Surfski.info Ski Review: Red7 Surf70Pro

Wednesday, 06 February 2008 03:29 | Written by 
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Red7 recently sent us one of their new Surf70 Pro skis to try out.  I've found it a fast boat with exceptionally good downwind characteristics.  After paddling it in two races and about fifteen downwind runs (some in extreme conditions) here's my view from the cockpit...

Red7 Surf70 Pro Surfski in action

The Red7 Surf70 Pro in action on a recent Millers Run

First impressions

The ski certainly looks different.  The seam line curves up and down along the side of the hull and the front deck is like no other ski's, being rather like the long rounded bonnet ("hood" for Americans) on a vintage racing car.  Looking from the top, you can see that the catch in front of the cockpit is extremely narrow - and this makes for a very comfortable stroke. 

Red7 Surf70 Pro - side view

Red7 Surf70 Pro - side view

Click here for a larger version of this image.

The boat is one of the first production skis and weighs 15.5kg in glass layup.  It seems extremely stiff - partly, I'm told, because of the "seamless" construction method used.  The boat is made in one piece in the mould; the visible narrow seam line is where the mould splits for the one piece ski to be taken out.  This seam line is then coated for extra protection.  "This construction method results in the rails being the strongest part of the ski and thus gives exceptional rigidity," said Pete Mote.  "The other advantage of this method is the 1-2kg saving in weight."

Red7 Surf70 Pro - noseRed7 Surf70 Pro - tail

Rudder Pedals and footplate

The rudder pedal adjustment system is adequate - but requires a knot to be tied if you want to change the adjustment.  The system on the V10 and Robberg Express does not; on the other hand the system on Fenn and Honcho skis requires an Allen key. 

The footplate is ok, but is to be replaced soon by a new system anchored in three places which will give an easily adjusted but exceptionally rigid footplate assembly.

Seating Position

The narrow catch and the high seat combine to make an extremely comfortable paddling stroke.  I think 99% of paddlers will find the bucket perfect; sadly my bony backside is allergic to almost all seats and I had to install a bum pad in this ski to prevent my coccyx from rubbing raw.  (Actually I've been using a Skwoosh Pad, bought from http://www.paddlers.co.za/ and it works like a charm.)

Length

The ski is longer (by about 15cm) than the Fenn Mako6 and I confirmed (by putting both skis side by side on the cradles on my car) that the Red7 has less rocker both in the nose and in the tail.  The ski has perhaps 30mm less rocker.  The nose is diamond shaped in cross section - unlike the V10 and Mako6 which have slab-sided bows.  This gives the ski volume in the nose without the large surface area on the side of the hull.

Paddling the ski

In the final race of the 2007 Discovery Men's Health series in Cape Town in December, I came 42nd out of 133 and made 82.97%, my best result this season against some of the best paddlers in the country who had come to take part in the Cape Point Challenge.

Stability

When I first paddled the ski on the flat, it definitely felt different - and I thought it slightly more tippy than the Mako6.  For this reason (and the fact that my bum moulds to the Mako6 seat perfectly) I chose not to use the Surf70Pro for the 56km Cape Point Challenge in December.  (You don't use brand new shoes for a marathon, right?)

But a friend who owns a V10L Ultra says that the Surf70Pro is significantly more stable than his ski, and having paddled the Surf70Pro for some six weeks, I'm also inclined to rate it more or less the same stability as the Mako6.  In any case I'm feeling comfortable in it in any kind of conditions (as proof, the gale force downwinds we've been doing recently.)

(I'd like to compare a lighter Surf70Pro - the carbon version will weigh in at about 11.5kg I believe - to see if it's as stable as its glass layup sister.  In my experience, the glass V10 is noticeably more stable than the lighter, stiffer V10 Ultra.)

Superb Downwind Characteristics

I have no hesitation in lauding the Surf70Pro's downwind characteristics.

I've done a large number of downwind runs in the ski - most on our famous (notorious?) Millers Run - a 12.5km route from Millers Point to Fish Hoek across False Bay. 

