Is A Mako XT that slow vs is a V8 really dorky

  • Stanton
  • Visitor
13 years 1 month ago #6145 by Stanton
Hello, this is my first post after lurking for awhile trying to learn. I am Eric and I live in Tampa, FL. Getting ready to purchase first ski. I have been a long time sea kayak guy, current boat is a QCC Q700X. Purchased a SUP last year that I have paddled the shit out of and it has just ruined me for wanting to sit INSIDE of a boat. Damn shame as the Q is only a few months old. Anyway, I have kind of decided that it's going to be a Mako XT or an Epic V8. I have talked to any ski paddler I could get to listen to me and in the process have become thoroughly confused. Maybe too many opinions.

SO, what of my question in the thread topic? I have noticed on Wesley's comparison charts that the XT just seems to score as a highly regarded beginner boat albeit apparently slow as hell. Also, love the idea of the V8's stability but am style conscious enough that I don't want something that looks out of touch. Any more opinions to confuse me further? I am aware from many years of serious road cycling that whatever I purchase is simply a place to begin and that it most likely will not be around in a year or so.

I am 6'2, 52 yo and my current fighting weight is in the 185-190 range.

Looking forward to some ideas. Thanks.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 1 month ago - 13 years 1 month ago #6146 by Dicko
The xt is probably the best beginners ski of all time. While Wesley's chart is very accurate the xt will feel like a rocket to a new paddler. It will also be the most unstable thing you have ever sat on. At 52 the xt will be a challenge but will wet your appetite for more. They are easy to remount, which is important, and fast enough to catch runs etc, which is what ski paddling is all about. In 6 months time when you want to upgrade (to an evo or v10 sport) you will be able to resell it easily.
The trouble with the v8, is that it is an unknown quantity at the moment, and when you want to upgrade, resale may be more difficult.
Last edit: 13 years 1 month ago by Dicko.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Stanton
  • Visitor
13 years 1 month ago #6147 by Stanton
Thanks for the response and let me add a little to the story. My inclination is that the Mako XT makes the most sense for me as it offers a platform into which I can grow. So while I am asking questions how would you outfit yourself if you knew that you were going to begin your learning process in cold waters. Our current water temps are in the high 50's and for a Florida boy that's downright cold, especially this FL boy. Wetsuit or drysuit? Knowing that I will most likely spend a fair ammount of time IN the water I question the drysuit alternative. I have a great Kokotat drysuit although it's a two piece and I have experienced some wet times in full submersion.

Thanks

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 1 month ago #6148 by mckengmsurfski
There are a lot of good options these days in regards to a 'starter' ski. The recent trend seems to be for manufacturers to turn out a super stable (in surfski terms) ski. In addition to the 2 you mentioned, the Honcho Guru, the Custom Kayaks Horizons, and the Huki S1R come to mind. I think Stellar makes one as well. None of these skis are going to seem slow when you're just starting out, so I wouldn't be worrying about that. The next step up would be a V10 Sport, Think Evo, or the like. Even a Custom Kayaks Synergy, which I learned on, would be a reasonable consideration for the next step up.
My understanding is that the V8 is a based on a sea kayak hull and is quite possibly the widest and most stable of the beginner skis. I was fortunate enough to have a look at one and it looks very good, with the same quality finish of all of the Epic skis. It certainly does not look out of touch style-wise, it is a great looking ski with plenty of style. However, my understanding from Epic is that they won't have any available in the US for a couple of months.
The XT seems to be the benchmark beginners ski and I don't think anyone would argue that it would be a good choice.
I would think that if you are a long time athlete, have a good bit of sea kayaking experience, already have a grasp on the basic fundamentals of a proper stroke, are reasonably fit, and plan on paddling the ski on a regular basis (3+ times a week), you would 'outgrow' the V8, Horizons, Guru, or even the XT quite quickly.
My recommendation would be to buy something used (save your money for when you improve and just HAVE to have that Fenn Elite Carbon, Epic V12 Ultra, Think Uno Max or the like), and strongly consider an Epic V10 Sport or Think Evo, as I suspect you would become reasonably comfortable with their stability quicker than you think and you could be paddling either one of those for years to come.
As for learning in cold water, that's not really my area as I live in the SE US and learned in the spring, but I don't think anyone would recommend learning to paddle a ski alone in such conditions regardless of gear. Personally I would take my time and find a nice used ski, keep paddling what I have and am comfortable with for now, then hit the water in the ski come Mid-late March/April, when you can take your time to learn how to remount, etc... without worrying about the hazards of cold water submersion.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 1 month ago #6149 by Jean-Pierre
mckengmsurfski wrote:

... so I wouldn't be worrying about that. The next step up would be a V10 Sport, Think Evo, or the like.
...
I would think that if you are a long time athlete,
...
My recommendation would be to buy something used
...
and strongly consider an Epic V10 Sport or Think Evo, as I suspect you would become reasonably comfortable with their stability quicker than you think and you could be paddling either one of those for years to come.
...


