Think Ion vs Stellar SEL

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7 years 11 months ago #21437 by Goldcoastkiwi
I am currently considering these two skis, but there isn't that many independent reviews out there for them. Does anyone have any experience with them , or comments on the pluses and minuses of each. Thanks

Skis past and present : New Epic V10 Ultra, Fenn Swordfish Carbon,
Stellar S2E Excel double, PRS 570 , V8 Club, V10 Sport Club,Stellar S2E Advantage double, Epic V10 Sport Performance, Think EVO II, Fenn Swordfish Vac Glass, Fenn LS, new model Stellar S2E double, Fenn Bluefin S Carbon Hybrid

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7 years 11 months ago #21439 by robin.mousley
I would also be interested in comparison between ION and EVO II.

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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7 years 11 months ago #21440 by Simon Haywood
Goldcoastkiwi, looking at your profile - you've had a similar path.

I recently bought a SEL-Ultra (10kg) it's easily the best ski I've owned (i've had a few) I'm 'C' grade paddler - really shouldn't be able to paddle it...I'm amazed by the stability in this ski.

My advice go and try one and see for yourself - when it comes down to it - we're all slightly different.

Previous craft: Affinity, Endorfinn, Multisport, Epic V8, V10sport, V10, V12, Fenn Swordfish, Spirit PRS Elite; Stellar S18S, SR, SE, SEL, S2E, S2EL

Current Skis:
Huki S1-R
Stellar S18S - Excel
Stellar SR - Ultra


Skis on order: None!

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7 years 11 months ago - 7 years 11 months ago #21447 by Trilobite
Replied by Trilobite on topic Think Ion vs Stellar SEL
I can throw my two cents in on the SEL Ultra, having owned one for about a year and a half. Here in lower New England in the US, we mostly see confused washing machine chop, as opposed to big swell conditions. I found the SEL to be brilliant in these conditions-supremely composed and invited the opportunity to put the power down. The Ultra layup is stiff, crazy light, and exceptionally beautiful. Our runs are short, stacked, and steep, and the feathery weight allowed easily dropping in with a few, quick paddle strokes; it was a treat to pop up and over into the next run. On some boats, it feels as if you're clawing your way over-not so, the SEL, it hurdles them.

Other positives: surfs quite well, sitting nicely on top of a wave, good turn of speed (a bit off the V12, and certainly the 14, Elite/Glide, SES, etc.), but definitely competitive with the front runners. And did I mention stable? ;) 3 point footplate is a rock-no creaks whatsoever. Aesthetics notwithstanding, I loved looking at this boat-just flat out sleek, and at 22-23 lbs. a delight to transport and accelerate in a sprint. For me, the seating was fine. Interestingly, about this boat-it's billed as an low volume model, but unlike other 'true' LV skis (V10L, Spark, SES...) it's very accommodating for bigger individuals. I also owned the SE for a period, but even at my 210-220 lbs., the SEL just fit better. The nose will bury slightly in steep stuff, but immediately pops up, very controllable. The secondary stability is very linear-it just builds and builds, until you're thinking, "I'd have to do something really stupid to fall out of this boat." Plenty of feedback before a swim. Goes nicely straight on into the wind. Outstanding paint and finish/detail. God, it was beautiful.

What I didn't like: horizontal foot plate tracks force a wider footwell, which isn't a bad thing for winter neoprene footwear, but also forces a wider catch. You acclimate, but it would benefit from cutaways. Space forward of the footplate is cavernous; unless you fill it with minicell, etc., it holds a whole lot of water on dumping waves-venturi clearing is just adequate. My largest complaint with the SEL was its difficulty turning in high wind conditions. I don't know if it is rudder placement, rudder design, or pilot skill (or lack thereof), but in strong winds, I could not turn this boat. Switched to Q-Power line, and all the Stellar owner tricks (backing plates behind the pedals to prevent line slippage, etc.), but steering was always somewhat slow and unresponsive. The surf rudder helped minutely in such conditions-tracked better across a wave, but you could feel the drag on the flatter bits. The tradeoffs, IMO, were not worth the small amount of 'bite' returned, but again, we don't see big swell as some of you do.

'Hope this helps. I know Wesley has the Ion, and is working on a review of that one, so stay tuned.

"Nice? It's the only thing," said the Water Rat, solemnly, as he leaned forward for his stroke. "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."
'The Wind in the Willows'~Kenneth Grahame
Last edit: 7 years 11 months ago by Trilobite.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Goldcoastkiwi

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7 years 11 months ago #21452 by jazzman
Replied by jazzman on topic Think Ion vs Stellar SEL
I cant comment on the STellar but have owned both the Evo 2 and Ion. I'm snowed under at work currently but tonight I'll have a bit of time and can post a few thoughts. Bear in mind I'm not a writer nor an elite paddler so my perspective will be just from the middle of the pack so to speak.

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7 years 11 months ago #21530 by Stew
Replied by Stew on topic Think Ion vs Stellar SEL
Goldcoastkiwi, I could of course be terribly biased and say get the Ion, but I'll hold back. :)

Your best bet is go and try both skis. Both brands have representation in your area. If you pop past the new paddling shop, Australia Paddler HQ in Tugun, you can check out the Ion for yourself.

I've got a bunch of reviews posted on the Think Kayak website, but most are from ourselves! There is one independent review, which you can find here:

www.thinkkayak.com.au/2013/04/the-new-ion-hits-australia/

Paddle both, then you know you've made the right decision for you, and that's the most important thing.

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7 years 11 months ago - 7 years 11 months ago #21548 by Goldcoastkiwi
Thanks for that Stew, unfortunately I am now based back in NZ, and while here in the midst of winter the thought of taking a demo out on the Goldie does sound very appealing its not really practical!! by the way , do Think do a heated seat pad as an accessory?

Skis past and present : New Epic V10 Ultra, Fenn Swordfish Carbon,
Stellar S2E Excel double, PRS 570 , V8 Club, V10 Sport Club,Stellar S2E Advantage double, Epic V10 Sport Performance, Think EVO II, Fenn Swordfish Vac Glass, Fenn LS, new model Stellar S2E double, Fenn Bluefin S Carbon Hybrid
Last edit: 7 years 11 months ago by Goldcoastkiwi.

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7 years 11 months ago #21555 by Kayaker Greg
I have a Stellar SEL on Sportzhub for sale, just had a kayaking friend contact me about getting into ski's and he was going to try my Swordfish but at his size the SEL would be a good fit too, just not sure of his ability on a ski yet, might be a few weeks before I get him out for a demo.

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7 years 11 months ago #21561 by red_pepper
Replied by red_pepper on topic Think Ion vs Stellar SEL
I haven't had an opportunity to try the Ion, but like some others here I found the SEL just a blast to paddle. In the 2'+ waves where I tried it, I found myself comfortable, relaxed, and able to really just enjoy surfing and playing in the waves. Oddly enough, I never felt nearly as comfortable in those conditions with the SE I owned at the time, even though the hulls were theoretically the same (or nearly so).

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