New Skis ** Pics **

Tuesday, 27 July 2010 09:39 | Written by 
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Nelo Vintage Ski Nelo Vintage Ski Credits:

There’s a whole crop of new and updated surfskis from around the world.  Here’s a round-up of just some of them.

South Africa

Kayak Centre EOS 665

For the last couple of days I’ve been paddling an intriguing new ski aimed at the “novice to intermediate” (they all say that!) level paddler.  It’s intriguing because it’s the first long novice ski that I’ve seen – it’s a derivative of the EOS 660 and is every bit as long.

EOS 665

EOS 660 (Top), EOS 665 (Centre), Carbonology Atom (bottom)

Kayak Centre have called it the “Zeplin” but after enduring a wide variety of witty remarks from everyone who’s seen it (“Lead Zeplin, huh, what does it weigh?”  “Big and fat and slow and prone to bursting in flames?”) I’ve made a strong recommendation that they change the name.  In Australia it seems to be known as the EOS 665 – stick with it guys!

First impressions are that it’s anything but slow.  It’s certainly fat – the cockpit is, in my opinion, far too wide.  They’re in the process of fashioning a slimmer cockpit and a hood that is lower.  My first outing saw a number of black marks being left on top of the hood where my paddle connected with it.

So far I’ve paddled it on messy, choppy water where I was able to keep up with a couple of mates who were struggling with their tippier skis.  And I’ve done one small downwind run, where I found that the ski is extremely controllable, holding its line on diagonal runs even on short, steep wind generated chop.

We’ve got some bigger conditions coming up – I can’t wait.

The cockpit, as can be seen from the photos, is substantially further back than the EOS 660’s.  On flat water the nose seems to stick up somewhat – but it may be the cockpit position that makes the ski such fun going downwind.

A detailed review will be posted once we’ve spent more time in the boat.

Contact Kayak Centre at

Updated Custom Kayaks Apex

When I paddled the Custom Kayaks Apex double some time ago, I found the cockpits, both fore and aft, so wide I was sliding around in them.  This made the ski very uncomfortable and to me made it feel unstable.

Custom Kayaks have just announced a new version of the ski.  It has:

  • Narrower cockpits, moved closer to the nose of the ski.
  • Lower front seat and lower footwells

According to Mark Lewin, owner of Custom Kayaks, the modifications have transformed the boat, make it much more stable – and faster.

Custom Kayaks ApexCustom Kayaks Apex

For more info, go to

Updated Fenn XT

I took these photos yesterday of the latest version of the Fenn XT.  The hull shape hasn’t changed, but Fenn have dropped their single footwell cockpit into the boat – and it now looks far more up to date.

New Fenn XTNew Fenn XT

The "new" Fenn XT - with single footwell cockpit

Fenn XT Scuppers

New scuppers look massive to me... where are the bullets?

Carbonology Atom

Another recent (temporary) arrival at the stable is a production model Carbonology Atom.  I paddled a pre-production boat some time ago but this is the first production boat that I’ve seen.  It’s quite a bit smaller (and lighter – this glass layup boat weighs in at 13.8kg) than some of the other skis, and is also designed for paddlers who are 75kg and lighter.

First looks?  The ski is finished very nicely – “elegant simplicity” is a term that springs to mind.  At my weight (about 88kg) it feels like a K1, and I battled somewhat going downwind (nose-diving and broaching) in the pre-production boat.

carbonology atom

"Elegant simplicity"?!

On the flat however, it felt quick – but we’ll be doing an in depth review of the ski, with the assistance of a lighter paddler or two!


Aussie Fenn Mako Elite

Aussie Fenn EliteDean Gardiner’s latest Ocean Paddler newsletter announced that he’s manufacturing a modified Fenn Mako Elite under license from Fenn Kayaks.  The ski has cut-outs at the catch and is slightly shorter - designed for smaller paddlers.

The pic on the left comes from Dean's newsletter - and you can just see the cut-outs... Looks great.

Contact Dean at



Ozflyte R21

Ozflyte recently launched their R21 ski.

Ozflyte R21

Ozflyte R21

Locally manufactured on the Sunshine coast, the ski is aimed at all levels of paddler.

Some vital statistics are:

  • Maximum Length: 6.4 meters
  • Maximum Width: 435mm
  • Width @ Paddle Entry: 330 - 340mm (depending on paddlers reach)
  • Weight:13kg

We’re hoping to get an independent review done on the ski in the not too distant future.

For more info, see:


Nelo Vintage

Nelo has rounded out their surfski range with the “Vintage”, released a short while ago.

Nelo Ocean Ski Vintage

The Nelo range comprises three skis – the imaginatively named “Ocean Ski M”, “Ocean Ski L” and “Ocean Ski Vintage”!

The L and M skis are essentially identical – the M simply being a shorter, lower volume boat designed for paddlers who weigh 75kg and under.

The new Vintage ski is aimed at intermediate level paddlers.  The ski is slightly wider than its siblings, but is otherwise almost identical.

Nelo Ocean Ski Vintage

The Nelo footplates can be adjusted for angle as well as length

Nelo Ocean Ski Vintage

Note the cut-out at the back of the seat

Keystone kayaks in the USA have done a couple of flat-water reviews of the boats.  They may be found at:

For more info, go to


Some juicy unsubstantiated rumors have it that there are some new skis coming out of East London AND Durban AND Perth in the not too distant future…  Fenn Kayaks have settled into their new factory…  But they’re not the only manufacturers in East London!

Stay tuned!

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