Re: Training on my Futura Blade

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15 years 2 months ago #1001 by TheSwamp
Hi,
I've only been at this ski stuff for a bit as well, but a couple of thoughts:
- the Futura Blade is a fairly-very tippy ski until you become really comfortable on it. It's fast on flatter water, but probably not the boat I'd choose for class II water. If you compare average paddling speeds, the solid old Futura II (or an of the current V-10Sport, S-1R, Mako XT) type skis are probably a few seconds/mile slower - until the first time you swim. Even if you are a gymnast and can be back on your ski in 10-15 seconds, it will totally negate the speed advantage.
A further concern for tris/multis is that the immersion in a cold water stream will lock your legs for the first few miles of the bike. (don't ask me how I know this...) Much better to be even a minute/mile slower on the boat over 5 miles, and not have the rest of your race in the toilet from being cold/wet.

Also, any Class II is likely to have a fair amount of ROCK. Skis are fairly solid, but most of them aren't going to take banging around in the rapids very well. If you look at most of the boats the SA guys use for the downriver events, they're heavy duty Glass, not carbon/kelvar. Also, unless your ski has a kickup rudder (can't recall on the blade), be prepared to rip it off banging in to rock.

For a lot of the multis, an old trainer K1, older K1 like a Lancer, or similar; retrofitted with an overstern rudder; is a better boat than a ski. You may/may not need a loose skirt, and you may want a pump. You can occasionally find an older K1 for $500 US or so, and that might be a better thought for Class II water. Also some of the "sea kayaks" like the Epic 18 or Current Designs Stratus/Freedom are a good choice.

As Rob suggested, *any* of the current generation of top-of-the-line skis are much more stable than the prior generation. My Huki S1X-Special is absolutely rock solid in any condition I've been fool enough to attempt including beam seas, rebound waves, etc. Being in the upper midwest, we don't have the same conditions as open water, but I'm darn pleased with it.

Regards,

Marsh
Minneapolis, MN

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15 years 2 months ago #1002 by MFB
Replied by MFB on topic Re: Training on my Futura Blade

I have no idea what the Blade is like - never seen one.

But there's no reason these days to paddle a tippy ski.

The Epic V10, Fenn Mako 6, Red7 Surf70 are all fast boats but they're much more stable than the old "top of the line" skis. (I've read that the same is true of the Huki skis but again I've not seen one myself.)

So I'd strongly recommend that you find someone with one of the modern skis & try it for yourself.

Cheers
Rob


Rob,

So the new skis are faster and stable? Mine's a classic, a burton ulimtate wedge. It should be in the museum already... hahahaha! Im getting a Evo surf ski as a xmas present for myself. Wont come cheap though... shipping and all.



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  • nell
  • Visitor
15 years 2 months ago #1003 by nell
Replied by nell on topic Re: Training on my Futura Blade
Jeremy,

I was wondering which Blade you have. The earlier -mid 90's? - Blade was a fast hull and really only good for flatwater. It had a kickup rudder and a very narrow bucket seat. Stability was ok for primary and nonexistent for secondary. The newer Blade - 2000 and on?- is ok on flatwater but really bogs down at the higher racing speeds that stronger paddlers see - I think it had too much rocker or something. It surfed well. Primary stabilty and secondary stability was ok. Both Blades are a huge step from the Futura 2 which is extremely stable.

There are better designs out now that span the gap between the very stable F2 and the older tippy race boats. The Evo, XT, V10Sport are a few. But, these all have understern rudders as standard.

As Marsh said, staying in the boat is always significantly faster than swimming along side of it. Your two choices are to either spend more time on the Blade to develop better balance, or to get into a more stable hull. It can take years and years for some to develop really good balance on a tippy ski, whereas others get comfortable in one or two seasons. Mainly it comes down to time in the boat, but younger paddlers often develop the necessary balance skills more quickly. Acquiring the ability to comfortably balance these race boats can seem impossible for awhile, and everyone goes through that period. Also, don't think of the sessions in the Blade as wasted time, as you are bettering your balance during those times, so if you should decide to switch to a slightly more stable boat, your balance skills will be that much better.

I think there might be a special order river layup, overstern rudder, Mako XT at Superior Surf Systems in Minn. - might be the perfect boat for your needs?

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15 years 1 month ago #1004 by MarsLasar


So I'd strongly recommend that you find someone with one of the modern skis & try it for yourself.

Cheers
Rob


I would love to!

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15 years 1 month ago #1005 by MarsLasar

Jeremy,

I was wondering which Blade you have. The earlier -mid 90's? - Blade was a fast hull and really only good for flatwater. It had a kickup rudder and a very narrow bucket seat. Stability was ok for primary and nonexistent for secondary. The newer Blade - 2000 and on?- is ok on flatwater but really bogs down at the higher racing speeds that stronger paddlers see - I think it had too much rocker or something. It surfed well. Primary stabilty and secondary stability was ok. Both Blades are a huge step from the Futura 2 which is extremely stable.

