Vajda Hawx Reviews

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10 years 11 months ago #17024 by mckengmsurfski
Reviews of the Vajda Hawx have started to be posted online over the past month or so and I thought I'd provide links to some of them.

The first is Wes Echols review on the surfskiracing site: surfskiracing.org/2013/05/the-green-mach...a-hawx-elite-review/

There is also one on the globalsurfski site: globalsurfski.com/2013/05/15/test-vajda-hawx/

Finally, one of our recent customers sent us an email review which he was kind enough to let us post on the Eliteoceansports site: eliteoceansports.com/2013/steve-bannow-t...n-first-impressions/

Enjoy!

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10 years 11 months ago #17316 by jocuba
Replied by jocuba on topic Re: Vajda Hawx Reviews
Thanks for this...
I'm very taken with Vajda as a ski option but have had no exposure to their skis.

I have the wonderful opportunity to paddle either the Orca or the Hawkx in a 40k downwind race later this year, with 1 days prep before race to get used to the ski which is exciting.
I'm 6'4" & weigh 87kg.
Solid ski paddler, moderately fit - 50/60k's a week - & a standard mid-packer. Comfortable in a V10 - not had much opportunity to paddle much else apart from V10S.
Recent race result - 20k's downwind with 30 knot wind, 2m+ swell... just under 1.5 hours in V10S.

By all acounts the Hawkx pitches in just below the Orca in terms of specs.

Question is what would the deciding factor/s be in making a choice?
Is it as simple as V10 vs V10 Sport?

Anybody got a clear-cut answer please? ...otherwise feel free to include ideas, caveats & 'depends' to assist me with my decision.

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10 years 11 months ago #17318 by Ranga
Replied by Ranga on topic Re: Vajda Hawx Reviews
The new Epic V10 Sport has been launched.

Try it out before you do anything.

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  • JamieMc
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10 years 11 months ago - 10 years 11 months ago #17322 by JamieMc
Replied by JamieMc on topic Re: Vajda Hawx Reviews
You will rock in a hawx then. Provided you fit the bucket, then you will find it an excellent ski. I think it is more an evolution from the orca. Try the new v10 & see what works best. My first race in the hawx was the makai cup in some solid down wind conditions & I was laughing out loud nearly the whole way. The hawx was at home in the big stuff, & i never once worried about swimming. My opinion is that the hawx is that good it's almost cheating.
Last edit: 10 years 11 months ago by JamieMc.

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10 years 11 months ago - 10 years 11 months ago #17327 by jocuba
Replied by jocuba on topic Re: Vajda Hawx Reviews
Thank you, Mc. Decision made I reckon. Looking forward to it.
[You sure there is enough space for my legs i.e. Long!? ... my main concern. Also have you paddled the Orca much?]

By the way BIG SHOUT OUT & Heads Up!! for Ohana Mana Cup & race organiser Guido Cali. 21 September - Sardinia (Europe). Prime event & superb location. Plan now & get out there for a full-on ski jamboree. Perfect primer for Cape Point prep. Nice come-down after Worlds.

See... www.ohanamanacup.com/

Big thanks to Vajda, Fenn & others brands for supporting this event.
This is a case of helping the 'little guy' stay afloat - tough economic times in that part of the world atthe moment. It would be sad to lose this race from the calendar. Massive effort behind this.

Can't understand why Epic is not on board - someone please have a word with the Big O.

And if you can't make it - please tell ya mates about it.
Last edit: 10 years 11 months ago by jocuba. Reason: afterthought

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  • JamieMc
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10 years 11 months ago #17330 by JamieMc
Replied by JamieMc on topic Re: Vajda Hawx Reviews
jocuba, i had a v12 previous, & yes i have paddled the orca as well. I found the hawx more comfortable than the orca, i am nearly 6ft & 83kg & there is still plenty of adjustment left. I started with the elite then updated to the elite pro after a month. They are a well made ski.
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10 years 10 months ago #17367 by Fredo Frog
Replied by Fredo Frog on topic Re: Vajda Hawx Reviews
Here ie my experience on the Hawx (racing layout -15kgs) in offshore conditions.
I am an intermediate/advanced paddler.
I have been paddling a Fenn Elite Carbon for 3 years now and I am still challenged in big (6ft +) refractory or confused conditions (typicaly along cliffs or around headlands).
That is why I am looking for a new, more stable boat.
When you read "Elite" below, this refers to the Fenn Elite, not the Hawx layout :)

