Carbonology Zest - 2014 model

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8 years 2 months ago #21723 by AR_convert

jrlybrand wrote: 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.


I thought the same thing when I first started paddling Carbonology Skis 4 years ago. Have yet to see this actually happen to the two skis I've had in that time.

jrlybrand wrote: in previous CS boats was that the footplate seemed a little flimsy


I agree that the footplate isn't as solid as other makes but I guess I'd forgotten about it until you mentioned it, I push really hard on the footplate and have yet to break one.

I have yet to see a better footplate than the Thinks.

The very early models had an issue with too thin a grade Stainless footplate brackets that were cracking and using a stainless screws in Aluminium sliders that had badly corroded within a few weeks of use (I only discovered when I removed footplate to photograph cracked brackets.) I took photos of all this and emailed them to Carbonology. They replaced the brackets and recalled all the skis they had made to rectify this. They also then changed the design of the footplate so the stainless screws were no longer screwing into the ali sliders.

I like a manufacturer who although they might not get it right the first time will put their hand up and make it right.

Always looking for the next boat :)

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8 years 2 months ago #21724 by [email protected]

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 would say, yes, the footplate is good and solid and I just had a look at the finish of the rudder line exits, and they look very neat with no sign of wear at all after 5 paddles.

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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8 years 2 months ago #21725 by [email protected]

are you using the large eliptical rudder on the Zest for these tests ?


Actually not. Hein knows that I'm a fan of big rudders so he did send a big elliptical as well as the standard one... But so far I've been using the standard rudder and it seems fine. When we were chasing Nauticat last weekend, I had no problem on the wake at all - for me that's significant because the wake waves are short and steep and some boats are almost uncontrollable on them.

Dale and I paddled this evening in Hout Bay in really rough conditions - there's a bit of a swell running and the ricochets were bouncing all over the bay. I've got used to the primary twitch now to the extent that I really didn't notice it tonight - and when we were dicing, my HR was up at 165 or thereabouts. On other, tippier boats, I sometimes find that I simply cannot generate enough power to get my HR up there.

I must say, after a week of paddling the boat, I'm feeling SO comfortable in it. I find that I can put the hammer down in almost any conditions to catch whatever runs are available... There's just one test left - and that's a big raging downwind. Can't wait.

I'm really on the verge of raving about the Zest.

But having said that, it's clear from some of the comments on this thread that the boat isn't going to suit everyone. The primary stability is a bit twitchy. For me the secondary stability is solid, however. The boat leans so far and no further. I'm not quite sure what it is, but I find I'm able to sit back and focus on rotation and rhythm even when it's really choppy.

Anyway, one thing's for sure. I'm enjoying the Zest to the extent that I'm excited about my next paddle - I can't wait to see what I can do in it. And there's some wind coming up this week.... Yeeeeeeha!

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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8 years 2 months ago #21730 by Aterra
Replied by Aterra on topic Carbonology Zest - 2014 model
First i want to say that i am the agent for Carbonology in Sweden/Denmark. You have a link to one of my first tests of the Zest in a topic above. I have used the Zest pretty much this year. But as i run a kayakshop and work a lot i decided this year to do less surfskipaddling. There is no time for 3-4 sessions a week unfourtunately. But i have also done my best results ever in 2014 years competitions. I use both the new Zest and a Allwave CX, last year i paddled Vault carbon and a CX. The CX is sometimes to tipy for me but when i am in good shape and in easier conditions thats sometimes the fastest boat for me. But for sure i am a better paddler in the more stable Zest.

As i try to choose the worst days to paddle, it have been more and more Zest. We can start to compare old and new Zest, both boats is aimed for +75 kg. The old Zest was also a intermediant boat, it is more tipy and faster than SF and the old V10Sport. The old Zest had much more volume than the new, it wasnt the best boat on flat water for me. But it is a good boat in waves for sure. Though for me wich weigh 73-74 kg and 170 tall it was to big to handle. The new Zest as mentioned before is a new boat and have not much left from the old one. Also Zest 2014 is easier to remount than the old one.

