Not again

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11 years 1 month ago #7510 by Rightarmbad
Not again was created by Rightarmbad
So after a week with no ski and facing several more before I can repair it, I really do have to think hard about considering just getting a new one.

I nearly went and got one last week, but nobody has any in stock anyways, so I get a little while to consider.

So the question is, as always, what boat?
I was happy stability wise in the V10, my extended test drive of an Elite SL felt good, but conditions were mild, not sure about the bucket shape though.

Yet to try a Stellar and the rep is not around anyways.
Don't know who to contact in regards to Think, they just make no effort to be known.
Other brands in the same sort of almost incognito don't really exist state.

But, my real concern right now at this second in time is;

BACKUP!

So tell me, who on the Gold Coast of Australia has given you good backup?

Had spares like rudders in stock.

Who has gone out of their way to get you in the boat, in the surf, to let you really know whether the boat is for you or not?

Has fixed small problems better than you expected?

Left you feeling that should you have bought a lemon that you have not blown your hard earned cash?

I'm quite happy at this stage to go with any major manufacturer's boat as I think that most are very similar now anyways.

At this second in time, I am leaning towards a Fenn, not sure of Elite or SL as I haven't had a proper go in the Elite.
Plus there is quite a strong second hand market for these, so a near new is also an option.

I also lean towards another V10 as I know I can sit in the bucket for hours with no problems.


So go ahead and persuade me, give me your own impressions/experiences.

I'm going to buy a couple of rolls of gaffa tape and get my boat going for some creek workouts to keep my fitness up.
But I think that the ocean sirens will be calling by the end of the week.

Please, help me make up my mind.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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11 years 1 month ago #7512 by richards
Replied by richards on topic Re: Not again
Take a drive to the Sunny Coast and see Andy at Paddles in Warana - www.paddleshop.com.au/about-us.aspx

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11 years 1 month ago #7513 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Re:Not again
Rightarmbad wrote:


But, my real concern right now at this second in time is;

BACKUP!

So tell me, who on the Gold Coast of Australia has given you good backup?

Had spares like rudders in stock.

Who has gone out of their way to get you in the boat, in the surf, to let you really know whether the boat is for you or not?

Has fixed small problems .


A wise man indeed is the one who considers this before choosing the ski, doesn't matter how well the ski is regarded,if as we read on this forum time and time again they have a defect or you damage it and you can't get proper support.

This was the deal clincher with my current ski, when buying a top end ski you don't want to doubt what help is available should you need it.

Start there and then see what boats they have to offer.

Always looking for the next boat :)

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11 years 1 month ago #7515 by Stew
Replied by Stew on topic Re:Not again
Rightarmbad wrote:

So after a week with no ski and facing several more before I can repair it, I really do have to think hard about considering just getting a new one.


Don't know who to contact in regards to Think, they just make no effort to be known.


Hello Rightarmbad,

Sorry to hear you are having ski issues, hope you get them resolved quickly.

In reply to Think Kayak making no effort to be known, I am not sure where this opinion comes from. Firstly, a simple google search will reveal our website, and on there, the dealers page, where you can see the contact details for our Gold Coast representative.

www.thinkkayak.com.au/dealers-3/

Secondly, the local series to you, the Pacific Ocean Series, is a well supported and very well organised series of races. Think Kayak are a sponsor of the series, and one of our skis is being provided as a prize at the completion of the series. We also have sponsored athletes competing in the series, with one of our guys leading the points score at present. We are giving back to the sport in your area, which is a very important part of our strategy.

Thirdly, you and I have spoken on here on many topics, most recently on the subject of rudder fins. A quick message directly to me would result in a reply providing as much assistance as possible in helping you with both information on our range, and arranging the possibility of a demo paddle. I think it's rather unfair to suggest we make no effort to be known.

Wishing you all the best on your new ski,


Kind Regards,


Stewart O'Regan



Think Kayak Australia

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11 years 1 month ago #7517 by Draftbuster
Replied by Draftbuster on topic Re:Not again
Give Julian a call at Paddle2Fitness he put paddlers in boats not boats on paddlers if you know what I mean.He also has more then one brand of boat available to to try and If you check his web site I think there is some free tuition with every new boat.He has Think,Stellar and Epic as far as I know and all the dealings Ive had with Julian have been second to none.A bench mark to service.

