Nelo’s First LD Surfski

Wednesday, 11 November 2009 16:15 | Written by 
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In surfski the dominant brands are Fenn and Epic...  Ask anyone to name the dominant brand in the K1 world, and it's highly likely the name "Nelo" would spring to mind.

Can a K1 manufacturer really compete with the giants of the surfski world?

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Well, examples of the first Nelo surfskis are beginning to be seen in various places in Europe.  Eirik Larsen (Norway) has one; Tim Brabants (UK) has one.  Rumour has it that Busto (Spain) has one. 

And they'll be bringing them to the Dubai Shamaal on 2 December so we'll get a close look at them then.

Andre Santos of Nelo wouldn't be drawn on the details of the ski.  "These are prototypes," he said, "and we have many months of testing in front of us."

Will the Nelo skis challenge the incumbent brands? 

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In an article on his website, UK Olympian Ivan Lawler had this to say:

"Nelo are new to the surfski market but are certainly not new to testing their professionalism in a market that is not their traditional stronghold. Following their recent foray into the world of canoe slalom they are now taking on Epic and Fenn, the two big manufacturers in the surfski world.

So do the current big players have anything to worry about? Certainly Nelo can match anybody on build quality, they also have the geographical bonus of being European based giving them access to the fast growing European Surfski movement. It also means they can supply the fashion conscious buyer with bespoke designs and colours on their ski as can be seen from the ski they have given to Tim Brabants.

In reality though, the only way into a market is to produce a ski that does the job, the rest is just icing on the cake. Doubtless the Nelo ski will go through a rapid evolution as feedback comes in from the early customers, and that is one of Nelo's main strengths, they do listen to the athletes."

To me though, what's really exciting about this is that it shows how surfski is making its way into the mainstream in European paddling...  exciting times ahead!


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