Balance the equation

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10 years 11 months ago #10196 by [email protected]
My answer would be (assuming we're not talking an elite paddler here):

- If it's flat, then yes, go in the fastest boat possible. There's nothing worse than sitting in the channel in the sloppy chop and heat with the current pushing towards you feeling that you're driving a slow boat. (Trust me, it was the hardest, most unpleasant paddle I have ever done, bar none!)

- But if it's big downwind, then you'd be better off on an intermediate boat IMO. You'll be going just as fast but will be leaking less energy. No matter what boat you paddle, you'll be fatigued at the end of 50km and when you're fatigued, tippy boats seem to become much more tippy...

In the last 6 years I think they've had proper downwind conditions only once...

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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10 years 11 months ago #10197 by Dale Lippstreu
Paddling with Rob I get to paddle a lot of different skis and one of my standard tests is to see how easily I can maintain a constant speed of 11.6kmh in the flat water of Hout Bay harbour. This may not be fast for a hot paddler but is a speed which is comfortable to me and before which the stresses start to build up. The interesting thing is that there does not seem to be a lot of difference between the intermediate skis and the top end ones using this test.
My guess is that there is most probably only a difference of about 5% in drag between the racing and intermediate skis at this speed (maybe Greg Barton can give us the actual numbers using the V10 and V10 Sport as proxies). This is a relatively small number to overcome and it not hard to imagine that better rotation and rhythm could easily offset the disadvantage. Take this onto the open water with a bit of chop and swell and the equation can quickly translate into an advantage.
I have always aimed at owning and paddling top end skis because I like racing and figured that if I was comfortable in them I would be fastest in them. Our recent experiences show that this is at best only partially correct. This evening race will show just how far the argument can be taken because Rob will be in an Elite and I will be paddling the V10 Sport in what is expected to be a flat calm.
Whatever the result one should be cautious to apply it too broadly. Firstly drag goes up at the square of the speed so the disadvantages of the intermediate ski become greater the faster you go and secondly, if you can maintain good technique on a tippy ski in choppy water, there is in any event not a lot of advantaged to be gained. The bottom line is that there is a cutover point for every paddler but it is definitely not determined by whether you can paddle the ski without falling out!

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10 years 11 months ago #10201 by owenfromwales
So for RAB, back to my original answer: No! (in my opinion).
Also, being nervous doesn`t just have mental effects. I think paddlers who are nervous do miss strokes, hesitate, pause, and do all sorts of things that they wouldn`t do with a different mental attitude. Fortunately it`s much easier to control the ski we choose rather than how we feel mentally on the day on a ski on which we are `sailing close to the wind`.

189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy

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10 years 11 months ago #10204 by [email protected]
Hmm...

So last night I got back on my Mako Elite after having paddled stable intermediate skis for the last three weeks.

Our race in Hout Bay took us out to sea to Vulcan Rock and back again.

No matter how "flat" it is, Hout Bay always has some chop. And as soon as we hit the slightly confused water at the mouth of the bay, I couldn't stay with the group. My buddy Dale was paddling the V10 Sport and simply went away from me. I found myself stuck in no man's land between bunches and paddled the whole way by myself.

I only took a couple of braces, but I couldn't get comfortable and was not able to apply full power to my stroke. Frustrating.

Ended up a minute behind Dale; over two minutes behind Nick Pickard in the Vault.

Geez, anyone interested in a slightly used carbon vacuum mako elite?

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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10 years 11 months ago #10207 by EK Sydney
Replied by EK Sydney on topic Re: Balance the equation
I would have to agree with Rob & Dale. I have been paddling skis for a bit over 2 years, started off on a V10S, moved up last year to a V12 and have since gone back to my Sport. Why? Well I just couldn't make the V12 go any faster.
I wasn't nervous, tippy, uncertain in the 12, but the qualities in my paddling that dictate speed seem to work better off the more stable platform that the Sport provides. I'd say I was subconsciously more hesitant in the 12, but wasn't really backing off because I was worried about a swim.
The Swordfish sounds like another in the genre, and from first hand experience the Sport is really quite a special boat especially in rough water. As to the terminal speed, I'm more than willing to forego that extra 5% the elite skis offer in favour of pure blood & guts fearlessness in the intermediate hull.
I wonder how much the boat choices of paddlers would be affected if race courses started going more triangular instead of pure downwind? I've spoken to ski guys around Sydney, especially the old school who grew up on Speccys, who bemoan the 'all downhill' nature of ski racing. Maybe another debate....
Mark.

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10 years 11 months ago #10210 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Re: Balance the equation

robin.mousley wrote: as soon as we hit the slightly confused water at the mouth of the bay, I couldn't stay with the group......ended up a minute behind Dale; over two minutes behind Nick Pickard in the Vault.


I noticed that in two races you have reported on now in the confused stuff that Nick has had the advantage in the Vault ;) as a Vault paddler I have to agree that it shines in confused water and small chop :whistle: I also noticed that Nick fell back in the bigger Millers runs and agree that as it gets into bigger downwinds (for me 2.5m +) it needs a lot more work to stay with the longer (full length) ski's :blush: however I am hoping a bigger surf rudder will make my life easier this winter when the bigger swells arrive.

On a side note the Vault goes even quicker with the eliptical river rudder on, I have been enjoying the smaller rudder in all conditions including downwind up to 1 metre here recently. Hein is going to go even smaller (4 inch) for river racing for me now B)

Always looking for the next boat :)

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10 years 11 months ago #10213 by Dicko
Replied by Dicko on topic Re: Balance the equation
AR, the surf rudder has stopped my boat from wandering in the lumpy stuff.
It is just "precise". Minimal rudder to turn, but the boat goes where you point it when you point it. The biggest trouble I have now is resisting the temptation to go back and forwards across the waves. The boat had a mind of its own with the previous rudder. On the flat the boat no longer wanders. It holds its line perfectly. I think Rob found this with the SF as well.

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10 years 11 months ago #10217 by [email protected]
Here's my GPS track from last night:

Hout Bay Race - Mako Elite

You can see clearly where we hit the chop on the way out; my speed drops dramatically. On the way back I was happier, cracking along at around 12kph with the small bumps, caught up the guys in front a little, but not enough.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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