There are better designs out now that span the gap between the very stable F2 and the older tippy race boats. The Evo, XT, V10Sport are a few. But, these all have understern rudders as standard.

As Marsh said, staying in the boat is always significantly faster than swimming along side of it. Your two choices are to either spend more time on the Blade to develop better balance, or to get into a more stable hull. It can take years and years for some to develop really good balance on a tippy ski, whereas others get comfortable in one or two seasons. Mainly it comes down to time in the boat, but younger paddlers often develop the necessary balance skills more quickly. Acquiring the ability to comfortably balance these race boats can seem impossible for awhile, and everyone goes through that period. Also, don't think of the sessions in the Blade as wasted time, as you are bettering your balance during those times, so if you should decide to switch to a slightly more stable boat, your balance skills will be that much better.

I think there might be a special order river layup, overstern rudder, Mako XT at Superior Surf Systems in Minn. - might be the perfect boat for your needs?


These are very interesting comments. So you don't think a Blade is feasible in Class II water? The guy I bought it from raced it in class II water so I figured I could potentially learn.

I have a chance to pick up a Futura II for fairly cheap. Do you think that the Futura II is really not that much slower than the Blade? My Blade does not have a kick up rudder, and I'm not sure which year it is. Do the newer boats seriously outclass the Blade that bad?

After a couple of months of practice, I STILL fall off the Blade...about once every 30 minutes or so. Sigh....
Am I not paddling hard enough? Maybe I need a higher cadence? I'm not sure what to do, but this surf ski is hard to stay on!

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15 years 1 month ago #1006 by MarsLasar

Jeremy,

I was wondering which Blade you have. The earlier -mid 90's? - Blade was a fast hull and really only good for flatwater. It had a kickup rudder and a very narrow bucket seat. Stability was ok for primary and nonexistent for secondary. The newer Blade - 2000 and on?- is ok on flatwater but really bogs down at the higher racing speeds that stronger paddlers see - I think it had too much rocker or something. It surfed well. Primary stabilty and secondary stability was ok. Both Blades are a huge step from the Futura 2 which is extremely stable.

There are better designs out now that span the gap between the very stable F2 and the older tippy race boats. The Evo, XT, V10Sport are a few. But, these all have understern rudders as standard.

As Marsh said, staying in the boat is always significantly faster than swimming along side of it. Your two choices are to either spend more time on the Blade to develop better balance, or to get into a more stable hull. It can take years and years for some to develop really good balance on a tippy ski, whereas others get comfortable in one or two seasons. Mainly it comes down to time in the boat, but younger paddlers often develop the necessary balance skills more quickly. Acquiring the ability to comfortably balance these race boats can seem impossible for awhile, and everyone goes through that period. Also, don't think of the sessions in the Blade as wasted time, as you are bettering your balance during those times, so if you should decide to switch to a slightly more stable boat, your balance skills will be that much better.

I think there might be a special order river layup, overstern rudder, Mako XT at Superior Surf Systems in Minn. - might be the perfect boat for your needs?


I'm just tired and embarrased at falling off all the time! But your comments are encouraging. I can try to stick with it; my hope is that I can paddle class II water without falling off by next April.

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  • Alain Jaques
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15 years 1 month ago #1007 by Alain Jaques
Replied by Alain Jaques on topic Re: Training on my Futura Blade
Jeremy get a more stable boat. There is no need to paddle a tippy ski unless you are a world class paddler and even then most of these guys race in the new generation stabler skis like the Mako 6 or V10. Paddling a tippy ski is a good paddle spoiled in my experience.

I have been there, I have a mint condition Fenn Millenium hanging in my garage and nobody wants it except newcomers to the sport who think all skis are the same. I can race it without falling off but the energy and concentration needed to keep upright just spoil the ride. I now paddle a Fenn Mako 6 and guess what? I am eyeing the Epic V10 Sport. Why? Because my best paddles are on a stable boat, I'm not going to win any races so I'm going to enjoy my race and if is turns out I am actually faster then what a bonus.

Oscar once said that if you take one brace stroke in 10 minutes of paddling you would be faster on a more stable ski. (I hope I got that right but you get the idea). Never mind swimming being slow, bracing is slow and not taking a proper stroke is slow.

I'll let you know how it goes on the V10 Sport.

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15 years 1 month ago #1008 by txbuckeye
I agree with Alain. Jeremy, It's alot more fun when your comfortable in the boat. You can learn good efficient technique and also learn and hone your skills in a stable boat. The good technique and skills will transfer over to an easier transition to a tippier boat in the future if you so desire. It's important to build that base and move up in increments. It ends up being a snowball effect when you have fun, you paddle more, you get more excited about getting bettter, you have more fun.....etc. Based off my own experiences, the extra stability of some boats definitely pays of with speed for most paddlers. It's fun when you can paddle knowing you can handle just about anything (wind, weather, waves) that is thrown at you.

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