SEA CONDITIONS
I took the boat on Sunday morning off Long Reef/Sydney/Australia.
Conditions were ideal for a test, SE groundswell (3-4ft) mixing with perpendicular wind swell (1-2ft) + the usual random bounce back from the land.
This is the type of conditions that are beyond my comfort zone on the Elite

UPWIND
After a super easy setup of the footplate, I jumped in the boat from Fisherman.
I noticed straight away that I was still paddling an elite boat and my first few hundred meters were a bit clumsy.
But after a while I noticed that I was paddling in the “zone” without having to think too much about the next stoke which was a great feeling compared to my experience with the Elite where I feel that every move could end up with a capsize.
As I reached full ocean conditions upwind I realized how stable the boat was, there was swell coming from all directions with some triangular crest forming under the boat. On the Elite it would have been “panic on board”, on the Hawks I managed to keep paddling with confidence having to brace every 100 meters, if that.
At one point in time, a massive shadow flew into my peripheral vision, it was an albatross circling my boat, I had passed the tip of long reef for a while, I couldn’t believe how far I had paddled without even noticing it.
I then remembered about the fate of Coleridge’s mariner :)

DOWNWIND
When I turned downwind I also noticed how more comfortable I felt turning around (in “decent” high sea conditions, this has always been an uncomfortable exercise on the elite).
I was now going “downwind” in rather confused water.
While accelerating, the boat felt incredibly stable with minimum sideway surprises, on the Elite this is a constant frustration, the boat accelerate like hell but I can’t maintain my stroke power because I loose balance sideway.
With the Hawx I could maintain a much more consistent stroke and keep the speed of the boat up. I got a couple of “moments” that reminded me to keep concentrating but these were exceptions.
I also capsized (I was relaxing too much ) and remounting the boat was fine (certainly not harder than the Elite) and resting with legs on each side of the cockpit is much more comfortable than on the Fenn.
In summary, the Hawx felt more stable than the Elite, just enough to feel more confident applying power.
I also was surprised of how dry the ride was, I was expecting the boat to nose dive much more than that.

WEAKNESSES
I noticed that the Hawks was sometime “hoping” sideway while surfing (maybe a side effect of the flat hull) this didn’t translate in a loss of balance but was a strange feeling after having experienced the incredible surfing capabilities of the Elite.
The absence of handle is truly puzzling and potentially problematic when falling or trying to manage a beach start.
The bailer handle is really annoying, I constantly hit it while entering or exiting the boat. I would also question the longevity of so many moving parts used in salty and sandy conditions.
The boat feels less quick than the Elite when accelerating on runs (but the Elite is THE reference ).

CONCLUSION
Basically after 90mins of good effort, I was still asking for more as with the Elite I would have had no energy left.
The boat felt stable but still fun to paddle.
Comfortable bucket and awesome footplate design.
A couple of design faults (in my opinion).
I don’t know how it would behave in bigger conditions… but it will certainly be up there when I have to make a decision.

This is a long review but I hope this swill help a bit.
The following user(s) said Thank You: jocuba

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10 years 10 months ago #17412 by Steve Hansen
Replied by Steve Hansen on topic Re: Vajda Hawx Reviews
Fredo, Just to clarify, you are comparing a 15 kilo Hawx to a 11 kilo Fenn Elite?

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10 years 10 months ago #17541 by jocuba
Replied by jocuba on topic Re: Vajda Hawx Reviews
Hawx is 11kg's...

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10 years 10 months ago #17544 by Steve Hansen
Replied by Steve Hansen on topic Re: Vajda Hawx Reviews

Here ie my experience on the Hawx (racing layout -15kgs)

Elite Ocean Sports also quotes "racing lay-up" as 14.5-15.5 kgs...

