Used Huki SR for sale…but I most drive far to test paddle it…any comments about this boat…how stable…I’m a “Newbie”
If you are a beginner:
I would pass on it unless you are looking to get into racing or something for working out in.
I have demoed surskis on many occasions, and they are not a boat that I would want to be exploring in or just pleasure cruising in.
I am not sure if I demoed that particular model, but I am a decent paddler, that has been paddling sea kayaks for the past twenty years, and the only way I would use one is for racing.
Maybe someone else that has that model will chime in with more info.
super stable for a surfski
Before the V8 and Bluefin came along it was considered the most stable of the wide (19") skis. They are not fast but still fun in the waves.
I know several people who had them as their first boat but kept them when they moved to a narrow boat and use the SR for the big days when it’s blowing 30-40kts, 4-6’ wind waves.
Some Hukis have narrow seats or fixed leg length so check you will fit.
Less stable than most 22" wide sea kayaks. I have not paddled that oje, but i guess it will be comparable to an Epic 18x kayak for stability (not the Sport). To a first time paddler it will feel very twitchy and likely dump them in the water a few times. However, after just a short time, it will begin to feel stable. The term "stable" is relative here, as the newer shorter skis like the Epoc V6 or V8 or Think EZE are even more stable (while being considerably less stable than recreational kayaks)...
Contrary to what Jack says, I much prefer to paddle a ski in the warm months than a kayak. In my V10 Sport I could totally relax and "explore" if I wanted to, using a single blade canoe paddle or a Greenland paddle or a wing or a Euro paddle. On calm water I could drift and take photos without the need to brace with the paddle, even with my feet still inside. The only thing missing is storage space, and I do like the shade a closed cockpit offers in direct sun (on the ski I wear white tights to minimize the need for sunscreen if I wore shorts).
My answer was to a paddler that says…
he is a “newbie”
If you are advocating putting a “newbie” in a surf ski, you should be ashamed of yourself.
We should be trying to help new paddlers out, not trying to put them in boats just because we like them.
newbies and surfskis
First off, the poster said he already owns a kayak and paddleboard in a previous surfski post so by newbie we can assume he means surfski newbie.
Secondly, lots of people get in surfskis or k1 racing kayaks as their first boat and live to tell the tale. Sure people fall in and get wet but that’s part of the sport. We all swim sometimes. One could argue that going out in a ski knowing you are likely going to swim and being prepared for is a whole lot safer than going out in a 10’ plastic bathtub in a pair of jeans like some folks do.
I’m assuming this is the model you mean.
I’ll start by saying inquire if it has the standard seat or wide seat. If your waist is under 32", the standard seat may fit you-over that, the wide seat is needed. Also, the cockpits were available in double and single footwells, adjustable or fixed leg lengths.
Stability. As one poster noted, the S1-R was considered amongst the most stable of skis prior to the new wave of basically, undecked sea kayaks. It’s not in the same class as these boats. Compare it more to the Epic V10 Sport, Think Evo, etc. It has a decent turn of speed, but yet provides a measure of stability that you won’t find with an HPS (high performance ski). I’ve owned and paddled a number of other skis-my HPS is currently a Stellar SEL Ultra, but I won’t part with my S1-R. It has saved my arse on many an occasion, and in bigger water, is pure, flat out fun. I’ve a review on this site posted years back, and I’m still supporting every word. It’s a fantastic boat. Really, it’s competent at everything.
In terms of stability, it’s on a par with the Fenn Mako XT, but to me, feels much more lively. It has more stability than either the V10 Sport or Evo, but gives away a hair in flat water speed. It will move along on the flats, but it’s not its forte. Nothing out there steers with the precision of a Huki. Jude uses stainless cable for zero flex. Rudders can be changed in about 30 seconds, and there are a plethora to choose from. It has a fair amount of rocker, and loves to be thrown about on a wave top. When the water comes alive, the S1-R gets this playful feeling; it’s in its element.
For a ski beginner, coming out of a sea kayak, it will provide a bit of a challenge. You will likely swim a few times, but it’s a wet sport anyway. The good news is, it offers enough on the top end that you won’t outgrow it, the way you might one of the super stable skis. I was without my SEL for almost two months, and was reacquainted with my little Huki. I’d be gapped by paddling buds in their Fenn Elites, V12s, and Swordies in hard intervals on flatter water, but when the wind picked up, I was not only right there, but pushing the pace and turning the tables: stability before speed.
Mine is the fg with carbon cockpit-it comes in at about 25 lbs. with full custom gelcoat. Takes the P-41 kickup rudder made by Pat at Onno Paddles-a true thing of beauty, if shallow water and weeds are prevalent where you are.
If you want something super stable, more like your sea kayak, then I’d hold out for a V-8, SRS or something of that ilk. If you don’t mind a little bit of a learning curve, then the S1-R is a spectacular choice.
You are right, to a point
What I wanted to say is that a relatively stable surf ski can be paddled for occasions other than racing or fitness just fine and that, given a choice of a fast kayak (Rapier 18) and a ski, I chose the ski to just go out and paddle (mainly for fittness, the occasional race, and often just out with a group of local kayakers).
But you are right that the ski kind of wants to be ridden fast :) but something like the S1-R does not need to be - it is stable enough to enjoy in a relaxed way too...
Stability is also a very personal thing. I know someone who has kayaked for many years but tends to swim in a V10 Sport even in small ripples. He's just stiff even though he puts lots of time on the water. Others, they just get in and after a few sessions have no stability issues even though they have less experience - just able to adapt faster.
As trolbyte said, the S1-R strikes a nice balance between performance and stability that allows most novices to get used to them fairly quickly but not outgrow them within a year - they are great in rough water for more advanced paddlers.
All of my friends and I started in Fenn XTs, but they all moved on to try faster, skinnier boats. They’ve all come back to the Huki S1R as the best all around boat. We’re none of us elite athletes, so having the fastest boat out there didn’t make a whole lotta sense. At 240lbs, I’m still in my XT, as I haven’t found any other boat that will fit my big butt. Even so, if I’m not moving, I don’t feel that stable!