The question, shall i upgrade to a new if i have the old? Depends on what you aim for, if you compete and the results are important its yes. If you just paddle for fun, then and then the old Zest is a nice ski if you are +80 kg. If you want to catch more runs and love to paddle fast in messy water, you should consider to upgrade. You will be faster and have even more fun.

The best with the new Zest?
Its fast, its as fast as the Vault or maybe faster. I havent measured. On a competition i have a hard race to the finnishline fighting against a Spark and managed to keep the same speed as my fellow competitor Evy for over a km(she is normaly a better flat water paddler than me). The acceleration is nearly the same as in the Vault. Its a bit more initially stable than the Vault, but second stability is higher and comes earlier. For me the end stability is very high. I never need to do low bracing in the Zest. Its a very forgiving boat if you do a misstake. It feels like an elite boat when you linking waves, that was my first aha experience in the Zest.

The best with the 2014 Zest is how it handles in waves, its very exact and reads your intention in the waves. Its fantastic when you have to paddle angled in the waves. My favortie moments in the Zest is when you go angled and you start to loosing the wave you just kick the rudder and lean in to the curve. YES! She is back in again going down the wave. This is an amazing experience to feel... sometimes it feels like i am back on the motocross tracks. You can lean her hard and if you do she turns on a dime.

Now i am looking forward to next season and hope that Carbonology will design a new ski in the same class as the Zest but aimed for -75-80Kg.

Sorry for my bad english...
/Leif Aterra.se

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8 years 2 months ago #21731 by [email protected]
Nice one Leif!

Just in terms of weight - I weigh 86kg, and I don't think the new Zest has too little volume for me.

Having said that of course I haven't been in big runs yet. But the ski showed no inclination to dip its nose unduly when we paddled in the small runs on Saturday.

Cannot wait to do a proper downwind in it.

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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8 years 2 months ago #21733 by Aterra
Replied by Aterra on topic Carbonology Zest - 2014 model
I guess i am a little bit to light for the Zest and think that a paddlers weight around 75-90 is what its best for, even if it works well for me.

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8 years 2 months ago #21734 by [email protected]
This is what I want to be doing...! :laugh:


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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8 years 2 months ago #21737 by Ole
Replied by Ole on topic Carbonology Zest - 2014 model
My wife is way below 60kg and enjoys the "old" Zest very very much - it shows excellent second stability. I am at around 95kg and think that I am to heavy for the ski (of course subjective feeling e.g. in direct comparison to the Evo II - both at 12kg).

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8 years 2 months ago #21759 by Elardus
Hi Rob, I swapped to the new bigger rudder and found I could get away with angles down a swell that was not possible before. On some swells I turned while the nose was buried by leaning and turning with the peddles. I suggest you try the bigger rudder for your first attempt.

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8 years 2 months ago #21764 by AR_convert

Elardus wrote: Hi Rob, I swapped to the new bigger rudder and found I could get away with angles down a swell that was not possible before. On some swells I turned while the nose was buried by leaning and turning with the peddles. I suggest you try the bigger rudder for your first attempt.


From what I've seen of your Millars runs I 2nd that. I have found the stock rudder on both the Vault and Flash are good for conditions up to 2 metres then the bigger rudder is needed after that for really being able to cut across with broaching.

I swap the rudders quite often as the big rudder does have a speed penalty on flat water, fortunately it's a very quick and easy thing to do with the rudder assembly on these boats.

Always looking for the next boat :)

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8 years 2 months ago #21767 by [email protected]
So...

Did my first Millers Run on the Zest last night.

It was "proper": the weather station at Fish Hoek Sailing Club was registering 28-35kt and there was a bit of swell coming into False Bay.

There was even a thumping shore break on the ramp at Millers Point - which is quite unusual. We had to wait for the set to come through before launching into the lull.

And as set off, my paddle leash wrapped itself around one of the rudder pedals, which lead to a certain amount of cursing and a curious crabbed sort of stroke until I was far enough out to stop and untangle it!

Whether it was just in my mind or not, I found the boat quite a handful in the rough chop and side-wind going out to the rock, but I found my rhythm after about 500m.

