First buy - beginner ski vs elite ski

More
12 years 5 months ago #9428 by smilicus
Hello Guys

I am new on the forum and would like some of your input. I am down in South Africa and me and the wife are looking into surfski. Actually we already decided that we want to start with the sport along with our Mountain biking. I grew up on the water.

There was a debate on this forum, Technical work on balance , on what ski to begin with. On our second hand market there are both, beginner and elite, ski available with not a big price difference.

So the question is:

Is it better to start with a beginner ski and work your way to an elite ski

or

Is it better to start on a elite ski and master it from the start, since changing skis will result in learning the quirks of a the new ski.

Regards

Smilicus
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Everyday's an Adventure

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

More
12 years 5 months ago #9429 by Nige
Hi,

Unless you're naturally amazingly talented or have prior experience in other racing kayaks, you will find trying to learn on an elite ski extremely frustrating and difficult, and its really not an option. They're simply too unstable for a beginner to learn on.

You basically have 3 options :

1. Buy a new generation entry level adjustable ski like a Fenn XT or a Custom Kayaks Horizon. (There are other options, but these are the top selling entry level skis in SA and therefore have a good secondhand market.) Try and find a secondhand one, and you should also be able to sell it for not much less than you pay for it when you want to upgrade.

2. Buy a new generation adjustable intermediate level ski (e.g. Fenn Swordfish, Custom Kayaks Synergy or Focus or Carbonology Vault.) These will be more difficult to learn on, but have the advantage that you will not need to upgrade as soon, if ever. They are fast and responsive and many mid packer paddlers are happy to stay on them and never progress to an elite ski, choosing to go for stability over outright speed. (In the hands of a not very stable paddler an elite ski is slower than an intermediate ski.)

3. Buy a cheap old generation ski like a Hammerhead or Scarab and learn on it before upgrading. The big problem with these skis is they're not adjustable so you need to buy one that is the correct length for you. The secondhand market is also a bit patchy.

You don't say where in SA you are, but there are surfski schools in Cape Town, Durban and Richards Bay where you can learn the ropes without having to shell out for any equipment, as they supply it all. Alternatively, find out where the guys in your area paddle and go and talk to them. The website www.surfski.co.za has a classifieds section and you can sometimes also find stuff on the www.gumtree.co.za website.

Good luck : surfskiing is a great sport and well worth the effort!

Nigel
The following user(s) said Thank You: smilicus

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

More
12 years 5 months ago - 12 years 5 months ago #9430 by smilicus
Hi Nige

Thanks for the advice. My first instinct was to go with a hammer head fro starters, but after you mentioned the adjustable new gen skis (Fenn XT, etc) I might look into those as well. I am in Somerset West, so we will be joining the strand club when we start.

I have already looked at surski.co.za and gumtree for secondhand ones and there are plenty.

Any other tips you have for a newbie?

Regards

Smilicus
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Everyday's an Adventure
Last edit: 12 years 5 months ago by smilicus.

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

More
12 years 5 months ago #9431 by Ric
Kyle from Southern Swells gave us good service when we bought a Horizon from him - he's in your area. The price was good, the boat was great condition.

I would recommend Horizon over XT, but only cos of the easy of adjustment for the leg position. XT requires using an Allen key. Either of these 2 is a great beginner ski.

Another option is the Epic V8 - not paddled it, but saw one the other day and looks like it might be even more stable (can you believe it!?).
The following user(s) said Thank You: smilicus

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

More
12 years 5 months ago #9432 by Rightarmbad
I wouldn't call a Swwordfish a beginners ski.

If you have access to estuary/creek/very protected waters then, yes, but as a get in and go out in the ocean, I don't consider it a beginners ski, you're gonna swim a lot.

XT and the current crop of V8 style boats are really your choice.
All will have good resale, as there will always be beginners.

I highly recommend buying something second hand.
You are more likely to break you're first boat.

And I can't leave this thread without my standard response.
If possible, upgrade the water, not the boat.
Much cheaper that way.
So, if you do have access to upgradable water, go for it and get something fast.
You will learn better technique with a much narrower catch and a boat that will give you feedback if you do it wrong.

