Sea kayak hold outs

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3 years 6 months ago #37915 by Epicpaddler
Replied by Epicpaddler on topic Sea kayak hold outs
You guys are killing me with those magnificent boats. I love the clean aesthetics of a narrow surfski, but damn! I'd want to hang one of those on a wall inside my house and stare at it. 

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1 year 4 months ago #40312 by EK Sydney
Replied by EK Sydney on topic Sea kayak hold outs
Just spotted this thread a couple of years after it was posted. All I can say is that the performance gap is closing.

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10 months 2 days ago #40646 by AusyD
Replied by AusyD on topic Sea kayak hold outs
I have to say the original title and inference of this thread frustrates me.

As if surf/ocean skis are somehow more evolved versions of sea kayaks, with the enlightened converting and the luddites still in their kayaks.

If your only criteria is (relatively) short downwinds as fast and fun as possible - sure, ocean skis are superior in every way. Skis and sea kayaks are of course built with different/ though overlapping objectives. They handle differently and optimised for different things. Surf/ocean skis evolved from surf board looking craft and sea kayaks from Inuit hunting craft. May I suggest that if anyone transitioned from a sea kayak to an ocean ski and never went back to the kayak - that's great, but they were likely never using the sea kayak fully for what it is intended, in the way it was designed for. Sure, probably many sea kayakers use their craft only as flash recreational flatwater kayaks, though I also know plenty of ski paddlers who are nervous in more than 2 ft chop. It's all good - plenty of Porsches are only used for the daily commute and run to the shops as well.

A sea kayak is not designed for and will never win the Molokai Challenge - though that some designs are fairly fast and might even reel in a couple on the backline with the right paddler is a wonderful thing. Similarly, an ocean ski would never be a good choice to undertake a trip like this www.laurie-ford-kayak.net/maatstra.htm - even if some ocean ski's are being made to work for light overnights and supported touring - which is also a good thing.

BTW, I do like the ski community (they are often more open minded then old school sea kayakers) and paddle with ocean skis (often as the only kayak) as much as I do with other sea kayaks. Most of the better paddlers have both, which is I think the optimal solution, and something I would do if I had the space and time to master two styles of paddling craft.

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10 months 2 days ago - 10 months 2 days ago #40648 by [email protected]

I have to say the original title and inference of this thread frustrates me.
As if surf/ocean skis are somehow more evolved versions of sea kayaks, with the enlightened converting and the luddites still in their kayaks.
I totally agree - I've never paddled a sea kayak, but I have seen videos of sea kayaks doing crazy things in standing waves and I've also seen sea kayakers sitting watching a seal colony while have a relaxed sip of a brew!

And of course - you get sea kayakers like Freya Hoffmeister who just paddled the northwest passage - more than 3,000 miles. Absolutely crazy. (You don't want to know what she thinks of surfskis! Scathing!)

But different strokes (and stokes) for different folks - it's all good!

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: 10 months 2 days ago by [email protected].

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9 months 4 weeks ago #40653 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Sea kayak hold outs

Similarly, an ocean ski would never be a good choice to undertake a trip like this www.laurie-ford-kayak.net/maatstra.htm - even if some ocean ski's are being made to work for light overnights and supported touring - which is also a good thing.

I agree with most of what you said, apart from recent developments make me disagree with this last point.

Dougal Glaisher's amazing paddle around the UK was in an Epic V8 GT. It is a strengthened version of the V8 with hatches, built by Kirton Kayaks (see here for more information dougalsepicadventure.com/all-about-my-boat-epic-v8-gt/

There is no doubting its speed and the carrying capacity seems adequate.

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9 months 3 weeks ago #40659 by AusyD
Replied by AusyD on topic Sea kayak hold outs
Totally - I think it is great that some skis are being made to work for light touring. And that some sea kayaks are being designed with speed and downwind performance approaching development/ entry level skis.

