.II (Sept. 2018) 44 590
Nordic Kayaks Rapido 2.0 44 585

Van Dusen Mohican 44.45 646.4

Stellar SE 44.5 655
Think Ion 44.5 642
Carbonology Flash (old) 44.5 635
Carbonology Switch 44.5 595
Knysna Mac Rhythm (before 2018) 44.5 590
Chalupski Oscar/Hummel 44.5 580

Epic V10 g2 (2013-2017) 45 645
Opium DW 45 645
Sipre Ackua Veloce (pre 2018) 45 645
Sipre Ackua Veloce (post 2018) 45 644
Icon Genesis 45 640
Nelo Vintage 45 640
Epic V10 g3 (2018) 45 625
Elio 45 45 610

Fenn Swordfish 45 610
Nordic Kayaks Storm 45 610
Nordic Kayaks Storm + (to 2017) 45 610
Nordic Kayaks Storm 61 (2018) 45 610
Zed Tech Griffin ++ 45 590
Nelo 560L 45 560

Nelo 560M/L 45 560
Nelo 560M 45 560
Sipre Ackua 560 45 560
O'Krea Marmousse 45 450

Knysna Mac Rhythm (from 2018) 45.5 590

Huki S1-XL 45.72 640

Allwave Volo 46 642
Custom Kayaks Focus 46 642
Custom Kayaks Synergy 46 642
Revo R2 46 635
Ozean OSS 3 46 6245
Knysna Genius BLU (pre 2018) 46 620
Carbonology Vault (2017b) 46 610
Stellar SEI 46 610
Scofits Ayahavela SSS (new)46 600
Vajda Hawx 46 46 590
Vajda Next 46 46 590
DD3 Magnum 46 580
Nelo 550 46 550
Nelo Viper 46 Ski  46  520

Carbonology Vault (2017a) 46.5 612
Scofits Ayahavela SSS (old) 46.5 598
DD3 Australis 46.5 580
DD3 Wahoo Sport 46.5 579
Nordic Kayaks Storm 57 (2017) 46.5 570

Huki S1-R 46.99 607

Honcho Rookie 47 647
Custom Kayaks Icon 47
Think Evo 3G (2016) 47 625
Zed Tech Dominator XL 47 620
Carbonology Vault (old) 47 595
Spirit Fury 47
FG Code Zero 47 580

Fenn XT (older) 47.5 600
Finn Molakai 47.5 590

Neumann Adventure 48 640
Revo R3 (2016) 48 635
Think Evo II 48 625
Carbonology Zest (old) 48 615
Kayak Pro Oquendo Sport 48 614

Epic V10 Sport (new) 48 610
Seabird 6.1 48 610
Bjorn Thomasson Spindrift 48 608
Revo R3 (2017) 48 605
Arrow 48 590
Stellar SR 48 584
Aquarius Coaster 48 580
Elio Fitness 48 580
Honcho Guevara 48 580

Knysna Genius CLK 48 580
Nordic Kayaks Squall 48 580
Ozean OSS 4 48 5795
Sipre Marlin M 48 578
Point Horizon 48 573
Custom Kayaks Horizon 48 560
Custom Kayaks Mentor 48 560
Think Jet 48 520
Aquarius Coda 48 400
Knysna Guppie 48 400

Think Six (January 2020) 48.25  600

Epic V10 Sport (old) 48.3 610

Kayak Centre Zeplin 48.5 660
Knysna Jester 48.5 457

Flow Kayaks Superstar 49 595
de Brito 59 49 590
Fenn Mako XT 49 588
Opium Moana 49 588

Lifesaving/Spec ski min.wid/max.len 49 580

Nordic Kayaks Squall + (to 2017) 49 580
Nordic Kayaks Squall 58 (2018) 49 580
Epic Kayaks  V9. 49  579
Nordic Kayaks Squall 54 (2017) 49 540
Carbonology Splash 49 485

Carbonology Zest (old) 49.5 595

DD3 Maxx (2017) 50 600
Nordic Kayaks Breeze (`til 2015) 50 600
Carbonology Boost (2017a) 50 595
Honcho Guru 50 580
Spirit PRS 50 567
Bjorn Thomasson Spray 50 560
Nelo 540  50  540
Allwave Genesi 50 520
Fenn Bonito 50 420
FG 420 Revo 50 420
Sipre Ackua Kid 50 420

Epic V8 Pro 50.5 579

Carbonology Boost (2017b) 51 595
Think Eze (pre 2016) 51 520
Think Eze (2016) 51 518
Spirit Racing Ski 51 496

Stellar S18S G2 (from 2018) 51.2 550

Think Zen 52 560
Vajda Hawx 52 52 554
Vajda Next 52 52 554
Opium Rider 52 553
Vajda Raptor 52 530
Nelo 520 52 520

Knysna Genius RS 52.5 580

Fenn Blue-Fin 53 590
Vajda Oscar 53 559
Axis Kayaks S4 53 507
Axis Kayaks S2 53 460

Stellar S18S G1 (pre 2018) 53.3 550

Nordic Kayaks Exrcize 54 550
Sipre Ackua Fun (pre 2018) 54 550
Epic V8 (new) 54 548
Finn Endorfinn 54 522
Epic V7 54 520
Nordic Kayaks Breeze PE (2017) 54 505

Seabird 5.5 55 555
Sipre Ackua Fun (post 2018) 55 550
Elio 55 55 520
Nelo Viper 55 55 520
Nelo 510 55 510

Mirage 583 Freeride 55.5 580

Epic V8 (old) 55.88 548

de Brito 59w 56 590
Carbonology Cruz 56 550
Think Big Eze/Eze 56 538

Allwave Colibri 57 418

Stellar S16S 58.1 488

Epic V6 58.4 488

Cobra Eliminator 58.42 503

Epic V5 composite 60 436
Epic V5 plastic 60 426

Current Designs Ignite (2014) 60.96 487.68

Spirit Crosstrainer CTR 61 400

Stellar S14S 62.8 436

Current Designs 140 66.04 427


List first compiled by Owen on Okinawa, February, 2012.
Last up-dated January 2020.
Some info above may be incorrect or missing. Most measurements have been taken from manufacturers websites. Therefore, apologies in advance for any mistakes I`ve made. Please feel free to contact me with any information that should be adjusted or added:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.     
189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
Epic V10 1st Gen
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy?
189cm 90~100kg189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
2021 Stealth Profisha 525
2021 Stealth Fusion 480
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy
30 Aug 2021 07:30
Just adding the Epic V9.

