Tall Guy: Looking For Surf Ski

-- Last Updated: Feb-10-06 3:30 PM EST --

Started with a TwoGood Offshore, then moved to a Findeisen that's about 17-18" wide with integral bow plane. Seems thb discontinued as I cannot find any references to/pictures of it on the web.

Superficially, it looks very much like this:

My two main uses:

- Flatwater paddling. Basically doing one and two-mile intervals for time on a local lake.

- Very tame ocean paddling off the New Jersey shore. Getting in through small (2-4') breaking waves without pearling/endo-ing and, while I'm out there, surfing non-breaking swells and then kicking out before I get in the way of the surfers.

The Findeisen is OK, but I capsize quite frequently on it and the seat pan is a little narrow for me - which might be a factor in the capsizing bc I resort to padding it up a little to get my hips up where it's wider.

Would like to move on to something that:

1) Supports an over-the-stern rudder so when I do laps around the local lake my times don't get messed up by snagging weeds.

2) Also supports an under-the-hull rudder so I can still use it to surf ocean swells.

3) Gives me 50" from the back of the seat to where my heels rest in the footwells.

4) Has a somewhat wider seat than the Findeisen to accomadate my broad butt.

5) Is a little more stable than the Findeisen, but not a fishing ski.

Current candidate is Futura's S1-R at http://www.surfskis.com/models.html


Huki actually makes the S1-X and S1-R
Huki.com … talk to Jude. Owner and unbeliveably helpful… I build the overstern rudders for them and it would be no problem to drop it on the other skis as well.

How tall are you?
I was going to recommend the Mako XT until I went and measured mine and its 45-46" from back of seat to maximum pedal adjustment. This is a surprisingly fast and very stable ski. It now comes in a custom foot well model but I still don’t know if they make one that long. You can always call Bruce at Venturesport and see what the biggest size is. As far as the understern rudder, I also paddle in a lot of grass and weeds that would choke my rudder. I purchased the low profile rudder and made my own weed deflector and epoxied it right in front of the rudder and have’nt had a problem since. Nice wide seat also.

Overstern Rudder
might be a tough bill to fill. On the very stable side, you might look at the Futura II, but that’s liable to feel like a barge after what you’ve been on. I’d recommend my Custom Kayaks Mark 1, but here again, it’s understern only. On the plus side, I paddle it frequently at my local lake which is a weedfest with little to no problems-for some reason, due to the shape of the rudder, they just slide right off. Nice wide seat too, even with the D model (deep seat). As intermediate skis go, it’s quite stable and plenty fast-lots of bow volume; perfect for bigger guys. At 6’1, 34 inseam, and 195 lbs., my size #6 is a great fit.

Already talked to Jude - not realizing that Huki made them for Futura.

He have an emphatic “No” on the cockpit length. Seems like there’s a problem with blending the footwells into the seating area when they’ve been moved forward. Not impossible (I did it with my TwoGood… but never again!..) but not cost-effective.

Overstern Rudder
Maybe that’s ill-considered on my part. Actually, the Findeisen’s rudder doesn’t get fouled all that often… just gets really frustrating when I’m almost done what seems like a personal record mile and the sea anchor effect kicks in…

The big things are the footwell length and the seat width.

I paddled my TwoGood for a season before moving the footwells forward, so I know what too little leg room can do.

Seat-wise, I have to pad the Findeisen’s seat so my hip bones contact the sides of the seat area a little higher up where it’s wider - and that probably detracts from stability.

How Tall Am I?
6’5", long legs, and a weird proportion of shin to thigh length - long shins. Before I modified the TwoGood (on which my knees were constantly in the way of paddling - a good ten inches above the deck) I had another guy try it out. This person was exactly the same height as me and his hip sockets were exactly the same height off the ground; but his shins were shorter than mine and his thighs correspondingly longer.

It fit him perfectly. From that, I take away the observation that not only is height alone meaningless, but x-seam isn’t enough either. One has to know the thigh/shin proportion too.

I think Bruce is the one who sold the Findeisen to me.

My impression was that he had to do some significant cajoling with Findeisen to get it made to fit me and I came away thinking (rightly or wrongly…) that somebody took a bit of a bath on it.

Maybe I’ll give him another call…

Bow Planes: Needed?
Both of my skis to date have had bow planes. On the TwoGood, it was a removable add-on; on the Findeisen it’s built into the hull config.

I’ve been going on the assumption that I need a bow plane just because I was never able to get the TwoGood in through the surf sans bow plane without pearling it - except on non-breaking waves.

OTOH, I didn’t try that long or that hard. Is there a technique issue here? Seems like the vast majority of surf skis offered do not have bow planes…so that seems tb telling me something…

Most of the time burying the bow isn’t a big deal, and when it is, you can sometimes avoid it by angling across the wave instead of pointing straight in. And sometimes you’re going to get worked a bit. It’s a tradeoff, but unless you’re using the boat primarily in the surf, the bow plane probably isn’t something you want.