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10 years 10 months ago - 10 years 10 months ago #17546 by mckengmsurfski
We have created weight ranges on our website based on our experience with the various Vajda Hawx surfskis that we've imported.
The Vajda Hawx Racing Construction skis we've imported have weighed between 14.5-15.5kg, with most weighing right at 15kg.
The Vajda Hawx Elite Pro Construction skis we've imported have weighed somewhere between 10.5-10.9kg.
The Vajda Hawx Elite Construction skis, by far our most popular construction, have weighed between 11.5-12.5kg. On our first container we had 2 Elite construction skis that weighed 13kg but have had no more. The vast majority of our Elite construction skis have weighed right around 11.8kg.
The Vajda Group site lists the weight at 11.5kg, which is true of the lightest we've seen in the Elite Construction.
I have not seen a Vajda Hawx Elite Construction ski that weighs 11kg.
We weigh all of our skis and tag them with weights/serial # so that prospective buyers know what each ski weighs.
Last edit: 10 years 10 months ago by mckengmsurfski.

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10 years 10 months ago #17550 by AdamV10L
Replied by AdamV10L on topic Re: Vajda Hawx Reviews
Great work posting REAL weights. Have heard claims of a 9.5kg Elite Pro when the ski in question was actualy 10.7kgs.
All manufacturers need to come clean with the real weights.

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10 years 2 months ago #20063 by jocuba
Replied by jocuba on topic Vajda Hawx Reviews
Been meaning to post an update on this topic for a while.
A year is a long time in terms of ski production - things advance & move quickly.

Just some feedback from my side (& request for more current feedback, advice & experiences) to do with the Hawx.

Firstly - a big thanks to mckengmsurfski & JamieMc for their endorsement of the Hawx some time ago - see earlier posts above. I paddled the Hawx Elite in the Ohana Mana Cup race in September '13, off s/east Sardinia in the Med. An all-round great experience in an exceptionally stunning venue. Surely this is paradise! As good as it gets!!

Anyway - I loved the Hawx - just something special compared to any other ski I've experienced. This extends to Fenn Mako from the late 90's to Fenn Elite, V10S, V10 & v12 over the last few years & very recently - in pretty much all offshore conditions. So taken with it that I'm awaitng delivery of a brand new Vajda Hawx Elite end of next week.

Anyway the race was an experience in itself in that, due to the race-route, it had almost the full dynamics of very testing conditions; except big swell. For the record - Jasper Mocke (Saffa) & David Smith (Oz) 1 & 2.
Overall, spent 5 days in total with the ski - in various conditions.
Nothing I could fault really except 1 uncertainty...

Downwind performance
In small (sub-1 meter) downwind wind-chop/swell I found the performance to be unbelievable in terms of response, linking & general traction. Something I had not experienced on other skis was what I can only describe as 'punch-through'. i.e. the way & speed it punched through/over a building swell in front & on to the face. It was truly stunning & certainly required less energy than other skis I'd paddled, in my opinion (& as a recreational racer - emphasis on recreation at this stage of my life). Just couldn't help hooting out loud.
Side-wind, into the wind, all round... rock solid. Magnificent!

However, at another time - I had the opportunity to paddle it downwind with a bigger, cleaner, steeper running swell. 2m/2m+.
It was good but I was left with a few uncertainties.
Did it have a tendency to nosedive, or as I describe it - outrun itself?
Or was it because I needed to keep it up higher on the face for longer?
Is this the concilation for having the seat more forward?
Is it because its so fast/responsive on the catch or is it the weaker-point of an otherwise all-round exceptional ski i.e. big-swell & down-wind.
Or does it merely need a different approach & focus?
Or was it just because it was generally steeper conditions to usual.
Was I just imagining it.
Anyway - it seemed to me to be behaving differently to other skis on the face.
Really interested in other paddlers perspectives on this point - similiar experience or not?

I came off the session having had an absolute blast but not feeling like I had totally mastered the boat. Unfortunately I never got the opportunity to go out in similiar conditions again; but it has stuck with me & I'm keen to understand more if anyone feels that they can assist/contribute. I haven't had the pleasure to paddle an Orca but did discuss the subject with an Orca owner afterwards. He concurred - he used to paddle an Orca (before the Hawx) then got a Hawx; but went back to the Orca for this very reason. Others felt differently - no problem, no issue. I put the Hawx next to an Orca... you can clearly see (crudely) where they've taken the 7cm off the Orca, just in front of the very front of the cockpit.

My take... Quite a bit of volume gone & seat 7cm further forward.
Impact? Cause & Effect??

I still think its far & away the best ski out there (for me!) & can't remember when I was this excited (& guilty for no reason) about aquiring a new possession. For the record - Probably when I was a teenager & I was getting a new custom shaped surfboard... nothing like a grommet with a brand new stick.