In 2013 there were about 50 ski designs on the list, today (August 30, 2021) it`s up to 241 and there must a few more out there that are absent. Feel free to let me know what`s wrong with/missing from the list. Happy paddling all!
Owen
(present set up: Stellar SEI 2G in Advantage lay-up, and Knysna Racing Delta L paddle.)


Surfski Width x Length Chart – January 4th 2019

Manufacturer Name of Ski Width Length

O'Krea Oya 40 605

Huki S1-Z 40.64 635
Huki S1-A 40.64 5588

Scofits Ayahavela SSR 41 633
Scofits Ayahavela Bullet 41 633
Knysna Mc Gregor Classic (2018) 41 590

Stellar SEA (June 2018-) 41.2 619.5

Carbonology K1 Downriver ski 41.5 520

Stellar SES 41.6 620

Neumann Adventure Racing 42 660
Vajda Orca 42 650
Think Uno (pre 2016) 42 648
DD3 Envy 42 645
Sipre Sea Vortex 42 645
Knysna Genius G40 (2018) 42 640
Nelo M/XL (2010) 42 640
DD3 Turbo G2 (2017) 42 638
Elio Mazu Pro I 42 627

Fenn Elite SL 42.5 644
Fenn Elite Spark 42.5 644
Fenn Elite Glide 42.5 644
Fenn Elite Surge (2018) 42.5 582
Epic K1T  42.5 520

Kai Wa'a Vega (2018)  42.7  640

Allwave CX 42.8 640
Allwave DNA (August 2018) 42.8 640
Ocean Built Kona K-64 42.8 640
Ocean Built Konastorm KS-64 42.8 640

Epic V14 (2g) 42.9 640

Kayak Pro Oquendo 43 659
Zed Tech Dominator 43 658
Honcho Oceans Pro 43 647
Knysna Genius GTO (2018) 43 645
Opium Infinity 43 645
Think Uno (2016) 43 645

Think Uno Max 43 645
Fenn Mako Elite 43 644
Think Legend 43 643
DD3 Turbo (2012) 43 640
Epic V12 (2g) 43 640

Epic V14 (1g) 43 640
FG Lampu (Jan 2019) 43 640
Flow Kayaks Addict 43 640
Flow Kayaks Sharpski 43 640
Knysna Genius 40 (pre 2018) 43 640
Nordic Kayaks Nitro (to 2017) 43 640
Nordic Kayaks Nitro 64 (2018) 43 640

Revo R1 43 635
Carbonology Flash (2017) 43 635
Honcho Extreme 43 634
Vajda Next 43 630
Knysna Genius 20 43 628
Nordic Kayaks Fusion (2009) 43 625
Ozean OSS 2 43 6245

Elio Pro Elite 43 620
O'Krea Ozo 43 616
Carbonology Pulse 43 605
Knysna Mc Gregor Classic (2017) 43 600
Epic V11 1g (2017) 43 579
Sipre Ackua (2018) 43 575
Nordic Kayaks Rapido 1 Super 43 565

Huki S1-X 43.18 640

Epic V10 g1(2005-2012) 43.4 650
Epic V10L (old) 43.4 650

Red7 Surf70 43.5 660
DD3 XLR8 43.5 655
Ozean OSS I 43.5 6495
Stellar SEL 2G 43.5 645
Vajda Hawx 43.5 643.5

Epic V12 (g1) 43.5 640
Nordic Kayaks Nitro+ 43.5 640
Seabird 6.4 43.5 640
Vajda Hawx 43 43.5 633

Kayak Centre Eos 660 43.6 660

Custom Kayaks Bullet ?? 640

Ygara Xama 44 660
Stellar SEL 1G 44 655
DD3 Albatross Gen 6 44 650
DD3 Albatross 44 648
Opium Molokai 44 644

Kayak Sipre Sea Vortex + 44 642
Fenn Mako 6 44 640
Nelo XXL 44 640
Felci Yachts Windseeker 44 620
Knysna Genius BLU (2018) 44 620
Carbonology Pulse 44 610
Epic V10L (new) 44 615
Carbonology Pulse (2017) 44 600
Nordic Kayaks Nitro 60 (2017) 44 600
Carbonology Atom 44 595
Knysna Mac Mk.II (Sept. 2018) 44 590
Nordic Kayaks Rapido 2.0 44 585

Van Dusen Mohican 44.45 646.4

Stellar SE 44.5 655
Think Ion 44.5 642
Carbonology Flash (old) 44.5 635
Carbonology Switch 44.5 595
Knysna Mac Rhythm (before 2018) 44.5 590
Chalupski Oscar/Hummel 44.5 580

Epic V10 g2 (2013-2017) 45 645
Opium DW 45 645
Sipre Ackua Veloce (pre 2018) 45 645
Sipre Ackua Veloce (post 2018) 45 644
Icon Genesis 45 640
Nelo Vintage 45 640
Epic V10 g3 (2018) 45 625
Elio 45 45 610

Fenn Swordfish 45 610
Nordic Kayaks Storm 45 610
Nordic Kayaks Storm + (to 2017) 45 610
Nordic Kayaks Storm 61 (2018) 45 610
Zed Tech Griffin ++ 45 590
Nelo 560L 45 560

