Spec Ski - which one?

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8 years 10 months ago #24482 by [email protected]
Can anyone give me some tips on buying a spec ski? I have an Epic V8 and need to upgrade into a spec ski.
Given I am in an Epic V8 - most important criteria would be stability but i would like something not too slow....
I have tried the Fenn LS and liked it but there do not seem to be any available.
What else would you recommend for something similar (ie as stable as possible but not too slow) ?

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8 years 10 months ago - 8 years 10 months ago #24483 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Spec Ski - which one?
No experience with spec ski's but this one seemed like a popular stable spec.

"The Fat Boy is designed as a stable spec ski that tries not to sacrifice speed or quality whilst maintaining its PR2 pedigree in the surf. "

fatpaddler.com/2013/01/surfski-review-ha...r2-fat-boy-spec-ski/

Always looking for the next boat :)
Last edit: 8 years 10 months ago by AR_convert.

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8 years 10 months ago #24484 by Dean Gardiner
Replied by Dean Gardiner on topic Spec Ski - which one?
Hi Nicholas
Where are you located?
Which seat did you try, deep or shallow?

We also have The Tarpon available which is even more stable than the Deep Seat LS.
We have new ones coming in every month.
Regards
Dean
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8 years 10 months ago #24486 by Goldcoastkiwi
Replied by Goldcoastkiwi on topic Spec Ski - which one?
The Fenn LS is worth the wait, and it seems from Dean's reply that the wait will be a short one.
I have a low seat LS and love it , There are some previous discussions on the forum about the LS , and the general opinion is that is the one to go for.

Skis past and present : New Epic V10 Ultra, Fenn Swordfish Carbon,
Stellar S2E Excel double, PRS 570 , V8 Club, V10 Sport Club,Stellar S2E Advantage double, Epic V10 Sport Performance, Think EVO II, Fenn Swordfish Vac Glass, Fenn LS, new model Stellar S2E double, Fenn Bluefin S Carbon Hybrid

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  • Flunder
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8 years 10 months ago #24487 by Flunder
Replied by Flunder on topic Spec Ski - which one?
What are the benefits from shallow seat LS vs deep seat LS?

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8 years 10 months ago - 8 years 10 months ago #24488 by Nige
Replied by Nige on topic Spec Ski - which one?
With the shallow seat you sit higher which allows you to get more power into your paddling stroke, but this only works if you are totally stable.

If in doubt, go for the deep seat, the increase in stability will more than make up for any additional power which you may get from the higher seating position, and you can always pad up the low seat as your stability improves.
Last edit: 8 years 10 months ago by Nige.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Flunder

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8 years 10 months ago #24489 by rohanmcn
Replied by rohanmcn on topic Spec Ski - which one?
Hi, here is a run down on my experiences with spec skis which I hope can be of help.

I paddle in Christchurch NZ, where the trade wind from the east is always blowing at night, meaning lots of chop, surf or "slop" to paddle in. I have both a Hayden PR3 (a step above the Hayden Fatboy mentioned above) and a Fenn Elite. I have probably paddled in the ocean on spec skis for 20 odd years, although a whole new world opened to me three years ago when someone mentioned I should buy a OCR ski for something different.

I find the Hayden PR3 is similar to the Fenn Elite in terms of boat run, feel and stability. They both have a cockpit which I think helps it feel more like a OCR ski than other spec SLSC skis I have paddled.

The PR3 is a good ski, runs well in most conditions from flat to the chop although for me it seems to wallow on the top of runners coming home a bit more than other spec skis. It seems to have a lot less volume in the tail than other spec skis which might have something to do with this. My PR3 has two venturi's which drains water from the cockpit quickly although if your waiting in the surf for a break and not moving, you will find the cockpit's not going to drain and you then have a cockpit of water to move when you start going forward.

I would say that from my experience, the PR3's not a ski for beginners, or someone wanting to learn to paddle in the surf.

I have paddled the Fat Boy ski from Hayden as well and found it to be a good ski as well, not as tippy as a PR3. The review linked in one of the comments above is pretty comprehensive so there is not much more I will add other than you will have to be prepared to put some time into getting comfortable on this ski if your a beginner. Its quite stable in the context of other spec skis I have paddled, but its not really a pure beginners ski.

Dolphin surf craft make a 580 model ski which is a little more stable, seems to have a flatter hull and less volume in the nose than a PR3 so that might be worth trying. I found them to be a solid ski, relatively stable with good boat run. It picked up runners all right and was quite responsive to steer.

I think I would agree with what other posters are saying about looking at a Fenn LS ski. I paddled one this year when they showed up in NZ and for learner paddlers in my surf club, its the way we will be going in the future. They are solid, appear to be well made and seem to run well enough going in and out of the surf. Above all, the price is right for learners (well in NZ anyway). In terms of stability, I thought it was a touch better than the Fatboy, although that's just my opinion based on one paddle.

One advantage of a Fenn LS ski that can be overlooked, is that the foot pedal position is adjustable and that's not usually standard in other spec skis. I am sure I am not the only person who has ordered a spec ski and then spent the next two months sweating wondering if I got the leg length right. Its a small thing, but if you get a spec ski with the wrong leg length, its a big problem.

If your spending a few thousand dollars on any ski, better to wait a few weeks to get something that's going to work for you, rather than hurry into something that's not suitable in the long term.

Good luck with your ski hunt!