The first leg of the run is a 700m paddle across waves and swell towards a rock that marks the start of the run proper.  This section is always interesting because you're going diagonally upwind into the big breaking waves. 

On other skis, when you shoot over a wave, the slab-sided bow tends to be caught by the wind and thrown sideways, which can be disconcerting.  The diamond cross-section of the Red7 bow means that it isn't as affected by the wind. 

On the downwind itself:

  • I'm not sure whether it's the volume, the shape of the nose, the extra length or a combination of all three, but the ski doesn't seem to nosedive. Whereas in other skis I'm sometimes quite cautious about plunging straight down the face of a big wave, I was able to launch myself down into some huge holes and the nose, while it would dip momentarily under the water, would pop straight out again.
  • It seemed to be easier to pull the ski over the "next" wave. Sometimes on other skis this is a waste of effort as the ski "mushes" over and sinks into the crest of the wave - it seemed to me that the Red7 would pull over and then accelerate down the other side of the swell.
  • Once or twice of course it didn't - it sank into the crest of the wave and the cockpit filled with water. But, this ski has no fewer than three big drain holes in the bottom of the cockpit, all with the Red7 "bullet" that makes the drainage so effective. And it works - I have never seen a cockpit empty so quickly. The water drains literally in seconds. I really like this! In my experience all skis will fill the cockpit with water occasionally (especially when paddled by a less than elite driver) - and it's reassuring to know that the cockpit will drain fast - otherwise you can find yourself wallowing, trying to accelerate a suddenly heavy ski onto the waves.

Those cockpit scuppers - what about the drag?

I asked Red7 about the drag factor - surely those three scuppers must have an impact in terms of drag?  They didn't answer directly - but referred me to the folks from Intelligent Fluid Solutions in the UK who did the computer simulations for the ski's design.

Red7 Surf70 Pro - bullet scuppers

Three scuppers give radical cockpit drainage

Here's the thing: those three scuppers actually have half the drag of two conventional scuppers.  Not only that, but as the speed of the ski increases, the percentage drag actually reduces (i.e. the drag caused by the triple scuppers increases more slowly with speed than the conventional scuppers.)

 

Red7 Surf70 Pro - scupper resistance graph

Graph showing resistance due to scuppers with speed

Why is this?  It's to do with the streamlining effect of the "bullets" placed behind the scuppers - illustrated by the images below.

Red7 Surf70 Pro flow simulation - bullet scupperRed7 Surf70 Pro flow simulation - conventional scupper

Flow simulation - bullet scupper on the left v conventional on the right.

Ease of Remounting

This ski is easy to remount even in extreme conditions. 

How do I know?  One of the more hectic Millers Runs had waves with faces of 25ft plus and winds that were averaging 30kts and gusting to 40kts (as measured by the weather station at Roman Rock lighthouse).  Half way out to the turning point at Bakoven Rock I was confronted head on by a massive wave that broke on top of me.  Dawid Mocke was watching with interest from the ramp and saw the wave hit.  "I thought the ski had been broken," he said. "It completely disappeared."

It didn't break.  And I found it a lot easier to remount than my Mako6, which has a deeper bucket.   I fell off immediately a second time, but quickly remounted and headed off again.

My GPS actually recorded the hit - on the track you can see that I was going forwards at about 8kph; the next moment I was going backwards at 7kph!

Negative

The only mild negative I have about the ski is that the rudder isn't very assertive at low speeds.  It works fine when you're moving fast and the ski is very manoeuvrable on the waves, but if you're moving slowly, you have to be careful not to put too much rudder on for fear of stalling it. 

But it's also a matter of getting used to it.  On the first Millers Run, I broached several times - once so violently that I ended up pointing upwind; on the second run I think I broached once and on the third (and wildest) I didn't broach at all.  Since then I've not broached more than on any other ski and I find I can generally control the broach, keeping speed up until I can turn downwind once more. 

I know that Red7 are addressing the issue of the rudder and I suspect we'll see a new design before too long. 