Nelo 560M/L 45 560
Nelo 560M 45 560
Sipre Ackua 560 45 560
O'Krea Marmousse 45 450

Knysna Mac Rhythm (from 2018) 45.5 590

Huki S1-XL 45.72 640

Allwave Volo 46 642
Custom Kayaks Focus 46 642
Custom Kayaks Synergy 46 642
Revo R2 46 635
Ozean OSS 3 46 6245
Knysna Genius BLU (pre 2018) 46 620
Carbonology Vault (2017b) 46 610
Stellar SEI 46 610
Scofits Ayahavela SSS (new)46 600
Vajda Hawx 46 46 590
Vajda Next 46 46 590
DD3 Magnum 46 580
Nelo 550 46 550
Nelo Viper 46 Ski  46  520

Carbonology Vault (2017a) 46.5 612
Scofits Ayahavela SSS (old) 46.5 598
DD3 Australis 46.5 580
DD3 Wahoo Sport 46.5 579
Nordic Kayaks Storm 57 (2017) 46.5 570

Huki S1-R 46.99 607

Honcho Rookie 47 647
Custom Kayaks Icon 47
Think Evo 3G (2016) 47 625
Zed Tech Dominator XL 47 620
Carbonology Vault (old) 47 595
Spirit Fury 47
FG Code Zero 47 580

Fenn XT (older) 47.5 600
Finn Molakai 47.5 590

Neumann Adventure 48 640
Revo R3 (2016) 48 635
Think Evo II 48 625
Carbonology Zest (old) 48 615
Kayak Pro Oquendo Sport 48 614

Epic V10 Sport (new) 48 610
Seabird 6.1 48 610
Bjorn Thomasson Spindrift 48 608
Revo R3 (2017) 48 605
Arrow 48 590
Stellar SR 48 584
Aquarius Coaster 48 580
Elio Fitness 48 580
Honcho Guevara 48 580

Knysna Genius CLK 48 580
Nordic Kayaks Squall 48 580
Ozean OSS 4 48 5795
Sipre Marlin M 48 578
Point Horizon 48 573
Custom Kayaks Horizon 48 560
Custom Kayaks Mentor 48 560
Think Jet 48 520
Aquarius Coda 48 400
Knysna Guppie 48 400

Think Six (January 2020) 48.25  600

Epic V10 Sport (old) 48.3 610

Kayak Centre Zeplin 48.5 660
Knysna Jester 48.5 457

Flow Kayaks Superstar 49 595
de Brito 59 49 590
Fenn Mako XT 49 588
Opium Moana 49 588

Lifesaving/Spec ski min.wid/max.len 49 580

Nordic Kayaks Squall + (to 2017) 49 580
Nordic Kayaks Squall 58 (2018) 49 580
Epic Kayaks  V9. 49  579
Nordic Kayaks Squall 54 (2017) 49 540
Carbonology Splash 49 485

Carbonology Zest (old) 49.5 595

DD3 Maxx (2017) 50 600
Nordic Kayaks Breeze (`til 2015) 50 600
Carbonology Boost (2017a) 50 595
Honcho Guru 50 580
Spirit PRS 50 567
Bjorn Thomasson Spray 50 560
Allwave Genesi 50 520
Fenn Bonito 50 420
FG 420 Revo 50 420
Sipre Ackua Kid 50 420

Epic V8 Pro 50.5 579

Carbonology Boost (2017b) 51 595
Think Eze (pre 2016) 51 520
Think Eze (2016) 51 518
Spirit Racing Ski 51 496

Stellar S18S G2 (from 2018) 51.2 550

Think Zen 52 560
Vajda Hawx 52 52 554
Vajda Next 52 52 554
Opium Rider 52 553
Vajda Raptor 52 530
Nelo 520 52 520

Knysna Genius RS 52.5 580

Fenn Blue-Fin 53 590
Vajda Oscar 53 559
Axis Kayaks S4 53 507
Axis Kayaks S2 53 460

Stellar S18S G1 (pre 2018) 53.3 550

Nordic Kayaks Exrcize 54 550
Sipre Ackua Fun (pre 2018) 54 550
Epic V8 (new) 54 548
Finn Endorfinn 54 522
Epic V7 54 520
Nordic Kayaks Breeze PE (2017) 54 505

Seabird 5.5 55 555
Sipre Ackua Fun (post 2018) 55 550
Elio 55 55 520
Nelo Viper 55 55 520
Nelo 510 55 510

Mirage 583 Freeride 55.5 580

Epic V8 (old) 55.88 548

de Brito 59w 56 590
Carbonology Cruz 56 550
Think Big Eze/Eze 56 538

Allwave Colibri 57 418

Stellar S16S 58.1 488

Epic V6 58.4 488

Cobra Eliminator 58.42 503

Epic V5 composite 60 436
Epic V5 plastic 60 426

Current Designs Ignite (2014) 60.96 487.68

Spirit Crosstrainer CTR 61 400

Stellar S14S 62.8 436

Current Designs 140 66.04 427


List first compiled by Owen on Okinawa, February, 2012.
Last up-dated January 2020.
Some info above may be incorrect or missing. Most measurements have been taken from manufacturers websites. Therefore, apologies in advance for any mistakes I`ve made. Please feel free to contact me with any information that should be adjusted or added:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    
189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
Epic V10 1st Gen
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy?
189cm 90~100kg189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy
30 Jul 2021 22:57
McImes,

Yup, that's it.

I used a Dremel to round out the bow side, put in 1/2" pvc to form a round drain area and back filled everything with WM repair. After that dried the pvc pulled out pretty easy and formed a nice round drain area. The part that has the screw and slides I sanded so it was under the hull height so doing that took a big part of area to be filled with WM.
I used marine silicone, so I could remove after testing, to test the different drain iterations and hood placement behind the bullet.

