Greenland surfski?

If greenland kayaks are good for rough waters, why isn’t there any greenland style surfskies? You only see surfskies with plumb bows like QCC or Epic.

I don’t know the answer to your question, but I’ve recently seen two paddlers on skis using Greenland paddles. And odd sight, but they were doing great and having a great time.


There are other bow profiles on skis
The more pointy ended skis are just currently out of favor because the big boys paddle open water racers - so every one else does too. I’ve seen very shallow angles - and spec skis are more rounded and have wave deflectors.

Hard to find pictures of “old school” finer entry skis (was an awesome one on eBay a few months ago), but easy to find lifeguard spec ski images. CD Speedster was prety far off plumb. Many intermediate and beginner skis used to be. I think the extreme “Needle Ski” wasn’t too plumb either.

Those race skis plumb bows are there to increase waterline length for higher potential top speed (assuming sufficient paddler power to cruise at the speeds that length is designed for). Designers are not going to cut back on LWL - and there’s no good reason to add overhangs beyond that on a race craft that already 21’ long. Many more recent fast sea kayak designs (EPIC, QCC, CD Stratus, Valley Rapiers…) are more plumb for similar reasons (and several [except QCC] because they are sticking to length limits in USCA race class).

Greenland kayaks were designed to hunt seals in cold, often ice filled waters - in a wide range of conditions. The bow angle makes perfect sense when you need more maneuverability (and can’t risk having a rudder that can freeze or break) - need the angled bow to ride up over ice - etc. There are also reasons based on construction differences. A bit more angled frame end is easier to skin with no seams below waterline. Also easier to grab/carry those ends with heavy mittens - and lift on and off high racks used to dry them and keep the dogs from eating them! Lots of reasons - few a surf ski paddler would have to contend with, and none of them having anything to do with them being inferior craft.

Both types have the right ends for their intended uses. The sort of comparison you are trying to make (to what end? To make “Greenland” kayaks seem poorly designed compare “modern” designs) - based on an apples to oranges choice of kayaks types and focusing on only one feature and calling it “Greenland” only shows a lack of understanding kayak design elements in the context of “design intent”, how features interrelate, and all the trade-offs involved.

Some of us can compare types side by side:

Oddly enough though, I do have ideas/sketches of what I sort of consider a “Greenland” inspired ski (odds are I I ever build it I’ll just do it decked though). Faster (narrower/less volume) than sea kayak - close to spec ski dimensions - slower than race ski - but much easier to handle due to hull shape. Ends are still fairly plumb though (what would you expect from someone who has a ski, QCC, and SOF - in subtropical waters?). It would also have a rudder. The “Greenland” influence is elsewhere in the hull - and inspired more by my own skin boat - which is not all that traditional in the thinking in it’s lines - despite appearances. But what is “traditional”? Greenland and other Arctic paddle craft took (and still take) a very wide range of forms. My SOF has significant differences from most currently built in Greenland or as taught in the building books – but is not so different from some from 400+ years ago.

sort of a silly question…
That’s like asking “if planing hull whitewater kayaks are good for rough water, why don’t surfski’s have planing hulls?” It’s all about trade-offs.

The greenland style kayaks make certain deliberate trade-offs to be most practical for the conditions they are used in and their intended purposes as do surf skis. There will never be one perfect kayak design for all uses and environments and so these sorts of questions (british/greenland style vs pacific northweest style, skeg vs rudder, hard chine vs soft chine, etc) will never be answered in a satisfactory and absolute manner that you may be looking for.