What I like about the ski:

  • Its looks.
  • The very comfortable "heels lower than bum" paddling position
  • The easy remounting
  • The nose shape, which doesn't seem as affected by cross-winds as other skis
  • The fact that the cockpit doesn't seem to hold as much water as some other skis
  • The incredible drainage - one wave and the water's gone.  This gives me a feeling of great safety.

What I don't like:

  • The steering at slow speed.

In summary:

The ski feels different when compared with other skis I've used.  But after about six weeks of paddling it, I'm comfortable under almost any conditions. 

It's fast: a personal best percentage result for the last singles race of the season confirms this. 

And I have no hesitation in saying that I love this ski on big downwinds - and I now have a personal best on the Millers run in it too: 45:21 in gale force conditions.

Red7 are onto a winner with the Surf70 Pro - it doesn't seem to have any nasty vices at all and the downwind handling is, I think, exceptionally good.

 


 

Video Clip

For a paddler's eye view of the Red7 in action on a big Millers Run see:

 

 


 

In Depth Review by Jamii Hamlin

For a more detailed review by Jamii Hamlin,

click here to download his review in pdf format.

 


Comments 

The original article provoked a number of comments that were lost when we upgraded surfski.info.  Here they are:

DateAuthorComment
2008-02-06 12:35:26 Andrew Brouckaert Hi Rob Is the Red7 SurfPro seat slightly wider? . I found previous models had a very narrow seat. I see that the dimensions (listed by Jamii) are slightly wider in comparison to the Mako & V10. It seems the seat/width is very similar to that of the XT. Any ideas where we can get a demo from??
2008-02-06 13:26:28 Rob Mousley Best put your backside into the seat... I don't find it as narrow as say, the old Fenn Millennium. Without measuring it I'd say that it's probably very similar to the Mako6 or V10. You're welcome to try mine.
2008-02-06 20:05:19 Nico de Wet It's good to hear that Red7 have released what sounds like a very stable ski. I shelled out most of my student bursary on what is probably the only Red7 Valheru out there a couple of years ago and I am not exaggerating when I say that I fear for my life when going out on that ski (there goes all hope of ever selling it, doh). Time to negotiate trading it in for a Red7 Surf70 Pro.
2008-02-06 20:58:05 Jasper Mocke I would like to hear how it goes when you're going into big chop, like at the dubai shamaal. My suspicion is that the length and straight design would make it vulnerable to slam down a lot and not flow through the chop. There are variables though, like the period between swells/chop(relatively short in windy conditions), the size of the chop and the weight of the ski. Carbon ski's(lighter ski's) feel as if they flow better when it comes to into the wind conditions.
2008-02-06 21:25:50 Rob Mousley [quote]My suspicion is that the length and straight design would make it vulnerable to slam down a lot and not flow through the chop.[/quote] I did the circuit from Fish Hoek yesterday with a bunch of guys. I was paddling alongside Billy Harker who was paddling Nikki's old Millennium and the Red7 definitely wasn't slamming/slapping into the waves in comparison with the Mill as we were going into the wind and chop. The Red7 has quite a deep-V shape to the nose and it cuts quite nicely through the waves. But give it a go and see what you think...
2008-02-06 21:45:48 Jonathan Smith Thanks for the review. I like to see the innovation. Red7 does not seem afraid to do things differently. The information about the Bullet scuppers is very interesting. The idea makes perfect sense. The CFD images and resistance graph helped tell the story. This is an invention that Red7 should consider patenting. They may also want to trade mark the name Bullet for their fared scuppers. If these scupper fairings work as well as it appears then it won't be long until other manufacturers incorporate this feature into their surfskis. I suspect some of us will soon be gluing home made fairings behind our conventional scuppers.
2008-02-06 23:24:20 Stewart Think have been making 15kg glass skis for ages now (have even been getting them down to low 14s in glass lately), but don't let fact get in the way of a good story. ;)
2008-02-07 06:58:16 Rob Mousley [quote]but don't let fact get in the way of a good story.[/quote] Hey Stewart - I'm not sure what you mean - Red7 aren't claiming any kind of record with the weight of the ski. Other manufacturers have been making skis with similar weight too in glass layup. Epic do for one, and I'm pretty sure others do as well. That's great that Think make light skis too. Send one over for us to do a review!