Hope that helps.
Matt
30 Jul 2021 18:57
Venice, I PM'd you. Check your private messages.

Also, is this the set you installed? somebeachoutfitters.com/product/stellar-...-venturi-bullet-set/

Last, how did you remove the existing venturi cone? Does it come off or do you need to cut/sand it off?
30 Jul 2021 07:37
Thanks for your thoughts Omar! You certianly know the boat well. Anyone with experience please chime in! more opinions are always better

After 3 more paddles, 5 hours, and ~20 miles, my initial thoughts havent changed much on the Flex-
- Bow Slappy upwind. Kind of annoying, but also surfs so well you can pick up the reflected swell and do some minor surfing upwind. The SFS does this well too.
-Divine downwind. Accelerates so fast. jumps waves insanely well, more than any other boat I've paddled.
-Broaches easily - angle of attack needs to be proactively managed at low speed like takeoff and on steep large boat wake. I will be ordering the Kai surf rudder or a massive (like 10"/25cm high chord) DK special if he thinks he can make it. In general I prefer huge rudders as I seek out large and steep waves.
-Such a wet ride. I cut a closed cell foam block to fill all the area behind the foot plate, plus shaped more foam to fill the empty area under my calves. This probably removes 2-3L of cockpit volume and helps a lot with bailing time. I'm still scheming to cut conventional bailer holes, but haven't come to terms with cutting into the boat yet. I also need to get Stellar bullets on order, as I think a Bullet will help it drain.
So so wonderful to handle off the water. 20lb /9kg boats are almost fun to carry. Doing it 1 handed with ease is a boss move.
20 Jul 2021 20:10 - 21 Jul 2021 01:21
Background -
I did 5 years of canoe racing (open canoe/Canadian canoe), then got into OC-1 for a couple years when I lived on long island sound, then bought a ski 4 years ago living in the Springfield, MA area. I started with a Epic V10 g1 (the 43cm elite level one). It was a bad choice but I knew that so moved onto a Stellar SR g1. I paddled that on flat water for about 18 months before I moved to southern California near the ocean. The stellar was truly awful on big water so sold that and got a Fenn XT g1 that weighed about 42 lbs! It was a tank but handled the ocean much better. During this time I became confident in ~6-7' ocean swell and relatively nasty conditions. In prep for The Gorge 2019 I bought a Swordfish S that spring. I've paddled that on average about 2.2x per week for a tad over 2 years. I consider myself expert in it, having conquered some of the most gnarly and sloppy conditions the ocean has to offer (up to ~10', confused seas, reflected swell, etc) as well as 2 years at The Gorge.

I bought a Flex at The Gorge and paddled it on (2) 8 mile downwind runs in 10-20 mph winds and 1-3 ft river swell, plus tonight I paddled it in the ocean for 6 miles going out and back with a 10mph wind, 1-2ft wind waves, and 2-3ft groundswell. Total Flex bucket time as of writing this is about 4 hours. I will update this review as I get more bucket time to see how my thoughts change over time and once I have a hundred hours of bucket time.
I’m a male, mid-30’s, 185lbs/84kg, about 6’/185cm tall, and athletic.
 
Executive Summary / TL;DR
I consider the SFS one of the best all around boats and it surfs like a boss. Its in the top tier of downwind, upwind, and cross wave boats – a top performer regardless of which direction you’re going. It has great stability, an ok bucket, average looks, and mediocre  build quality.
My initial impression of the Vega Flex is it is the best downwind boat ever. It downwinds stupid good but does not do as well upwind and cross wave. It has ok stability (but not great), a great bucket, amazing looks, and superb build quality.

Build quality and looks

Flex – 10/10 (stellar)
SFS – 5/10 (average)
The Flex is stellar. Its an Ozone built boat and is on par with the most beautiful Ozone Outriggers. The 'regular' version is 20lbs and painted any array of crisp and flashy colors and designs. They have no gel coat, which I like. Paint is easier to repair and the PrePreg construction is so stiff the gel coat isnt really needed to prevent small scratches. The Pro model is 2lbs lighter from dropping 1 layer of carbon in some select spots, and it only comes in Primer Gray (but still looks sharp, just not stunning like some of the non-pros). I got a compliment on its looks the first time I took it out on the harbor, so the painted models are definitely head turning boats. Much better than any gel coated boat and only matched by other painted or vinyl wrapped boats.
 
The Pre Preg autoclave cured epoxy construction is incredibly stiff and some friends boats have taken some significant hits without damage. On the other hand the foam core sandwich construction is still susceptible to sharp object impacts. Also, its a monocoque construction with a bladder inflated from the inside, so no seam or foam stringer. the hull itself is structural. I havent had it long enough to comment on longevity, but 7 of the 8 other guys I stayed with all week have Vegas or Flexes for over a year and all are going strong with no issues.

Let me preface this next part by saying I know nothing about new Fenn/Fennix boats produced after the factory burned down. Hopefully they took that as an opportunity. Also,  I know this is a totally unfair comparison as I had the SFS in Glass Vac layup (a 2/5 on the lightness scale vs the Flex's 5/5) - The pre-Fennix construction quality of the SFS left a lot to be desired. They are/were known to leak and my experience holds that true. The putty on the seam is weak in my opinion. The foam stringer appears to be white low density styrofoam (as opposed to a higher quality, more rigid closed cell foam or nomex honeycomb). There are just a lot of little touches that could be improved finish and water-tightness wise.
 
Fittings and bungees -
Flex – 8/10 (Pretty good)
SFS  - 5/10 (Average)
The Flex has extensive bungees on the front deck and rear deck.This makes stowing gear like a small drybag, flip  flops, or your paddle easy. The span is perfect such that you can slip your paddle blades under them and then you can have 2 unencumbered hands on the boat (an important feature with a ultralight boat in high winds) The SFS has very average bungees, with only bungees running vertically behind the foot plate. This makes it difficult to find a spot for a small drybag without impeding pedal movement. I really like the Fenn carry handle up front though. It is  convenient to have a sold padded handle to grab as you hop off the boat in the surf. The flex only has the foot brace to grab, which is ok, but not as good as a dedicated handle.
 
