Surfski testing

I am determined to take part in Totalsports Challenge 2013, so I went to try out some surfskis at Fish Hoek Beach courtesy of The Paddling Centre. If you are keen on getting into some paddling, Dawid and Nikki Mocke and their team are the ticket: friendly, knowledgeable service from world champ paddlers!

After popping in the The Paddling Centre a few weeks back and getting some recommendations, it was time to head down to Fish Hoek Beach to try them out. The Surfski School is based at the Fish Hoek Beach Sailing Club. I had not been in a ski since the late-80’s, so I was keen to see what the modern boats were like, and excited to get in the surf!

It was a sunny day with a small 1 foot swell, and a light onshore breeze which created a small amount of chop. The water was warm, and there were quite a few blue bottles in the water and washed up on the beach. All the more reason to stay in the boat! Admittedly I fell out a few times, funnily enough when coming in to shore, not when heading out through the waves, which is when I would have expected to be most unstable and prone to take a spill or two.

I tried out the following three boats:

  1. Genius CLX: more of a beginner ski, I found this boat very comfortable, easy to paddle with great stability
  2. Fenn Swordfish: great stability, seemed to track best in all directions, and accelerated nicely. Initially the seat felt a bit narrow, but after a ride in the Epic, getting back into the Fenn it seemed fine.
  3. Epic V10 Sport: a bit tippy for me, especially when parallel to chop when turning around the buoys. Close fitting in the seat.
The golden rule appears to be: “Never sacrifice stability for speed”, so I decided on the Fenn Swordfish.
Richard from Stellar Kayaks was also down at the beach. The range of Stellar boats seem great, but are priced above R10 000 which is beyond my budget. I had a good drool over their top-of-the-range black and yellow Kevlar boat!

 

The Paddling Centre logo Fenn surfskis logo

David

Outdoor adventure enthusiast living on the Garden Route.