I didn't have a great run, ending up with a time of just under 50min, which for me is a bit off the pace.

My impressions were:

- I could get the strokes in to accelerate onto the runs, no problem
- I found the rudder a little ineffective, but was able to compensate by leaning the boat. I find it a lot easier to lean to the left than to the right - but I haven't practised this much.
- I felt that I wasn't launching over the next wave very easily.

And I wrapped my paddle leash around the left side cockpit handle too - very awkward when you start a stroke only to find that your paddle is pinned to one side! I didn't come out, but I had to take my right hand off the paddle each time to get the leash off.

That handle is coming off!

Given AR_convert's comments about the rudder, I definitely want to try again with the big elliptical rudder on.

Onwards and upwards!

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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8 years 2 months ago #21768 by peteski
You're very brave Rob... the bay has been looking far too wild for my skill level this week. :)

I find it interesting that you're having issues with your paddle leash, this is the only part of my kit that causes me frustration at the moment. I've just ordered a calf leash and hope to ditch the paddle leash soon.

Pete

Fennix Swordfish S - Carbon Hybrid

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8 years 2 months ago #21769 by [email protected]

I find it interesting that you're having issues with your paddle leash, this is the only part of my kit that causes me frustration at the moment. I've just ordered a calf leash and hope to ditch the paddle leash soon.


Actually I use both a belt leash AND a paddle leash. I've been in many situations (e.g. helping someone else with admin) where it's been convenient to let go of the paddle, knowing that it wouldn't disappear.

I normally have no issues with the paddle leash, but yesterday was a bit of a nightmare. Wrapping the leash around the rudder pedal I can handle - but that handle has got to go! (Which is a pity because it's actually really handy.)

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

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8 years 2 months ago - 8 years 2 months ago #21770 by Aterra
Replied by Aterra on topic Carbonology Zest - 2014 model
As i see it the paddle leash should be fastened on your body, not the ski. If you loose your boat you at least have something to hold on to and wave with when you wait for resque. I dont know if this is the safest way but its what i think. I have my leash fastened on the shoulderstrap on the pfd. It never causes me any problems. I have also removed the handles even if they are handy.
Last edit: 8 years 2 months ago by Aterra.

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8 years 2 months ago #21773 by Watto
Replied by Watto on topic Carbonology Zest - 2014 model
I went out Sunday 35 knots and got smashed about - as much wrestling ski on and off car (thank God a couple of blokes took pity on my after the paddle to get boat onto car). Rob that is seriously blowy, sea coming every which way so I wouldn't dis your own efforts or judge the boat too readily.

After failed efforts to enter from shore I paddled out of Marina mouth a couple of times and did runs back in (Cowardy Custard), however over 35 knots it's pretty much only possible to go directly into it or with it.

Paddling in that kind of breeze and offshore hard yakka, very demanding on boat and paddler. Also hard if you're not too familiar with your boat.

Images below Wiki Force 8 pic and a blow off the coast near home Marmion Tuesday at around 40 knots (I was walking the dogs in the sandhills).

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8 years 2 months ago #21783 by tony h
have enjoyed the topic on this brand / model
paddled the old zest & was not particularly taken by it - new one sounds like significant improvement

carbonology producing some neat new ski's - see pics below

aspects I like about their work:
- cheaper than epic
- bit like the fenn ski but with seat more like the epic (can't sit in fenn seats unfortunately)
- shorter than most other skis which are 6.3-6.5m: find the shorter ski's more fun to paddle in most surf conditions & easier to transport
- well made with good range of layups / weights

not liking:
- lack of information about their models online: looking at the lovely looking ski's below it is disappointing to see they are not mentioned in the brands marketing (FB/website): at least have some dimensions!
- demos hard to come by
- handles look 'cheap' compared to epic / think

smaller brands are letting themselves down with their marketing approaches / demo availabilities