Bucket –
Flex – 9/10 (very comfortable)
SFS – 6/10 (almost comfortable)
For reference I wear an American 34x32” pants (not sure how that translates to metric pants, sorry world) but my waist is probably closer to 33”. The SFS bucket never really jived with my butt 100%. It never caused pain but it also wasn’t totally comfortable. The bottom isn’t quite flat enough and it pinches my butt cheeks together around my coccyx in an annoying and strange way. It doesn’t rub or cause me to need padding (I generally hate padding) but compared to the horror stories some people have with buckets, I fit ok in the grand scheme. The SFS bucket is definitely deeper than the Flex and the top lip is rounded (more on this in the remount section).  I have US size 12 feet and could use another .4”/1cm of width due to my feet rubbing slightly when turning. I must choose very skinny water shoes to fit in the SFS foot area. The rear of the bucket is cut out such that you can lean back effectively on a wave and does not rub my back at all.

The Flex bucket is relatively flat on the bottom and quite shallow. It is very comfortable even in only board shorts. When I put on my 1.5mm wetsuit it got even more comfortable. The rails are nearly flat on the rear half of the bucket. The shallow bucket makes remounts a breeze but also means it’s a WET ride. Really wet. Like really really wet. Waves splash right over the side from my knees to butt. From knees forward, the rails are higher and generally similar to the SFS. The Flex rail is so low on the middle to rear of the bucket that I can put it in the water by leaning to the extreme. Also, when the bucket is totally flooded you can do a quick hip snap and dump out the top ¼ of the bucket. The rear of the bucket is aggressively cut out and you can lean back even more than in the SFS by a little.
 
Foot Plate and rudder adjustment
Flex – 8/10
SFS – 4/10
The flex uses a bike-wheel style ¼ turn cam lock to adjust the foot brace that requires no tools. It is easy to adjust. I have not had any issues with slipping, but the great Zach Handler has had issues with slipping. The track is only 1/3 the total adjustment length. This was probably done to save weight, but it means that you have to use a screw driver to move it between the forward, middle, or rear range. Its not a big deal, but if you shared the boat with someone and you required different ranges it would be somewhat cumbersome to do each time. The rudder lines are dyneema. The adjustment is tool-free and just ties off to mini dock-tie style fittings. The SFS uses locking pins for footbrace adjustment and also are toolless. The Rudder lines are stainless steel and require a metric allen wrench to adjust. The system works fine but requiring a hex wrench to adjust is annoying. Both foot plates and pedals are solid. I give the SFS low marks only for requiring a tool to adjust the pedals (I was just burned by this last night when I let a friend demo the boat and he was shorter than me but I didn’t have an allen!)
 
Bailing / Scuppers
Flex – 4/10
Stock SFS – 5/10
Modified SFS – 9/10
The flex bailer system is total junk. Kai did suuuuch a good job with the rest of this boat that the bailer really stick out as a low point on it. It’s a single bailer that goes to a horizontal tube that runs rearward about 6” before it exists the hull. You need a lot of speed (>5mph for sure) to bail. Also, the bucket is SO wet that this boats needs a 10/10 bailing
system. I am contemplating drilling my own holes and adding 2 fenn style venture bailers with bullets to the mid-cockpit. Nothing about it works. The minimum bailing speed is too high, the venturi cone is shallow which does not generate as much negative pressure on the back side, there is no bullet which increases the minimum bailing speed, the outlet area is both too large and too small – its so large that it requires high speed to generate adequate negative pressure to bail, but at the same time its too small in the sense that 2x venturi bailers with bullets would have more cross sectional surface area to bail but the bullets produce adequate negative pressure to bail at low speed (4mph).
The stock Fenn dual venturi’s weren’t much better – the scupper holes were small and lacked bullets. They also needed about 6mph to suck air which is not good. I have most of the same gripes with them as well.

So I opened up the SFS holes from about 0.5”/13mm to about 1”/25mm diameter and added 2 stellar bullets. With the large holes and dual bullets they bail rather quickly. I was able to empty a full bucket of water in 13 strokes with the assist of a wave, or about 30 strokes on flat water.  Although the original score of the Flex vs SFS is only 1 point different, it will be much, much harder to modify the Flex’s bailing system like i did with the SFS. The fenn was easy – Sand holes larger with a dremel, epoxy seal new larger holes, epoxy on bullets, done.

The Flex will require open-hull surgery to fix its bailing issue. One of the crew with a Flex had a Epic bailer installed. It resulted in a big patch and significantly harming the flawless aesthetics.
 
Kai, if you read this, please just go with Dual Venturi’s with about 1” diameter holes and dual bullets. This is the most efficient bailing system around IME. A dry footwell is not why you paddle ski. Live with wet feet when you’re stopped. It’s a fact of ski.
 
The extremely wet ride plus poor bailing almost completely negates the light weight of the hull, because you’re carrying around 1 gallon / 4L of water at all times on a downwind. Now my 20lb flex is 28lbs because it doesn’t
adequately bail…this is the biggest black mark on this boat by far. I know Kai is improving it, but please just go with the tried and true dual venturis straight thru the hull with big scupper holes and bullets.

Primary and secondary stability (for a 45cm boat)–
Vega – 6/10 (decent)
SFS – 9/10 (excellent)
 The SFS is definitely more stable than the Flex. Both primary and secondary are lower. This is in part due to the Flex being 13lbs/5.9kg lighter than my glass swordfish, but its also the hull profile. The Flex primary stability is relatively light but not twitchy at all. I feel very planted on flat water. On confused water the boat is definitely more dynamic than the SF and relies more on the stroke to stay centered. 

