Which ski for 6'5" 105kg guy - Carbonology Zest, Nelo or Fenn XT

4 years 3 weeks ago - 4 years 3 weeks ago #36750 by dragon_bear
Dear all,

Long time paddler and rower, fairly new in a ski. I bought a stellar SEL second hand and had an interesting experience a few km out in a wavey sea today where big cracks formed either side of my hip. It was a hair raising sprint back to the coast (as i felt the back portion of the boat bounce up and down.....reminiscent of how the titanic went down )  but i made it back to the shore in one piece before limping back to base over the final 5km (for those interested, I do have wide hips and perhaps this exacerbated a previous crack but I am not sure. It seems the cracks formed due to my hips pushing against the sides) 

Anyhow, I need a new ski. I would shoot for an intermediate as I have decent enough stability now and want this ski for years. I definitely want a ski tailor made for taller and wide hiped guys, that is good for wavey conditions and has some speed and the following seem applicable:

- 2019 Carbonology Zest
- Epic v10 sport
- Fenn XT
- Nelo 520XL. 

There is an immediately available 2019 Carbonology zest available in my locale which would make it a handy purchase ( I will test it this weekend). Although my research indicates the Epic v10 sport is the most stable whilst retaining speed and likely can fit me.

I am always interested in the wisdom of the crowd so tips welcome.
Last edit: 4 years 3 weeks ago by dragon_bear.

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4 years 3 weeks ago #36752 by [email protected]
I think you'd actually find the stability would go like this:

- Most stable: Nelo 520
- Fenn XT S (ideally - the XT S is the latest version of the XT, and is a massive improvement on the old XT)
- V10 Sport
- Least Stable: Zest

But they're all good boats, and should all have a good resale value.  Great idea to test the Zest before buying.  With any luck you'll be able to take it into some rough water to get an idea of how comfortable you feel in it.


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: dragon_bear

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4 years 2 weeks ago #36753 by Ro
I am also interested in this as I am also 6'5 but a bit heavier at 112kg. I have 2 SEL gen 1's and think it is an awesome ski but would like a more stable ski as well for when it's rougher especially as I mostly paddle alone and the water around the south island of NZ is around 10-16 degrees C.
My problem is leg length, I have 10mm of travel left on the SEL G1 . I like the Stellars but the the newer models have the bucket moved forward but they have left the pedals and track in the same position reducing the max leg length so they are not an option. The only other ski's I've had are Stellar SEI G1 and Spirit PRS  where I was able to move the tracks forward and gain more room.

I know leg leg can vary a lot for people the same height but any suggestions would be helpful. 

Regarding the damage to your Stellar... I've found my SEL G1 (excel) to be extremely durable and both weigh under the listed weight at 11kg. One of them is one of the very early Stellars with the wing nuts and not the cam locks that secure the foot plate, the gel coat is weather beaten but the boat is still very solid.  I'm a heavy guy and I'm not particularly gentle with my ski's.  I did have to repair some damage on the rail of the bucket on my SEI G1 Sport (glass), not sure if it was caused by remounting or over tightening the straps to the roof rack.  I still have a bit of hip room on the SEL G1 so that's not an issue for me. I would think the boat would be extremely uncomfortable if it was tight enough to damage the boat. 


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4 years 2 weeks ago #36756 by Dicko
The best boat for the larger gentleman is a kayak centre Zeplin. Unfortunately they are scarce. The gen 1 SEL was a good boat but the cheaper glass models weren't that strong. If you could find a carbon SEL they were really well built. I suspect the boats you are looking at will all disappoint with their flatwater speed.

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