Trialling a racing ski has been in the back of my mind for some time, and whilst at the Balmoral Blast race event this morning, paddling mate Olli offered to give me a go on his Fenn XT. Now keep in mind that I had forced him to get up early for the 18km race he’d just completed, so he was smiling evilly looking for his revenge. It didn’t take long.
For a man used to a sea kayak, a ski is going to feel pretty tippy. The Fenn XT is the “beginners model” of skis and is more stable than the narrower/faster versions used by the pros. This lulled me into a very false sense of security, because it wasn’t long at all (ie about 4 strokes into the paddle) before I fell into the drink.
Now I’d like to say confidently that had I been using my own paddle and not Olli’s wing paddle, that I might have been able to get enough speed up to stay on the ski. This would likely be a brazen lie however. The fact was I was unable to take more than 4-6 strokes at most, with my feet and legs dangling over the edges of the Fenn for stability, before falling in. Olli of course, thought it all hillarious.
Needless to say I didn’t get too far, and only really succeeded in getting myself extremely wet. Olli had had his revenge, and I was in dire need of a change of clothes. Of course, next time I’ll do it with my OWN paddle……….. 🙂
No laughing, just cool you are brave enough to give it a go.
Hehe, well you got further than I did when I tried out my mates Rocket+ (http://www.nordickayaks.se/)
I never got more than a meter from the dock!
Whoa, the Rocket looks hardcore!
Oh mate! I can’t wait to see the 1st edition of Love, Life & Paddling my way (The Fat Paddler) the novel 😉
yet another awesome post!
let’s get you back on a ski again soon – you’ve been in that ocean kayak too long, it’s time to get you on a ski (let’s start you on a Honcho Rookie) * grin *.
Mate – next challenge after the Hawkesbury is The Blast – in a ski – we will get you into an XT by the end of the summer! Awesome ‘photos! O
Yeah yeah Olli, I can still hear you laughing from behind the camera… 😛
FP: Your description and photos certainly persuaded me to stick with my wide boat! Good luck, if you give it another try … maybe it’s something that gets better with experience? Keep the World posted on any progress you make. We’ll (all 6 Billion or so of us) be keeping our fingers crossed.
Haha, thanks Chuck! The crew at Sydney Harbour Kayaks have a ski that is a bit flatter that I’ll trial a bit later and see how it suits me. I’ll be sure to get some pics for the site too, hopefully I’m not swimming too much! 😉
Thanks for trialling a stable racing ski.
Friends and I are researching the 6-7 racing ski models with 48 cm beams that might be possible for novices like me to get out in middle harbour or even northern beaches on a calm day.
We took out the Fenn Mako Xt and an Epic V10 Sport. We both did fine in the Fenn. We were both tippy in the Epic, but many experienced sea kayakers easily transition to the Epic.
You must give the Fenn XT another go. With your legs in the boat. I am interested in how you do because I am no better and because I am about to spring for the $2900 for Xt and paddle. I hope I did not just have a lucky day !
Thanks for keeping us informed and entertained
Gday Mike. I probably will give the Fenn another go, if anything to get Dez from Balmoral Blast off my back – haha! Admitedly though I’m pretty happy now in my Valley Aquanaut…. but you never know! Cheers – FP
I have just bought a Fenn Mako XT. It is so fun! 🙂