Surfski or K1?

I want a boat for shorter races. K1’s supposedly have a speed advantage over a surfski in short races. At what distance do they break even?

Will a k1 work for 10 miles?

It’s a bit more complicated

– Last Updated: Jun-04-10 7:39 AM EST –

To me it's a bit more complicated than just hull speed...

On regular basis, I paddle both. In fact, I used to paddle only skis until I relocated to Atlanta 3 1/2 years ago just for professional reasons -after a while Lake Lanier became too boring to paddle my ski.

Still, for marathon style races, I would 99% of the time ratter paddle an ICF k-1 over a ski:

a) The k-1 seating position is way more comfortable than the most comfortable ski. It allows for swivel seats and such...
b) It allows for a true rotation from the hips -even in a v12- there is no match. You are quite stuck in there.
C) The paddle entry is so much narrower... a ski feels like paddling a transatlantic! You lose inches at the entry in the ski.

***Take into account that advantages a) b) c) are not hull speed related.

The way I see it based on personal experience (which should be different from paddler to paddler) all previous advantages of an ICF-k1 become a disadvantage as glassy waters start have some texture. The speed on a ski does not change from flat conditions to 1 to 2 feet chop/waves -in an ICF-k1 it's a lot of work even with good balance if you are not a top guys like scombrid.

As a color note: top SA guys paddle ICF-k1's down class 3 river jumping dams and such...

In summary: I would chose the ski for the ocean and big lakes and the k-1 for small lakes and rivers. K-1's are so sweet to paddle!


Regarding distance…

– Last Updated: Jun-04-10 7:46 AM EST –

I have never noticed a difference in speed between the both (Icf-k1 and ski) due to the length of the race -yes, regarding the water conditions. I have paddled my k-1 from 200m to 50 miles races (several times) and my ski from 500m to 100 miles races.

Last year, I did paddle my ski during the 100 miles of the Colorado 100 TX race, but just because the race was held in TX and I was going to paddle a river I have never paddled and a few hours at night time. If I would do the race again, I would use my k-1 under normal waters conditions. At high waters, no doubt, I would use my ski.

Just my two cents,

Try one if you can

– Last Updated: Jun-04-10 10:37 AM EST –

You said:

"Not too worried about the skill jump between what I have now, and what I might get. It's gotta be a smaller jump than going from nothing to my QCC 700 when I first started doing this paddling thing."

I would not underestimate the learning curve. It varies from person to person, but I can tell you that, while I feel quite comfortable in a QCC 700 (testpaddled one in rather lumpy and windy conditions), I would be quite uncomfortable in the same conditions in an Epic V10 that is not known to be the most tippy of skis out there.

I've had a Rapier 18 for over a year now and, admittedly I do not paddle it as much as my other boats, I still have not mastered it to trust myself in it in conditions that I enjoy going out in a 19" Greenland style sea kayak. These boats (fast skis and racing kayaks) are different from a QCC and the stability curve is different - they penalize even the smallest mistakes. Tall people have more trouble with them too as the center of gravity is higher.

On the other hand, mastering a ski enough for up to 1+ foot chop is not a big deal, IMO. But I find these conditions rather boring so if I can't take it comfortably in over 3 feet of steep waves and strong wind I don't consider it "mastered". I can and have taken the Rapier in such conditions but I still waste too much energy with it on stability. I can't get the best of it in such waters. That translates to me still *not* going to be faster over a longer distance with it than I would be with a little more stable kayak than with it if the seas are considerably rough. And by rough I mean weather where virtually all recreational sail and motor boats and most fisherman in my local paddling area stay on dry land.

I guess I've reached my "level of incompetence" with the level of stability the Rapier or even more so a ski like the Epic V10 offers me. I know I can overcome it but it would take me considerable time on the water and that I have not had a chance to put, nor am I sure I want to. I feel it is harder for a sea kayaker to master a high performance ski than it takes for a recreational kayaker to master a fast sea kayak.

It is sort of an exponential learning curve - the skinnier and less stable the boat is the skill it requires grows exponentially and every next step takes a little longer. Eventually, we hit a ceiling - even many elite paddlers can't be their 100% in a high performance ski when things get rough, so that tells me something...

So, again, try one if you have not and in the conditions you plan to use it. It is not a big deal to paddle the V10 or similar on flat water but when it gets lumpy it takes skill that needs time to build-up... It's just physics - once we get below certain level of stability offered by the craft there is simply no way to paddle it 100% when conditions get rough: one *has* to brace more with these through the stroke or explicitly than with a more stable craft and eventually as things get rougher the more stable craft becomes more efficient.

I know it’s not exactly a race boat, but what are everyone’s thoughts on the Current Designs Freedom? I’ve thought about it for longer lake races and for fast touring.

Thanks for letting me hijack this thread

mohican vs t-bolt vs k1
Twice I did the 90 miler in a t-bolt with small out of way thigh braces and rear bulkhead. They are cheap used and very well built. I sold mine for $1200 to buy the mohican. Because of no thigh braces, the t-bolt is much more stable for me in white caps and wash with many boats. The marathon master k1 at 30# is a great boat you might buy used for $800. Theoretically, if you tip a ski, you climb back on. A narrow ski, even in flat water is not easy. Maybe tougher than rolling when tired in a race.

If not sure, do not spend 5k on new mohican. Buy a used t-bolt for $1100 with kickup rudder and add small out of way thigh braces and rear bulkhead.