looking for any opinions on nelo viper, kayakpro jet, think fit, for flat water fitness and maybe some races. any other boats to consider? i was thinking a surfski at first but since i will almost only be in flat water it seems like a waist of its potential (not to mention 21’ vs. 17’). or is there still a large speed increase with a ski even on the flat? i will paddle all three but its a 6 hour drive for the jet and fit, but nelo’s are local.
K1 Trainer vs Surfski?
Having had both types of boats for awhile (5 years), the summary would be that Skis are generally faster (like a V10, Speedster, or Millenium). The understern rudders are a problem in weedy areas - and they also don’t like the rocks.
The Razor I had for a couple of years was pretty fast, but definitely got dusted by the V10 or the other fast skis. For stroke development, the trainers definitely get the nod. Why not the Epic 18x? It is as fast as a trainer, is very comfortable, and doesn’t have the learning curve of a fast ski? It also has bulkheads for when you eventually go over - which is a big safety advantage.
I find that I paddle my surfski much, much more than my K1. I paddle mainly on inland lakes and rivers. On bigger rivers, the current and eddies can make a K1 a sketchy situation, and on the lakes around here, you pretty much deal with boat wakes and wind unless you paddle early in the morning. That being said, my K1 is very tippy and the ones you listed aren’t as bad, so depending on your local water conditions and skill, you might be just fine. . A ski is still more fun and more versatile IMHO.
not a great fit
i had my heart set on a 18x but there was not enough foot room. most comfortable seat ever though. i have a nelo c-trek so i’m just looking for a fitness/speed oriented craft. the think web site says the fit is only 2-3% slower then their ski. i like the ski style seating and the combing for cold weather paddling. won’t know till i try i guess.
since you do say you want to do some racing, the K-1 trainer will fall into the Touring class, the ski into the unlimited class. You will have more flexibility with the ski, as trainers are one trick ponies. The Think fit is actually the hull of the older Jet, the new Jet is slightly faster. Haven’t paddled the Nelo viper, have paddled a Plastex Marathon Master and it is similar speedwise to the Jet and also falls into the touring class.
Hope this helps,