You can also be much prouder of your swims in a skinny boat......

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson
The following user(s) said Thank You: smilicus

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

More
12 years 5 months ago #9433 by smilicus
Thanks for all the feedback guys.

Will a Wedge and a broadbill also fall in the beginners range?

Regards

Smilicus
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Everyday's an Adventure

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

More
12 years 5 months ago #9434 by Nige
Hi Smilicus,

Yes, the Wedge and Broadbill are both suitable to learn on if you can find one cheap (say under about R1500 max), otherwise rather spend a bit more on an XT or Horizon, and you will recoup the difference in resale value. Looking at the classifieds, the Custom Kayaks Mark 1 isn't adjustable (its a previous generation ski) but is also worth considering if you can pick up a secondhand one cheap, as its stable enough to learn on.

To RAB, if you read carefully, I said the Swordfish is an intermediate level ski.

Regards

Nigel

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

More
12 years 5 months ago #9435 by rubberDuck
Smilicus

Go chat with Kyle at Southern Swells, just accross the Spur in Gordons Bay. If you are just starting out, start your paddling in GB and then progress to Strand, although you are welcome to join at Strand also.

Most of us started out in GB and then joined the Strand Downwind Junkies where we did the driving most of the time in the beginning on the downwind paddles. Ask me how I know :-) We still paddle both sides depending on the conditions.

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

More
12 years 5 months ago #9439 by smilicus
Thanks for the advice Rubberduck. Will give Kyle a shout when I am in the vicinity.

Still nursing my credit card after the festive season (lol), so hope to get out on the water by end of February, beginning March.

Regards

Smilicus
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Everyday's an Adventure

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

More
12 years 5 months ago #9442 by rubberDuck
Cool, I know the feeling. My son just discovered my old dust covered remote control helicopter in the garage, and now I am having to spend money getting it up and running as well as bringing my RC equipment up to date.

You are welcome to join me for a try out paddle or two. You can go on my Horizon and I will be alongside on my Red 7. I am just now progressing to the Red 7 so I am still getting used to it.

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

More
12 years 5 months ago #9446 by Metro
Smilicus -

If you have spent time on the water, like to mountain bike, etc., my sense if that you are going to take to surfski. It is a great sport and in my opinion more fun than any other aerobic exercise (and I am purposefully leaving the obvious joke on the table). With that backdrop, I think the Epic V10 Sport is a perfect boat, and it is readily available in SA. Yes you will fall out of it ocassionally at the beginning, but this is a boat that you can master in one season on the ocean and it will likely be a few years before you grow out of it. And that is if you grow out of it at all. Many paddlers have gone from novice, to intermediate to pretty damn good paddlers on the V10S.

I like the V8, Think EZE, etc., but if you are thinking that you want to race the ski you will outgrow them quickly. Also, I think that the V8, EZE, etc. may actually have too MUCH stability if your goal is to become a proficient ski paddler on a more traditional boat. For my money, the V10S is a perfect balance.

This is, I hope, an unbiased post. After a few years in a V10S I have moved on to something faster and less stable. But, I am glad I grew into the sport on the V10S. It gave me confidence in the ocean, which is where the real fun is! And the V10S is not a slow boat.

Anyway, I hope this is helpful and welcome to the sport!

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

More
12 years 5 months ago #9448 by portmanm
Hi Smilicus,

I've been paddling for 5 weeks using a second hand V10 (2005) model - pretty tippy - and from what I've been told, the wrong end of the spectrum for a beginner. Yes, it took me a while but I've finally got enough balance to enter the ocean on a 1-2 metre swell. Still falling out, but getting better every week.

Introduced my wife (44) and daughter (15) to the sport last weekend. They've had no paddling experience and really enjoyed paddling a Epic V8 Club and V10 Sport (Ultra). My wife actually jumped into my V10 and did pretty well. The V8 is rock solid.

We've decided to buy a V8 and V10 Sport. This will give us the full range of ski capability. Taking friends out for their first time or myself using a more stable ski in larger conditions. The whole family can rotate based on conditions and skill - we're in a lucky position.

Lot's of people (35-55 yo) who have just taken up the sport in our area have opted for a Epic V10 Sport as a first ski. The majority stay dry and seem to be happy and challenged in bigger conditions.

