Choosing the right surf ski for you, what to do and to look out for.
The positives in choosing the right surf ski for you are:
- Getting the best out of yourself and your boat.
- Maximum comfort.
- Enjoyment In conditions that you didn’t think possible.
- Greater improvement and ability to step up to a more advanced boat and to again get more out of yourself.
The Negatives in not choosing the right surf for you are:
- Learning bad habits in technique and boat run.
- Getting a feeling of not achieving anything.
- Not realising your true potential in paddling.
- Frustration and ultimately giving up on the sport.
How do I know I’m choosing the right surf ski?
There are many ways in choosing the right surf ski for you. Ways such as researching surf skis or kayaks online, speaking to other paddlers/coaches or watching videos of different craft in action. And ultimately finding a professional to fit a boat out for you after trying/paddling different craft.
So the biggest factor in all of this is trying to find where you fit in the paddling world. Either be it as a beginner, intermediate or elite level of paddler and being true to yourself of where you fit in these categories.
Most people with some paddling experience find themselves in the intermediate category and in this group is where you will find the most options for ski selection.
The next most popular group will be in the beginner category and the options are not as big as the improvement of the paddler in this group is fast and they hit the intermediate level quite quickly but remember this is a level that cannot be missed, or you will find out about all the negatives that are listed above.
The category of elite is probably the smallest, these paddlers have generally been around for quite a while. They need the least amount of information as they are fairly set on what they like and what works for them but in saying that they will still need to test paddle a boat as they can get a feel for what they like and if the boat they are after fulfils those needs.
With the 3 categories that are listed they have one thing as the common factor which is they need a professional fit out and trial paddle before they buy unless they are just getting a new boat of the same design/shape. The reason to go with a professional opinion is that they will give you options and honest feedback in set up and choosing a boat that ultimately gets you ticking all the positive points mentioned above.
Factors to consider when choosing a new surf ski for you.
The most common factor is layup and what is right for you and what will give you ultimate performance. To go the lightest layup of ski or not. The biggest tip I will give you for these questions is that you must weigh up where you store the ski, are you racing, and do you have difficulty in getting the ski of the car?
By weighing these factors up will make it easy for you in choosing the layup option. Also, storage of the ski will help in your decision such as if you leave your ski on the roof of your car or not or if you leave your ski under cover or not.
After that, factors to consider here are in the Epic layup are for the elite surf ski. This Surf ski comes in black and if it’s left in the direct sunlight for long periods of time can end up causing you trouble. So in this situation I would be getting the layup below in the ultra which is not much heavier but still delivers great performance in racing and speed. If that’s what you are after and the white finish will not give you the hassle of what a black ski will give if left in the sun.
Also this can link well in the layup option. If you are racing and are trying to get the most out of your performance or not.
The Lightest Boat Possible
This option I would always go for the lightest boat that you can afford as the lighter the boat the easier it is to get up on a plane and get maximum speed. The heavier the boat the harder it is to achieve this. If you are not into racing and performance then weight factor becomes an issue for things like taking your ski on and off the car, your height and where you store your boat if it is easy to store or not.
Having a light boat or surf ski is great for getting on and off your car. Especially when you have finished your paddle and you are tired. If it’s light then getting it onto the car is easier and hassle free. If it’s heavy and hard to manage this is when you have greater chance of dropping the ski and damaging it. This will cost money to fix and time without your Surf ski.
If you are shorter having a lighter boat again makes life easier in getting the ski on and off your car especially if you are alone and in storing it at home if it is hard to put away or stored up high. So, all in all it pays to get a professional to go through with you all the factors from set up to even in how you store the ski, so you end up having great paddling experiences no matter what level of paddler you are.