Carbonology Zest - 2014 model

More
7 years 11 months ago #21618 by robin.mousley
Just had my first paddle on the new Carbonology Zest this morning.

This is the totally redesigned 2014 model; not the old Zest last built in 2012.

It's designed for the intermediate market, to take on the likes of the Epic 10 Sport, Fenn Swordfish, Think Evo II, etc.

I paddled with my regular paddling partner Dale Lippstreu who was on his Evo II. We tooled around Hout Bay, paddling out into the bay and back while we waited for the 88ton tourist catamaran Nauticat to start her first trip of the day.

I'll write a proper "first looks" piece with photos, but suffice to say that this ski is definitely worthy of consideration for anyone looking at intermediate boats.

It has slightly less primary stability than the Evo II, but solid secondary stability and I found that its propensity to lean was actually very useful when we were riding Nauticat's wake.

Dale and I did some sprints on flat water and truth to tell, neither of us had any advantage.

In the slop outside the harbour I seemed to surge ahead on the little bumps, but that could simply have been my comparatively brilliant technique :-). Too soon to tell really.

On Nauticat's wake, we had quite a wild ride. Normally Nauticat cruises at about 14.5kph, leaving a very easy to ride wave, but today she must have been in a hurry and was belting along at nearly 16kph which made it much more difficult to stay on the wave.

I found the handling of the Zest superb; I didn't broach at all, even with the smaller standard rudder (Hein sent a big elliptical with the boat knowing my enthusiasm for big rudders). And it was here that I found it helpful to lean the boat to assist in turning back and forth on the wave.

As always, the finish is superb. This is a hybrid layup, carbon deck and vacuum glass hull, weighs less than 13kg.

I am so looking forward to paddling a downwind in it - and our next winter series race will give us a steer on its performance when I take on Dale!

In summary - I'm keen to spend more time with the Zest... Stay tuned!

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: peteski

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 11 months ago - 7 years 11 months ago #21620 by peteski
Thanks for the feedback Rob, I also took the demo Zest (glass vacuum) out this afternoon for the 1st time.

I found it super stable and fast in the protected waters of the yacht moorings in Simonstown, but when I rounded the harbour wall into the confused chop, rebounding swells and the southeaster, it felt quite wobbly. I guess that compares well with your slightly less primary stability observation. I didn't fall off at this point though, which was good.

We beached at Seaforth to adjust the footplate a bit closer, but I may have adjusted it a bit too close, as my stability went for a ball of chalk from this point. As we rounded the large boulder at Murdock Valley, looking forward to the downwind run, I was blindsided by some very confused swell and capsized, too close to the waves crashing onto the boulder for my liking. Fortunately the Zest is easy to remount, so I managed to get back on before my fears of crashing onto the rocks became a reality.

I think this little upset trashed my confidence going downwind a bit, as I was really struggling to put the power down to get onto the runs due to getting the wobbles and spending too much effort bracing.

I capsized again as we approached the harbour wall, but I think I was just too worn out at this point to maintain my balance properly.

Something else that I noticed was that my coccyx was chaffing, something I have not yet experienced in a ski. This could be because of the leg length being a bit too short, I guess.

I still have the ski for a few more days, so I'll be heading out in slightly calmer conditions (if windguru is correct) to regain some confidence :)

Here's a screengrab of me drifting backwards towards the boulder :ohmy:



Fennix Swordfish S - Carbon Hybrid
Attachments:
Last edit: 7 years 11 months ago by peteski.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 11 months ago #21625 by robin.mousley
Had another paddle today in calm conditions in Hout Bay...

The highlight was catching Nauticat near Seal Island and getting on the wave one back from the bow wave.

What's interesting about this is that the wave is coming off the hull about 1/3 of the way back, so you're riding right next to her - about 5m away.

The boat behaved perfectly, not a hint of a broach and we just tooled along at 15-16kph, occasionally paddling, sometimes just sitting there.

Great stuff.

So far so good, I'm really enjoying this boat. Roll on 14th Sep when I get to race it against Dale!

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...

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 11 months ago #21668 by Rod Thomas
Hi Rob, Would you describe the Zest as a scaled-up Vault? Is it more or less stable?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 11 months ago #21672 by SkiMania
...found this aterrakayak.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/the...onology-zest-review/ a few months ago, has the shape/design changed since?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 11 months ago #21674 by robin.mousley
Nope, that's the boat - and I agree with pretty much everything that he said.

