Latest Surfski News

Monday, 22 March 2021 10:35
[Given a recent encounter with bluebottles here in Cape Town, South Africa, this article from 2007 is hereby recycled as being very relevant!] On a 2007 "Miller's Run" on singles in a big South-Easter, from Miller's Point to Fish Hoek, about 20 minutes into the paddle, my paddling partner Gavin Gottschalk and I were stung by bluebottles.
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Monday, 22 March 2021 10:35
[Given a recent encounter with bluebottles here in Cape Town, South Africa, this article from 2007 is hereby recycled as being very relevant!] On a 2007 "Miller's Run" on singles in a big South-Easter, from Miller's Point to Fish Hoek, about 20 minutes into the paddle, my paddling partner Gavin Gottschalk and I were stung by bluebottles.
Read more...
Tuesday, 16 March 2021 13:54
It’s not easy to catch a rolling, runaway single ski in 30kt of gusting wind – and as they attempted to grab it, Alex and his doubles partner lost their balance and fell into the water. By the time they’d remounted, the single ski was gone – blown away by the strengthening near-gale. They turned and paddled back upwind to find their buddy.
Read more...
Tuesday, 16 March 2021 13:54
It’s not easy to catch a rolling, runaway single ski in 30kt of gusting wind – and as they attempted to grab it, Alex and his doubles partner lost their balance and fell into the water. By the time they’d remounted, the single ski was gone – blown away by the strengthening near-gale. They turned and paddled back upwind to find their buddy.
Read more...
Wednesday, 03 March 2021 12:08
Accident reports are easy to write when the story ends happily, but this one didn’t and it’s with a very heavy heart that I’m writing this, with a view to learning what we can from it.
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Wednesday, 03 March 2021 12:08
Accident reports are easy to write when the story ends happily, but this one didn’t and it’s with a very heavy heart that I’m writing this, with a view to learning what we can from it.
Read more...
Wednesday, 15 July 2020 09:13
When the NSRI found Duncan MacDonald, he was approximately 6km off Smitswinkel Bay, drifting rapidly further offshore. Gale-force squalls whipped sheets of spray off the waves, reducing visibility almost to nothing. What Happened? Given the small size of the surfski community, there’s always intense interest whenever there’s a rescue. What happened? What did they do wrong? What can we learn from it? Clearly there are lessons to be learnt from any mishap – so here’s a description of what happened, shared with the permission and cooperation of the folks involved in the hope that we might all learn from this…
Wednesday, 15 July 2020 09:13
When the NSRI found Duncan MacDonald, he was approximately 6km off Smitswinkel Bay, drifting rapidly further offshore. Gale-force squalls whipped sheets of spray off the waves, reducing visibility almost to nothing. What Happened? Given the small size of the surfski community, there’s always intense interest whenever there’s a rescue. What happened? What did they do wrong? What can we learn from it? Clearly there are lessons to be learnt from any mishap – so here’s a description of what happened, shared with the permission and cooperation of the folks involved in the hope that we might all learn from this…
Friday, 24 April 2020 11:41
Durban – As the continued coronavirus lockdown grips the country, Canoeing South Africa will host a 24 hour Canoeing4COVID-19 event this weekend as a way to raise funds for members of the broader paddling community that have been badly affected by the lockdown.
Read more...
Friday, 24 April 2020 11:41
Durban – As the continued coronavirus lockdown grips the country, Canoeing South Africa will host a 24 hour Canoeing4COVID-19 event this weekend as a way to raise funds for members of the broader paddling community that have been badly affected by the lockdown.
Read more...
Wednesday, 11 March 2020 14:35
“Hey, Rob! Help!” The shouts penetrated the sound of the howling wind and crashing waves – and even through the noise it was obvious from the tone of his voice that something was seriously wrong. I turned and headed back upwind.
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Wednesday, 11 March 2020 14:35
“Hey, Rob! Help!” The shouts penetrated the sound of the howling wind and crashing waves – and even through the noise it was obvious from the tone of his voice that something was seriously wrong. I turned and headed back upwind.
Read more...
Tuesday, 03 March 2020 14:43
Many paddlers use Personal Locator Beacons, or tracker apps like SafeTrx on their mobile phones. But handheld VHF radios are also a great choice to consider – especially when they’re DSC-capable like the Standard Horizon HX870E.
Read more...
Tuesday, 03 March 2020 14:43
Many paddlers use Personal Locator Beacons, or tracker apps like SafeTrx on their mobile phones. But handheld VHF radios are also a great choice to consider – especially when they’re DSC-capable like the Standard Horizon HX870E.
Read more...
Monday, 24 February 2020 12:01
I finally got my hands on a demo Fennix Swordfish S this weekend and did two Miller's Runs in succession to see if I could feel any difference in handling between the 2018 Swordfish S and the new Fennix model.  Conditions were challenging: False Bay was covered in whitecaps, whipped by a combination of a 25-30kt southeaster and small, confused seas.  The result?  I definitely want to spend more time in this boat.
Read more...