2008-02-07 06:59:43 Rob Mousley [quote]This is an invention that Red7 should consider patenting.[/quote] I'm pretty sure that they have at least copyright protection on it and I think they've applied for patents. I'll check.
2008-02-07 08:49:28 Jamie Stewart Rob, Great review. Sounds like an excellent ski and it's great to see design innovation. I'm interested in the ski being moulded in one piece. Have the maufacturers had to compromise on the stringer / reinforcing inside the ski? Reducing the strength, design or length of the stringer is an easy way to reduce weight but can be dangerous as you lose strength and the ski tends to snap right where the stringer ends. Just wondering how the manufacturers have managed to keep the stringer and reinforcing solid while only moulding one piece?
2008-02-07 09:01:44 MFB Hi Rob, How do you prevent the skwoosh from moving inside the seat? Doesnt it add to instability especially on rougher water like downwinds? How does the red7 surf70 pro compare to your Fenn mako 6 carbon? It seems this is the best downwind ski for you.
2008-02-07 09:49:52 Jamii Hamlin Just a brief insight to patents & the filing of intelletual property, unless the novelty / prior art has been registrated before it is sold or disclosed to the public the designer/inventor will lose priority on this. However if the designer or in the case of Red7 have filed a patent application etc the difficulty of enforcing the protection the IP to license other maunfacturers to use it and pay a royality fee, will be weighted up against the likely renumeration the inventor would collect verses the expense of policing for copy-cat manufacturers. I recall a hotly contested debate regarding the V10 and a clone manufacturer who did not outlay much in way of R&D to produce his "70%" similar ski and it was interesting to gauge the support for the orgininal vs the cheaper option where the quality and ingerity of the either manufacturers were swaying the opinion. Red7 are now hopefully acknowledge for being the originators in pioneering a great design and I am interested to know whether Joe or Jane Paddler would be willing to pay extra for design features or the likely royalties if their perferred ski manufacturer where to license IP for such design innovation?
2008-02-07 10:05:52 Alain Jaques I would be interested to hear if the design has been patented before I go ahead and cut off the end of our broom handle to make a bullet for my scupper.
2008-02-07 13:01:32 Rob Mousley [quote]How do you prevent the skwoosh from moving inside the seat?[/quote] It's a challenge. I ended up taping it down with duct tape which wasn't ideal. It IS comfortable but I'm now using a conventional butt pad with mixed success. It works for short duration paddles, but I'm still getting chafed on longer paddles - need to work on a modification.
2008-02-07 13:54:28 RoJo Hi, I use standard carpet tape to stick my seatpads and outfitting to the seats. It normaly last quite some time. Some brands can even be reused a few times.
2008-02-07 14:22:13 Rob Mousley Responses from Peter Mote of Red7 [b]Jamie Stewart's comments[/b] The moulding process results in an "i beam" structure around the seam line - this "i beam" is infused all in one and results in a very strong and rigid boat. The ski still has some stringer inside but the integrity and strength of the ski is not dependent on this. Further the hull and the deck are also bonded together at three points at the seat and three in the foot well area. How we do this and get the stringer inside is the magic! The ski is lighter due to the all in one process (this saves on joining paste and more efficient use of the resin). The ski design is such that the shape gives it strength and the overall surface area of the ski is less than the Epic and the Fenn - this also saves weight). [b]Design Patent[/b] This is a difficult one .....Jamii sums it up pretty well. The cost of patenting really makes doing this on the scupper bullets not a commercially viable option. Our Lawyers are looking into registering the term Bullet Scupper (and varieties thereof). If other manufactures follow our lead in innovation and it improves the safety and pleasure of the paddler then we will be happy as long as they talk to us first and acknowledge that it is a red7 innovation. [b]Where can you test one[/b] Our SA agents are: Durban: Andre Botha [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.] 27 31 5636831 Port Elizabeth:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 27 41 4514808 Cape Town: Kyle Mahood [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.] 27 218555183 There is a pro 70 in Dubai with Haydn Holmes 971506442311 We will be sending skis to Australia, New Zealand, USA and Europe soon.
