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surfskis

Surfskis

This is a place to learn about surfskis, not to sell them. Its purpose is to inform paddlers so they can make good decisions on the type of ski that would best work for the paddler and the conditions they paddle in. Please refrain from sales talk. But we welcome your provision of demos for paddlers and your accumulated wisdom in the process of choosing surfskis.

Choosing Your First Surfski (scroll down to see list of surfskis and their basic specs)

After you have owned and used a surfski, you should have a much better idea about what you are looking for in any surfski you subsequently wish to purchase. There's no substitute for experience in teaching you what you prefer in performance and fit. But there are some general guidelines to seriously consider for a first surfski:


Your Next Surfski

Ready for a more advanced surfski?

Design Characteristics

Handling Characteristics

  • primary (or “initial”) stability - initial stability is resistance to upset or tilt (absence of “tippiness”) when more force is applied to one side of the boat than the other side starting from a balanced position. Another way to describe this is a boat's tendency to return to a fully upright position after it is tilted sideways at low angles (<10 degrees). Boats with flat bottoms have more initial stability than boats that are rounded transversely.
  • secondary stability - is the ease to roll back upright from an significantly tilted(heeled) position. Surfskis with good secondary stability can be brought back to upright from fairly side-wise tilted positions with less force than skis with poor secondary stability. Boats with flat bottoms can have more of an edge on their sides and if they are tilted too far onto that edge can have a very strong tendency to continue turning until upside down - demonstrating poorer secondary stability. Outrigger canoes have great primary stability and poor secondary stability.
  • tracking - is the tendency of a boat to stay on a straight line when it has some forward speed. A keel can provide more tendency to track. The shape of the hull can make a difference also. A boat that tracks well typically does not turn as quickly as a boat that has no keel and little tendency to track. Tracking is more generally helpful in flatwater or straight line paddling while ease of turning and agility are critical in slalom racing and can be helpful in downwinding to some extent. Rocker also tends to make turning easier.

Plastic Surfskis

DIY



Surfski Tables

* By default each of these tables is sorted by surfski beam (cm), narrowest to widest, but each table can be sorted by any column. Most of the measurements have been taken from the manufacturer's websites or from the list that Owen from Wales maintains on surfski.info (which Owen also reports are primarily taken from manufacturer's websites)

* It would be nice if the manufacturers adopted some obvious way to identify generations of the same named surfski. Did Think label the Evo II, but not the Evo 3??? differently from just plain “Evo”?

Single skis (Always pay attention to variations in generations of the same models)

