Marks Diary – New Ski’s and The Winter Series

The line up of equipment crossing the finish line in the top 20 in race 1 of the series has a new look to it. 

The BULLET has made an immediate impact, (2nd 3rd 8th ). Three in the top 10  in the very first outing. I am pretty sure that with the added factor of Brandon van der Walt next week, the BULLET will soon be the dominant ski in the top 10. Given time, I think that this will spread its way back into the field. 

What is also very pleasing to see is that a few new comers in some of the category’s  that purchased new ski’s this season, after deliberation have chosen the BULLET.

Jabin Lyons and Devon Thompson having good races despite being new to the scene. 

Being a top end racing ski, creates the impression that the new BULLET is hot to handle and unstable. The most gratifying outcome for me is 64 year old David Aikin, in only his second season of paddling, choosing his ski this season moving up from older very stable ski’s, who has spent a good week or so trying to satisfy his mind that he will not be unstable on the BULLET. He tried the ski out in the most radical conditions that he could and has found it to be way more stable than expected and has purchased a BULLET for the season. He beat 50 other paddlers on Sunday in blustery conditions and was a very happy paddler in the clubhouse afterwards. 

When I look for a trend in the equipment being “purchased” , not the top sponsored paddlers, who are paddling what they get sponsored and not always what they possibly would like to paddle, I take into consideration 1) big movers in the results, and 2) I look further back in the results to look for any pattern. In the top 20 finishers there is a good few of our new SYNERGY  2 single ski’s, together with the BULLET which is still relatively new. I certainly would be paddling the BULLET, but for my very wide 6’10” frame, which is leading me into making a wider cockpit version soon. Amongst the novices the increase in the amount of HORIZON’s  is staggering.

The HORIZON has now overtaken the number of other entry level surfski’s on the start line by far. 

The strong presence of one or two other manufacturer’s products in the past seems to have dwindled noticeably, and the increase in our own presence throughout the field is very rewarding, having spent a full year ensuring that we have a competitive ski out there for every ability level. 

A big factor in the South African market is that we not only race our ski’s in open water, but are quite happy to use them in the crash and dash environment of weekly dices through piers, over reefs and through the surf together with 200 other surfski’s. The outcome will always be some casualties. The choice of craft you make should take into consideration the service element. We need a serviceable craft each weekend for 6 months from January through to the end of July. If you have a second ski, that is fine, but many do not. We repair on average 15 ski’s per week. Not always damage on the water, but clubhouse damage and handling damage to and from races. We find that in order to get everybody back on the water by the next race we have to have our trailer at every event to provide a repair and return service, particularly for out of Town paddlers.   

I am back at the drawing board to add a 4th ski to our fleet, to bridge the gap between our HORIZON and the SYNERGY in the intermediate category. 

Watch this space

MARK

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About CustomKayaksBlog

Owner of Custom Kayaks
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