2008-02-07 16:03:41 Alain Jaques [quote]If other manufactures follow our lead in innovation and it improves the safety and pleasure of the paddler then we will be happy as long as they talk to us first and acknowledge that it is a red7 innovation. [/quote] Pete that is a fantastic attitude and one which is very similar to the Open Source Software principles that make this website possible. A lot of people ask how Rob and I manage to run and grow this site in our spare time. The answer is that we stand on the shoulders of the giants. The giants I refer to are the Open Source Software Community that make their work available to others for free and ask only for recognition in return. So hats off to the makers of Red 7 and of Joomla, Apache, MySQL.. the list is long.
2008-02-07 17:59:42 onnopaddle Temporarily out of the boat building business but this is how I did the seam on my boats as well. Its fast, neat and far superior to the typical joining techniques you see in skis, OCs, and kayaks .... more tooling work, but the long term savings comes back pretty quick ... Another factor is the boats are sealed better too. Bullets for everyone .... whooo hoo. Aloha, pog
2008-02-07 17:59:45 Kyle As mentioned by Peter we are the Cape Agent for one great piece of paddling hardware. We have a demo available, the grey boat in Jamii's review, with stock arriving next week. Find us at 47 Beach Road, Gordon's Bay, 50m from the water. Shower and change room available. Contact me to book and check availability. my cell: 082 4636 954 e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. We will also be stocking all the bits and pieces needed for spares and repairs. See you soon. Kyle
2008-02-07 19:03:44 Dale Lippstreu I have done 2 Millers Runs on the new Red7 and have found the stability quite astounding. Astounding because the ski has the narrowest hull and possibly the least rocker of any ski I have paddled. Pete Mote says the secret lies in the fact that the flat spot in the hull is in the right place but lying the ski upside alongside my V10 does not convince me of this. Having thought about it a bit the most plausible explanation that I can come up with is that the ski’s low volume causes it to sit lower in the water and anybody who has experimented with seat heights in a K1 will know what a big difference a small difference in seat height makes. It would be very interesting to do some measurements at preset station points for and aft of the seat and compare these with others skis. My guess is the Red7 will be a lot narrower and, if one factors in the square/cube scale effects, the volume difference will be dramatic. Rob says the ski is about as stable as his Mako6. To me it is way more stable but this is due to the way I paddle. I tend to rock the ski more and the rocker of the Mako makes it turn away from the lean which of course amplifies the effect. The Red7 does not respond very much to rolling so my stroke is hardly compromised by my bad habits. The negative consequence of this isthat rolling the ski does very little to improve its turning radius and this, combined with its ineffective rudder, makes for turning circle more like a double ski than a single. One aspect of the ski that Rob does not mention is that it has very little freeboard behind the seat i.e. very little volume above the water. Designers generally justify tail volume as being helpful in picking up runs but, as Rob says, the ski is actually very good in this department. The benefit of the reduced volume is that the tail does not get washed around as much in big conditions and is therefore easier to control downwind. Seeing the Red7 begs the question why designers persist in putting so much volume in the tail of skis – it seems just wasted weight and windage.
2008-02-07 22:56:16 Stewart "Hey Stewart - I'm not sure what you mean - Red7 aren't claiming any kind of record with the weight of the ski. Other manufacturers have been making skis with similar weight too in glass layup. Epic do for one, and I'm pretty sure others do as well. That's great that Think make light skis too. Send one over for us to do a review!" Hey Rob. The first time I read this review yesterday morning, it said that Red 7 were one of the first manufacturers to make a 15.5kg glass ski. I was just pointing out that other manufacturers have been doing this for a while. I notice that the original review has been edited and the line I referred to has been dropped. All good. You'll get a chance to paddle the Legend later this year, I hope you enjoy it, and I'm really keen to hear your feed back. Regarding your seat pad moving about, try some double sided tape, works a treat. Cheers mate. :)