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11 years 1 month ago #7519 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re:Not again
Hi Stewart.

My comments come from my own experience.

Unlike Epic , which has a local shopfront, 'Think' to me is quite invisible.
Having spent the last 2 years getting over injuries, I have never raced.
I was intending to have a go in the next few months now that I am pretty much recovered.

So for me, the only race I have attended was the last Byron Bay race as it was just down the road from me, a paddling companion was going and it was an easy opportunity.
But for the life of me I cannot remember seeing a Think sales team there.

I live on Currumbin Hill, I have seen Epic, Vajda, Stellar and Fenn all hold demo days here at the creek.
I've never seen a Think demo day and I have no intention of buying a boat I haven't sat in.
The only Think boats I have seen have been because I bumped into some paddlers in them.

So in my own personal experience, if I want to go for a Think, I'm going to have to chase you.
Hardly a high profile marketing plan.

Your response should not be, 'but we have done a good job, you just missed us.' and here's a link.
What you may want to consider is; Why is it I should have formed this personal opinion? How can we better target others in a similar situation?

After all, I am the consumer and you are the sales guys.

Right now, Fenn have done the best job to whoo me. They let me take a brand spanking new boat for an extended paddle, didn't worry that I took it out through surf and got a pretty good feel for the boat.
Tolerated me asking heaps of questions and hanging around comparing boats.

I did ring Julian, but he was off for a weeks trip up north and left it for me to get back to him.
Why not take my number and get back to me?

So tonight I have to go web surfing, and tomorrow I have to go sales representative searching.

The really silly thing, is that I could put several thousand dollars in my pocket tomorrow and I would struggle to get a boat that day.
More than likely I would have to order something, possibly wait for the next shipment and generally sell the thing to myself.
I don't think that any other industry operates like this.
Why is surf ski so special?



:cheer: B) :laugh: :) :silly: :ohmy:
Thought I better put some smiles in there, I'm not trying to be narky, it's just a comment on the state of the industry.
I really do enjoy search and find games, it keeps me awake.
Better shut up now. :blush:

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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11 years 1 month ago #7521 by Kayaker Greg
Replied by Kayaker Greg on topic Re: Not again
RAB, are you a member of a club? Guess I have it real good here in Auckland NZ, our club has over 80 mostly friendly members with all manner of boats on display at our club storage, with the opportunity to try club members boats, or we are well served by a local shop that stocks Think, Epic (my first ski which I bought without a test paddle) Carbonology, also there is a local distributor of Fenn, and a distributor of Stellar who wooed me into my 2nd ski with a test paddle, so yes, very lucky here and which really doesn't help your cause. But I do think you might need to make a little effort to try the boats that you are interested in, rather than buy something that is the easiest to source? Not all the boats here are pushed in my face, but I know they are there from word of mouth or an internet search, that's how I found my distributor of Stellar. I think your being a little harsh on the Think guy. But I know its frustrating having a wad of cash and no where to spend it. :)

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11 years 1 month ago - 11 years 1 month ago #7522 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Re:Not again

Rightarmbad wrote: Your response should not be, 'but we have done a good job, you just missed us.' and here's a link.
What you may want to consider is; Why is it I should have formed this personal opinion? How can we better target others in a similar situation?

After all, I am the consumer and you are the sales guys.

I really do enjoy search and find games, it keeps me awake.
Better shut up now. :blush:


You make some valid points there RAB.

Again like you I had to do a fair bit of digging and seeking to find some boats in WA I wanted to paddle and even once I found the opportunity the setting in which to paddle them wasnt ideal.

I guess I have asked myself the questions you pose but in reflection realised there just isnt the volume of sales to support the sales service you are after.

If a company like Think, Epic, Fenn uses a larger outlet that sells lots of other types of craft from a retail outlet they risk that outlet being less knowledgable about the product (which is what I have found).

Without naming the outlet the local Epic dealer is not one I would go to for advice as they are a general paddling retailer and for want of a better term dont talk the ocean ski lingo.

