If you are interested in testing one of the new surfskis from Fenn you have to go to South Africa at the moment. Today is a demo day at the Paddling Centre in Fish Hoek. The Fenn Blue-Fin, Elite Glide and Elite Spark will reach Europe in March 2013. Perfect timing for the Nordic countries in Europe. The ice will hopefully be gone by then. I do not have information yet about availability to Australia, North America or other locations.
Fenn Kayaks has launched three new surfski models. The BlueFin for beginners and the Elite Spark and the Elite Glide for advanced paddlers. The BlueFin will not replace the Fenn XT. The Elite Spark and the Elite Glide will not replace the Elite and Elite SL as long as they are dominating and winning the most international races. Fenn Kayaks has a broader line-up stratetgy to attract more paddlers. More paddlers can now find a suitable Fenn surfski according to the paddlers weight, size and specific needs.
The Elite Glide is an advanced surfski that goes well on the flat and the open sea. It will also have really good downwind abilities. The Glide will be less stable but faster on flat water compared to the Elite but more stable than the SL. It’s fast and accelerate fast according to Dawid Mocke. The Elite Glide has the following specs:
• 36cm Highest point on the front deck
• 38.5cm Seat width
• 42.5cm Width at the widest point
• 644cm Length
The Fenn Elite Glide. Photo from Fenn, used by permission from Fenn Kayaks.
Fenn Elite Spark is a low volume version of the Elite for paddlers under the 80kg weight range and less than 6ft in height. If Fenn Kayaks has kept the Elite’s great downwind abilities when conforming it into a low volume surfski it will be really interesting to many Fenn paddlers when they are about to make the transitition from the Swordfish. Fenn Elite Spark has the following specs:
• 29cm Highest point on the front deck
• 37cm Seat width
• 42.5cm Width at the widest point
• 644cm Length
The Fenn Elite Spark. Photo from Fenn, used by permission from Fenn Kayaks.
As reported earlier there is also an entry level surfski, called Fenn BlueFin. The Fenn BlueFin will not replace the Fenn XT. It is a surfski that allows a paddler to surfski immediately, learn balance later. The Fenn XT will be perfect when you have improved your balance and want some more speed. The Fenn BlueFin has the following specs:
• 34cm Highest point on the front deck
• 44cm Seat width
• 53cm Width at the widest point
• 590cm Length
The Fenn BlueFin. Photo from Fenn, used by permission from Fenn Kayaks.
The complete ocean surfski lineup from Fenn Surfskis:
It is always interesting when the bigger manufacturers launches new surfski models. Fenn Kayaks is dominating the international races at the moment and with these three new models they will put pressure on the other manufacturers to act fast to keep up with Fenn. Carbonology Sports has already presented two new models during the year, the Flash and the Zest. Vajda has launched the Hawx and are working on an intermediate surfski. Allwave has done some great results during the year with their CX model and is now planning on an intermediate model. What will the answer from Epic be? Rumors have circulated for a long time about an updated or new V10 called Epic V10 Pro and a new model called Epic V14.
A new surfski model from Fenn is apparently being tested. On photos from Facebook it is called Blue Fin but I’m not sure if it will be the official name. Specs are not announced yet. Fenn is still cryptic about the model. More information, photos and spec will follow soon.
Fenn Blue Fin! The new surfski model from Fenn? (Photo from Fenn’s Facebook)
To me it looks like an updated Fenn XT but I’m not sure. I know some that wish for a shorter Fenn Elite. Time will tell.
117 Surfski Models from 38 Manufacturers
26/3 2012 updated with:
- Carbonology Flash
- Custom Kayaks FOCUS
- DD3 Turbo
- Elio Mazu Fitness
- Knysna Racing Genius BLU
- Nelo Viper 55 Ski
- Nordic Kayaks Rapido 2.0
- Okrea Marmousse
- Okrea OZO
- Oceanbuilt Konastorm
- Oceanbuilt Kona
- Pola Kayak Phantom
- Stellar Kayaks S 18S
- Think Eze
- Vajda Oscar
- SeaBird Wave 5.5
- SeaBird Wave 6.1
- SeaBird Wave 6.4
- Vajda Hawx
More info: www.allwave.it
Brainwave (New Zealand)
More Info: www.brainwave.net.nz
Today I found this very interesting article about Nelos new Surfski. I found it on Ultimate kayaks web site, a new company in UK providing wholesale and retail of both Nelo and Epic. The company is owned by Ivan Lawler, a multiple World Champion and three times Olympian.
Nelo are new to the surfski market but are certainly not new to testing their professionalism in a market that is not their traditional stronghold. Following their recent foray into the world of canoe slalom they are now taking on Epic and Fenn, the two big manufacturers in the surfski world.
So do the current big players have anything to worry about? Certainly Nelo can match anybody on build quality, they also have the geographical bonus of being European based giving them access to the fast growing European Surfski movement. It also means they can supply the fashion conscious buyer with bespoke designs and colours on their ski as can be seen from the ski they have given to Tim Brabants.
In reality though, the only way into a market is to produce a ski that does the job, the rest is just icing on the cake. Doubtless the Nelo ski will go through a rapid evolution as feedback comes in from the early customers, and that is one of Nelos main strengths, they do listen to the athletes.
Access to the bigger markets of SA and AUS will be tough, firstly through customer inertia and loyalty. In the flatwater scene Nelo have attracted virtually all of the big name athletes but in Ski racing most are already associated with either Epic or Fenn.
To collect the firt big name will be key to Nelos progress. There is rumour that Manuel Busto is going to concentrate on ski racing now and though he has not shown well yet in ski racing I can only imagine he will significantly improve over the next year, he may be their best bet.
Nelo will be sending a few skis to the Dubai Shamaal in a months time and it will be interesting to see how many of their current sponsored athletes turn up to race for them.
Tim Brabants is going but last years result was not exactly inspirational, perhaps Kenny Wallace will be their number one chance if he goes. Dont write off “Mr Nelo” himself Andre Santos, I know he is racing and is no slouch!
We hope to get the opportunity to test the new ski in the near future and will try to give the best feedback we can with the caveat that I am not exactly an expert in skis or ski testing, though if I can find a run on a ski then that ski has to be pretty good to counter my own lack of talent!
As with any new venture I think it will be a couple of years before Nelo really make inroads but I for one would not bet against them.
Their skis will come in two constructions WWR and their top spec E, the WWR will weigh about 10.5kg and the E 9kg. Prices will be set in line with the Nelo sea kayaks.
Swedens first surfski training camp gathered 31 enthusiastic paddlers this weekend…
We spent a lot of time in our surfskis during the weekend, chasing waves and nice downwind rides, and we were able to test paddle the latest and fastest skis from Epic, Fenn, Think and Zedtech. We even got to try the Swedish prototype ski from Nordic Kayaks, The Fusion!
Christian Dietz from Bootshaus (general agent for Think kayaks), and Erik Wallgren from Nomado Kayaks (general agent for Epic Kayaks) ”sponsored” the camp with the fastest surfskis available on the market.
Conny Edholm, former World Champion in sprint kayaking ,visited us on Saturday and held an inspiring work shop on proper paddling technique.
I want to THANK YOU ALL for a fantastic weekend! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!
Peter Ekström – Camp Organizer Ola Ström in action
Johan Hasselmark Daniel Hansson, Erik Wallgren, Emil Dalqvist