Opinions/reviews regarding Think Uno Max

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10 years 7 months ago #11147 by mrak
A few updates on the Uno Max (with the yellow stripes). I just received my NEW Uno Max two months ago and it's improved further. The older version's white enanamel spray finish is gone, replaced by a beautifully clean epoxy spray that doesn't mark like the old one. The construction now is kevlar/honeycomb/kevlar with more reinforcing around the cockpit. This is a beautiful piece of work and it feels lighter but more rigid than its predecessor.
And I finally got a Garmin and can say that I'm pretty satisfied with my 11.9 - 12.4 kph cruising speed on flat water. I doubt I'd do any better than that on most other skis. So I'm one very happy customer and would buy another Uno Max without hesitation (should any disaster occur to mine).

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10 years 7 months ago - 10 years 7 months ago #11150 by AR_convert
Paddled the Uno, Uno Max, Carbonology Atom and Fenn Elite SL one after the other at a demo day on the weekend in pretty flat water. There was some boat wash (launch area was beside a boat ramp) and what little chop there was was all over the place as there are lots of moored boats in the area we were in.

The Uno Max felt a little more "settled" than the Uno, but all in all after paddling them with a Garmin on, the speed and stability of all these ski's was on par for me, the Atom accelarted a little quicker and felt more comfortable and sure footed but also had less secondary if that makes sense!? The Elite SL was surprising, I was expecting something on a knifes edge after my last experience in a Mako 6 but it wasn't the handful I expected.

I would be comfortable buying any of these skis coming from a Vault. When you get to this level of ski it really is a try and see proposition. I'm just waiting on a demo of the new Carbonology Flash before making a decision on my next ski.

I've said it before, the Uno's look great, I love the handles and footplate adjustment seems very good from my limited experience. The buckets are a good fit for me too.

And as for the length of the ski, placed beside other ski's on the beach on the weekend it doesn't stand out as being any longer.

Always looking for the next boat :)
Last edit: 10 years 7 months ago by AR_convert.

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10 years 3 months ago #12923 by surfski987
Hello Mrak,
After 4 months now with your Uno max Elite, what is your opinion about this ski ?
- is it fast as fenn elite ? ( if you have paddle one )
- is it the most comfortable ?
- is the construction strong ? Always dry inside the boat ?
- is the boat coming with only one rudder ?
- in downwind condition, do you feel a difference ?

tell us more please.
thanks

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10 years 3 months ago #12947 by mrak
Hi surfski987,

I've been paddling my Uno Max about 4 or 5 times a week since I got it, including a local weekly race. My opinion of it hasn't changed; it's still superbly comfortable to sit in (no numb feet, a snug fit around the hips, good quality pedals and a finely adjustable leg length.)
I believe it's as fast a Fenn Elite, but the paddler's fitness, strength and technique plays more of a role in determining speed on all of these elite level skis.
The kevlar construction is strong for normal use, however I've damaged mine twice now through careless handling when I've been tired, including sadly, when the wind whacked it against a pole yesterday after a big downwind session. It's going in for repairs again.

I used my normal 7" rudder in yesterday's strong 25 knot downwind and felt ok on most runs, but it did breach several times when I tried to run at an angle. I wish I'd put on my 9" instead. I would have felt more comfortable out there. My fault, not the ski's. The boat did come with one rudder only, but I'd advise anyone to have a spare rudder and one for bigger conditions. They aren't that expensive and the dealer will happily fix you up when you pick up your new ski.

In the downwind this ski goes well. It drains dry quickly, picks up runs easily and is fast. I'm not saying it's better than Fenns in big conditions because I've not had a Fenn elite in a downwind to compare it to. Others may be able to tell you that.

Basically, the ski is very light and fast, particularly on the flat; it's well made & durable if handled sensibly; it's very, very comfortable to sit in and if you have the balance and skills to paddle an elite level ski you'll love the Uno Max. I'd buy another one without hesitation. Hope this helps with your decision making.
The following user(s) said Thank You: thebigadski, surfski987

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10 years 2 months ago #13543 by Red
Could someone compare the performance of both the UNO and UNO Max in flat to moderate
conditions(2-3ft). Is there a significant difference in stability in these conditions to choose the max?

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10 years 2 months ago #13546 by Rightarmbad
I think that the Uno Max is simply designed for the bigger guy and the Uno for the smallies.
Might be wrong there, but hopefully Mr Think will chime in.

Thanks for reviving this thread as I got to revisit my own views that are fading now in my search for a new ski.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the Uno is tippier and quicker.

