Fast Surf skis

Hi just did race last week in california.

I borrowed a FUTURA INFERNO. Very fast great tracking boat.

Like to here about the other skis people ahve used

Huki, UX, Mako.


don’t paddle skis, but i do have a huki outrigger. very, very fast. seems like fenns are winning a lot of races. check out some of the hawaiia races like molokai.

Fenn Mako,
Seawave is the expert about Surf Ski in, so he will able to answer you question better. However, nowadays, Fenn Mako has no worldwide competion.



They’re all fast
Mako is pretty much the current gold standard, but I’ve heard positive things about the new Huki, too. I have an older-model Twogood (Portlock) that’s been good to start out in and a Mako on the way. We’ll see how much swimming it takes to get the hang of it.

Maybe not Worldwide - but doing well West Coast so far…

why to pay twice as much as for Huki or Futura when you can get the real deal. Only the manufactures say what good their boat are because I haven’t seen any winning anything import around the world.

Nowadays, there is no local company that can compete with Fenn in features and price.

I don’t rally know the West Coast, but along the East one, 90% of the racing skis are Fenn, and don’t even go worldwide!



Too soon to say, I think
The new Huki has yet to prove itself–at least outside California–but it’s too early to say that it won’t end up being competitive with the Mako. It will be interesting to see if any of the new skis show up for Molokai this year and how they do if they’re here.

I agree. It is too soon, but
as well as you got a Mako, most people do not want to pay twice as much as only for a promise of a winning boat…



I know what you’re saying…
but by that logic all sea kayakers sould race Seda Gliders just because they are most common in the results over the past several years. You could smoke most any Glider with your Isthmus!

Not disputing the Twogood/Fenn Mako record, just not willing to conceed that no one else can make a ski that can compete. A big reason the Fenn dominates is all the fastest paddlers have them. Sort of a chicken/egg thing.

Huki S1-X was designed specifically to take on the Fenn. Check out some of the West coast race results. S1-X and S1-A are doing well - including at least one course record. These are very recent designs. It will take time to see where they rank Internationally.

Guess I just like to see the underdog give it a go.

What I really want to know is if it’s as stable as they claim!

As you noticed - they are a good bit more expensive than the SA skis! That price difference will really limit their wider introduction in the US and mostly kill it anywhere else. Small companies have to make enough to keep going, but these will need to compete on performance AND price to unseat the Fenn.

Hard to lower price until volumes go up - and than maybe still impossible in small shop type businesses with fairly fixed time and material costs. Niche markets are tough.

I agree completely,
The Mako is too good and too cheape to have a great competition.

For about $ 1800 I might get a Mako-Carbon from Bruce no shipping. Am I going to try a Huki? Paying shipping and same fetures as the Mako, I need about $ 3000. To me, noway.



PS: Kris forget it about stability with in a little time there is no longer a problem…

The Huki looks intriguing, but not so much that I was willing to take a chance on it without paddling one first, especially at half-again the price. The Mako is a really nice ski but definitely on the tender side. If Jude has succeeded in creating a ski that’s as fast as the Mako but more stable, he’ll have a winner. But the Oceanpaddlesports folks are doing a heck of a job, I need a new ski (the current one is leaking too much), and I get a brand-new, well-built carbon boat for under $2000.

Price and weight
Fenn’s price is a definite advantage, but there is a market for well-made, lightweight hulls in the $3000+ range. I don’t know that anybody’s getting rich building OC-1s over here, but they’re selling a lot of them. Twogood is still selling skis, too, despite the higher price.

smoke the glider?
I don’t think the Isthmus is going to smoke any glider soon. Or a QCC 700 for that matter. thanks Iceman for the complement, but I’m no expert on surfskis, I just like paddling them. by the way look out Florida for Iceman, he’s going to be a heck of a fast paddler in the next few years. I had a chance to paddle with him on the intercoastal recently and he trains hard and has the desire, and the age in his favor. I was renting a UX from Bruce a nice fast (tippy) surfski, but once you get used to it, there is no going back to slower, fatter, etc. kayaks. I have a MAko and probably will get to paddle it for the first time this weekend, weather permitting. It was so nice to spend time in Florida paddling in 85 degrees, boy you have it good down there.

