New and old Fenn, elite spark comparison

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1 month 4 weeks ago #40812 by pilotdov
I just picked up a new Fenn Elite Spark, Phoenix S from Bruce Gibson ant Venture Sport in Boca Raton, Florida and took it out this morning for the first time in some light micro bump and wind chop in the basin.

I have an older spark that I picked up a few months ago to ease my transition from the ski I previously had which was a Carbonology Vault. My older spark is, i think from around 2015. I started on Surfski four years ago on an older fan XT mako. I then went to the Vault and then then had a short stint with the new 2022 Swordfish S. Just as a side note, I thought the swordfish had too much volume for my weight, and I felt quarky in it, although it surfed like a feather, and seem to just wanna go and almost anything. I think in retrospect, it may have been good to hold onto the SF for big conditions.

My first impressions are the new Spark is that it’s a different boat from the older non Fennix S models in a subtle way, but also profound way. From the initial impression and outset the new boat is seemingly more stable.
The new ski is a full carbon vacuum, and the older one is a carbon hybrid by the way.

I consider myself an intermediate level skier, jumping into the elite world in a low volume boat because my weight is about 155 pounds.

I’ll have more impressions of the boat when I take it out in bigger conditions especially downwind conditions, but for now here are my initial thoughts. Also, I took some dimensions and photos for your review.

Keep in mind that these are not perfect dimensions or weights and are an approximation. It’s hard to measure and weigh the ski exactly.

Spark Surfski comparison

The new carbon vacuum is
- 1.2 pound lighter at 24.7 pounds. I thought it would be lighter, oh well and I’ll live with that.
- Bucket is 1/4 inch deeper and I think that adds to the overall stability.
- 1/8 inch narrower at 16.5 inches. A little bit more snug which I like because I like to feel the boat around me as if I’m wearing it.
- Rudder is 2.25 inches further forward from stern
- Hump is 3/4 of an inch lower to top of rails. This is really great and makes a huge difference in the leg drive. The new foot brace can be a little bit further forward, adding to the stability because my knees are lower and I could still get enough leg drive to transfer power to the boat.
- .5 inch deeper well at the foot brace. I think this two adds disability because my body weight even though my feet don’t weigh a lot at my feet obviously, but I am transferring power to the boat at a lower center gravity location.
- Front of cockpit is 3 1/2 inches more forward at 90” from bow. I think all this does is make the cockpit longer for taller paddlers, but maybe it also enhances surfing characteristics. I’m not sure yet.
- Cockpit is 1 inch longer.
- .5 inches deeper as measured from bottom of boat to top of boat in front of cockpit. This gives more volume in the nose and I think that’s why the boat feels a little bit more floaty than the old one. I’m assuming this also would give it more surf ability, and less pearling tendency on swell. We shall sea (see), pun intended.
- .25 inch deeper in back of taper at the nose. Again, it seems like there’s more volume in the nose.
- About .5 inch narrower at the nose graphic. The surprise me that they made it narrower, but I could’ve measured wrong.

I’ll have more impressions and post it after I take it out in different types of conditions
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1 month 4 weeks ago #40813 by zachhandler
That is great a great write up, thank you!

Current Skis: Epic v10 g3, NK 670 double, NK exrcize, Kai Wa’a Vega, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X
Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Nelo 550 g2, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy

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1 month 3 weeks ago #40814 by Steve Hansen
Great info for us lighter paddlers. Marketing doesn't seem to be Fenn's strong suit. You'd think they would be keen to create some buzz when they they make an upgrade to their skis. Did you try or consider any Epic skis ?

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1 month 3 weeks ago #40815 by Paul600
Paddle an old glass Spark but have a new Carbon one on order. Getting excited now!

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1 month 3 weeks ago #40816 by pilotdov
I used the Epic V9 Gen 2,or it may have been a gen 3 in Hawaii and it was super stable especially on the surf. Had so much fun with that boat. I did not have to think about balance at all.

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1 month 3 weeks ago #40817 by pilotdov
Yes, I think the changes are worth it. I am still going to keep my order Spark for now and use it for more flat water conditions.

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