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...

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 11 months ago #21676 by zamalek
Good morning Rod,I had the opportunity to paddle a Vault for two months which ultimately led to me owning a ZestThe Vault is 5.95m and designed for around 75kg paddler.It has a rounded hull and the nose moves a bit from side to side when paddling but is fantastically "loose" when downwinding,with the only negative being that the nose dips in a bit too much,but pops up well.Problem here is me - too heavy.On phoning Hein at Carbonology to order a Vault,he tells me that at 6ft and 90kg the Zest is the way to go. Ordered,received and am very impressed.

The Zest is 6.2m,definitely a "bigger" ski with a distinct V shape to the hull.Had it for over two months now and have done by far my best times Umdloti - Durban,Umdloti - Westbrook,etc.The footplate adjusts in record time and the footwell drains quicker than anything I have paddled.It is a little twitchier than my previous ski(SF) but does seem to be quicker.So yes the Zest is like the Vault,but with improvements.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Rod Thomas

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 11 months ago #21677 by robin.mousley

Would you describe the Zest as a scaled-up Vault? Is it more or less stable?


Hey Rod, hmmm... I found the Vault quite a bit tippier than the Zest. I wouldn't say it's a scaled up Vault, it's a very different boat. The hull shape, as Zamalek says, is shallow V shaped, very different deck. It's bigger than the Vault, and different!

In terms of speed? Difficult to say, perhaps the theoretical hull speed is faster, but for me I'd probably be faster in the Zest because I'm more stable/comfortable.

Can't wait to paddle the Zest downwind.

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: Rod Thomas

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 11 months ago #21688 by Rod Thomas
Hmm. "shallow V shaped". That's like the Cruze. The Vault is completely round. May be it is Hein's new secret weapon for directional stability!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 11 months ago #21689 by robin.mousley

Rod Thomas wrote: Hmm. "shallow V shaped". That's like the Cruze. The Vault is completely round. May be it is Hein's new secret weapon for directional stability!


Haha - I asked Hein about that, why he'd decided on such a hull shape and he said that he'd considered other boats in the intermediate class, and wanted to have a hull that behaved well in crosswind particularly... And he already had a hull with that shape in the form of his spec ski that he thinks works really well - so the Zest hull is based on the spec ski, but extended.

Anyway - when I get around to my review I'll ask him to expand on that...!

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...

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 11 months ago #21695 by Elardus
Hi, I have been paddling and racing on rivers for more than 30 years in a Vajda.(Great Grandmaster in canoeing) but have now been on the sea for a few years and have spent a much more time on the sea this past year. I have moved from an XT to an old Zest to a Vault to a Flash. Because of no experience at all in the sea , the sea intimidates me in rough conditions.
I can count my swims over 3 years in all these ski's (My balance is good) but found that as soon as the conditions worsened I was paddling wide more to brace than to go forward.
This background serves to show how much of what I say you should believe.
I bought an Evo 2 and found it to be just as fast for me as any ski I have paddled, but of course requiring more effort. The only thing that unsettled me was the nose movement in side on conditions. I had to use the rudder all the time to go straight,This again slowed me down when trying to paddle flat out in side chop or going down waves with a side wind.
Recently I paddled the new Zest and am now trying to sell all my ski's as I want to buy a 2nd light one.
My first impression of the Zest was that it was unstable.
However when the ski starts moving the magic starts.
You don't use a rudder on this ski to go straight. You just lean it against whatever conditions you encounter. I don't fight to keep the ski upright in bouncing conditions. I can go at my top speed in this ski under conditions that unsettles me in all the other boats I have ever paddled. The boat tells you what to do. Sounds stupid I know, but paddle it. This boat shape is going to revolutionize the way ski's are designed.
I lack experience to read the sea and find swells with much difficulty.
With the new Zest my skill level has gone up tremendously and with the help from some local Legends (Daryl Staple) I am even thinking of training for either the PE2EL or Round the Cape all because I have found a boat that makes if much more obvious what the sea is doing.
I have confidence under difficult conditions (for me) as the remount takes seconds as it is so easy.
Hope this helps.
The following user(s) said Thank You: robin.mousley

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 11 months ago #21697 by robin.mousley
Come do the Cape Point Challenge!

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...

