I know this general question has been asked before, but I just wanted to check the latest recommendations.
I live in the San Juan Islands and have been looking to pick up a surfski. My previous paddling experience has been limited to SOT kayaks (stable barges, lol) and packrafts, so I am looking for something new to better suit the new setting.
I am looking for a very stable beginner ski that can handle 300lbs (big guy, dry suit, PFD, camelback, etc.) well in open ocean conditions.
So far the recommendations I have received have been for an Epic V8 Sport, Epic V10 Sport, Fenn Bluefin S, and Nelo 520 XXL. Any others you all might recommend? I’m definitely going to trek to test paddle before the purchase too. Thanks!
Add the Stellar Falcon (just landed - 🤦🏼 Walked into that pun). I used the prototype at the Toms River Race in NJ this past weekend and the bucket was roomy today my 34” waist, speed was like the SEI and bumpy water handling was admirable. I’m not sure when they will be on the West Coast. I’ll have two at my Store next week.
See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
9 W. Market St.
Hyde Park, NY. 12538
Epic buckets are pretty ample.
Nelo has a variety of sizes, including XXL.
Stellar has unreasonably large buckets, so if you have big hips and legs a Stellar probably offers the most room in the bucket. I also think they are not the best on open ocean conditions if that’s what you’re after. Stellar is a rowing company first and a kayak maker second. Their ski designs have improved, but they’re still not great surfing boats IMO.
The Fenn Bluefin is probably the best surfer of the group. If you fit in the bluefin it likely surfs the best of the bunch, but im not sure if it has adequate volume for 300lbs.
An Epic V8 would also be an ok choice, or the V9 which is more of an intermediate boat, but the V9 would surf better as it has more rocker and is designed as a downwind boat. The only Downwind boats from epic are the redesigned ones such as the V9, V10g3, V11, and V12g3. All others have very flat keels which will not perform well in the ocean compared to more rockered boats. (the V8 will do fine, just not surf as well as a high rocker downwind boat)
The Epic V-10 has enough volume in the bow to fit your weight. It is also a fairly forgiving boat.
The Fenn Mako XT is probably the best all around beginner’s surfski, but you weight might be marginal for it.
Don’t know about the new Stellars, a few years ago all of their boats were pretty advanced