First Impressions on the new 2012 Huki S1-R

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12 years 4 days ago #12212 by Ray
I have owned the new 2012 S1-R for about 11 weeks. I am an intermediate paddler with 6 ½ years of experience who trains about 4 sessions per week on Oahu. I trained and raced primarily on the Huki S1X-Special this past season. I have owned a 2005 Huki S1-R, an Epic V10, and a 2007 Huki S1X-Special.

Here is a brief summary of those surfskis:

1) The 2005 Huki S1-R was stable and nimble but was too slow in the flat for me to be race competitive. I did set a personal best 9 mile downwind on this surfski of 8.9 mph average which neither the V10 nor the S1X-Secial could beat.

2) The Epic V10 was fast and surfed very well but I would capsize during races without being able to figure out what I did wrong.

3) The 2007 Huki S1X-Special was more stable than the V10 and had the flats speed to be race competitive. I would still get that rubbery knees feeling when the sea conditions got real severe making me long for the stability and snappy steering of the S1-R.

The new 2012 Huki S1-R compared to the 2005 S1-R is narrower by about a ¼ inch (18 ½” wide) at its widest point. It has a narrowed catch zone (13” beveled 45 degrees to 15 ½”) as compared to the 2005 S1-R catch zone at a strait 16”. The rudder has been moved forward 2 ½”. The length remains 19’ 10”. The bow has been reshaped to reduce getting stuck when you pearl and the stern has slightly less volume so you do not get sucked down as bad when a bump comes from behind. The primary stability is slightly less than the 2005 S1-R but the secondary stability is about the same (plenty). The nimble steering is improved along with its flat water speed.

The net result is this surfski surfs extremely well! You can pick aggressive lines and apply power throughout. I can concern myself with the bump and my line instead of worrying about my balance so much. This is terrific fun!

The specific amount of speed improvement is hard to say but a personal best on a 9 mile downwind that held for 4 ½ years fell after 8 days of owning this surfski. I went from an average of 8.9 mph to a new personal best average of 9.2 mph (an over 3% improvement).

My first race on the 2012 S1-R SUCKED. It was in very rough conditions with lots of cliff rebound and some groundswell added in. I could not get a rhythm going while the Jolly Green Giant twisted, lifted, dropped, and shook me. I even capsized when a ground swell merged with the wind bump and broke over my head. I was dragged 50’ until I could get my feet free of the foot strap. There were people who enjoyed these conditions but I was not one of them. Despite the stability of the 2012 S1-R, you still need to know how to paddle crazy water to get the boat to go. I have much to learn.

My last race (July 1st) was a better barometer of the 2012 S1-R performance. I lost by 10% to a very good paddler (he was on an Epic V10) over a 10 mile course. There was a mix of small bumps and flat water, all with a current against. This was a 1% improvement over our last meaningful race (an 11 miler on March 31st) which I had been using the 2007 S1X-Special. Not enough races with this marker to make a definitive proclamation but the trend is favorable so far.

I must emphasize that you have to paddle this surfski aggressively to get the most performance out of it. If the bump is catching you instead of you catching the bump you will wallow badly until you remedy the situation. The ride is a bit wet due to the low sides but this also makes remounting easier.

Conclusions: The new 2012 S1-R has been dramatically updated and improved. The primary stability is slightly less than the old version but the secondary stability is still ample. This is a surfski that has the speed, agility, and stability to downwind surf and race at my utmost.

Ray
The following user(s) said Thank You: lost john

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12 years 4 days ago #12213 by AR_convert
Thanks for the write up Ray. Would be great if you could include some pictures. If that is pushing your computer know how, you could email the pics to Rob with your story. He does a great job of editing and publishing.

Other little bits of info that would be handy are Lay-up's available, what lay-up you got and why. Weight? Whether you thought the weight may play a part in the lumpy conditions you describe and if you have done any flatwater comparisons.

Once again, thanks for sharing!

Always looking for the next boat :)

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12 years 4 days ago #12215 by Sandy
Ray , did not realize the S1-R got a redesign for 2012 , you don't by chance mean the S1-XL do you ??

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12 years 3 days ago #12216 by greggreene2
Replied by greggreene2 on topic Re: First Impressions on the new 2012 Huki S1-R
Ray is correct and I was lucky enough to paddle one of the first S1-R's in last year's SS Champs. As a flat water paddler from the midwest I LOVED this boat and was never close to coming out of it in conditions I never see on my local lake. I wasn't fast but had a smile on my face the whole race! I own Huki's NEW S1X-Special which also has a narrower catch, lower hump and subtle redesigning of just about everything else. It is an incredible surfski that has a magic ride like the R but a bit faster at 17".

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12 years 3 days ago #12218 by Ray
Here are three shots of the Huki 2012 S1-R. The one on the grass is my surfski while the other two were in Sacramento with Jude (the owner of Huki). If the pictures do not go through I will try again later.

I should have mentioned that my weight (not including the surfski) with gear is about 170 pounds. My surfski weighs about 26.5 pounds (carbon/fiberglass with a hatch). I chose this layup for the durability and weight aspects. As far as other layup options Jude has many so check out his website (www.huki.com).

The Huki S1-XL was in development in March when I tested the 2012 S1-R and the 2012 S1X Special. It did not have a name yet and the plug had just been completed. I could have waited for the S1-XL to be finished and ordered one of those but I like the shorter length of the 2012 S1-R along with its greater tail rocker. Both those traits give the 2012 S1-R tremendous agility on the bumps.

I just gave Jude a call and he will be showing up with demo surfskis at the US Surfski Championships. He will be at the demo days set up by the event. He also said he might update his website tonight to get the new 2012 S1-R posted.

Ray
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12 years 3 days ago #12219 by Ray
Second try on pictures.

Ray
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12 years 3 days ago #12220 by Ray
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Ray
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11 years 11 months ago #12246 by Trilobite
Thanks for the feedback on the new S1-R. I too, have an older S1-R, a dual footwell fg/carbon layup replete with flame graphics. Dubbed 'Ring of Fire' after the Johnny Cash classic, it has saved my arse on many an occasion, and has made me look like a far better paddler than I am. It's been almost holed twice (it is tough). It's feathery light, nimble, and steers like nothing else out there-pinpoint precision. The rougher it gets, the better the R goes, and racing, I've passed many a much faster boat by virtue of its messy water prowess. As Pat Cooley from Onno Paddles quotes: "Jude builds happiness." Jude was a pleasure to deal with, an upstanding guy.

My only criticisms of the boat have been the double footwells (I'd prefer a single.) and that it gives away on the flats to the faster HPS. Now, with the newer, faster R on the block, I've been wondering how this has panned out. Your review has me considering parting with my old friend for the newer model (which would absolutely have to have the flames as well). I have a faster HPS in my quiver, but when small craft advisories kick up, or the winter months here in New England roll around with near freezing water temps, the R does its thing. Enjoy your boat and thanks again for sharing out.

"Nice? It's the only thing," said the Water Rat, solemnly, as he leaned forward for his stroke. "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."
'The Wind in the Willows'~Kenneth Grahame

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