Carbonology Zest X

2 years 8 months ago #39054 by downwinda
Carbonology Zest X was created by downwinda
Has anyone tried the new Zest X?  I had the last version of the Zest and thought it was very very fast for such a wide boat.  I'd go as far as saying it was the fastest intermediate ski I've ever been on in flatwater, and surfed very well also.

Alas, I sold it to buy my present Kai Wa'a Vega Flex, which surfs slightly better than the Zest, but for me is slower (0.2 mph= 0.3 kph) in flatwater racing.  

Does the new Zest X still have the great flatwater speed and good surfing ability as the old one?  I suppose I could keep the Flex and get an elite ski for use in flatwater, but I'd rather have one all around ski that I can use in all conditions.

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2 years 8 months ago #39058 by [email protected]
Yes, I've been paddling the Zest X for a couple of months now and rate it very highly.

I had been on the Fenn Swordfish S for a couple of years - love that too, but find the seat very uncomfortable, in spite of using a butt pad.

The primary difference with the Zest X for me is the comfort of the seat - it's much wider than the Swordfish S, but also has a much more angled cutaway at the back, which means that it's easy and comfortable to lie back when going down big runs.

I've paddled it both on the flat, and in many downwind runs in lots of different conditions.

In terms of performance, I'd say it's an incremental improvement on the old Zest.  The new one has a slightly smaller profile nose, so when we go out to the rock at the start of the Miller's Run, when we're paddling into and over waves at an angle to the wind, it doesn't get blown sideways as much as the old Zest.

Going downwind, I catch runs easily, and it holds its line (albeit with a big surf rudder): if we have to work diagonally (sometimes in a reverse Miller's Run, the wind is slightly offshore and we have to work right and it's useful to be able to surf diagonally down the face of the waves).

It's also a relatively dry boat in downwind conditions and so far I haven't felt moved to spoil the sticker pattern with a wave deflector.

Even if you do flood the cockpit - and I've managed to do so very occasionally - the bullet-assisted scuppers drain the water fairly quickly.  The cockpit is relatively shallow (or perhaps that's a perception caused by the width) so it doesn't feel like the boat has tons of water aboard.

The wide cockpit means it's a relatively easy boat to remount.

In interval sessions, my buddies report that I'm just as fast on the flat.

What's not to like? 

Well, I don't like the handles on the sides of the cockpit - they're only really useable when there's no wind at all, and my paddle leash sometimes catches on them when I'm going downwind. 

I hope that helps.


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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2 years 8 months ago #39060 by downwinda
Replied by downwinda on topic Carbonology Zest X
Yes, that does help, Thanks Rob!

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