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

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  • bluefox_13
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10 years 2 months ago #13552 by bluefox_13
Replied by bluefox_13 on topic Re: Opinions/reviews regarding Think Uno Max
Posted this on another thread but figured it might fit here too...




I own an Uno Max and have been testing out a mates Fenn Elite SL for the past few weeks....

First of all I better state Im not the ideal weight to be paddling the Uno Max as its made for the bigger guys and Im built like an anorexic racing sardine at 6 foot 4 and 74kg....

Love the bucket in the Uno, havent found anything else as comfortable. The Fenn is still comfortable, but not as nice....

I find the hatch in the think jsut great for shoving a jacket, spare drink bottle, or drybag with change of clothes in... Miss not having the hatch or even the bungies on the back deck with the Fenn....

I've got the slightly older model Uno Max with the enamel paint job and have to agree with another thread on the forum where they talk about how easily it scratches and marks, but the new Uno Max have gone for gelcoat finish to improve this Im pretty sure....

The chined hull on the think takes a bit of getting used to, especially in big water... Theres definetly a distinct jump from primary to secondary stability, but once there I find theres heaps of secondary to really dig that edge in and it flies across waves faster and tracks straight across waves than anything else I've paddled when you start doing this.

Its great downwind, but I would ahve to say the gunwales seem lower than the Fenn and you seem to get more water splashing into the bucket in the Think, but ti drains quickly... The lower sides definetly make the think easier to remount though....

But on flat water the SL was definetly faster than the Uno Max, and in moderate seas, especially the longer flatter ones I found the SL picked up the little lumps and bumps with a lot less effort than the think.... In bigger stuff the SL didnt feel as stable to me, but that could jsut be how much time I've spent in the Uno compared to only a couple weeks paddling the SL....

I've paddled a standard elite a fiar amount too and definetly feel that the SL is somewhat tippier, and found that I couldnt get the power down as easily in bigger stuff as at that moment when you need to put big power in to get down onto the wave at the top it wanted to wobble underneath me...

Fenn SL in vaccum glass was welcome change from the std elite glass boat of ~17kg I had paddled previously, and finish is nice and clean in white as always with the Fenns...

Dont like the fin shaped rudder of the Fenn though and find the Uno a lot easier and more responsive to turning... And its great being able to get hold of many different types of rudders for the think...

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10 years 2 months ago #13555 by Stew

Red wrote: Could someone compare the performance of both the UNO and UNO Max in flat to moderate
conditions(2-3ft). Is there a significant difference in stability in these conditions to choose the max?


Hi Red,


Preempting anything I say, I am the Aussie distributor, so my opinion of the Uno Max will be unashamedly biased!

Now, with that in mind... The Uno was our first true elite level ski. It was designed to be fast, and that was proved to be the case over many races. However, bigger guys sometimes struggled with the volume and aggressive seating position in downwind conditions, so in reply to this, we made the Max. While both boats share the same theory and many attributes, the Uno Max isn't a revised Uno. It was a ground up redesign as it was out first boat to be CNC machined. Sitting them side by side, you will notice more volume through the bow of the Max and the seating position is a little further back, combined with more rocker through the bow. It also has the paddle cutaways.

So how do they compare in the water? Well the Uno was meant to be faster on the flat than the Max, but we saw at Dubai in 2010 that the Max certainly held its own by winning, in very flat conditions. Personally, I am as fast on the Uno Max as I am on the Uno and have lots of Garmin files I've gone through to see if there is much difference. The Max is designed to offer more stability than the Uno, but in all honesty, I never found the Uno tippy, so I'm probably not the best to advise of the difference there.

Downwind, the Max is a lot more forgiving. An an example, we have a regular downwind run in Sydney we do from Little Bay to Bondi. My PB for that 10km course on the Uno was 39.59. A few months later, over the same course I did a 37.30 one evening, and with the conditions still blowing the next day, did a 35 dead, on an Uno Max (links to the garmin files for these paddles are available on my website, under a blog post called Sydney Millers Run). Both skis were the 12kg Elite construction. For me personally, I find the Max suits my skill set a lot more in downwind conditions. It forgives bad lines and pops over a lot easier for me.

So with all that data collected, I had a ski which was as fast as my old one on the flat, but a lot faster downwind, so I've swapped to an Uno Max. I am also very light, at just 75kgs, and have had no problems with the design as a result of my body weight.

In regards to rudders, I swap between the 7" and the 9" fins depending on conditions. It's nice to have that flexibility.

With all that said, I did a last minute dash to Molokai this year and jumped on an Uno for the race. Conditions this year weren't fantastic, but I really enjoyed the paddle and the Uno performed really well, certainly didn't slow me down.