Model Brand Beam (cm) Beam (in) Length (m) Length (ft) L/W Ratio Race Cat Reviews
S1-Z Huki 40.64 16 6.3 20'10“ 15.37 HPK designed for long distance flat water races
Classic Knysna 41 16.1 5.9 19' 4” 14.39 HPK E. Borgnes 10/1/2018
SEA Stellar 41.4 16.3 6.2 20'4“ 14.98 HPK W.Echols 2/09/20
Ian Black 9/11/2018
SES Stellar 41.6 16.4 6.2 20'4” 14.90 HPK W. Echols 9/1/2014
Surge Fenn 42.5 16.7 5.82 19' 1“ 13.69 HPK Surfski.info description 2018
Glide (discont.) Fenn 42.5 16.7 6.4 21' 15.01 HPK W. Echols 10/19/2014
Vega Kai Wa'a/Ozone 42.7 16.81 6.4 21' 14.99 HPK A. Lipp/B. Putnam 2019
demo/review video 1, review video 2
CX Allwave 42.8 16.85 6.4 21' 14.99 HPK R. Mousley 8/20/2011
V14 Epic 42.9 16.89 6.4 21' 14.92 HPK W. Echols 2/18/2014
N. Murray 4/07/2013
Elite S Fenn 43 16.93 6.44 21'1” 14.98 HPK Fennix Elite S 12/19/2020 video
V11 Epic 43 16.93 5.79 19' 13.47 HPK S. Wendelboe 9/3/2018
V12 Epic 43 16.93 6.4 21' 14.88 HPK W. Echols gen 2 10/1/2017
video gen 3 & gen 2 B. McDonald
video gen 3 2021
V12 vs V14 2017
Most seem to say g2 surfs better, but g1 is faster in flats w/ slightly less stability
Nitro 640 Nordic Kayak (NK) 43 16.93 6.4 21' 14.88 HPK P. Rosenquist 7/6/2014 gen 1
Nitro 600 Nordic Kayak (NK) 43 16.93 6 19'8“ 13.95 HPK
Uno Think 43 17 6.45 21'2” 15. HPK (early models listed as 42 cm beam)
Uno Max Think 43 17 6.45 21'2“ 15. HPK W. Echols 11/2/2013 gen 1
S. Wendelboe 7/21/2016 gen 3
R1 Revo 43 17 6.35 20'10” 14.77 HPK
S1-X Huki 43.18 17 6.4 21' 14.88 HPK
S1-X special Huki 43.18 17 6.4 21' 14.88 HPK W. Echols 2/13/2009 gen 1
W. Echols 7/09/2014 gen 2
SEL Stellar 43.5 17.1 6.45 21'2“ 14.83 HPK gen2 not much different than gen1
Flash (discont.?) Carbonology Sport 44.5 17.5 6.35 20'10” 14.27 HPK B. McDonald 7/07/2012 gen 1
Ion Think 44.5 17.5 6.42 21'1“ 14.43 HPK W. Echols 11/10/2014
560 Nelo 45 17.7 5.60 18'4” 12.44 HPK Performance Paddlng 2016
Swordfish Fenn 45 17.7 6.1 20' 13.56 HPK R. Mousley 2//5/2018
W. Echols 8/25/2019
R. Mousley 2/24/2020 Fennix Swordfish S
Storm 610 Nordic Kayak (NK) 45 17.7 6.1 20' 13.56 HPK Surfski.info discussion 2021
V10 Epic 45 17.7 6.25 20'6“ 13.89 HPK 2018 gen 3 G. Barton
g2 big improvement over g1; g3 minor improvement over g2
Storm 570 Nordic Kayak (NK) 45.5 17.9 5.7 18'8” 12.53 HPK
Rhythm Knysna 45.5 17.9 5.9 19'4“ 12.97 HPK E. Borgnes 10/1/2018
S1-XL Huki 45.7 18 6.4 21' 14. HPK W. Echols 4/25/2014
Viper 46 Nelo 46 18.1 5.2 17' 11.3 HPK
SEI Stellar 46 18.1 6.1 20' 13.26 HPK W. Echols gen 2 9/13/2016
46 Vajda 46 18.1 5.88 19'4” 12.79 HPK
R2 Revo 46 18.1 6.35 20'10“ 13.8 HPK
Vega Flex Kai Wa'a/Ozone 46.3 18.25 6.25 20'6” 13.5 HPK M. Wood 1/29/2020
Flex vs Swordfish S 7/20/2021
550 L Nelo 47 18.5 5.5 18' 11.7 HPK W. Echols 12/27/2017
N. Murray 11/10/2017
Evo Think 47 18.5 6.25 20'6“ 13.3 HPK W. Echols 6/27/2014 Evo II
R. Mousley 7/30/2013 Evo II
W. Echols 3/16/2018 gen 3
gen 2 big improvement, gen3 not as much
S1-R Huki 47 18.5 6.1 19'11” 12.98 HPK W. Echols 1/18/2009 gen 1
Surfski.info S1-R vs Swordfish S 2019
Mako XT Fenn 48 18.9 5.8 19' 12.08 HPK R. Mousley 2/3/2019
V10 Sport Epic 48 18.9 6.1 20' 12.71 HPK W. Echols 1/14/2009 gen 1
Surfski.info discussion gen 1 vs gen 2 vs V8 etc.
Zest Carbonology Sport 48 18.9 6.15 20'2“ 12.81 HPK Surfski.info Zest vs. Swordfish S 2019
SR Stellar 48 18.9 5.84 19'2” 12.17 HPK gen 2 much better than gen 1
R3 Revo 48 18.9 6.05 (2017) 19'10“ 12.6 HPK (length 6.35 (2016 version)) R. Tindall video review
Six Think 48.25 19 6 19' 8” 12.44 HPK V9 vs Six
Squall 580 Nordic Kayak (NK) 49 19.3 5.8 19' 11.84 HPK
Squall 540 Nordic Kayak (NK) 49 19.3 5.4 17'9“ 11.02 HPK
V9 Epic 49 19.3 5.79 19' 11.82 HPK B. Maynard Next Level Kayaking 2020
M. Sundin video review 5/4/2020
video V5, V8, V8 pro, V9 comparison
540 L Nelo 50 19.7 5.4 17'9” 10.8 FSK W. Echols 5/20/2020
V8 Pro Epic 50.8 20 5.79 19' 11.4 HPK N. Murray 8/6/2016
Surfski.info V8 vs V8 pro 2017
Paddle Channel Video review 2020
Boost Carbonology Sport 51 20 5.95 19'6“ 11.67 HPK Surfski.info 2020
Eze (discont.) Think 51 20 5.18 17' 10.16 FSK
520 Nelo 52 20.5 5.2 17' 10. FSK Surfski.info 520 vs V8 Pro 2018
TCSurfski 10/30/2018
Zen Think 52 20.5 5.6 18'4” 10.77 FSK W. Echols 7/19/2019
Bluefin S Fenn 53 20.9 5.9 19'3“ 11.13 HPK Surfski.info vs V8 Pro 2019
Surfski.info jump to Swordfish 2015
Exrcise Nordic Kayak 54 21.25 5.5 18' 1” 10.19 FSK G. Harbrecht 2021
V8 Epic 54 21.25 5.48 18' 10.15 FSK Surfski.info V8 gen 2 2014
Paddle Channel Video Review 2020
V7 Epic 54 21.25 5.2 17' 9.63 FSK M. Sundin video 1/13/2021 (plastic)
510 Nelo 55 21.6 5.1 16'9“ 9.27 FSK Video Review 6/9/2018 (plastic)
Club 540 Nordic Kayak 55 21.6 5.4 17'9” 9.82 FSK
Ace Think 56 22 5.38 17'8“ 9.61 FSK Surfski.info Ace vs. V8 2020
Cruze Carbonology Sport 56 22 5.5 18' 9.82 FSK

