Studying skiis suggestions anyone?

After 10 total hours in the KP Jet I’m almost there. I can properly execute the stroke, have gotten up to a decent speed, have realized that even in the Jet you can lean significantly without fear of capsize- so I think its time to start looking at skiis.

Which one should be my first step into this genre of kayak?

I don’t planning on racing-who would I race in my neck of the woods besides JackL and he’d win; intended use is excercise and generally having fun-so far the Jet is pure fun and has forced me to use the torso like no other kayak I’ve paddled.

Saying that I believe that paddling a ‘fitness’ kayak can really improve your overall kayaking.

The way I look at it there are three categories:

1.) Super Stable Skis (ie* Futura II)

2.) Semi Stable ‘Starter’ Skis (ie* Mako XT, Think Evo, Huki S1-R, Epic V-10 Sport, etc.)

3.) Everything Else (V10 and L, Huki S1-X and Special, Mako 6 and Elite, Think Legend, etc.)

If you’re paddling the Jet, pass ‘Go’ directly to Category 2. If you’re feeling inspired, don’t mind swimming more than a bit, and have a strong degree of 'stick-to-it-tiveness,'along with the time to do so consistently, advance to Category 3. Be forewarned that most folks who go directly to three often get frustrated, end up cursing the thing, and sell them on the message boards almost immediately after. IMO, I think you’d be better served by something behind door number #2-the learning curve from the Jet will be minimal at best, and you’ll be able to concentrate on form while still having more fun than a barrel full of monkeys (Hey AF…). Plus, if you decide to move up to something faster, more challenging, there’s a decent market for used entry level skis, as more people get turned on to this niche in the sport.

Even if you’re on inland waterways or rivers, there are still boat wakes to contend with, often more challenging than a sea that moves at a predictable wave period. I got knocked off my R on Saturday by two whomping boat wakes that crossed at right angles to each other, first time in a looong time, and was back on in about ten seconds. It was so refreshing, I flipped in several more times just to practice remounts. Like rolling, once you know you can effectively self rescue in varying conditions, you tend to push the envelope a bit more, in turn making you a better paddler. Win/win. With the open cockpit fitness SINKS, if you do go over, you’ll likely fall out of the boat before you can roll it back up. Even with my EFT with the thigh straps fastened, if I felt like I was going over, I’d hope to have the reaction time to hook my knees under the coaming.

Note: In the ‘Everything Else’ category some of the boats are significantly more stable than the others (ie S1-X/Special, Legend…), albeit not as fast as the Mako 6’s. etc., We’re splitting hairs here in this category-you’re only as fast as you are efficiently able to get that power down.

Valley Rapier 20
i notice that when the experts of these boats mentions fast kayaks, the KP, EFTs, various skis are always mentioned but never the new Valley race kayaks. are they just not competitive, unstable, poor designs, etc?

Trilobite–inciteful, thanks
I found the S1-X (Futura) last night just surfing around…it has my attention. I don’t mind frustration of getting dunked though it will be a while before I paddle cold water in even the Jet.

I’ve always love long distance, be it my longest swim-6 miles or my longest day on the AT-26 miles. I really enjoy cruising mindlessly for mile after mile.

Thanks for the ‘door’ breakdown, puts a lot of it into perspective.

I looked at the Rapier(s) while at the Wind City Symp…nice kayaks for sure, but I’m leaning toward s sit on top…even thinking about the Feather Craft. Time will tell.

It likely has more to do with Rapiers being relatively few and far between-there just aren’t that many out there. Both Rapiers are quite fast-I had the opportunity to spend time with the first demo 18 to touch these shores, and paddled the first somewhat cobbled up 20 as well (funky rudder systems in these protos). You just don’t see that many of them-I know of two 18s that show at the races in the New England area, but have yet to see a 20.

Posthumous expert status hereby accepted by virtue of the fact particular models were owned or paddled. This makes me think I should pursue a doctorate by mail… :wink:

Trileobite is right on the money

– Last Updated: Jun-23-08 11:34 PM EST –

Trilobite has good advice on the ski. I would recommend looking hard at group number 2 also. Advantages are the boats in that category are very seaworthy, fast, much more user friendly than the 17 inch wide ski's (much easier to re-mount). They are not slow boats at all. You may not be looking to race them but they are all raceable boats if you choose to do so. If you find yourself craving a faster boat later on down the road these boats have excellent resale and provide a good base to move up to the 17 inch wide ski's.

For what it’s worth, last summer I went from a sea kayak (current designs extreme) right to door #3 - fenn mako 6 - and have had no regrets. I felt good in flatter water in short order, though I wasn’t able to put full power into the stroke right away. I believe that was mostly due to getting acquainted with a wing paddle, not just because the boat was unstable. Paddling directly upwind in waves was fairly easy, but negotiating rear quartering waves or beam waves took quite a bit longer. Though I would have been faster right away in a Mako XT or similar, the challenge of paddling the ‘elite’ boat has been a huge motivator - and fun. My increase in skill level with water time has been both gratifying and addicting - waves that made me nervous just last fall are now fun. Remounting is fast and easy, so I feel comfortable paddling solo in conditions that push my limits. I can’t say I’d feel the same way in a cockpitted sea kayak, even with a solid roll. While I knew going into it that the ‘elite’ boat would not always be cake, and that cockpit time was needed to get better, the process has been a blast.

V10 Sport vs Jet
I paddle a SRS Laser, which is pretty much the equivilant of the Kayakpro Jet. I sold my V10 Sport because I wasn’t using it, I decided I like the flat water infinitely better and so ICF is the way to go for me. I had the Sport for more than long enough to know that stability between the Sport and the Laser was very similar, and I actually thought the Laser was ever so slightly less stable than the Sport - thus the learning curve for you in a Sport (or something similar in the same category of ski stability) will likely be small.


