Marathon to Surfski?

  • AndyN
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14 years 9 months ago #3496 by AndyN
Marathon to Surfski? was created by AndyN
Hi All,

I'm a paddler with 20+ years experience of racing and training in marathon and sprint kayaks who lives 200 metres from the beach. I've never paddled a surfski but plan to try soon.
I've a few questions:

Typically being able to paddle any marathon/sprint boat does this mean that I won't need to worry about using/buying a super stable ski and can short cut straight to something more racey?

If yes whats a good first boat?

And what would you consider to be a great target race for a couple of years time?
The criteria I'm looking at would be:

Great location possibly combine with family holiday.
Challenging but not to duanting race. (Don't want to paddle round of the back with no one else in sight)

Cheers

Andy

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  • StuartXpat
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14 years 9 months ago #3497 by StuartXpat
Replied by StuartXpat on topic Re:Marathon to Surfski?
Hi Andy - it is difficult to answer your question without knowing where you are. The first bit is easy - skis are more stable than K1s so you should have no problem staying in any of the faster boats.

As far as which one to buy, the best is to do as many dealer demos as possible or borrow boats from other paddlers, even if its just to try the cockpit while on the beach. Then I would try to get a used boat that appeals for whatever reason. As much as the different manufacturers would like to tell us, there is not much difference in any of the top boats.

I have bought a lot of Custom Kayaks boats because they are competitive, strong and the company is very easy to deal with and willing to do the extra bit to help out with shipping etc. Equally, I have done some very successful racing on Fenn boats that I have borrowed.

As far as an event to aim at, I must promote the Caribbean Mini Tour that I help organize. 3 races on 2 different islands in the Caribbean in a 10 day period. Then the trip I love is the Durban World Cup followed by Scottbrugh to Brighton. Missed them this year because I did the Cape Point Challenge in December - another fantastic race.... Again, all depends on where you are.

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14 years 9 months ago #3499 by richtlr
Replied by richtlr on topic Re:Marathon to Surfski?
Hi Andy
There is little to split any of the top boats for flat water speed but they do handle differently on the sea due to design variations, whether its rocker, hull shape, width, rudder design etc'. An important variation is comfort as you will notice when you try out some boats. This can make a difference in your confidence and therefore how fast you go in rough seas or side on to the swell. I currently have a Red 7 Pro which is fast and handles great but I find a little tippy in a side on swell which slows me down, although this doesn't seem to bother some people. One of the liveliest and fastest boats I've used in a race is the Fenn Elite, but I could not get comfortable enough in its seat to warrant going out and buying one. For quality of manufacture I think Epic are right up there but then you have to pay more, where as South African made boats seem good value for money. Basically as with a K1 you need to paddle different boats to find the one thats best for you.

Good luck.

Richard

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  • AndyN
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14 years 9 months ago #3501 by AndyN
Replied by AndyN on topic Re:Marathon to Surfski?
Thanks for the answers guys, what I should have mentioned is that I live on the south coast of England in the UK and unfortunately at the moment there is no one else to my knowledge paddling Surf Ski's in this area.
Myself and a couple of my K1 training buddies have been looking at this site and have become somewhat inspired and whilst the conditions here won't rival the Southern Hemisphere I can see now reason why it shouldn't provide some fun paddling and could just become a little more popular.
I'll try and get a couple of tests in some different ski's but the for me the chances of picking something up second hand unfortunately seem a little remote so at some point I'll probably just have to take the plunge.

Cheers

Andy

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  • StuartXpat
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14 years 9 months ago #3502 by StuartXpat
Replied by StuartXpat on topic Re:Marathon to Surfski?
Not sure how active these guys are but if you are on Facebook you could try the Dorset Surfski community

www.facebook.com/inbox/?ref=mb#/group.php?gid=11224748262

Maybe you could meet up and see their boats.

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14 years 9 months ago #3504 by aw6644
Replied by aw6644 on topic Re:Marathon to Surfski?
Like yourself I have recently got into surf skiing after doing Sprint and Marathon Kayaking on and off for 20 years.

Over the past year I have paddled several boats and have been suprised by their different level of stability et al.
I currently have a Red7 Surf Pro 70 which seems to offer a good mix of stability and speed even in very rough waters. However the least stable boat I have used was also a Red7 (forget the name) but this was an older model.

What I would probably recommend is sourcing yourself a second hand boat at first, possibly even an ILS model which is shorter and slightly wider to at least give yourself a feel for the sport and some confidence in rougher conditions. Providing you haven't paid over the odds you can easily sell this for a similar price whether on the Reading website or ebay. My current boat was an ex demo that I bought from childsplay surf in Wales. They have a good range of new boats and he (Mike) has experience in most of them. As he is very close to Porthcawl beach he may be happy for you to try one or two out. The Custom Kayaks are good value.

Ivan Lawler sells Epics in the UK and as you may know is based at Elmbridge in Weybridge. These are great boats but at the top end in terms of cost.

I also know a friend who is selling a very old retro surf ski for about ?50! It does the job but is a little on the heavy side!

