First surfski - advice please

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15 years 4 months ago #217 by EdK
Hi - I've been reading this site and paddling.net too for a while and recently posted a greet here.

I didn't think that I could get hold of a surfski but Robin posted some details:

Epic:
Knoydart Kayaking Systems (Penrith)
Hartness Road
Gilwilly Ind Est
Penrith, CA11 9BD
01768 840055
FAX: 01768 868202
www.knoydart.co.uk
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fenn:
Philippe at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.fennfrance.fr

Red7
Michael Childs
Tel 01656 742420
Mob. 07973 168574
www.childsplaysurf.co.uk

I've checked out the Epic V10 and Epic wing paddles and am tempted but the price is quite considerable when compared to some of the other options.

I've looked at the Fenn before from France but they won't ship and I can't collect.

The childsplaysurf site looks interesting but I am unsure of some of the skis and how they compare to the V10 etc

I won't be using the ski for racing, just for general speed and enjoyment over here in Guernsey. We have a 9m tidal range and quite fierce seas - summer is better with alot of calm weather and good swells onthe offshore reefs and islands.

Anyway if anyone can help me out with some first hand experience of these ski's I'd be grateful. The prices on the childsplaysurf site are better but if the V10 is worth the extra then I am not too bothered.

I'll be asking about paddles next ....

(I'm 6'2" if that has any bearing on seat sizing).
Cheers
Edward

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15 years 4 months ago #218 by EdK
Any advice concerning the relative merits of the :

Epic V10
Custom Mark 1
Red7 Surf 60
Knysna Robourg Express

The Epic is about ?1650 standard layup or ?1250 'value' layup and the other ones come in at ?757 each.

So is the Epic worth it over the other ones when you consider price ?

I won't be able to try before I buy so can anyone advise me on which seatpit might fit me or ones that I should definitely avoid - I know it is hard to recommend but some advice would be gratefully received :)

Ed

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15 years 3 months ago #219 by NigelWall
Ed,

Not sure that this will help, but I'm a relative novice (15 months paddling) and have some advice. I imported a Carbon/Kev Huki S1R which I love, but is well above your quoted range cost (US$3000+ plus shipping). But I've also paddled Red7 surf 60 and 70 and Fenn XT.

Really like the Red7 skis. The 60 is billed as more stable and easier to handle than the 70. I don't think there is a lot in it to be honest. Build quality is not 5*, but value for money is great. I'm 6ft and fit all easily with some play on the adjustables in the Red 7's. My Huki is fixed though but was ordered to my leg length.

Sounds like fun Seas!

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15 years 2 months ago #220 by [email protected]
Hi there guys, I run the Surfskischool here in South Africa (www.surfskischool.com) and have some good experience in this field of choosing a first ski.

If you are starting out fresh in surfski/ocean paddling it is very important to never sacrifice stability for speed. So alway lean towards getting a ski ski that you feel the most stable and comfortable in.

If you can, a test run will always let you know what you like the most.

I think the Fenn XT is the best boat to start in. After that your next option is the V10 Sport and the Custom Kayaks Mentor. The Red7Surf60 is a great boat, but difficult to remount which makes it dangerous for a beginner. I believe they have modified it to counter this problem.

These are certainly not your only options. There are a myriad of boats to try, and I must add that the Huki boats are very good too. I think it is always best to try and paddle the boat before buying it because at the end of the day YOU have to be comfortable.

Dawid

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15 years 1 month ago #221 by EdK
Thanks Trinpad and Dawid - good advice. I've decided this year to get a wing paddle for my plastic SOT due to money going on the house rennovating etc.

Hopefully I'll get used to the way of the wing and in the late winter/ early spring sort out a surfski. Maybe by then there will be other designs and options... I'll keep reading around and see what makes sense in a few months time (or maybe that nice shiny black epic will wander my way ?! Hmmm we can but dream).

Thanks again guys - great site and great info.

Ed

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15 years 4 weeks ago #222 by northcoastlocal
Hi guys
I dont intend to start an antipodean debate (go the Walabies), however I think that the best first choice of ski for someone is still a second hand spec ski (and dozens & dozens of them have been sent from Oz to the UK over the last 5 - 20 years). This would provide our friend with a more cost effective and appropriate option to commence a surf ski paddling experience.

Who knows after a little while our UK friend may then decide to move into one of the the more specialised (and expensive) skis recommended so far in this thread.

You Saffers must have more money than us here in little old Oz!!

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  • Alain Jaques
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15 years 4 weeks ago #223 by Alain Jaques
Replied by Alain Jaques on topic Re: First surfski - advice please
You are 100% correct Peter.

My first ski was a 20th hand Hammerhead spec ski. It weighs a ton and leaks like a rusty bucket but it paddles like a dream. I still have it and for going in and out of the waves or leisurely paddling along nothing beats it. I've never taken it on a big downwind but I'm sure it will handle that too. It has a nice flat deck so remounting is easy.

I felt I had to upgrade after one race when someone said that my Garmin costs more than my ski - and he was correct, it cost more than double.

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15 years 4 weeks ago #224 by northcoastlocal
Alain
I agree, people should be encouraged to paddle no matter what. After all you only require a GPS if you are going a long, long ..long way offshore (probably not what a beginner will be doing).
As previously stated, (and seemingly agreed by yourself) I believe the best option for the beginner is (the ever evolving) Australian spec ski (read Hayden, Dolphin, Gibbbons, Interceptor even Jan's old Spectrums). These skis have proven themselves over the last 40 or so years (indeed I recall seeing Oscar win the 95 Molokai on a spec(ish) Hayden) and are very often available around the world at pretty good prices.
These skis have been the starting point for the greats for the last xx number of years and provide the platform for the beginners and champions of the future.

Regards
Peter

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