Guys like Stew who are paddlers and are very knowledgable may not be the best marketing types but once you have developed that relationship I would imagine they have a lot of repeat customers and make themselves available outside of normal retail hours.

I like the fact that there are guys like Stew on facebook through his "mykayakcoach" page and Jarrad Kohlar, an adventure racing coach through "peak adventure" who give a lot of free tips and encouragement, I dont see that coming from bricks and mortar retail outlets.

I bought my last ski from Carbonology who is very small in comparison to the big manufacturers. At the time they didnt have a shopfront in WA and sold through an expat south african (Gary) living here. Gary is by no means a salesman or marketing guru, but he is passionate about all things ocean ski related and will make sure you are looked after. So while I had to seek him out, once that relationship was formed you know you can rely on him.

I would suggest the same for others in WA such as Ty Stedman selling the Vajda skis or Peter Latham selling Stellar skis.

Another thought is if guys like Jarrad, Ty and Stew and I'm sure there are many more in the Eastern states can continue to support ski paddling by being the ski rep for thier area then that is a win win for paddlers despite perhaps not being as accessible as a local "we sell everything to do with the outdoors" store.

So hopefully some of them are reading this and can take a few suggestions on board.

How can you appeal or be more accessible to those who are time poor or computer illiterate.

Demo days that are run in conjunction with events are a great way to reach a lot of paddlers at once. The Mandurah Duel organisers tried to get a paddling expo off the ground here in WA so the morning leading up to the race would offer racegoers an opportunity to see ski's and accessories but it wasnt supported. This was a fantastic opportunity as the setting would have been ideal to get paddlers into boats on the estuary within metres of where they could be displayed.

I have suggested to Gary from Carbonology having a display set up at the Anaconda Adventure Race in Augusta as there are around 700 ski paddlers in one very small area over a weekend!!!

Perhaps if race organisers can invite manufacturers to display at events the idea will catch on.

One thing I've also noticed is that paddlers tend to train in small clusters, it wouldnt take much effort to arrange a demo opportunity for each group at thier usual training time, or even giving a ski to a group member to take along for the others in that ski group to try out.

Always looking for the next boat :)
Last edit: 11 years 1 month ago by AR_convert.

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11 years 1 month ago #7528 by mrak
Replied by mrak on topic Re: Not again
I don't want to weigh into whether Think has a high enough presence in some places, but I do want to say they are definitely worth chasing down and if necessary, waiting for. I waited 7 months for my new one! Supply lines are back in operation now.
I paddle an Epic V10 Ultra and have also just got myself a carbon Think Uno Max. If you have no stability problems in the V10, you will also absolutely love the Uno Max. Seat comfort is incredible, it's fast and there are similarly good reports from a mate in the new carbon Evo. Stewart O'Regan did a great job helping me get the ski and keeping me up to date with the shipment details. He is a really sincere rep and will try to make the customer happy.
Try out a Think Evo or Uno Max if you can. I reckon it was worth the wait.

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11 years 1 month ago #7535 by Paddle2Fitness
Replied by Paddle2Fitness on topic Re:Not again
righty,

unsure who you are but i would rather you not put my name down when you hide behind a user name. If I didn't come across professionally (and if we had a conversation at all) to you in our phone call i am sorry and i must have been driving or i would have written your details down and followed up with you on my return. Adding to this i would have your phone number saved in my iPhone to call you back. When did you call?

Adding to this i have had a Think Evo at every Blast, PACOS and training session so plent of opportunity to trial that ski. Stewart will be sending me up a New EVO II on Monday and i will be collecting a UNO MAX next week so i am happy to show you the brand anytime.

If you are infact keen for a paddle, send me your phone number and i will call you once i have both skis.

Paddle 2 Fitness
Coaching * Events * Ocean Skis

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11 years 1 month ago #7537 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Re:Not again
Why does the phrase "the squeeky wheel gets the oil" come to mind :whistle:

Always looking for the next boat :)

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11 years 1 month ago #7540 by kiwial
Replied by kiwial on topic Re: Not again
Have to agree with MRAK on the Uno Max, absolutely love mine. Think Australia through their website and facebook are super active and (along with Epic US) are putting out the most useful info from any dealers that I have seen
The following user(s) said Thank You: thebigadski

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11 years 1 month ago #7542 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re:Not again
"unsure who you are but i would rather you not put my name down when you hide behind a user name."

