best boat for flat water

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6 months 1 week ago - 6 months 1 week ago #39563 by bradgross2013
im 5.8 and weigh 160 pds and in the market for a new boat, i currently own a v8 and a g3 think evo. i am going to race flat water this year so speed is my number one concern. the 4 boats im considering are a stellar falcon, a think six, a epic v9 and a epic v8 pro. should i just paddle the evo? is it faster than the boats listed? my balance is good in the evo and am able to paddle hard on flat water. if i want to stay under 20 ft what should i get?
Last edit: 6 months 1 week ago by bradgross2013.

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6 months 1 week ago #39564 by Atlas
Replied by Atlas on topic best boat for flat water
A K1 would be faster than all the skis you have listed because they are specifically designed for racing on flat water. If you don't want a kayak because you're concerned about flooding the boat; you might consider the Carbonology Sport - Feather.

Current boats
Epic V10L Ultra, Carbonology Sport Boost LV X, Fenn Bluefin, Nelo 510, Fenn XT double, Nelo 600, Expedition Kayaks Azure

Previous boats
Spirit PRS, Fenn Swordfish, Fenn XT, Fenn Swordfish S, Think Zen, Epic V10L Club, Epic V9 Ultra, Carbonology Sport Boost LV
Most with DK rudders

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6 months 1 week ago #39565 by wesley
Replied by wesley on topic best boat for flat water
Your Evo is faster than these skis you mentioned provided all are incomparable layups. If you like the bucket on your Evo then you will really like the think six bucket since it is more narrow to suit your weight. Put a 5 inch on your Think Six to maximize its flat water speed. The six is more low volume your Evo so you will like that too. I really, really like my Six for ocean paddling due to overall speed/stability/bucket. The Falcon of which I have 60 miles on it is up for my review in a month. I am in very good running shape, starting to build my cycling speed since the first of the season, and not in very good paddling shape for the first time in 18 years. I will compare the Six to the Falcon back to back, so will have a more definitive answer in a month soon as I am in better paddling shape.

I only paddled the V9 twice but is more suited for the ocean due to design but some can power it up on flat water. You will like the shallow bucket of V9 and will fit you nicely at your weight and size. I would consider the 550 SCS 2G which I will have in a few weeks after reviewing the 550 2g in WWR construction. At 22lbs the 550 2g SCS, I am predicting will be the fastest of this very good group of intermediate skis with a 5-inch weedless rudder. The V9 and V8pro are a notch below the above since wider, and slower. The other choice is the Stellar SEI with a 4-inch rudder in excel layup. It and the 550 SCS based on my experience would be the fastest. The bucket on the Nelo's are super comfortable. hope this helps.

Wesley Echols
SurfskiRacing.com
#1 in Surfski Reviews.

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6 months 1 week ago #39576 by Steve Hansen
Stick with the boat you have until you can paddle an elite ski. You can do this by padding up the seat and it will also give you more power in your stroke. Some skis are as fast as K1's, they just don't accelerate as fast. Flat water racing is about being able to respond to surges during a race. It's just easier in a light weight boat.

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6 months 1 week ago #39577 by zachhandler
Speed differences between different boats and even different classes of boats are not as large as we all think. Look up Greg Barton’s table of predicted 10 km time trial results for the different epic boats. The margins are surprisingly slim. Within a single class of both differences are even smaller. In my experience fit and ergonomics make a huge difference In flat water performance. A bucket that works well for you and puts you in a position that works for your body will allow you to paddle harder for longer. The Evo G3 has outstanding Ergonomics. It puts you in a really powerful position, better than most other skis I’ve tried. It’s also a faster hull than any of the boats that you mentioned. I would stick with the evo.

Current Skis: Epic v10 g3, NK 670 double, NK exrcize, Kai Wa’a Vega, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X
Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Nelo 550 g2, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy
The following user(s) said Thank You: daisylui, bradgross2013

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6 months 1 week ago #39581 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic best boat for flat water

Stick with the boat you have until you can paddle an elite ski. You can do this by padding up the seat and it will also give you more power in your stroke. Some skis are as fast as K1's, they just don't accelerate as fast. Flat water racing is about being able to respond to surges during a race. It's just easier in a light weight boat.

Hmm, while I don't disagree with this, I think that wash-riding is absolutely key. Nobody wins a flat water race by going to the front and leading all the way. (well, I did, in one race, but that was in a low division where nobody knew what they were doing and it was only 6.4km - almost a sprint).

A K1, even an older model, will ride other K1 and ski washes better. You can save up to 33% of the energy wash-riding.

The hull shape really affects how well the boat rides, and cuts through, a wash.

The OP didn't mentioned portages, so I assume that their flat racing doesn't include these. A ski would be terrible for a portage.

Older, fast K1s can be bought for tuppence.

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6 months 4 days ago #39591 by agooding2
Replied by agooding2 on topic best boat for flat water
While faster, the biggest limitation for K1's is stability. If you aren't stable in the boat, you will be slower, not faster. A race K1 (maybe 16" wide) is faster in the right hands, but the trainer K1s (around 20" wide) will not be any faster than your Evo or my Nelo 550 at about 18".

Wesley has the right answer for now, his test of the Evo 3 shows that's speed differences are pretty minimal in the intermediate class. See if you can demo some faster boats, but if you can't balance it it won't be faster for you.

-- Andrew

Nelo 550L, Streuer Fejna, Nelo Viper 55

Braca XI 705 EL blade, 17K shaft
Braca XI 675 marathon blade, 19K shaft
Braca IV 670 soft blade, 19K shaft

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6 months 4 days ago - 6 months 4 days ago #39597 by bradgross2013
its important to note my motivation lies in racing the usca nationals this year, the class i want to race is limited to 20 ft long. i had a v10L in the past and had no problem with stability on flat water.
Last edit: 6 months 4 days ago by bradgross2013.