Think Fit, Think Evo and Epic V10 Sport
Wow, the V10S sold quickly! Congrats.

I’m getting close to getting something for flatwater and ocean racing in New England, about a 12-15 races a season. Nice to see all of these surfski threads popping up!

Here’s my input as a beginner after paddling a

Epic V10 Sport, Think Fit and Think Evo for at least a few hours each and two of them in races:

Think Fit

A modified older K1 design, with its surfski interior but with a comb and day hatch is interesting in the fast touring/touring class of race boats. At 17’, makes transport and storage much easier. Supposed to be only 3% slower than the Evo, and should be on par with the Epic 18x. Surfs well, or so Think says. Like the option of a factory overstern rudder for river races, and it is stable, although every time I get into boats my balance is going way up, so it is tough to compare directly. Also turns very quickly. Most comfortable of all the boats I tried by far. Actually can lean back and relax if you want, and the seat to footwell height difference is great for getting comfortable and/or getting a good leg drive going. I haven’t tried remounting yet and with the comb, is going to require more practice doing a side surfski entrance as recommended by Think. At 200 pounds, I’m close to the weight limit though.

Epic V10 Sport

Seat is just a tiny bit big, but not too bad. Liked how easy it was to remount, lower sills than the Think Evo. Seat back is the most reclined of the three, really not useful in a rest position, have to keep yourself from slouching. Lot of volume up front, on windy flatwater days the bow moves around a ton, was a little bit of a pain to try and control. Figure the same goes when you are carrying it, and will certainly need bow and stern lines on a car.

Think Evo

While I fit the seat okay, there was one point where the seat ends, the hull comes in just a little too close, and I was bruised on my thighs on both sides after a couple of hours. Sills are a bit higher, so I found remounting a little tougher. Lower volume bow, so wind wasn’t as much of a factor as on the V10S. Seat back angle is between the Fit and V10S, somewhat comfortable.

For me, I’m kinda stuck at which direction I should go. With my balance improving as quickly as it is, I might give a Epic V10L a test paddle. Will put me in a position of not having a slower boat as an excuse to be beat in flatwater and the lower volume bow will cut down on windage.

Good luck on your search!

Epic 18X
If you want a kayak type boat, you should look at this for a flat water boat. I paddled it several times with a GPS and thought it was about as fast as the Evo and Sport. I don’t know how Epic does it but they do build fast boats. It was also much more stable than skis.

I didn’t care for the “wagging tail” rudder but if you are going to paddle flat water it probably would be fine.

Also, Epic seems to still be having quality control hiccups from time to time. But they (Epics) are light and very fast.


Group 2 Intermediate skis
The other bonus is most of these are adjustable now. Let’s you tweak fit - but more importantly makes them easier to resell if you move on.

My best suggestion for you MM: Buy a Think Evo or V-10 Sport from VentureSport in Boca. I’ll pick it up and test paddle it for a year or so for you and give you a detailed review!

Thanks Greyak-your all heart!But we just might do that :slight_smile:

Franklin…I’ve got a QCC700 and maybe it’s close to the Epic, close enough.

There is a certain security in a SINK, I’m looking for more of being on the edge at least as far as stability is concerned…last night at around 0230 with the ipod jamming, fog coming off the lake, a brilliant moon–ethereal, but to be zipping along on a ski- well that’s the current fantasy.

It’s that same mountain bike versus road bike thing…not many mountains of water in my backyard, but endless miles of paddling.

Now any good reason not to get the Futura S1-x (or some factorial of those letters)?

Yes, the Sport sold quickly
Yes, the Sport sold within two days of posting it for sale. Gotta love a guy who shows up with 19 one hundred dollar bills. I knew I’d get asking price for it, it’s a high re-sale ski, and I figured it would sell quick, it’s also a high demand ski because of it’s stability. Now the only remaining question for me is, what ICF boat do I want? :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


Your Next Boat…

A Mako 6 in carbon…(mischievous wink).

You can’t be depriving the masses of your good spirits and humor at the ocean races, and I can’t stay upright in those tippy ICF thingies…

Mark :wink:

teletwang brings up a point

– Last Updated: Jun-25-08 11:08 AM EST –

Willing to dedicate some some time on a modern tippy ski, thinking that on flatwater you'll get the hang of it rather quickly.

I'm finding out I have two voices battling it out in my head. One says Think Fit to be able to do some relaxing paddling yet race and be competitive in the touring/fast touring class, or go right ot a modern fairly stable 17" ski and just practice, practice practice. Not really frustrating when you are jumping into water when it is 90 degrees out.

Definitely try as many models as you can, since every ski is a little different in the cockpit, and one might be more comfortable than another for your particular size/build. You are going to be spending a lot of time in it! Well, maybe not at first, harharhar.

Isn’t it weird?

– Last Updated: Jun-25-08 1:09 PM EST –

Isn't it weird? I mean, you can stay upright on a ski in crazy ocean water but you do not stay upright in ICF. And I can stay upright in Class II's downriver in ICF but I can't paddle a ski in ocean water. Go figure. Must be some sort of different stability. My Sport was way more stable than two of my ICF boats, yet I have always felt much more comfortable ICF than surfski. I just never can get used to that "water goes up and down" thing in the ocean no matter how hard I try. I suppose that's what happens when you try to take the mountain woman down to the beach.

But don't worry, you'll still see me out there. :) I'm thinking OC-1 for big water. I have an outrigger now that I really like, but I may modernize with a new one at some point. I like that extra security and rock solid stability that the alma offers. One of the biggest problems I had with skis is that I could not get back on them reliably. With an outrigger it's a no brainer.

So fear not, your source of entertainment will prevail, just not on a surfski. :)