So, my limited recommendation. Epic V8 Club + Epic V10 Sport Performance or above. Then you have more flexibility with conditions, ability and being challenged. You'll always get a good price for the V8 even after 12 months, if you want to upgrade (even to a V12).Buying 2 ski's will give you good bargaining power on paddles and other setup type gear (e.g. leashes)

I'm not an Epic rep, probably similar setup options with other brands. Just sharing my thinking and experience as a newbie.

Goodluck.

Matt

Bio
- 90kg, 183cm, paddling 90+% in ocean conditions for 5 years. Prefer downwind.
- Epic V12 1G, V10 1G/2G, V10 Sport, V8 & V8 Pro
- Stellar SEI 1G/2G, SES 1G/2G, SEL 2G, SR 2G & S2E
- Vadja Hawx 43/46/52
- Think Evo II 2G, Ion 1G
- Fenn Elite S, Swordfish S
- Nelo 560M

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

More
12 years 5 months ago #9450 by smilicus
THanks for all the feedback Metro, Matt....will definitely see what is available when second hand when I have the funds available.

RubberDuck, thanks for the offer, will definitely take you up on that. I am away this weekend, so will make contact in next week again to see if I can take you up on that offer. I'll DM you my email address.

Regards

Smilicus
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Everyday's an Adventure

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

More
12 years 5 months ago #9451 by smilicus
Sorry RubberDuck, see there is no Dm option on the forum. here is my email smilicus[at]gmail.com so we can make contact.

Cheers

Regards

Smilicus
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Everyday's an Adventure

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

More
12 years 5 months ago #9452 by rubberDuck
That's OK, I will e-mail you.

Also, you are welcome to meet for a beer at the Strand Surf Livesaving club tonight. The Strand Downwind Junkies commences again tonight with the weekly paddle. If you want to come and check out the vibe you are welcome. We usually start from around 17h00.

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

More
12 years 5 months ago #9454 by smilicus
Hi RubberDuck

Sorry, been on the road most of the day. Already have a dinner tonight, so will need to pass on that beer.

Take care and will keep in touch regarding the test paddle.

Ciao

Regards

Smilicus
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Everyday's an Adventure

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

More
12 years 5 months ago #9457 by Stew
Here's a blog I wrote some time ago about choosing the right craft. Maybe it may help you.

www.thinkkayak.com.au/2011/05/choosing-the-right-craft/


Ski paddling is so much different to flatwater paddling. Not only do you have stability and technique to learn, you have chop, runs, sidewash, tides, currents. If you are on an unstable ski, you won't master those at the start of your paddling career. Best learn on something more stable and then work up if you think you've reached the limits of your first ski.

And do take the time to avail of the services of a local coach to get some basic boat set up and technique work, it will pay off in the long run.

Welcome to ski paddling, have a ball! :)

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

More
12 years 5 months ago #9464 by smilicus
Thanks for the link Stew

Bit hectic at work today, will read the article tonight.

ciao

Regards

Smilicus
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Everyday's an Adventure

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

More
12 years 4 months ago - 12 years 3 months ago #9724 by ilcentaurorosso
For many things I am an a similar situation. I love MTB and the sea (I grew up on the water)... so a I decided to take e surf ski. I decided for a boat, for beginners but that permit to me to increase my level in the future.

Epic V10 Sport could be the perfect boat for you. Read with attention any words of this review (even if - perhaps - is non so fair... but you also choice another model like V10S of other brands...):

www.epickayaks.com/news/news/review-of-the-new-epic-v10-sport

With this boat or similar boats you can start, and enhance your level before to change and you can also partecipate to some races.



__________________________________________
Only on the sea you are really free (Eugene O'Neill)
Last edit: 12 years 3 months ago by ilcentaurorosso.

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

More
12 years 4 months ago #9745 by smilicus
Went out on a horizon yesterday, enjoyed it a lot. A bit on the tight side for my frame, so will look at a Fenn XT.

Thanks for all the advice guys

Regards

Smilicus
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Everyday's an Adventure

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

Latest Forum Topics

  • No posts to display.