Secondary stability is also lower on the Flex. It has pretty good secondary stability, but not as good as the SFS. The SFS has pretty much the ideal stability profile IMO. It has reassuring primary but deep, deep, linear, predictable secondary. The swordfish just keeps getting more stable until you go over. My best guess is that the displaced volume of the swordfish just keeps increasing until you capsize. The Flex on the other hand has a good increase in secondary stability as you lean, but the righting-resistance force graph plateaus at some point and the secondary is not as deep.

This is particularly noticeable as you sit on the top of a wave at the point of maximum instability. I would wobble a tad in the SFS in nasty, steep conditions but usually did not require a brace as I crested a wave. In the Flex I was missing strokes due to bracing or just hesitating. I am sure I will adapt to the boat quickly and get over this, but there is a noticeable difference between the 2 boats. I wouldn’t say the Flex is a full step down in stability (as in a 43cm elite boat) but it’s a half step lower than the SFS.  This is significant because to jump waves you must paddle almost continuously while charging to the front of the train. I lost a couple runs last night because I either braced or hesitated for a moment and the wave got away from me. Like I said, I’ll adapt, but if you were borderline capsizing in the SFS, you may be taking a swim in the Flex. 
More on this later, but in spite of the lower stability, the Flex caught more runs than the SFS.
 
Flat water speed –
Flex – 8/10
SFS – 7/10
I try not to do much flat water paddling, but the ocean is relatively calm in the summer. Both the SFS and Flex seem quick on the flats, with a slight edge to the Flex. I haven't tested this on a GPS, but it seems just a liiiiiiiiittle faster. It would also make sense considering the Flex is slightly less stable, which implies a slightly skinnier waterline. Also the flex is 6”/15cm longer.
 
Upwind performance –
Flex – 5/10 (ok)
SFS – 9/10 (excellent)
The Swordfish is one of the best upwind boats around IMO. It has a rounded nose and a relatively sharp V keel line that goes about to mid bucket. The bow slap of the SFS is almost non existent. You really have to launch off a wave or go over a steep wave to get a loud slap. I consider the SFS one one the least-bow-slappiest boats around. Pair that with its deep and reliable secondary stability and cresting waves is not problem. I really cant say enough good things about how well the SFS goes upwind.

The flex on the other hand is a bow slapper. Although the bow is actually sharper up front than the SFS, it does not have as much of a V keel and it does not go back as far. I only paddled up wind about 3 miles so far in 1-2’ wind waves, but there was a lot of slapping. Considering I do out-and-back paddling for 97% of my runs, this means I spend a significant portion of my time going upwind. The SFS is hands down a better upwind boat by a decent margin. If I decide to sell the Flex down the line, a primary reason will be its upwind performance, which is ok at best. Its not as bad as the bathtub that was called the Stellar SRg1 (which could bow slap on a mirror-flat pond) but the Flex bow slaps noticeably up wind. 

Also, the lower stability of the Flex means that when you crest a steep wave and drop into the trough, it is wise to time your stroke such that you have power down or a brace ready as you fall into the trough on the back side. I have not taken the Flex near the surf line yet, but I can definitely say if I was caught inside on a 2-3’ breaking wave, I’d rather be in the SFS due to its stability.
 
Downwind Performance –
Flex – 11/10 (sets a new standard in downwind surfing)
SFS – 9/10 (Excellent)
First let me say both boats are downwind monsters and absolutely tear up the ocean. The SFS picks up small and large bumps well and generally wants to downwind. Its quick enough to get on some pretty fast swell and stable enough to keep the power down as you crest a wave or are taking off. I have been supremely happy with its downwind ability up to this point. The Flex is in another category though. It reset the bar for downwind surfing performance but also has a couple quirks. Here are some differences I noticed –
 
The lightness of the Flex means it accelerates quickly and this really helps catching a wave. I think I caught 50% more waves on the flex because of its lightness. Last night I had ocean swell and wind waves working together, but catching the groundswell was still marginal. I was riiiight on the line of catching or missing waves on the flex. If I was in the SFS, im sure I would have missed the majority of waves just because I was within a stroke or 2 of catching or missing the wave. If I stopped paddling for a moment I’d miss it. If I didn’t power up fast enough, I’d miss it. The lightness of the Flex really benefited when I was right on the make-or-break line. I’d be interested to try a Carbon SFS to see how a somewhat lighter version performs. But either way, the Flex is still a few pounds lighter than the Carbon SFS.
 
Related to take-off, the SFS will take off effectively at a wide angle of attack. Obviously you get the most take-off-boost when you’re 90* to the wave, but the SFS also does well at shallow angles like 30-45*. It doesn’t readily broach and it picks up the wave energy effectively even when you’re not perpendicular to the wave. The Flex on the other hand does rather poorly when you’re at a shallow angle to the wave. 
This point is well illustrated asa large fishing boat was coming in the harbor. I paddled out to meet it ¼ mile outside the break wall and surf its wave in. I have done this many, many times in the SFS. In the SF its was hard to maintain a forward heading (parallel to the boat but about 45* to the side-wake) but it was possible.
I tried the same thing in the Flex and was immediately broached parallel to the first wave, then re-broached by the second. I got turned back down-wave after a couple seconds and caught the side-wake from behind. As soon as I turned 45* to try and surf it again I was immediately and forcefully broached. In my so far limited experience the flex does not like surfing consistently at a shallow angle on the wave. So the SFS is much more versatile and forgiving when it comes to wave-orientation at takeoff. It also holds a diagonal line down a wave much better.
 
In general, I feel the flex broaches significantly more than the SFS when being overtaken by a wave or any time you’re not perpendicular to it. You have to be more aware of whats behind you and how much rudder holding power realistically is available to you on course. Also, once a broach starts on the Flex, its happening. On the SFS with
my 9” high chord DK rudder I could save a total broach sometimes.
 