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 11 months ago #21698 by Elardus
It will depend on the hours I will be able to train.
I am willing to bet that the new Zest will be faster than the Evo2 in big water. I know I am!!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 11 months ago - 7 years 11 months ago #21703 by robin.mousley
Just had a stunningly beautiful paddle from Hout Bay out to Vulcan Rock and back in the sunset...

My buddy Dale was paddling behind me and said that I was paddling a straighter line than him in the Hout Bay slop in spite of rolling more than him... Which was interesting, since I felt that the nose was being knocked about a bit in the slop.

And coming back we diced a bit and he said that I was paddling away from him... And that was interesting, especially as I'm always looking for an edge over him even if it's just a mind game!

I am aching to try this boat downwind - c'mon northwester, blow! (hoping for a reverse Millers on Saturday morning).

Dale was on Evo II, I was on the new Zest.

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...
Last edit: 7 years 11 months ago by robin.mousley.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 11 months ago #21713 by AR_convert
It's great to see another brand thats taking on the big boys with an ever increasing stable of boats and continuing development of their previous models.

I had initially though the Zest was a beginners boat, so glad to hear it is an alternative to the other intermediates.

As has already been said, the Vault was never a true intermediate ski, more a sub elite that suits particular conditions and paddler sizes.

Carbonology would sell many more boats if they could get their act together with their website. The framework of the website is there, they just need to invest some time and effort in some good photos of the craft and paddles and some more detailed descriptions, specs etc for those who do their research online before seeking out a dealer.

Looking forward to hearing how the Zest goes in your downwind conditions Rob.

Always looking for the next boat :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 11 months ago #21715 by robin.mousley
I was also under the impression that this was a beginner boat. Definitely not! It's a solid contender in the intermediate range, both from a tippiness and speed perspective.

We had a very fluky downwind today - reverse Millers in light winds... We did get some runs in the second half of the paddle and it was enough to confirm that:
  • The boat accelerates very readily onto the runs.
  • You can push over the next run
  • It's extremely maneuverable - I'm guessing this comes from the rudder position (a little forward of the Evo for example) and the rocker.
  • It responds to leaning quite markedly and I found myself using a combination of leaning and a touch of rudder to steer.
  • It seems to get more stable on the runs

My buddy Dale again said that he struggled to keep up with me... sample of one, obviously, but at the very minimum I can conclude that the Zest is competitive, for me, with the Evo II, in flat, in chop, on Nauticat's wake and in small, messy downwind! Now for a proper big downwind in a bit of wind!

More than that, I'm finding it a really fun boat - to the extent that I'm looking forward to paddling it again every time I get off the water.

What a great sport this is.

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...

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 11 months ago #21716 by AR_convert
Would be interesting if you could get the old Zest to compare with the new Zest when you do the review Rob so that those who see/have the old one know what has changed.

Are Carbonology still making Think skis under licence in SA including the Evo II?

Always looking for the next boat :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 11 months ago #21717 by robin.mousley

Would be interesting if you could get the old Zest to compare with the new Zest


Hmm... yeah, I've never seen the old model Zest in Cape Town :unsure:

Are Carbonology still making Think skis under licence in SA including the Evo II?


Yep, they make the Evo II, the Uno Max and maybe the Uno as well.

I think the Evo II still complements their lineup; the Evo II is perceptibly more stable than the Zest to the extent that one of the other members of the forum who lives here chose the Evo II over the Zest for that reason.

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...

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 11 months ago #21720 by jrlybrand
My two thoughts in previous CS boats was that the footplate seemed a little flimsy one leg drive and the exit of the rudder cables in the cockpit was a la bit poorly finished and left the gelcoat prone to being worn away by the rudder cable. Have those two things been addressed in the new lineup? I agree with AR that the vault was a bit above intermediate, certainly above my ability at the time but not a fault of the boat, more of the pilot. Went with a swordfish at the time but am now looking for something just a bit more but won't ever go for an elite ski

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
7 years 11 months ago #21721 by bajax
Replied by bajax on topic Carbonology Zest - 2014 model
Hi Robin are you using the large eliptical rudder on the Zest for these tests ? I paddled the Evo2 vs the Zest in rough north easter yesterday off Durban and the Evo 2 inspires confidence as it has far more 1st and 2nd stability than the Zest. The Zest once you get going definitely seems to be lot faster but with less 1st stability I was not getting the power down. I was wondering if the Zest would be much better with the large eliptical surf rudder ?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Latest Forum Topics

Protected by R Antispam