Single skis for lighter paddlers or children (from narrowest to widest beam)

Model Brand Beam (cm) Beam (in) Length (m) Length (ft) Max Weight (lbs) L/W Ratio Race Cat Reviews
FutureKids Ocean Ski MicroNelo 36 14.17 2.8 9' 2” ? 7.78 FSK
FutureKids Ocean Ski Mini Nelo 36 14.17 3.5 11' 6“ ? 9.72 FSK
FutureKids Ocean Ski Maxi Nelo 38 14.96 4.2 13' 9” ? 11.05 HPK
S1-A Huki 40.64 16 5.59 18'4“ 176 13.75 HPK
Elite Spark Fenn 41 16 6.44 21'1” 176 15.71 HPK W. Echols 9/1/2014
B. LeCompte 9/10/2014
The version reviewed in 2014 was wider - 42.5 cm
V-10L Epic 44 17.3 6.15 21'2“ 165 13.98 HPK W. Echols 9/1/2014
Pulse Carbonology Sport 44 17.3 6 19'8” 176 13.64 HPK
Vault Carbonology Sport 46 18.1 6.1 20' 176 13.26 HPK B. McDonald review 2011
550 ML Nelo 47 18.5 5.5 18' 165 11.7 HPK
SonicX Knysna 47 18.5 4.15 13' 7“ 132 8.83 FSK Z. Handler review 2019
Jet Think 48 19 5.2 17' 176 10.83 FSK W. Echols 2/11/2021
Splash Carbonology Sport 49 19.3 4.85 15'11” 132 9.9 FSK
540 ML Nelo 50 19.7 5.4 17'9“ 165 10.8 FSK
Colibri Allwave 57 22.4 4.80 15' 9” ? 8.42 FSK

Doubles (from narrowest to widest beam)

Model Brand Beam (cm) Beam (in) Length (m) Length (ft) L/W Ratio Race Cat Reviews
Blast Carbonology Sport 46 18 7.4 24'2“ 16.09 HPK
Elite S Fenn 46.5 18.3 7.5 24'7” 16.13 HPK
V10 Epic 48 18.9 7.6 24'11“ 15.83 HPK
S2E Stellar 48 18.9 7.5 24'7” 15.63 HPK
S2-XM Huki 50 19.75 7.4 24'2“ 14.8 HPK
Zest Carbonology Sport 50 19.75 7.2 23'7” 14.4 HPK
670 Nordic Kayak 50 19.75 6.7 22' 7“ 13.4 HPK
XT S Fenn 51 20 7.5 24'7” 14.71 HPK
Boost Carbonology Sport 52 20.5 7.2 23'7“ 13.85 HPK
V8 Epic 57 22.4 6.7 22'7” 11.75 FSK
600 Nelo 60 23.6 6 19'8“ 10. FSK

Manufacturers

The Future

Resources

surfskis.txt · Last modified: 2021/09/24 15:50 by preavley