2008-02-08 06:44:30 Rob Mousley I do correct articles from time to time when a mistake is spotted... but not this time. The sentence originally read and still reads: "The boat is one of the first production skis and weighs 15.5kg in glass layup."!
2008-02-08 07:31:05 Rob Mousley ![quote]I notice that the original review has been edited and the line I referred to has been dropped. [/quote] I do correct articles from time to time when a mistake is spotted... but not this time. The sentence originally read and still reads: "The boat is one of the first production skis and weighs 15.5kg in glass layup."! If I HAD changed it, I would have said so
2008-02-08 12:51:57 Dawid Mocke Well done Pete, and team Red7! I think you've got a winner.
2008-02-12 14:41:57 Jamii Hamlin A few eagle eye paddlers managed to pick up on my oversight in the skis overall & seat width being a little generous to the girth....the correct dimensions are below. Sorry for the excitement it caused, I clearly had had too much christmass pudding & brandy butter when I did my review! Surf 70 Pro Basic dimensions Metric Imperial Length : 6.6m 21.8” Width : 0.42m 16.5” Bow height : 0.36m 18” Seat width : 0.39m 15.3” Catch width : 0.31m 12.25” Catch gunnels height : 0.24m 9.5” Seat gunnels height : 0.22m 8.7” Seat height :
2008-02-12 22:04:28 Ritchie Cunningham Just read JH's awesome review (with great pics), and this sounds like a very exciting design. Questions: - Red7 website? - Marketing in the U.S.? Timetable? - Appearance at this years Molokai? - Mold/plug quality? Like Fenn or like Epic?
2008-02-12 22:12:41 Rob Mousley [url]www.red7.co.za[/url] Marketing in the US: Ocean Paddle Sports? [url]www.oceanpaddlesports.com[/url] Give Patrick & DeAnne a call. Plug quality? The plugs were CNC machined - I guess we'll see what the quality is like as we see more boats come off the production line!
2008-02-12 23:39:53 Mark Buck Maybe Jamii can write a short review about how the Red 7 performed on his recent 46k surfing run?
2008-02-14 16:36:45 Jamii Hamlin Just a brief insight to my experience and the performance of the Surf70 Pro in making the 46.5km trek across False Bay. With this being my second, I had a good idea what to expect in regards of the size of the waves & the isolation you experience being 20km from land, you need enormous belief in your abilities and your confidence in craft selection, being equally paramount! Preparation The wind had been howling 30knots all week so we only made the call late Friday arvi, with the prediction for it to suddenly drop off, so for safety reasons we were grouped into teams and were to stick together for the crossing. In all due respect to the expected conditions, I was very concerned that Murray would be ‘under-gunned’ with him paddling a 5.8m length ski and had discussed his choice of craft the evening before. I suggested he paddle something longer indicating that he may struggle to catch and project adequately in the big seas which would result in Nils & myself needing to hold back to maintain our group. As my demo ski had been damaged by a customer, I resorted to borrow Rob’s red Red7 which Dawid brought through on the morning and testimony to the Surf70 Pro, I quickly adjusted the leg length without needing an Allen key, secured my juice down and was confident enough to literately hop in and set off. Into the abyss We all set of together, I quickly started stitching runs together and was reveling in the anticipation of the experience, yet barely had we begun and it was apparent that my concerns for Murray’s ski being unsuitable became very real. Needing to keep our trio together Murray toiled away with a syndrome likened to that of a dinky car riding along the highway. He later described it with animation as “wrestling with an anaconda” or “trying to grab the steering wheel from a drunk driver” and apologized profusely for not heeding my suggestion.(He later relayed that boat was simply too short, the hull was too flat and it was near-impossible to maintain sufficient speed for a straight-line track in the extreme conditions. Instead, it spun out and skidded sideways down swell runs, forcing him into a continual process of surf-style re-entries to get the boat back on track for Fish Hoek.) So whilst we waited for Murray, Nils & I were limited with 4/5 strokes to then brace off the back of the runs only to balance for the next slap of the breaking side chop too then repeat the repertoire for each & every run. It was physical and mentally sapping reduced to maintaining this slow pace and after an hour we had barely made 11kms which hardly allowed me to the open the throttle up and really explore the 7’s potential. /continued...