So none of that downwind review so far sounds stellar. Why did I give it 11/10 then? Three reasons –Wave positioning, Steering, Wave linking. First wave positioning. The Flex has a pin tail. There is very little volume in the last 12”/30cm of the tail. Compare that to the SFS and it has way more volume at the stern. I theorize that this causes the SFS to be pushed down the wave more readily and this leads to intentional brace-braking at the top of a wave or being pushed into a nosedive into the next wave. The Flex on the other hand likes to sit higher on the wave, requiring little slowing down to maintain position. This puts you in a better position to observe whats happening in front of you want wait for the opportunity to link waves or drop into the next hole.
 
This brings up the next point –Steering. The Flex’s steering when at speed is the most nimble, responsive, light-on-the-pedals steering I have felt. When you’re going slow the steering is average, but when you’re going fast (say, over ~7mph/11kmh) the boat turns like a top. At speed it has a totally different feel. Its incredibly nimble to the point that I zig-zagged back and forth down multiple wave trains at the  gorge with ease. You just sit up high and wait for the next hole to for, then point and go. The SFS also has good steering with my massive 9” High chord DK rudder, but its slower to respond and takes more force. One thing that contributes to this is the Flex’s rudder has almost no backwards sweep (as in its almost perpendicular to the hull). This means there is less resistance to turning in the pedals. Also, the self centering rudder on the Flex works great. The rudder on this boat is the best factory rudder I’ve ever felt, but due to its propensity to broaching I will probably look for a larger aftermarket rudder like the Kai Wa’a Grip rudder or another DK Special.
 
Last, and most importantly, whatreally really makes this boat stand out is its ability to link waves. You sit high on the wave and wait. As you see the wave start to flatten out in front of you you hammer a few strokes and the boat just wants to go. Typically when passing a wave there is still a small wave to overtake in front of you. In the SFS the bow would hit the wave and kind of stall. It was hard to run up enough speed to overtake the small bump but occasionally possible. In the Flex, you start to take a run at the small bump, the bow stalls for a second, you wait and keep paddling moderately, then the bow pops up, you hammer a few strokes and overtake the wave. Once you overtake the first one in the set you keep paddling hard and gain more speed, making overtaking the next waves easier. In 16 miles at the gorge I linked more wave sets in the Flex than I have in the last 18 months. This boat just wants to link waves. You need the power and stability to power up and keep paddling throughout the set, but the boat really rewards your hard work. I feel like in the SFS I would do the same work but often not overtake the wave, which then leads to a nose-up stall on the back of the building wave.
 
So to sum up, the SF is better at an angle downwind and better on boat side wake, but the Flex is king of wave position, steering, and linking runs. I feel like an elite paddler the way the Flex linked runs. Its insane downwind. Insane…

So to sum it up –
Build Quality and Looks – Flex 10 – SFS 5
Fittings and Bungees –Flex 8 – SFS 5
Bucket – Flex 9 – SFS 6
Footplate and adjustment – Flex 8 – SFS 4
Bailer – Flex 4 – SFS 5Stock or 9 with simple improvements
Stability – Flex 6 –SFS 9
Flat Water Speed –Flex 8 – SFS 7
Upwind performance –Flex 5 – SFS 9
Downwind Performance –Flex 11 – SFS 9
 
Total score
Flex 69/90
SFS Stock 59/90
SFS Modified bailer63/90
 
Parting Thoughts –
Both boats are top oftheir class downwind boats. The Vega feels unlike any boat I’ve paddled before both due to its lightness, stiffness, and downwind surfing ability. I would really like to try it back to back with a Carbon SFS and maybe I can convince someone at Newport Aquatic Center to go out with me. The SFS is a superior all around boat due to its significantly better handling up wind and cross-wave. The Vega and Vega Flex are unrivaled in downwind ability,  steering, wave jumping, and wave positioning.

Honestly I would like to have both boats as I do 96% out and back paddling. This means when a good 20mph wind is blowing and 5’ seas are roaring, I spend 70% of my time paddling upwind for a little downwind.. In this case the SFS is the superior boat due to its reduced bow slap, deeper and more predictable secondary stability, and still more-than-adequate surfing ability.

But the Flex is GOD of surfing downwind. I might curse it slightly as I slog upwind with some bow slap and the occasional uneasy wave cresting, but as soon as that nose turns down wind im immediately reminded why I bought it in the first place. It is unrivaled in its downwind surfing.
 
Whether I end up keeping the Flex or trading it for a carbon SFS is to be seen. I’ll almost surely keep this boat at least a year before deciding to give it a fair shake, plus I NEED a flex for The Gorge next year, as its 100% downwind and this boat simply makes the river its bitch.
 
I’ll chime back in with more thoughts after I have some significant bucket time in the Flex or as revelations occur.
 
Cheers,
Marcus
 
 
06 Jul 2021 17:46
I received my Vega Pro in May of this year. I weighed it just to check and it is 18.5 lbs. I've gotten my footplate locked down to where it doesn't move, but I can see where some movement could happen. Kai did mention some time ago that they were working on a different footplate design. They also discontinued the use of the retractable bailer system. It was very easy to use, but drained very slowly. For now, it is just a fixed venturi (no bullet) and there is a large rubber plug to block the hole from inside the bucket. I do find that it is still slow to drain water. The plug is also a hassle if you need to remove it often, but the bucket fills up a lot when stationary, so I think it is necessary. I believe they're working on a new drain system as well. As for mine, I'm debating if I should glue a bullet on to see if that helps, or bring it to a shop to fit an epic/andersen/debrito bailer. So other than the bailer which isn't great but still gets the job done, I've been thrilled with the Vega. It is a must demo for anyone looking for a new boat.
22 Jun 2021 02:33
Hi Oskar,
I reply to an very old thread. I'm new in this forum and a surfski rookie. I'm flat water padddler and last days I puchased an old Custom Kayaks Synergy.  I feel good with paddling it, but speed could be a little better. The surface of the bottom of the boat is quite rough, there are some decent fibere patches an a little bit of colour and the two venturis are very big and coarse. Beginning with 8 kph you can hear load sucking noise under your feet ;-)
I like this ski and I want to make it pretty again and optimize it. Looking for venturi, I found Your all-in-one venturi and it looks great to me. It looks like a 3D print. If so, could You please share the 3D model with me?
Or do You know, where I can buy two of them here in Germany?