I don't hide behind a user name, my full name is in my profile visible to all who seek. ( You have even chatted with me.)
I do not present my name to the forum as a form of general privacy, to stop people searching for my name and finding every board I post to.
Keeping some privacy in the digital age is just common sense.

"If I didn't come across professionally (and if we had a conversation at all) to you in our phone call i am sorry and i must have been driving or i would have written your details down and followed up with you on my return. Adding to this i would have your phone number saved in my iPhone to call you back. When did you call?"

August 11th

"Adding to this i have had a Think Evo at every Blast, PACOS and training session so plent of opportunity to trial that ski. Stewart will be sending me up a New EVO II on Monday and i will be collecting a UNO MAX next week so i am happy to show you the brand anytime.

If you are infact keen for a paddle, send me your phone number and i will call you once i have both skis."

Not interested in an EVO, I've already jumped on one of those.
UNO MAX may perk my ears up, so would a slightly lessor boat.

I did the web search last night and low and behold found that Julian is the Think rep as well as the Stellar, makes my life just that much easier.....
0417752996

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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11 years 1 month ago #7543 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re:Not again
Just checked and it seems that ROB's site enhancements have hidden my last name from view and I cannot seem to find any way of editing it.

Looks like we will get to have our location shown too, I think that would be great with a multi country board like this.
Hope all this modification stuff is finished soon.....

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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11 years 1 month ago #7578 by Stew
Replied by Stew on topic Re:Not again

AR_convert wrote:
Guys like Stew who are paddlers and are very knowledgable may not be the best marketing types but once you have developed that relationship I would imagine they have a lot of repeat customers and make themselves available outside of normal retail hours.


I'm studying marketing, so will have to assess the methods being used, as the reach of some of my methods has not been successful in gaining the attention of all potential customers.

As a brand, Think are very fortunate to have developed some very good relationships, with many repeat purchases, which is of course very encouraging.

AR_convert wrote: I like the fact that there are guys like Stew on facebook through his "mykayakcoach" page and Jarrad Kohlar, an adventure racing coach through "peak adventure" who give a lot of free tips and encouragement, I dont see that coming from bricks and mortar retail outlets.


I can't claim to be the brains behind MyKayakCoach.com. That is in fact Jim Walker. I'm very fortunate that the Think brand has an association with such a good coach. Good to hear you enjoy his Facebook page so much.

Think Kayak does have its own Facebook page, where I try to keep people up to date on all our happenings, events, new products, race results etc.


AR_convert wrote: So hopefully some of them are reading this and can take a few suggestions on board.

How can you appeal or be more accessible to those who are time poor or computer illiterate.

Demo days that are run in conjunction with events are a great way to reach a lot of paddlers at once. The Mandurah Duel organisers tried to get a paddling expo off the ground here in WA so the morning leading up to the race would offer racegoers an opportunity to see ski's and accessories but it wasnt supported. This was a fantastic opportunity as the setting would have been ideal to get paddlers into boats on the estuary within metres of where they could be displayed.



One thing I've also noticed is that paddlers tend to train in small clusters, it wouldnt take much effort to arrange a demo opportunity for each group at thier usual training time, or even giving a ski to a group member to take along for the others in that ski group to try out.


Some really good ideas and suggestions, and I will take them all on board as I plan for the coming year.
The following user(s) said Thank You: thebigadski

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11 years 1 month ago #7579 by Stew
Replied by Stew on topic Re:Not again
Mrak and Kiwial, thanks for the kind comments, it's much appreciated.

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11 years 1 month ago #7583 by MhojoNZ
Replied by MhojoNZ on topic Re:Not again
I can vouch for excellent back-up/support from Malcolm Hall at Carbonology (and Hein in South Africa)

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11 years 1 month ago #7585 by kipower
Replied by kipower on topic Re: Not again
hi there

Ocean paddler have a seller on the coast

look on their site for details
i have a custom Horizon you can have for 1500 ill drive it up to you ....
its like the fenn xt and close to the v10, i found the v10 a little tippier than my ski also another option is wave master ipurchased a full carbon boat with custom spray work for 3k and im telling you shes a fast boat in deed i love it it has a nice deep bucket which suits me great no hip pinching or pins and needls at all shes a dry boat the only down fall is it has spec ski foot wells which takes a little to get use to but i did some re ajusting and its great , again have a look at the web site chat to col hes great and of course at ocean paddler have a chat to dean.