So what would my advice be? If you are going to paddle most of your sessions in smaller conditions, the Uno will work really well. If big downwinds are your go, the Max is excellent. With there being no discernible trade off in flat water pace for me, then I would steer towards the Max as it is the best of both worlds.

Like any choice of craft, I would advise taking any skis on your wish list for a paddle, and preferably in the conditions where you will paddle generally. While opinions and experiences of others are great to get, nothing beats plonking your own back side on a ski to really feel how it works with you and for you on the water.

If I can help with any more info, please feel free to ask,


Cheers,


Stew.
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10 years 2 months ago #13556 by Red
Thanks for the replies.

Stew, you might be able to help me out with this, what does Think consider to be a "bigger" paddler? Being about 83kg and 178cm I didn't consider myself to be in the big category, certainly not in height.

Having paddled an UNO during an interval session in flatwater about 18months ago, and found it quick and not too tippy for a one off session, I think the weight guidelines could point me in the right direction.

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10 years 2 months ago #13559 by Stew

Red wrote: Thanks for the replies.

Stew, you might be able to help me out with this, what does Think consider to be a "bigger" paddler? Being about 83kg and 178cm I didn't consider myself to be in the big category, certainly not in height.

Having paddled an UNO during an interval session in flatwater about 18months ago, and found it quick and not too tippy for a one off session, I think the weight guidelines could point me in the right direction.


Hi Red,

As a rough guide, 85kgs and above is what the Uno Max was designed for. Plenty of guys on the lighter side of that loving the Max, and some bigger bruisers at 100kgs also enjoying the design. I'm a small paddler at 75kgs and 172cm and haven't had any issues in regards to my weight and the design not working in harmony.

Cheers,

Stew.

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10 years 2 months ago #13563 by AR_convert
Stew, with the seat change in the Uno Max does that mean the Max seat is also lower that the Uno adding to stability?

Seriously considering an older original Uno for Marathon paddling on rivers where we are trying to match the accelerations/attacks of K1's, hard work ;)

Always looking for the next boat :)

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10 years 2 months ago #13590 by Stew

AR_convert wrote: Stew, with the seat change in the Uno Max does that mean the Max seat is also lower that the Uno adding to stability?


No. We designed a optimum seating position and use that in every ski. It is our opinion that the paddler must be in the best ergonomic position and from there the boat is created, rather than design a fast hull and try make the paddler fit into it. This has been at the core of all Think Kayak designs from the beginning, the focus has to be on the paddler and their ability to apply power in a position which is efficient and will also help protect from injury.

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  • Bermy
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10 years 2 months ago #13596 by Bermy
Brett, Let me know when you're looking for a good 2nd hand Max Kevlar (2012 model) in Perth. Adam F has my contact details.

Cheers

S.S.

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10 years 2 months ago #13603 by AR_convert

Bermy wrote: Brett, Let me know when you're looking for a good 2nd hand Max Kevlar (2012 model) in Perth. Adam F has my contact details.


Thanks, but will probably be out of my price range, hence looking for the older model Uno. Dont need the added stability of the Max for river racing.

Always looking for the next boat :)

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10 years 2 months ago - 10 years 2 months ago #13621 by eliot
I’ve had my Uno Max for a couple of months now. I came across from a V10 Sport and there’s no turning back. I’m summarising my thoughts in this thread. Apologies for the long post, but I’m hoping this is of value to anyone considering purchasing an Uno Max...

1. Craftsmanship: I really haven’t seen anything like it, it’s practically flawless. For a start, where’s the gunwhale? (that seam on the ski that joins the hull to the deck). There isn’t one. How on earth were they able to put this boat together? I’m still trying to figure it out. I also appreciate the ‘little things’ like the integrated leg leash anchor, handles, front hatch, weed guard, micro footplate adjustment – these all add up to give a nice finishing touch.

2. Footstrap: this is my only real complaint. My feet are a fairly regular size, but still the smallest strap setting is too loose. I’ve come across from a V10 with a single strap and can’t get used to a double strap, let alone a loose one. I prefer a snug-fitting strap to enable transfer of power from the feet, while still being able to slip out if I come off. Fortunately Stew at Think Australia stocks custom made single foot straps and after a lot of grief removing the old one (I need another discussion thread to explain), this is now a perfect solution.

3. Pedals: I’m not sure if this is a defect with my ski, or just a manufacturing flaw, but the bolt attaching the pedals to the footplate is loose and there is no apparent way to tighten them. The two bolt heads rub or “click” together, I’ve fixed this up by wedging a small piece of foam between them. Next time I see another Think on the water, I’ll compare the pedal bolts to see if this is indeed a common issue.

