red7surf70 v custom kayaks mark 1

16 years 2 weeks ago #2105 by Boof Head
G'Day. Can anybody provide a comparison between these two boats? Cheers

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16 years 2 weeks ago #2106 by stuartknaggs
Hi Craig - doesn't seem like anyone else is going to comment - so here goes. The Mark 1 is a proven design, but from a previous generation of skis. It has won a number of top competitions and can be considered the Icon / V10 / Mako of the late 1990s. The Surf70 is a more modern design but never performed that well. It has been replaced by the Surf70 pro which seems to be a much better boat. Question is - did it not perform well because it is an inferior boat or was it because none of the top paddlers wanted to use it?? I have heard that the Surf70 is more stable than the Mark1 - I can't comment as they both feel the same to me. I hope that helps. As always - try them both - see how they feel to you.

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16 years 1 week ago #2107 by Dale Lippstreu
Hi Craig

I paddled a Mark 1 for 2-3 years before moving to a Millenium and then to a V10. I have also paddled the earlier Red7 surf70 (Valheru) and I now paddle a V10 and a Red7 70Pro so I can comment on all 3.

Stuarts comments regarding the Mark1 are pretty much spot on. It filled a very useful niche in the market being a more stable competitive ski that the average paddler could race comfortably. The problem was the V10 came along and was just as stable but way faster so the niche was pretty much destroyed. The Mark1 still goes surprisingly well downwind but pays the price of a broad flat bow into wind and on the flat. If you are thinking of buying one (maybe you can get one in good condition at a good price) then be aware that they came out in high and low seat versions. The high seat version is not that stable.

The original Red7 Surf70 remains the most unstable ski I have ever paddled and I even recall an elite paddler once saying that he could not paddle it effectively. The new 70Pro is another story altogether as you can gauge from Rob?s & Jamii?s reviews and my comments below. You cannot however begin to compare it to the Mark1 in terms of speed because, as Stuart says, the skis are from different generations. If you are in a position to stump up for a new ski and are choosing between the 2 its not a hard decision to make.

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16 years 1 week ago #2108 by Craig vH
Hey Craig,

I've paddled a Mark 1 (deep seat) for the last 2 years, and is my first "serious" boat since using a spec ski. When I first got it, I spent a fair amount of time practicing my remount, and I wouldn't classify it as a beginners boat! Of course, after 2 years, it feels rock solid stable :)

The comments above are a fair reflection of the Mark 1's performance, and my own experiences. When the conditions are flat, it can be tough keeping the speed up; although on the downwind it can really get going. I've done some big downwinds (DBN World Cup 2007...), and I've been impressed the way it picks up on the runs. It's stable, predictable, and quick enough to have fun.

As the other posts have said, it's an older design, and dates back to +/-1994 when Mark Lewin (Custom Kayak's owner) used it for Molokai.

The one thing they haven't said though, is that it's a really tough boat. I've given it a fair amount of abuse, and it's come through alright.

I'm 100% biased towards the Mark 1! It also helps that the service I get from Custom Kayaks is exceptional.

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16 years 1 week ago #2109 by Boof Head
Thanks for the info Fellas. I eventually decided on the Red 7 after a demo at Currumbin on our Gold Coast. It was my second time on an ocean ski and my first time out in the surf as I'm essentially a flat water recreational paddler (sea kayaks). the surf was chopped up and about 3ft with strong winds gusting at about 20knots. Very animated conditions for my baptism of fire. I made it out the back and beyond without a drama but went for a quick swim when I tried to swing the big sucker around.
i have nothing else to compare it too except for my sea kayak but I thought the tippiness was managable. can't wait 'til next weekend.
Now to find a decent used paddle.
p.s. the mark 1 was sold before I had a chance to check it out.

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