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11 years 1 month ago - 11 years 1 month ago #7586 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Re:Not again

Stew wrote: I can't claim to be the brains behind MyKayakCoach.com. That is in fact Jim Walker. I'm very fortunate that the Think brand has an association with such a good coach. Good to hear you enjoy his Facebook page so much.


Oops, my bad :blush:

As you say from a marketing perspective I guess it's not a bad thing to be associated with Jim, rather than dodgy daves kayak shop ;)

Interesting how when I think of the "think" brand on the eastern states I think of mykayakcoach, perhaps there's some marketing lessons in that B)

Thats why a lot of research is done into how people get thier info and where from. I am in my last year of registered nursing and did a unit last semester on health promotion which uses all manner of marketing to get health messages across, I found the marketing and research areas facinating.

Always looking for the next boat :)
Last edit: 11 years 1 month ago by AR_convert.

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11 years 1 month ago - 11 years 1 week ago #7707 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: Not again
So my saga continues.

A new problem is evolving.
I don't have a ski and I am now approaching 4 weeks without a paddle.

I have never been out of a boat this long, and with only slightly over 12 months sitting in one behind me, I have struck a new problem.

I've forgotten how to paddle and balance a ski.
I don't feel like I am going to fall out, but the ski's I tried will no longer sit steady for me and move around a lot as I paddle.
My stroke is also gone to shit, my hands don't even fall into place on the paddle anymore and I found myself having to keep moving them to keep them centered.
I have very little forward reach and my precision putting the paddle in just not there.

So now I am trying to evaluate new skis and I have no boat to be a control, made worse by me having now regressed in my general boat skills.
It really makes getting a solid impression of different ski quite hard.

But a quick test has thrown up something interesting.
A few km's in the creek to form some preliminary thoughts.

I didn't even consider a smaller craft like the Stellar SES, but a paddle of one was a good thing.
First up I jumped in an SE thinking that it would be the most similar to my V10.

Nup, it's just weird, the bucket is tight side to side, but fore and aft, there is just no one place to sit, it feels like it is made for a giant and there is no feeling of oneness with the ski.
I did get the highest top speed in that boat though.
Very wide catch.
Also the first ski I have sat in that accommodated big feet with a taller footboard.

Next, I jumped in the SES, mainly because it was a lot narrower and offered a far better catch than the quite wide SE. I also believe in giving things ago even if my initial thoughts were that is too small.

Much better, the ski felt like it was very 'chuckable', with a good connection to the ski.
A slightly slower top speed, probably because it is shorter, but felt to be easier to paddle in the 13 to 14kmh range.
Overall, I like it, but I worry about it's lack of volume for a bigger type.

Next up, The Think UNO MAX, amazingly similar to the SES in conectiveness, due in no small part to an excellent bucket, I was set up slightly too long and my thighs touched down on the front of the bucket and tended to rock it, but it was a very good bucket.
This boat also seem to have the point of where the secondary stability comes into play, to be very well tuned to a taller paddler.

Most boats allow just a tad too much tilt before I feel it start to firm up, and for a taller paddler this puts my center of gravity quite a long way over to the side.
This boat seemed to start getting solid just where I wanted it.
The rear of the boat also seemed to just go where it was told.

This thing felt like a rocket, and I happen to have a couple of little boat wakes to play on.
I believe there may be something to these muted hard chines.
I can't wait to get it in the real water.

All boats were amazingly close in time over a hard half km.
Close enough that my margin of error in such a simple test would allow no way of separating their flat water speed.

So now, I really need to get in some sort of boat, as my frame of reference is shot and my paddling sucks.

My head hurts......

Hopefully, just getting in something and getting a couple of hours of paddling and all will return.

Many thanks to Julian for traveling down and showing me some boats.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson
Last edit: 11 years 1 week ago by Rightarmbad.

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