Good luck in whatever you chose

Andrew

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  • AndyN
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14 years 9 months ago #3505 by AndyN
Replied by AndyN on topic Re:Marathon to Surfski?
Thanks Andrew, Yes I'm aware of Ivan's involvement and will try and find out if he's got any demo boats available. I think also I might try and have a trip out to Wales if childsplay have any Demo's available?
Just out of interest are you based in over in the west? And is there much in the way of clubs getting involved with ski's in your area?

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  • AndyN
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14 years 9 months ago #3506 by AndyN
Replied by AndyN on topic Re:Marathon to Surfski?
Thanks thats really useful, especially as I've just noticed one of the members is a guy that I know well from Marathon racing so hopefully he will be able to help me try out a Ski!
I'll keep you posted.

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14 years 9 months ago #3507 by rojo
Replied by rojo on topic Re:Marathon to Surfski?
Don't know where they are located but they have a seem to offer all types of skis:

www.childsplaysurf.co.uk

As far as I know, they have been in the surfski and livesaving business for quite a while now. Might be worth asking them about used equipment, clubs, races, ...

Cheers, RoJo

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14 years 9 months ago #3508 by aw6644
Replied by aw6644 on topic Re:Marathon to Surfski?
Am actually based in Elmbridge myself and have paddled there on and off for years.

A few of us head down to the Witterings/Bracklesham every month or so and as my folks live in Torbay am often out down there.

As a sport it certainly seems to be picking up interest and work/time permiting hope to do my first race at the beginning of September.

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  • AndyN
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14 years 9 months ago #3509 by AndyN
Replied by AndyN on topic Re:Marathon to Surfski?
Yes, I live in Bognor just 10 miles from the Witterings and walking distance from the beach but my paddling has always been on rivers but the whole ski thing looks a lot more entertaining.
The reason I asked about the west is that I'm going on holiday to Cornwall next week and was wondering if there are any clubs that I could hire kit from whilst down there.

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  • StuartXpat
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14 years 9 months ago #3510 by StuartXpat
Replied by StuartXpat on topic Re:Marathon to Surfski?
After giving it a bit more thought, I would probably try to gt hold of a well used spec ski and start at the roots of it all. Since you have a lot of experience paddling, the thing you need is to learn the sea. So endless ins-and-outs and just general playing in the waves will get you started. Then you can make some good decisions about a long distance boat that will suite your area and the conditions you normally paddle in.

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14 years 9 months ago #3514 by AndrewN
Replied by AndrewN on topic Re:Marathon to Surfski?
Coming from my experience (about 5 years of river, flatwater and sprint paddling in K1's) I can only recommend going straight to a Ski like an Epic, Fenn or Red7. I went to an original Fenn Mako in Durban where the surf is large and I was fine. the new crop of skis are much more stable and the sea in the UK (from what I've seen) is not as hectic as Hawaii, Durban, Australia Gold Coast etc.

You will be frustrated with a spec ski very quickly. Get a Red7 Pro 70 and you'll end up using it for a lot of your flatwater paddling as well - it's fast and super stable.

Cheers

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14 years 9 months ago #3515 by amaycock
Replied by amaycock on topic Re:Marathon to Surfski?
If your interested I am going to sell a 6 month old Custom Kayaks Icon in perfect condition. Genuine reason for the sale....ie splashing out over 2K on a Fenn Elite made from something exotic (Gold Braid?). Based in Bristol and yes good skis are like gold dust!

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  • AndyN
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14 years 8 months ago #3542 by AndyN
Replied by AndyN on topic Re:Marathon to Surfski?
Hi Andrew, I did PM you but assume that you didn't get that message for whatever reason.
How much are you after for the Ski? You may well have already sold it and also it may be a little to early for me as i want to try a few ski's before I buy.

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14 years 8 months ago #3543 by [email protected]
Hi AndyN

Sadly I have to tell you that Andy Maycock was involved in a fatal paddling accident over the weekend. Details are sketchy (reported here:
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/bris...somerset/8179840.stm
www.reading-canoe.org.uk/

Our thoughts are with friends and family.

Rob

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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  • AndyN
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14 years 8 months ago #3544 by AndyN
Replied by AndyN on topic Re:Marathon to Surfski?
Hi Rob,

I'm shocked and stunned by this terrible news, from what I know Andy Maycock was one of the best paddlers in the country at both Marathon and Surf Ski.
The article doesn't make it clear if his son survived but I pray that he did.

My thoughts also go out to his friends and family.

Thank you for the information.

Andy

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  • AndyN
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14 years 7 months ago #3586 by AndyN
Replied by AndyN on topic Re:Marathon to Surfski?
Thanks for the advice guys, and just FYI I went to Childsplay in Wales, great bloke happy to spend the time with us and let us demo various Ski's and I settled on and am now the proud owner of a Red 7 Surf Pro 70 which I've now used a couple of times and both times returned home with a grin so wide you'd have to chissel it off my face :laugh:
Picking up and riding even the confused wind blown chop on the south coast of the UK is a blast......why didn't I do this years ago??

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