What was the first surfski with a single footwell ?

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4 years 9 months ago #31233 by Steve Hansen
The first one I can remember was a Valhalla, circa 1990's I think ?

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4 years 9 months ago #31234 by nell
I had a Valhalla Victory Special in 1999, I think it was. Single footwell with single venturi. Shorter at about 19.5 or 20 ft if I remember correctly. I would bet another single footwell ski preceded it though.
E Borgnes

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4 years 9 months ago - 4 years 9 months ago #31237 by owenfromwales
Circa late 70`s, Gareth "Gruff" Lucas of Llantwit Major Surf-lifesaving Club in Wales, and owner of UK Surfskis, built the "Ocean Razor". Gruff was a British ski champion and competed in some of the long distance races of South Africa in the early 80`s.

The Ocean Razor was about 19 and a half foot long and flared out like a K1 kayak. We used them for both long distance races and Lifesaving ski races, until the length restrictions became enforced in the UK, around 1990. (there was a way round this with an under-hull rudder and a hacksaw!)

Gareth is an innovator and his skis came with or without his famous "tree" cockpit. The trees had a storage space with a little hatch. At the Sydney Lifesaving Worlds in 2000 Gruff had Burton Skis insert a tree cockpit into one of their boats. This may have resulted in him having one of the most spectacular wipeouts of the whole competition!

The nose design of his ski was also way ahead. Rather than going with the large spade shaped waveys that the Aussies and Saffas were knocking out, Gruff designed something that looked far closer to the spec ski bows of today.

The footwell on the Razors was essentially a single footwell, although the shape of the stringer did continue through the footwell. The ski was also quite adjustable, which was unusual back then. It also had fittings fore and aft to attach carry handles to. Not bad for a ski designed in the 1970`s!








189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy
Last edit: 4 years 9 months ago by [email protected]. Reason: Inserted images into message for more convenient viewing!

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4 years 9 months ago #31249 by [email protected]
You could argue that the Razor isn't quite a single footwell boat, given the stringer between the feet, but clearly it was trending that way.

There was a single footwell ski designed and built in South Africa in 1994 by Rob Welsh and Anton Erasmus. Trying to source photos of it. Anton tells me that there were foam-filled, single footwell boats before that too in SA.

That boat evolved into the original Fenn Mako (which didn't have a single footwell). The next boat to have single footwell was the Epic V10, then the Fenn Mako6 and the rest is (more) history!

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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  • Jef58
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4 years 9 months ago - 4 years 9 months ago #31250 by Jef58
That Gareth model with the protruding "tree" is an intriguing feature. Aside from storage, did it have another function ? I could see (myself) holding on to it in very rough water, but not sure I could paddle around it. Any forum members actually paddle a boat like this ?

I never minded the double footwell aesthetic, especially when made to size where you just have the pedals with a built in solid footrest.
Last edit: 4 years 9 months ago by Jef58.

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4 years 9 months ago #31251 by owenfromwales
The tree wasn`t the best thing for jump-starting in a lifeguard ski race, but if you did roll over coming back in through the surfline in nasty waves it made it easier to hang on.

Once sat in the ski the tree was actually quite unobtrusive, but could give you funny tan lines if you paddled in speedos a lot!

Back in the 80`s we had hundreds of these skis in Wales.

189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy

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