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8 years 7 months ago #25157 by rudie
Replied by rudie on topic Spec Ski - which one?
Hi Rohanmcn
I know this post is a bit old now but thanks for your write up. I'm currently looking at getting a Spec Ski again for the rough and tumble of the shore breaks etc. The OC ski is not strong enough and not real easy to keep moving.
In reference to your comment about the Dolphin Dominator 580. Did you mean it is more stable than the PR3 or Fat Boy?
I used to have an old Gibbons Nathan Baggerley ski. I don't know what its model was. I found it too tippy for the side chop. So in my search for another Spec ski there are plenty of Gibbons GR3 and Dolphin 580 about good and cheap.
Any idea how these skis are in regard to stability to the Gibbons Baggerley ski. I would like something in the area of say a Swordfish.
Cheers
Rudie

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8 years 7 months ago #25162 by Ranga
Replied by Ranga on topic Spec Ski - which one?
Most Spec skis are designed for top racers and have high seats, there are some that have slightly lower seats, but if that fails you can always get the seat lowered to its lowest position and this will make a huge difference in the stability. Yes the paddling position is not 100% but hey it becomes usable.
There should be composite manufactures and repairers out there that can do this for you. This also opens up your scope of skis you can find, buy a cheapy and get it modified to suit you.

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8 years 7 months ago #25173 by grasshopper
Replied by grasshopper on topic Spec Ski - which one?
Agree with Ranga's comments above, I have a Dolphin 580 which had the seat lowered by Ranga. Not sure on cost as it was done by previous owner. It's much more stable than the standard 580 and is really nice to paddle, not sure if it would be as stable as a Swordfish but don't think it would be too far off.

The GR3 is similar to the NB and I believe similar stability.

The Interceptor Edge, Gibbons Rhino runner and Hayden Fatboy are all stable spec skis

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8 years 7 months ago #25177 by rudie
Replied by rudie on topic Spec Ski - which one?
Thanks Ranga and Grasshopper.
So Grasshopper
I would assume by your comments then the 580 and GR3 really as so close in their stability even though the GR3 has a lower seat?

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8 years 7 months ago #25178 by rudie
Replied by rudie on topic Spec Ski - which one?
actually couple more questions
So is there a lot of difference re stability between the Rhino Chaser and GR3/580, or is it not really a lot?
Re the seat lowering.
The GR3 already look like their seats are lower than the 580. Is there much clearance under the existing seat to lower it much more?
How is the Rhino as a surf ski?

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8 years 7 months ago #25180 by grasshopper
Replied by grasshopper on topic Spec Ski - which one?
Hi Rudie, from my experience (which admittedly isn't a lot!) and the opinions of friends that have paddled these skis the 580 is more stable then the GR3 and the Interceptor Edge is another big jump in stability from the 580.

I believe the Rhino and Fatboy are similar in stability to the Edge but there aren't any at our club so can't say for sure.

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8 years 7 months ago #25181 by rudie
Replied by rudie on topic Spec Ski - which one?
Thanks Grasshopper
So how close to the stability of a Swordfish or Evo do you think the 580 is?
Cheers
Rudie.

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8 years 7 months ago #25183 by grasshopper
Replied by grasshopper on topic Spec Ski - which one?
I had an Evo for a few years and have paddled the standard 580 a few times and the Evo is much more stable.

If you get the seat lowered in the 580, then it gets close to the Evo in stability

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8 years 7 months ago #25185 by rudie
Replied by rudie on topic Spec Ski - which one?
Thanks Grasshopper
I appreciate your feedback very much
Cheers
Rudie

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7 years 7 months ago #27570 by dj_swilly
Replied by dj_swilly on topic Spec Ski - which one?
I joined an SLSC a few years ago and made the mistake of buying the first second hand ski I sat in. It was a Hayden PR2 which goes quick in flat water but as a beginner I really struggled in the chop or on downwinders. I thought I was just useless at paddling but even experienced paddlers at the club say it's one of the tippier skis they've tried!

I'm looking to 'upgrade' to a more stable ski now but it's difficult in WA, there isn't a great range of skis available to test drive. I tried out as many as I could through the surf club and decided on the deep seat Fenn LS. I did quite a bit of testing of the deep and shallow seat on the ocean and river and found exactly what others have already said - unless you're paddling in a straight line on glass, the extra stability more than makes up for any additional power from sitting higher. To give you an idea, my 1km straight line time trial was the same (to the second) on both, but for a 3km winding loop on a rougher day I was 30s quicker in the deep seat.

The only issue is availability. I first enquired in September and was told there was a new one in a container due at the start of October. I was then told that it had already been sold to someone else, but there would be another one in the next container. I am now being told there isn't one coming to Australia until late December, and when it gets here I have to pay to have it shipped from Sydney to Perth. I've been given the run around so much by the dealer I'm going to start looking for something else!

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7 years 7 months ago #27571 by Ranga
Replied by Ranga on topic Spec Ski - which one?
I can make almost any spec ski more stable buy lowering the seat, I lengthen or shorten the leg length as well. It is a far cheaper option than a new ski.

Generally the seats are made very high for the top few percent that have the balance to handle it. The hulls are very wide so the skis are inherently stable but due to the seating this is not the case. A narrow racing Molokai is more stable than most spec skis because the seat is as low as it can go.

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7 years 7 months ago #27573 by dj_swilly
Replied by dj_swilly on topic Spec Ski - which one?
Are you based in WA? If so I'd definitely be interested in hearing more about getting the seat lowered in the PR2.

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7 years 7 months ago #27576 by Ranga
Replied by Ranga on topic Spec Ski - which one?
Yes, Perth. 0404997901

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