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Intermediate ski for UK conditions?

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1 year 6 months ago #38733 by Craig Legge
I would appreciate any suggestions or advice on the purchase of an appropriate intermediate ski for UK conditions? 

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  • MCImes
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1 year 6 months ago #38737 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Intermediate ski for UK conditions?
Well since no one else wants to answer I'll take a stab. Correct me if im wrong, but I believe that the UK commonly gets windy, wavy conditions, your water is moderately cool/cold year round, and you have limited bailouts due to cliffs.

For wavy or confused conditions I am a big fan of boats from SA or AU, as they have some of the most extreme waves in the world and in my experience the boats from those places handle waves very well.

My personal favorite intermediate/advanced boat is my Fenn Swordfish-S. The bucket is comfortable to my butt (consideration #1, as a perfect boat can be ruined by an untenable bucket and each butt is different, so try before you buy if you can). Also, its a champ in big, steep, or confused conditions as it has almost no bow slap and has very deep and predictable secondary stability. I hear the Fennix is similar, but has a different bucket.

New boat designs are generally much better compared models from 5-10 years ago. They're more stable for a given beam, they surf better, buckets and knee humps have been refined and are generally considered more comfortable.
If you have a current-generation boat from almost any major maker and the bucket fits you well I bet you'll be happy.

An intermediate boat is probably 48cm on rougher water or 45cm on calmer water. 48cm class would be Fenn XT, Epic V10 Sport (but this has a flat keel which is not good for waves), Think Evo, Stellar SR, Kai'wa'a Vega Flex, Huki SR, Nelo 540, plus others im probably forgetting. In many cases, people buy what they can find, as if surfski is not popular where you live it can be hard to find a specific boat unless buying new.

I would also recommend a rudder that is sized for the waves you intend to paddle as well. I have a 23cm high chord rudder from DK rudders and it keeps control in haystack slop or screaming down a 3m face. the steeper and bigger waves are, the bigger your rudder should be, topping out at ~25cm for the biggest conditions (like big days in Hawaii, South Africa, or Australia)

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1 year 6 months ago #38738 by Craig Legge
Thank you for taking the time to provide such a detailed answer, much appreciated; this gives me some variety to work with- trying to find a second hand Epic or Fenn at a reasonable price point is challenging in the UK. 

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1 year 6 months ago #38739 by [email protected]
While I also love my Swordfish S, another brand which seems to have a big (perhaps "loud"!) presence in the UK is Carbonology Sport.

For the last two months I've been paddling the Zest X, which is another intermediate boat well worth looking at.  I find it a very similar stability to the SF S, but much more comfortable (I have a notoriously difficult to please backside, and find the SF S seat rubs my coccyx.  I had to install a bum pad to be able to use it for any length of time).

The Zest X is quite a big volume boat though, and is designed for 80kg and up paddlers.  I'm about 84kg at present (thanks Covid, NOT).  and it feels good, even in shorter, steeper runs.

In the UK, Alan Hunter is your man.  Search for Carbonology Sport UK (or Alan Hunter) on Facebook.

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...
The following user(s) said Thank You: Craig Legge

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1 year 6 months ago #38742 by Carcharodon
UK conditions?  Get one with a waterproof cabin, mate!

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1 year 6 months ago #38745 by mrcharly
I paddle in northern scottish conditions.

MCImes summary is correct. Many areas have limited options for getting out. There are areas where cliffs extend for miles.

Sea temp is cool. 5-13C.

Waves are often short and choppy.

One person's intermediate is another person's 'tippy' (or bathtub).

How much experience do you have and where in the UK will you be paddling?

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1 year 6 months ago #38746 by Craig Legge
Thanks for the advice,  mrcharly. Good point re. varying interpretations of  ‘intermediate’. I would be comfortable in a Fenn Swordfish in a fair running sea for 20 clicks or so in SA; fitness and technique would need to be much improved for anything more. I have just arrived in the Uk, so have no idea where to start, but the closest sea access would be weekend trips to anywhere between Christchurch and Dover, most accessible being between Dungeness and Folkestone . The swell, as you point out, appears to be generally choppy, short and steep, ( But I could be wrong in my initial assessment)  compared to what I am used to in SA, so I have been wondering whether a shorter ski ( like a Nelo) may be a better option, (also easier to store with the more limited space in houses in the UK) . I may be completely misguided, but just  exploring options to try and get back into the sport in the UK. Thanks for taking the time to respond. 

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1 year 6 months ago #38747 by [email protected]
Hey Craig,

I have just arrived in the Uk, so have no idea where to start, but the closest sea access would be weekend trips to anywhere between
Christchurch and Dover, most accessible being between Dungeness and
Folkestone

There's an ex-Saffa by the name of Tom Mason who paddles that area...  He's just become the Nordic Kayaks agent, so expect to have their offerings pressed on you if you contact him!!!  I'll send you his number on Facebook - look out for a message from me on there.

Cheers
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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1 year 6 months ago #38748 by Craig Legge
Brilliant, Rob- thanks a mil ; this is really helpful - I saw a clip of him doing the Folkestone run, I will definitely get hold of him when you post the number. Thanks again. 

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1 year 6 months ago #38750 by Grezzer
I'm a novice surfski paddler here in the UK, alternating between flatwater river running and jaunts off the Dorset coast. Whilst the best ski for you will be a combination of personal taste and ability, I spent a lot of time researching ski availability on the assumption that whatever I wanted would probably need to be shipped to the UK in a container. However I ended up buying a 'UK' Epic. Kirton Kayaks are now building (some?) Epic skis under license and the build quality of their kayaks is excellent.    

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