Best regards
Richard
11 Jun 2021 18:20 - 15 Jun 2021 17:27
On my SF-S, I had water intrusion from both bailers so I enlarged them. Prior to enlarging I could barely fit my pinky finger in them. Their diameter was around 1/2" or 13mm. I enlarged them to 20 or 22mm.

With the 13mm holes they drained very slowly. It would take forever to drain a full bucket. Maybe 60-90 seconds at a fast clip,

With the large holes I just did a test, letting the bucket flood completely, then I took off at 80% pace on flat water. It took 31 strokes to suck air. On ocean swell when I can build speed quickly, the other night I was able to suck air in a mere 12 strokes.

I also have bullets on my ski which lowered the air-sucking speed from ~5.5mph to ~4mph, so that helps me as well.

The sieve is just so weeds and crap dont come in through the bailer. I believe you could remove it without issue
28 May 2021 19:58
I'll start by saying I love my Fenn Swordfish S. Best rough water boat I have ever paddled. The only boat that will ever replace it is a Vega or Vega Flex.
But man do Fenn's earn the reputation of leaking! This boat hasnt been water tight since day 1. I've fixed no less than 5 leaks, and Ive epoxied the bailer holes twice already, and now they're leaking again.

After my last outing I dumped out a lot of water - like 2 cups / 500ml of water after a 90 minute paddle. I leak checked it using soap and blowing into the blow hole and BOTH bailer tubes are leaking AGAIN!!!! ^&$^#&#%^@#$%^#%^*(_)(_)*(^#$%@#. Frustrating.

What the hell do I have to do to seal up the bailer connector tubes? I have painted West Systems 105 epoxy over them twice but it seems to break through quuickly, although the surface does not appear damaged. I know epoxy is not structural without filler or fabric, but I figured a good quality epoxy would fill in pinholes acceptably. My experience now says otherwise.

So now I am considering 2 options, or tell me if there is a better route -
1. Sand holes slightly larger (like 0.5 - 1mm per side) then mix epoxy with west systems cotton fluff filler and paint onto the walls of the drain tube. I figure the cotton thickener may provide some minimal strength to the epoxy and allow it to build thicker on the walls

2. Sand holes much larger (like 2-3mm per side - is there enough 'meat' on the tubes to take this much off??) then place 1-2 layers of carbon cloth around the walls.

Or do I just completely remove the bailer tubes and replace with PVC pipe? Or something better?

I know option 2 would be better, but I installed bullets so accessing the inside of the bailer is impossible and would probably require removing the venturi's. Id prefer to avoid this if possible.

So Ranga, Kirk, anyone who has done bailer surgery, what's the best way to reinforce this incredibly leaky area with the minimal amount of intrusion?

Last question - I have some spider cracks in the gel coat at the tip of the bow and one of the bucket rails. I didnt paddle for 6 weeks while recovering from a rib injury recently and noticed salt crystals growing around the spider cracks. This means the fiberglass mat is absorbing water? I thought laminate became hydrophobic after epoxy was impregnated in it. Am I wrong? Clearly the salt crystals tell me there is water in there slowly weeping out right?

Thanks!
03 May 2021 05:05
Replied by waverider on topic Bad techniques or habits
Leave the gps at home. You have to learn to keep your head up so your airway is clear, breathe in through your nose and out your mouth, otherwise you run out of breath and get a dry mouth. It also allows you to keep an eye on the symmetry of your top hand. It is too easy to develop the head down slouch which messes your breathing and you dont notice the sloppy top hand, which is where the wheels start falling off when it becomes erratic, when you keep staring at the gps on your footstrap. GPS also temps you to chase speed before technique and you end up with a splash and dash style. Focusing on a stable distant horizon is also far better than the wobbly hull. You would also be surprise how much you can drift off course with your head down. You are aiming for best technique not PB top speeds, that comes later

Technique before paddle rate, if you get your technique down it is easier to up your rate to improve water speed,  whereas it is impossible to do it the other way around. Your technique will always disintegrate if you try to up your rate before you are ready

Bulletproot remounts, removes anxiety about falling in, anxiety about falling in makes you hesitate. Hesitation makes you fall in.

Your balance and stability is all about weight on the blade, not your butt,  in the brace, but more so on the catch, especially crosswinding. Thats why you feel more stable directly into wind rather than behind, you are digging harder and putting weight on the blade. Back paddling is a good drill for this.

Do whole sessions practicing going across the waves and chop, this is your most unstable, if you only spend a few minutes each session as you slow to turn around and comeback it wont be enough to build that comfort level. do it solidly for an hour of so every now and then and it becomes second nature.

A front mounted go pro filming yourself so you can replay in slow mo is an extremely good tool. what you intend to do, what you think you are doing and what you are actually doing are completely different things.

If you are slicing the blade sideways there is a good chance you are folding the top arm across and down, probably also causing a late exit. I had this issue on one side that took forever to eradicate. On flat water you may hear a gurgling as the water resistance pushes the blade back out of the water. You drop the top hand to try to push it down , but all it does is pivot the shaft around bottom hand (creating shallower blade angle), lifting blade further out and sideways.

Best tip is to keep smiling and having fun, if you are not doing that it all becomes pointless and you give up..
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