2008-02-14 16:38:28 Jamii Hamlin Rolling with the punches During this first hour, I had fallen out when trying to readjust my leash which had become loosen down my leg and caught under my foot. In the high wind & large choppy seas with the main runs heavy laced in a confusion of haystacks, side chop came breaking from the right with incidental refracted slop added from the left, being just able to grip the foot strap & simultaneously holding my blade with my right hand across the high footwell gunnels sides I used my left hand to stead the ski and managed to remount on my first attempt. The volumetric capacity of a single footwell can often make a ski almost uncontrollable once you are side-on to heavy wind and flooded over with water. So in these very testing conditions simulating the wallowing effect a novice may suffer in being constantly swamped over by a rolling sea, I was really impressed how rapidly the ski drained and remained steady even when getting washed around with a flooded footwell in exposing the ski’s flank to the swamping impacts. The Cherry in three bites In the initial third of the crossing the wind & the roughness of the seas were extremely intense with very steep runs which made catching them quite intimidating, reminiscent of the 2007 Durban World Cup, only with cold water and greater choppiness. One thing I have become familiar within my experience and has helped me enormously; is overcoming the fear of getting it wrong when handling rough down wind conditions and allowing oneself to trusting the ski to resurface and not panicking when getting flushed over with water. So the few times that I allowed myself to push ahead of the trio, I was overly pleased at how well the 7 controlled the big drop-offs to resurfaced again & was comfortable to handle side impacts between threading the runs. In the second third the wind began to die yet I was now hampered by the Robs rubber butt pad that limited my ability to shift around easily or rotate in the seat to counter for the rolling motion and secretly wished I had applied some Vaseline. Despite being frustrated by the slow pace & with fatigue setting in, I still felt well balanced and in control of the ski even thou I lacking momentum in the heaving sea. Once we past over Whittle Rock indicated by the bell buoy at - 26km and we began to sense we were closing on the home leg and increased our speed with Murray finding a little more rhythm in the easing conditions. Enjoying the pudding With about 10km to go my patience finally crumbled & I started to paddle on ahead. Despite being tried I found this stage the easiest as I was now catching all the runs with fluency and enjoyed how the 7’s efficient hull projected over bumps to keep the momentum going & the ease in which it would accelerate to catch and the nimbleness in switching direction on runs. The Surf70 Pro greatest asset is the economy in which you can efficiently maintain your planning speed! Normally once your testosterone has vanished or in the death of a long paddle you are slowing down, simply struggling for balance or just keeping your rhythm going, yet the ski is stable and seems to gracefully glide along making long distance paddling a pleasure. I finished the crossing in 4h21 and although I felt I should have been much quicker, the outing was conclusive of the Surf70 Pro’s ability to suitably handle very rough & tricky conditions. By contrast the following day I was racing a 20km series race in absolute dead flat conditions against a predominantly doubles field. Whilst I was easily able to maintain their cruising speed and even took the pull for about 2.5km, I blew spectacularly thereafter yet still managed to splutter home to my third best finish for the season, which further gives testimony to the Surf70 Pro speed vs. economy ratio & versatility for all conditions. 
2008-02-14 20:21:23 Ritchie Cunningham Here's caffeine driven thought. So this design has less volume in the front and a fuller bow section to prevent nosediving, plus a little less rocker overall. Sounds like the lower volume aft section could very well complement this by not pushing the front down too severely, even as it lifts the boat sufficiently to launch down a swell. The idea of a boat with these characteristics, that also maintains less windage (than some current designs) is very appealing.
2008-02-16 15:47:13 ANTON ERASMUS Yes, the trick is in getting the balance in buoyancy between the bow and the stern. If the bow wants to lift and the stern will not let it then the ski will spin out. Red7 got this balance spot on. Welcome to the design team - Oh and bring your own coffee Anton Erasmus - consultant designer on the Pro