4. Windage: I echo comments made by bluefox_13. I am also built like an “anorexic racing sardine” and as a rule of thumb, longer skis are “reserved” for heavier paddlers. There’s no denying it; windage is an issue on long skis for lighter paddlers. However, I don’t regard this as a reason for lighter paddlers not to buy a Uno Max, you just need to be aware of this.

5. Stability: again, I echo bluefox_13’s comments. The ski has poor primary stability but excellent secondary stability, the hard chines almost act as a “second hull”; you can tip the boat at 30-45 degrees and carrying on paddling comfortably. It’s quite remarkable.

I jumped on a Fenn Elite a few weeks ago, which is a very similar craft with an identical width and comparable length (the Max is 5cm longer). I was amazed how stable the Elite was in comparison. However the bucket seat was notably lower, which made me realise that’s where the stability comes from in the Elite. The higher seat position in the Max gives you better leverage (as any K1 paddler will tell you) but affects the stability. To summarise stability, remember this is a high-performance ski for experienced paddlers, but it can handle surf and rough conditions well. You just need to get used to the “initial wobble factor” which will fade after time.

Tip: I’ve increased the stability by switching out the standard rudder for a 10” long one. The rudder has two functions: one to turn the ski, and secondly it acts as a “mini keel”. I have to say that the extra length does improve stability. I noted that as the rudder is set so far back on the Max that it actually comes out above the water line (when I’m not on it). I’ve found the longer rudder to be a good addition; it really doesn’t add drag, but it adds a little stability and makes the boat more responsive.

6. Remount: I plead with any new Uno Max paddler to practice remounting before you head into deep waters. The first time I came off I simply could not get back on. But after practice in shallow water and using the side-saddle technique, I can now remount in a few seconds. I found Oscar’s technique at
works like a treat on the Max.

7. Weight: I’m impressed at how such a long craft can be so light; the Kevlar weighs in at just 12kg. The vacuum build helps reduce the weight and it doesn’t carry a thick gel coat which again will add weight, but just remember to handle the ski “like an egg” as the surface is easily marked when knocked. A tin of marine cutting compound and polish is handy to have around, and will remove any surface marks for that “showroom” finish.

In summary, I have no regrets for getting a Max, the high quality craftsmanship, balanced by the performance make it a great ski for an experienced paddler.

See you on the water, eliot
Last edit: 10 years 2 months ago by eliot.
The following user(s) said Thank You: thebigadski, Bill L

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9 years 10 months ago #15280 by chucktheskiffie
Eliot how long were you on the V10S before you took up the Uno Max?

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9 years 10 months ago #15282 by eliot
A couple of years. The V10S is great ski for intermediates and paddling in chop, very stable, but I'm glad I've made the switch to the Uno Max.
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9 years 8 months ago #15974 by fluidity
I tried an Uno Max yesterday. I'm 6 foot exactly, and 101 KG

I have better lower body strength than upper body, for me the seat is too small. I couldn't sit flat in it, I could only get partly in.
However it was fast, light and not a total handfull to ballance. My surfski friend who bought it is slightly shorter than me, but fits it comfortably. he's got plenty of surfski experience and is fine on it, but needs to pick his moments to adjust the bung or he's tipping over.

It's a considerably better build than his EVO.

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9 years 8 months ago #15980 by Stew
Hi Fluidity,

How old is your friend's Uno Max? There has been a small revision to the seat recently to make it more comfortable for wider hips. Any skis within the past 6 months would have the newer wider seat.


The ergonomics of the seat and foot well set up remain exactly the same.




Cheers.

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  • chrisso
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9 years 3 months ago #18144 by chrisso
Replied by chrisso on topic Re: Opinions/reviews regarding Think Uno Max
great thread fellas

the uno max looks like a great boat - I paddled the glass layup recently and found it a slight challenge in choppy conditions with a borrowed paddle that was 8cm shorter than my usual and fixed at what felt like about 50 degrees. - on the upside, having toppled in once, I found it a breeze to remount.

nonetheless in flat water - which is where all my racing is done - I reckon I'm right for it. - don't mind swimming occasionally when playing in the open ocean

I've got a few questions:
there's talk on this thread of an enamel finish on the old model- the Think website cites a polyurethane finish, which sounds more likely to me. Anyone know what the facts are?
Secondly, has anyone paddled both glass and Kevlar, (3kg weight difference) with comments on the difference in feel, speed, durability?
I'm tossing up between a new glass uno max and a 2yr old Kevlar one. Any thoughts appreciated.

Cheers

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