The two types of craft handle different, and usually have somewhat different objectives, but lots of crossover and shared interest and learnings at the same time

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9 months 3 weeks ago #40662 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Sea kayak hold outs
The handling is very very different. I used to paddle a WWR (downriver racing boat). Paddling a ski, I really miss the 'locked in' feeling, and the level of control that gave. You could yank the boat back upright underneath you, something utterly impossible with a ski.

Not sure how you classify circumnavigating the UK (with full camping gear) as 'light touring'!

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9 months 3 weeks ago - 9 months 3 weeks ago #40663 by Arcturus
Replied by Arcturus on topic Sea kayak hold outs
The lack of thigh braces is THE biggest difference, to me. Any setting or switching of edges relies on weighting one butt cheek slightly more than the other, with no assistance from raising the opposite thigh.

In addition to the physical difference due to that, it also affects the paddler’s feeling of security. The thigh braces on a good-fitting sea kayak prevent being separated from the boat in a capsize. It isn’t just about the sprayskirt; that mainly keeps water from flooding in. The thigh braces are the rock-solid reference for body placement even if the skirt gets blown out. That’s why rolling back up is possible without a skirt.

I got used to the lack of thigh braces, but I remember having to fight the instinct to act as if they were there. In SK, edging is the foundation of so many techniques that it becomes second nature. Now any edging—or, rather, leaning in the case of SS—has to be done without the tremendous assistance that thigh braces give. And at least from what I’ve done so far, with such a LIGHT boat with rounded hull cross-section, the degree of weighting one side has to be done in much smaller degrees.

The ski is much more sensitive to weight shifts, both lateral and fore-aft, though in my limited experience (I’m on my second ski), this varies. In the new ski, I am in the mid-range of recommended paddler weight. In my first ski, I was at the bottom of it. Getting used to this narrower and shorter ski has involved a longer learning curve even in calm water, but its greater responsiveness to my input is very rewarding. I also like the narrower catch a lot; it feels like a good fit.
Last edit: 9 months 3 weeks ago by Arcturus.

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9 months 2 weeks ago - 9 months 2 weeks ago #40670 by SpaceSputnik
Replied by SpaceSputnik on topic Sea kayak hold outs
Since this thread is still kicking, I want to share my recent and ongoing experience.
My ski is Nelo 520 L, which is, as far as skis go is brilliant. Fast, comfortable, etc.
However, the sea kayaker part of me always wanted to bring over the positive aspects of sea kayaks. Skis are quite impractical (not talking about V6 and such), they are not as universally sea worthy as chined sea kayaks and the level of control a well-fitted sea kayak affords is far greater. In other words I wanted a sea kayak, but also a ski in one if you know what I mean. Epic 18x I used to own didn't quite cut it for me since it still had that oval hull that can be a handful in messy random cross-beam chop similar to most skis.
So, I recently came across an old and obscure Point 65 N kayak called X-Ray. In a nutshell it's a hard chined V hull, low rocker, pointy bow FSK with a tight-ish keyhole cockpit and an overstern rudder (they came skegged as well and some were both ruddered and skegged). The length is 16'9" which is close to the 520 and generally the sort of length I enjoy the most.

I drove out for a meet with the seller and a test paddle not knowing what to think. The second I sat my butt into it I had this "well, shit" feeling. This is exactly what I was looking for. The speed on that hull is within 0.5 km/h of the 520 which, as you may know, is no slouch. Stability is rock solid, including a really really reassuring amount of secondary that allows for a very high quality edge that not even all sea kayaks are capable of. Ironically this FSK improves my edging skills to the point my play kayaks did not quite take me. Handles messy chop with aplomb my 520 does not nearly posses.
Leg position is more upright but you don't go into full knee-up as in 18x, which is a fairly prone position control-wise. Here I can work my knees pretty close to vertical but remaining under knee braces at all times so an edge or a roll is always at the ready.
Not the lightest boat at 50-55 lb, but packs well and has creature comforts that I was missing on a ski. Will keep me dry and warm in winter.
Overall quite a gem of a boat that is totally underrated and unknown.
Last edit: 9 months 2 weeks ago by SpaceSputnik.

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