Hi,

this is my first contribution onto site but since I agree with this, I wish to give my own experience; may be this can help.

I'm 42 years old and have 10 years of sea-kayaking behind me (with heavy playing in the wave and tie current, freestyle and kayak surf usage).
Since about 6 months I have a think-evo and this is my first surfski, so I considerer I'm learning.
I'm really happy of mine: my first work was to learn remount and wing paddle usage. According to the past 10 years, and despite some of remount not for exercises, I was really surprised by surfski stability (even with bad weather).

So, if you can test some of them, consider that may be you have already enough stability and experience to feel comfortable with some skis not with 'beginner' label.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Stanton
  • Visitor
13 years 1 month ago - 13 years 1 month ago #6150 by Stanton
mckengmsurfski wrote:

.... However, my understanding from Epic is that they won't have any available in the US for a couple of months.

......As for learning in cold water,.....but I don't think anyone would recommend learning to paddle a ski alone in such conditions regardless of gear.... without worrying about the hazards of cold water submersion.




Actually, I had my hands on a V8 last weekend and had I not been so overwrought with a bad cold I would have test paddled it.

Regarding paddling alone, my plan would be to paddle in a nice protected area that I would feel very comfortable in. This is an area that I have been navigating since I was a teen. I have routinely kayaked there alone. I would think if I was dressed properly and equipped with a leash that I would be fine.

Back to the V8....I have an opportunity to test paddle it this weekend which I plan to do. I also have an opportunity to paddle a Mako XT this weekend if I am willing to drive a few hours.
Last edit: 13 years 1 month ago by Stanton.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 1 month ago #6151 by mckengmsurfski
Cool. The V8 may have been one of the first ones to arrive and was already shipped out. I was at the Epic warehouse 2 weeks ago and they only had their demo and said they wouldn't be getting more for a little while.
Again, the ski looks great to me, but then you've already seen one so you know this... Let us know what you think once you've paddled it, as well as the XT.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 1 month ago - 13 years 1 month ago #6152 by ccchappell
Hi Eric,
I started off in an XT a few years ago and while I do agree with Wesley's assessment (Wesley and I paddle together quite often), I do have to say it is a blast in the waves and downwind. In my opinion, yes it is slower in flat water than the other 19" wide skis, but I had a lot of fun in it learning down wind and riding the small waves we have here in the Northeast US. It is also very easy to remount which is great when beginning. I still have the XT: my son started learning on it last year

I then moved to an Epic V10 Sport, which is definitely faster then the XT, but not as stable and for me and had a "twitchiness" to it that I eventually got used to but did not enjoy in the early stages of paddling the ski. Unfortunately my hips are too wide to fit in the Evo and Huki S1-R, but have paddled with guys who love both of them (think all of them started on an XT then migrated to the Evo or S1-R).

I currently paddle the Stellar SE since its the first 17" ski that fits my hips and leg length best. Wesley did let me paddle the new Stellar SR in the fall a few times, actually did a race in it as well. Super stable (maybe more stable then the XT) and seemed to have pretty good speed from the feel of the boat, but I did not paddle it enough to time trial. Stability did feel like my previous sea kayak (18x Sport). Actually may get one for the family as well as real cold days for me.

As I mentioned, before I started with the XT I paddled an 18X Sport, mostly flat water. Very fast hull for an 18' boat, and really enjoyed paddling it. Couple of the guys we paddle with, specifically Roger Gocking, are right in the pack of 17" skis with their 18Xs. They are very experienced paddlers, but the hull does appear to be fast, so presume the V8 could have some decent potential speed, just not sure how it would compare to a 19 x 19 ski with the same engine pushing it...we keep trying to get Roger into a ski, but he'd then defeat us even more so!!

In my opinion...definitely try out the Huki, Evo and the Stellar SR to compare to the V8 and XT if you can. If you ever get up to New England in the summer, we can definitely find a way to have you try most of the skis.

Good luck!!
Chris
Last edit: 13 years 1 month ago by ccchappell.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 1 month ago #6155 by MikeWoodrow
Dean Gardiner came 15th in the 2010 Hong Kong Dragon Run paddling a Fenn XT - less than 10 minutes behind the winner (paddling a Fenn Elite) over a 25km course.

Dean normally paddles a Fenn Elite and is a freakish downwind paddler, but it goes to show that in 99% of cases it is not the boat that is slow, but the paddler.

I paddle a Think Evo II and I love it. Good seating position and easier to remount than the elite boats which are narrower and generally have lower bucket seat with higher sides.
The following user(s) said Thank You: RonH

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 1 month ago #6157 by nell
All good points above. These "beginner" racing skis are all fairly similar in performances etc. Where they'll differ is in comfort and it's comfort that will make you either love paddling it or want to sell it. So keep that in your mind as well. I dare say it's probably the most important reason why most of us paddle the particular ski that we do.

Erik

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Latest Forum Topics