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6 months 3 days ago #39598 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic best boat for flat water
So the usa marathon nationals don't include portages? Weird

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6 months 3 days ago - 6 months 3 days ago #39600 by mcnye1
Replied by mcnye1 on topic best boat for flat water
Hello Brad. The fact that you are competing at USCA Nationals and are limited to 20' long tells me that you are planning to paddle Touring class. That class also has a minimum width limit of 17" at the (4") waterline. For reference, the relevant part of the USCA specs is pasted below. (Entire document can be found here: (www.uscanoe.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/...ition_Rules_2019.pdf) J. Sea Kayak: any single kayak, sit-on-top or surf ski with a maximum overall length of 18’ and a 4” waterline beam of at least 8.5% of length. K. Touring: Touring: Any single kayak, sit-on-top, or surf ski with a maximum overall length of 20’ and a 4” waterline beam of at least 17”. L. Unlimited: any single kayak, sit-on-top, or surf ski. At Nats, all boats are measured, and a number of the boats listed above definitely will not fit in Touring Class. For example, ICF K1 boats, SEI, and V-10 are definitely too narrow. I am not sure about the 550, Evo and V9, but the V-8Pro, V10 Sport and Falcon definitely do fit in the class. I have paddled the Touring Class at two Nats and historically the V10 Sport has been the boat to beat. Last year was the first year for the Falcon but there were only a couple there.Since you already have a V8, you should take it to use in the Sea Kayak Class. Other boats in that class are the S-18 and the 18' decked boats from Stellar and Epic.Last year, Nates were held in Warren PA, and I paddled all three classes. The course on the Allegheny River was shallow with fast current and one set of significant rapids. Due to shallow water with rocks, having an over the stern pop-up type rudder was an advantage. There were no portages. I do not know much about the course in Newaygo Michigan, but I understand that there is a portage. I plan to arrive on Tuesday night so I can scout the course on Wednesday. The races are Friday, Sat and Sunday. Hope to see you there. Pictures below is the unlimited boat in the rapids last year.
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Last edit: 6 months 3 days ago by mcnye1. Reason: typo

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6 months 3 days ago #39601 by agooding2
Replied by agooding2 on topic best boat for flat water
Here's an interesting post about Touring class: blog.xcski.com/2018/08/10/usca-nationals-day-1-touring-class

I know that a friend who raced a Stellar SR three years ago and ended up winning had to switch boats before the start as the boat she had was too narrow, so she had to borrow a different SR that was legal in width. This year she'll be racing a Stellar Falcon which is faster than the SR.

I need to jig my 550 and see if that is legal under the touring rules, as the 18.1" max width is not at the 4" waterline, if the SEI is too narrow then the 550 and Evo may be as well.

This is the most recent set of rules I can find, 2019, no specific boats mentioned www.uscanoe.com/competition/

-- Andrew

Nelo 550L, Streuer Fejna, Nelo Viper 55

Braca XI 705 EL blade, 17K shaft
Braca XI 675 marathon blade, 19K shaft
Braca IV 670 soft blade, 19K shaft

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6 months 3 days ago #39602 by bradgross2013
the course has a portage

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6 months 3 days ago #39604 by waverider
Replied by waverider on topic best boat for flat water

the course has a portage

If the class you are racing in has portages then your best option is a masters k1 say stability 3, a stab 1 or 2 takes years to master if you havent paddled k1..It still may take time to learn your balance. Start trying to run with a ski and you are going to have an expensive stumble

If you can avoid competing in portage classes, I dont as I am in masters, then work towards an elite ski, These are not too far a stretch if you are talking dead flat water, rather than just sheltered.

As others have mentioned flatwater marathon tactics are completely different to open water ski races where the use of washriding and sudden breakaways are important. Yes K1s can accelerate quicker, but only if you are 100% on them. An elite ski is way easier to handle than a K1. The better balance and rudder control of a ski makes side washriding easier than a k1 which takes good skill levels to do in a k1. Hence most middle ability k1 paddlers will tail ride rather than side ride.

Speed comparisons are all well and good but if you are doing the longer distances it will come down to which boat can sustain high cruise with the least effort for a solid 2 hours or so. So the recorded difference over the first hour is one thing but the difference increases once you get into the second hour.

Out of the skis I have tested lately for a flat water race ski my pick would be the shorter NK Nitro, because that fits me and has a k1 feel about it with a low hump allowing maximum leg drive (you dont need a hump for flat water, so take that into consideration, it just limits leg drive on sprints)

Also source a small k1 sized weed deflecting rudder

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6 months 1 day ago #39608 by mickeyA
Replied by mickeyA on topic best boat for flat water
At first I thought you were somewhat new, asking if evo3 was faster than v8, et al. Yes, evo is faster than others you listed. But then you mentioned competing in a national event, so I assume you know what you are doing and maybe asking for fastest “short” boat. McGregor Rhythm by Knysna Racing is short, light, and fast. McGregorClassic is even faster. Similar to K1 but Surfski. There are some in the USA. Most casual paddlers cannot stay upright on them, so secondary market is not great. If you can find one, consider it. I have the rhythm and it is really high performance, Moreno than my other elite ski (v12). Good luck in race.

KR McGregor Rhythm, V10Sport, Swordfish S, Fenn Tarpon S, Fenn XT, Twogood Chalupski, Findeisen Stinger spec. Had: V12, Stellar SE, Huki S1-X, Burton wedge2, Fenn Tarpon

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5 months 4 weeks ago #39610 by bradgross2013
picked up my six today, real short paddle but liked what i felt. i will put 10 or so miles on it tmrw and will have a much better idea.
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