2008-02-19 16:55:58 Ritchie Cunningham This sounds like a most impressive design. Congrats for forging ahead and not just following the pack, design-wise. I'm looking forward to your carbon model, and hope I can get a test ride soon. I plan to delay purchasing my next ski till the logistics can be worked out. A couple points: - I really believe that an elliptical shaped rudder is the way to go in big conditions. - Epic has set the standard for quality foot controls, and I hope Red7 can at least equal that mark.
2008-02-19 17:57:50 Alain Jaques Good points on innovation Richie. Lets remember that Epic started the fast-stable ski revolution with the V10 for which I for one am hugely grateful. Also Epic's adjustable rudder-line-footplate innovation is an absolute winner. To be able to move the footplate easily without fancy tools is a must-have. Then the single footwell is now standard on any ski although the origins are debatable. The point is that Epic get my vote for innovation and Red 7 are also now stepping up to the plate now with the scuppers, seamless fabrication and impressive performance. Keep the innovations coming guys. First to market is the prize, forget about patenting it because it is probably not worth the cost, rather be the innovation leader and the sales will follow.
2008-02-20 04:50:24 Ritchie Cunningham Absolutely, Alain. If you have read any of my posts you would know where I stand as far as Epic is concerned. Epic is the benchmark, and I do not think they plan to sit still.
2008-02-20 06:28:23 superted The only reason they would'nt sit still is because of competition from the likes of Red7, THINK ect The consumer is normally taken for granted if a monopoly or duopoly exists in any marketplace. If you had to pick yr ideal ski at the moment it would most likely have brand specific features found on several of the different skis. Twelve months ago was a different story, then you'd prob be happy you just jagged something with decent build quality as that seemed like a lucky dip.
2008-02-20 13:40:56 RoJo No doubt about Epic's impact on surfski design but wasn't Huki pushing first for fast and stable desings? As far as I know, the S1-X precedes the V10.
2008-03-22 14:07:06 superted Hey Rob you had a chance to compare the original 15.5kg pro to a lighter 11.5kg carbon version yet...or do they even exist yet?
2008-03-22 14:53:15 Rob Mousley Nope, I haven't seen one yet. Not sure if they are being manufactured. I'll find out.
2008-04-09 08:10:05 superted In Jamii's review he stated "With a slightly forward steering box it has a very assertive and agile turning ability for a lively response." Yet Rob you have said it has bad turning at low speed. Dale has similary described it as having an ineffective rudder and the turning ability of a double. Did the two ski's have a different rudder? or Jamii's have the a newly designed rudder you hinted Red7 was addressing after you did yr review?
2008-04-09 09:49:21 Rob Mousley Well, Jamii is a better paddler than me, so perhaps he was just going faster...! :) Jamii modified the rudder slightly (added a fillet to the trailing edge to increase the surface area) and it's better than the original (he gave me one). Since then Red7 have designed a new rudder - Dale saw the prototype when he visited the factory recently - which is apparently MUCH more effective. I've not seen this one yet.
2008-08-18 11:39:29 superted Has anyone paddled an 11kg Red7 Pro yet or do they even exist. Also is the hump under yr knees more pronounced then a V10.
2008-08-18 12:50:53 Jamii Hamlin Superted, as far as I know Peter will be sending a carbon ski to Rob in September to test and provide a updated review. In the Durban World Cup Gavin Searle paddled an epoxy hand-layup (by the Durban based factory under Andre Botha) at 13kgs & he was supa impressed. It's been I while since I paddled a V10 which from myself felt very roomy yet the Pro bridge & catch gunnels is lower/narrower that the Maco6/Elite. The Pro has the narrowest catch/smallest foot well area(holds lest amount of water) and is very comfortable for medium/short legged paddlers like myself and it feels much like a canoe, similar to the Robberg Express that with very low hip gunnel seems to take on more water over the seat in choppy conditions. Other interesting gossip are whispers of new Red7 double shape to be unveiled at PE-EL Challenge.....this could provide some interest in the double ski design & racing which generally is overlooked!

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