Ski vs kayak

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15 years 6 months ago #2691 by Shaun
Ski vs kayak was created by Shaun
In the process of looking for a faster boat for the flat days, I have been debating between getting a faster ski and a sprint K-1. I currently paddle an S1-R and used to have an S1-X and a Black Marlin (Greg Barton's first ski, very tippy). When I sold the S1-X, I was planning on getting an S1-X Special to replace it, and this was the plan but I do want some other input. I paddle in the Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest, and weather here is fairly cold in the winter, but not nearly as rough as it is in the oceans, but can get quite a bit of windchop.

I was to the point that I wasn't really even thinking about a kayak anymore because a ski will be better for most of the paddling that I do, but I ran into a local K-1 Sprint coach today. He was saying how he didn't like surfskis because they don't allow the paddler to push on the balls of their feet. I am used to pushing on my heel and arch, and it seems that this would be a more effective transfer of power anyways. I paddled my dad's KayakPro Jet today, and just couldn't get used to the stupid tiller stearing system either.

So, I am hoping to get some thoughts from some people who have paddled both sprint kayaks and surfskis to see what their thoughts are on what method is better. I was thinking that I should be able to fabricate a system similar to a ski inside of a kayak instead of a tiller, but it seems like more trouble than it is worth.

Anyways, does anyone have any thoughts on tiller vs foot pedels, or pushing with heels vs the balls of your feet? I am fairly sure that a ski will fit the type of paddling that I do better, but I want to get all the info that I can before dropping this much money.

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15 years 6 months ago #2692 by garykroukamp
Replied by garykroukamp on topic Re:Ski vs kayak
I paddle both , the ski on the sea and K1 on flat water and rivers. I would say for your situation, the ski would be more versatile as you can pretty much go out in any conditions, whereas the K1 would be limited by bad weather or strong wind. Falling over in a K1 a way off shore is no fun.

I don't have an opinion on the steering systems, but you would probably get used to whichever you choose.

Gary

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15 years 6 months ago #2694 by YBA/Jim Murray
Replied by YBA/Jim Murray on topic Re:Ski vs kayak
I agree with Gary and am just starting in a surfski. It takes a bit of getting used to, but man is adaptable Powering off the ball of the foot is for a boxer, but I don't believe it is necessary for a paddler- look at the new K1 footboards.
The thing to do is go with what you like. Maybe a hybrid like a Mohican?

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15 years 6 months ago #2695 by Shaun
Replied by Shaun on topic Re:Ski vs kayak
Thanks Gary. I figured that I should be able to get used to the K-1 stearing system, but it might take a while. I would be keeping the S1-R, so if the water is too big, I will still have that option. I am curious to hear what your thoughts are on what is more efficient, using your heel to push in a ski, vs the ball of your feet in a K-1. This was the main issue that the local flat water coach had with using a ski vs a kayak.

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15 years 5 months ago #2696 by nell
Replied by nell on topic Re:Ski vs kayak
Shaun, I use a ski, k1, and a Mohican which is set up with a tiller and a full footboard.

I don't think that whether you push from your heels or your forefoot makes much difference "at marathon pace" because the foot pressure at that pace isn't nearly what it is in a 500/1000 m sprint.

Also, In a K1 or Mohican, you don't have the seat bucket under your thighs, and, in those boats, it's a bit more important to have a good solid full foot board contact that is not encumbered by moving pedals. On the other hand, in a ski with a regular hump under your knees, you can't get that nearly straightened 'on-side' knee through which you transfer force to the foot. Some of that force gets transferred to the backside of the knee hump as a result, as well as to both pedals.

As far as tiller vs pedals, I prefer a tiller on flatwater but only if I am in a boat like a K1 or the Mohican, because there is more area of contact on a full footboard. I have used the Mohican with tiller in waves, and while it works ok, it's not nearly as good as pedals. Think of how much rudder movement you use (left-right-left) while surfing and weaving from bump to bump with your ski/pedal setup and how quickly you can do that. That's what's so much more difficult to do with a tiller - you just can't input to the rudder nearly as quickly.

On a slightly different note, I do see tremendous value in training with a K1 on flatwater. In the K1, provided it's tippier than your ski, you are forced to learn to apply power to the blade while you have fewer points of contact between you and the boat, i.e. no seat back, no knee hump, and are oftentimes in a precarious position balance-wise. This allows you to better develop your balance, your torso strength/stability, your posture - but only if you challenge yourself with it. You can't hide in a tippy k1.

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15 years 5 months ago #2697 by StuartXpat
Replied by StuartXpat on topic Re:Ski vs kayak
As is pretty common in South Africa at least, I have pedals in my K1. I personally find the tiller thing a pain. My foot board reached to the ball of my foot and my pedals are just toe length. I have absolutely no problem pushing. You could probably buy a K1 pedal setup from any one of the SA manufacturers. I'll post a pic.

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15 years 5 months ago #2698 by kanukayakar
Replied by kanukayakar on topic Re:Ski vs kayak
Hi Shaun !Very interesting topic.I think every system has different purpose.For k1 tiler is better,because You don't need to steer too quickly and You need to push very hard with your legs which is better possible on tiler system. Does not matter how long You paddle.On surf ski the paddler needs to steer very quickly in response to catch the waves.The other issue is the hump which prevents the full body rotation.I am novice in surf ski, but by the my logic. if the tiler system was better for surf ski ,Greg Barton and Oscar Chalupski would make their skis with tiler.And the ICF kayaks would use pedals.Manny years ago some sprint kayak companies experimented with pedals and give up the idea.Personally , I would like surf ski without hump, k1 footrest with small pedals on the top and k1 seat in the bucket. The extra water!? The extra water is gonna keep the surf ski low and help me not to swim too often!

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15 years 5 months ago #2699 by StuartXpat
Replied by StuartXpat on topic Re:Ski vs kayak
the footstrap gets in the way of the setup a bit but I think you can see how it works.

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15 years 5 months ago #2700 by StuartXpat
Replied by StuartXpat on topic Re:Ski vs kayak
take 2

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15 years 5 months ago #2701 by StuartXpat
Replied by StuartXpat on topic Re:Ski vs kayak
take 3

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15 years 5 months ago #2702 by Shaun
Replied by Shaun on topic Re:Ski vs kayak
Thanks everyone for the quick replies. While I know that the idea of a sprint K-1 is that you shouldn't be stearing all the time, but I think it is the whitewater slalom racer in me that wants to be always correcting, and when I paddle tiller equipt boats, they drive me crazy because they don't let me. Xpat, your set-up sounds like what I would want to install if I ever do get a tiller equipt K-1. I have never seen that on a K-1 in the states.

Nell, thanks a lot for your post, it was very helpfull in many ways. As I posted before, I am also a slalom kayak racer, where I am constantly making corrections. I think that is the reason that I like the pedals because I am always wanting to be making small corrections. Also, I never thought about using the more contact points of a ski to help in what you are loosing from being relatively loose in a K-1. That put a lot of things into perspective for me.

Also, I looked into a Mohican. I might want to see if I can find one close to demo before I make up my mind on a boat. Looks like it could be what I am looking for.

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15 years 5 months ago #2703 by StuartXpat
Replied by StuartXpat on topic Re:Ski vs kayak
Just another thought. I push with the balls of my feet in my K1 because my feet have to be angled more to fit under the deck. I don't think there is any difference in force applied when compared to heel pushing on the ski.

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15 years 5 months ago #2710 by paddlingfool
Replied by paddlingfool on topic Re:Ski vs kayak
I paddle both , but prefer tiller steering in the K1, it has a much more precise action . The pedal system is better for a ski though , because it reacts faster.

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