Oh yeah, back to the glider and Isthmus. The isthmus is a real nice boat, but its shorter length would make it a hard boat to beat the glider or QCC. In its own class (under 18’) it will do real well. but why paddle a 20.5" boat when you can paddle a 18" or better yet 17" Mako? anyone with good balance will soon overcome the tippy issue and be a better paddler for it. For others on a different curve, the Isthmus will be a real great boat to enter the sit on top faster boat category and all under 18’!

ps the MArk 1 is another good choice for a less tippy boat. It is only slightly more tippy than the QCC, but again that is subjective and there is no way to be totally objective about it.

Bruce Gipson and Oceanpaddlesports are great peoiple to deal with.

how would you compare the
mark1 and the ux, speed and stability wise?


Mark 1 vs UX
The UX seemed like a great surfski, but its open seat design does not wrap around the hips as well as the MArk 1. It might be a bit faster, but the MArk 1 might perform better in rougher conditions for certain paddlers. I did not do any real fast paddling with the UX and the one I had, had no footstraps or actually anything to hold you (the paddler) to the ski. the two surfskis seem to meet different needs. If speed is what you ae looking for and you can overcome the balance issues, then maybe the UX would be better. If you are looking for more comfort and the ability to be power on at all times, the Mark 1 might be better. the UX seat design would be good for people with bigger waistlines, whereas the Mark 1 might be a tight fit for some paddlers. Unless of course they can get a shallower seat. the seat depth of the mark 1 seems deeper, so it is naturally narrower and more stable. The Huki looks appealing, but the $ are a factor. If you can get a UX for a good deal, then it will be a great boat to learn a lot of new skills. I had it out in 10 ’ waves off of Jupiter inlet and had a blast surfing it inside the break and one long outside the break all the way in(almost), I also paddled the intercoastal and all the boat wakes thrown up and refracting off the narrow channels. It was fantastic practice to hold on for the ride. All in all, both boats are great fun and really give access to the ocean and to speed. The lifeguard spec skis are more suited for breaking waves and can be great practice boats for gettting your balance in the ocean. I had one last year that gave me fits, but was the greatest learning tool in going from the bay to the ocean. The Tarpon would be really great for practicing surfing and pounding out through thewaves. The lifeguard spec boats are rather slow compared to their longer cousins, but are comprable in speed to some faster kayaks.

Fenn Mako XT?
Andrew, if you’re looking at the speed/stability tradeoff, it might also be worth checking out Fenn’s new intermediate ski, the Mako XT. 19’ long, 19" beam, and adjustable footwells.

Thanks Mark for the compliment.

– Last Updated: Feb-25-04 9:55 PM EST –

The UX was a bit tippy but you in less the two minutes were flying on it and after not being on the water for month and a half!!!

I remember very well. I did not even touch the water, and you were already confortable on it.


Funny, I was just wondering same thing
Thanks for comparing the UX and Mark 1, but I’m still as clueless as ever what would work as a first ski for me. Guess I’ll know it when I paddle it (or when I find one I CAN paddle). UX seat looks great for getting back on. Mark 1’s sounds better for not falling off.

Demo day Saturday and I hope Bruce is bringing these two and some others. Says he got several used skis (don’t know what) and a container in 3 weeks with most everything.

Doubt I can stay on any of them - but West Lake is quiet. No motor traffic - and only a couple crocs (no gators) and bull sharks to encourge swift remounts.

Seawave, I assume
you paddled the Isthmus while you were down. Can you compare it’s stability to Q700, Mark 1, and any others?

Darn thing seems pretty twitchy to me. I find my Q700 a rock in comparison

Swimming builds character
Kris, if you’re willing to put in some time and endure some frustration, I wouldn’t worry too much about buying a ski that dumps you when you first get into it. Stability will come with time. In my Twogood (19" beam), it was several months before I could consistently stay upright in mild to moderate chop and the better part of a year and a half before I really felt solid in bigger conditions, but eventually it came, and I haven’t swum (other than in surf) for quite a while. I’m sure I’m going to do some swimming with the Mako as I get used to the way it reacts to the waves, but that will come, too. And I think you paddle more than I do (I generally get out twice a week for 1-2 hours), so it should come faster for you.

Good luck!