I'd be very interested in feedback on this point.
Also - personal direct comparisons of the Orca & the Hawx, if any.
Any other points on the subject, as an update.
Experiences of paddling the Hawx against other makes in various conditions?

I will probably return to the forum again & report back on my relationship... probably when the honeymoon is over!

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  • JeandeFlorette
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10 years 2 months ago #20071 by JeandeFlorette
Replied by JeandeFlorette on topic Vajda Hawx Reviews
hi Jocuba,

one can feel like you just woke up to your new Christmas present under the tree...! I know how it feels like... I was the same when I got my Orca about 3 years ago and guess what... I stuck with it so far... it is the only craft that I have been able to stay it no matter what conditions are out there. I no longer compete and the Orca is not the fastest craft around for sure but boy does it like rough seas! I am quite comfortable paddling in 2m+ and 25 knot downwind or cross wind without falling off. I could not say the same about other crafts that I have tried before that. When the swell is behind you, it lifts the tail and you know you have to dig in to catch it... it is also quite forgiving if you are at the wrong angle to the swell and the stern will correct itself without throwing you off.

I hope that Vajda have improved the hull construction as the RAcing configuration is not the most solid hull that I have come across, but I love the shape of that hull. I would also have liked a deeper footwell... but I know, you can't have everything. I am convinced that if I try the Hawkx I will like it but I would rather not... as I have too many hobbies as it is !

My take for paddlers out there who feel the urge to upgrade because there are new crafts being released all the time is to stick with what you are comfortable with... unless you compete and feel the to always beat your BP. These days, I paddle mostly on my own or with the mutton birds or with my good mate Jeffrey!

SO long.

Jean

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1 year 2 weeks ago #40388 by gmyatko
Replied by gmyatko on topic Re: Vajda Hawx Reviews
Hi,
Did you ever get to decide on a Vajda Hawx? I’m more of a 20 mile/week, I like to workout paddling since I can no longer run. I currently own a heavy Nelo 510, I like the boat, but I feel like I’m close to my max speed at a steady 5.8 on flat water.
I have an opportunity to pick up a hawx in good shape for $750. I’ve managed in a 21’ Epic, and I ‘m wondering if I’d be talking too big a jump to the Hawx from the Nelo 510. I’d be riding on flat water. Opinions?
Thanks,
Greg Y

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1 year 2 weeks ago #40390 by M.v.E.
Replied by M.v.E. on topic Vajda Hawx Reviews
It would be helpful if you could tell us which Vajda Hawx you mean. Hawx 43, 46 or 52 ?

Current Ski: Nelo 550 L
Previous Skis: Stellar SR 1. Gen. / Stellar SEI 1. Gen. / Stellar SR 2. Gen.

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1 year 2 weeks ago #40391 by gmyatko
Replied by gmyatko on topic Vajda Hawx Reviews
Hawx 43C. $750.

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1 year 2 weeks ago #40392 by gmyatko
Replied by gmyatko on topic Vajda Hawx Reviews
Hi,
It is a Vajda Hawx 43C. Sitting in a garage. Like a discarded toy, in need of new love.

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1 year 2 weeks ago #40399 by M.v.E.
Replied by M.v.E. on topic Vajda Hawx Reviews
Well the Hawx 43 is an elite ski! I haven´t tried one but I paddled the Hawx 46 from a friend on flatwater and also briefly in Downwind conditions in Sardinia. Flatwater was no problem at all but in waves I was not really comfortable. So the Hawx 43 would be probably too tippy for me even on flatwater. I guess it would be a big leap from the Nelo 510. Have you the chance to test paddle it? The Vajdas are very well made skis and even the 46er was pretty fast.

Current Ski: Nelo 550 L
Previous Skis: Stellar SR 1. Gen. / Stellar SEI 1. Gen. / Stellar SR 2. Gen.

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1 year 6 days ago #40460 by Jamesjr
Replied by Jamesjr on topic Vajda Hawx Reviews
I have owned 2 Hawx 46 and a 43 and I believe the 43 is a great intermediate boat in flat / enclosed waters and not much of an increase from a 46 stability wise. It is noticeably more stable than a V12 (1st & 2nd gen I have owned) or a Fenn surge or similar, especially primary stability. In my opinion anyway!

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