ski's - McGregor C/R // Nelo 560L // Epic: 1st/2nd/3rdG V10/10L/10 sport, V14, V12, V8, V7, double -v10/v8 // Stellar: SES 1G/2G, SEI 2G // Fenn: double, elite SL, swordfish 1G/2G // Carbonology: vault, atom, flash //hayden spec ski / gibbons oc. ski / red7 / stealth spec/ocean ski / think legend
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8 years 2 months ago #21784 by Elardus
Agree about the handles. They look like an afterthought. No design evident and an eyesore. But I must say that I cannot live without them.
The answer to the leash is to add an attachment point between the legs. Loved this feature on the Evo2.
I have always been able to get a demo boat from Hein. I assume that is because I live in their vicinity.
The leash attached to the life jacket sounds like worthwhile try out. Please tell us how long is your leash?
Could it get wrapped around your neck?

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8 years 2 months ago #21785 by [email protected]
Some pics from the paddle on Tuesday. As always the camera flattens out the sea!

Shore break on the ramp - we had to wait for the set to come through. Highly unusual (Rumbly Bay is usually quite protected) and an indication that the sea was big and the swell running more easterly than usual.



Catching a big one approaching the lighthouse



Just outside Fish Hoek, approaching the bay.


I'll put together a short video - going through it I find that I was swearing a lot!

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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8 years 2 months ago #21786 by Aterra
Replied by Aterra on topic Carbonology Zest - 2014 model
Yes thats a problem with all lines, the risk to get it around the neck. A knife is to recommend but not many surfski paddlers want to were a knife i guess. Stretched the leash is about 1 m. The type is "telephonecable".

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8 years 2 months ago #21823 by [email protected]
Update on the Zest.

Paddled it three times over the weekend!

Friday evening - Vulcan Rock Run

This is a fun paddle from Hout Bay out to Vulcan Rock about 3.5km out to sea from the entrance of the bay. Features the usual sloppy conditions caused by the swell rebounding off the cliffs. Not much to report except that I paddled away from Dale on the way out, and on the way back, then diced a couple of other guys twice and was able to pull away from both of them... Felt good.

Saturday - Chasing Trawlers

I put the big elliptical rudder onto the boat to try it out.

The thing I noticed first off was that the boat felt perceptibly more stable. When Dale got on it half way through the session, he said the same thing.

But the really remarkable thing was the performance when we started chasing the Hout Bay trawler fleet as they came into the bay. They were arriving in ones and twos and we had enough time to paddle to the mouth of the bay, turn to catch one paddle in with it, then turn around and go back out again to catch another.

Here's the HR trace:

connect.garmin.com/activity/590451023

You can see clearly the two runs, the second longer, that I caught. The really interesting bit was how I was able to stay on the wake, necessarily riding it at quite a diagonal to stay on it. Nauticat, the 88ton catamaran that we usually play with has a wake that goes out almost at right angles from the hull - but these boats' wakes go out at a much more acute angle and I've never been able to stay on them for any length of time before on any surfski... So this was really incredible.

Half way through the session we swapped boats - and the third peak in the trace shows where I briefly hooked onto the wake of a third trawler - but pulled out to let Dale have a go. He didn't find it as easy as me - but he hasn't spent any time in the Zest.

Sunday - 10km Winter Series Race

So here's the proof of the pudding. In the previous three races Dale beat me once and I beat him twice, but we were pretty close together.

In today's race I paddled away from him on the first upwind leg, and ended up beating him by a couple of minutes.

I beat a double that consistently beat me in the previous races, as well as another buddy on a Fenn Elite. I was within half a minute of two other paddlers who have consistently been beating me by a couple of minutes.

To say that I was chuffed would be an understatement.

The main features of the race were:
  • How comfortable the boat is for me in chop - although it's slightly tippier than the Evo II in chop, it seems to be more in tune with the waves, so I can relax and focus on my stroke, totally comfortable.
  • In straight downwind, if there's a wave, I can catch it
  • But again, a remarkable feature is the ability to catch and ride runs at an angle. i didn't make full use of this until the third lap, when I dropped one of the other paddlers by about 50m on the leg. Awesome.
Here's the track:
connect.garmin.com/activity/590451074

So for me, the Zest is an absolutely cracking boat. I cannot wait to get it into a decent big Millers Run again - but this time with the big rudder...

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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