Latest Forum Topics

Pimp My Ski - Mods to the Red7

Sunday, 04 July 2010 16:33 | Written by 
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Jamii Hamlin and his Red7 Surf70 Pro - Cape Point Challenge 2007 Jamii Hamlin and his Red7 Surf70 Pro - Cape Point Challenge 2007 Credits: Jamii Hamlin

Jamii Hamlin loves the Red7 Surf70 Pro and has made a number of customisations to his ski: footplate, rudders, wave deflector and seat have all been modified.

 

Love at first sight

Rule #1 for long distance races is “don’t change your equipment just before the race”.  But in 2007, a week before the 56km Cape Point Challenge, Hamlin found himself without a ski; Red7 came to the rescue and offered him the use of a demo ski.

Happily he found the ski (and the carbon version that he's since upgraded to) perfect in (almost) every way...  

Since then he's paddled the skis in a couple of Durban World Cups, the Southern Shamaal PE2EL Challenge, another Cape Point and several False Bay Crossings and he rates it as the “most underrated pedigree ski on the market”, but his product designer soul couldn’t resist the challenge to make it still better.

Red7 Surf70 Pro

The next generation - the carbon Red7 during the 2009 Cape Point Challenge

Footplate Mods

The first thing Hamlin did was modify the bungy cord arrangement to clear the area in front of the footplate.  This makes it easier to insert drinks bags (or blocks of foam to reduce the volume of water when the cockpit floods).

Red7 Surf70 Pro bungy adjustment

Bungies tidied away - leaving clear space in front of the footplate

He also found the footplate adjustment a little coarse – and added wooden blocks to allow for finer changes.  The blocks are 5mm thick and the lower block is thicker than the top block, giving a “more relaxed” foot angle.

Red7 Surf70 Pro footplateRed7 Surf70 Pro footplate - modified

Wave deflector

Hamlin moulded his own wave deflector that he’s used on many of his skis.  It reduces the amount of water that finds its way into the cockpit when the paddler is punching through surf – and also keeps the boat (and paddler) drier in big downwind conditions.

Wave deflector

Rudders

The original Red7 rudder had a curious shape and was notoriously ineffective in flat conditions.  Hamlin immediately increased the area of this rudder by inserting a fillet on the trailing edge.  (Having used one of his rudders on my original Red7, I can confirm that it improved handling quite dramatically).

Rudders

Original rudder (modified) on L, big wave rudder on R

The rudder supplied with the later generation Red7 and (Green7) is better, but in big downwind conditions, Hamlin still prefers a larger custom version that has a fatter cross section that improves the stalling characteristics (See Dale Lippstreu’s article on rudders).

Rudder set

The full set!  (anti-weed lake rudder on R)

Custom Seat

Some time ago Hamlin built an adjustable canoe seat that allowed for height, angle and leg length adjustment (the seat earned an SABS Design Institute of South Africa Prototype Award in 2003).

Canoe seat

Award winning fully adjustable canoe seat

More recently he’s been experimenting to adapt the canoe seat to surfskis – a considerable challenge given the variety of shapes and sizes of surfski seats.

Prototype seats

Prototype surfski seats

He claims the seat is useful for some paddlers who suffer from “numb bum” and “dead leg” syndrome.  In theory the cutouts reduce pressure on the ischium bones and sciatic nerve while the seat increases height and improves, reach, leg drive and corrects the pelvic bone tilt, aiding rotation in the lower vertebrae.

Another benefit of the cutouts is that they ensure the paddler stays centered in the seat even when it's flooded (as sometimes happens for example when paddling downwind in big conditions.)

Hamlin can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.