Mark’s Dairy – Winter Series Race 9 Cancelled, Mauritius, New Ski, Constructions


It would have been good to get in a 25km down wind paddle over part of the Scottburgh to Brighton Marathon course that is looming in two weeks time. It would have not done the fleet much good to have another wave of damaged ski’s, before the big event at the end of the season. Added to which the safety crews, a real hard core bunch from the south coast would not risk going out in high winds and huge surf.

We are left with a course race on the Durban beachfront this coming weekend to complete race 10 and the series. I have used both the cancelled races to get in some serious distance training for the Scottburgh to Brighton Marathon so hopefully the shock of sitting on my butt for 3.5hours will not be so severe.


Barry Lewin finished in 8th place in Mauritius, by his own admission, not as good as he was expecting, but competitive as usual in a very classy field. The BULLET has hit Mauritius though, attracting lots of attention.

Picture of Barry on the “GREEN MACHINE” in Mauritius.


The market has been dabbling for a while to find a “next step up”, from the very successful entry level ski’s like the Fenn XT and our popular HORIZON. The introduction of a 6m long ski, which is in between the 5.7m length of the entry level ski’s and the 6.4m length of the intermediate and racing ski’s is interesting. This length of ski has been tried before with limited long term success. While it may in the minds of the novice paddler appear to be faster than the entry level ski’s, it is still nowhere as competitive as a full length 6.4m long intermediate ski. The step up is so small that to move to an intermediate level of ski, the paddler will have to upgrade once again in a short space of time.

For a ski to take the paddler to the next level it needs to be user friendly enough but at least the length of the other intermediate 6.4m long ski’s. We believe that we have bridged that gap with a new ski that we will be molding shortly. The ski has been tested over a spectrum of young paddlers that have only paddled HORIZON’s before. In each case they were able to paddle at full speed without any balance problems or bracing, but were 10-15% faster than they were on the shorter ski’s.

Watch this pace.


While it is true that a lot of ski’s were damaged in the shore break at the Durban surfski world Cup due to the inexperience of a number of the paddlers, I also believe that a lot of the ski’s are being offered in a “glass vacuum” construction by some manufacturers. This may be an answer for a lighter boat and also lighter on the budget, but a serious compromise in strength. In a glass vacuum construction 60% of the resin is extracted from the shell of the craft and it is not replaced by anything. The craft looks good when you get it but cannot withstand any impact. I do not think as many of the estimated 50 ski’s that were damaged in the shore break at the World Cup would have broken if they were made in a proper carbon vacuum construction.

See you on the water



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2 Responses to Mark’s Dairy – Winter Series Race 9 Cancelled, Mauritius, New Ski, Constructions

  1. John Woolf says:

    Hi Mark,
    This is great news about this new ski being developed. What are you going to call it and when will it beavailable? I have such a lot of fun on my Horizon, but feel that the jump to the Synergy was too great. We did a 25km down wind (15kts SW) from Pelican Point to Swakop about 3 weeks ago and was not too far behind our top paddler ( Fenn SL), but managed to out paddle the other guy on a Fenn Elite mainly because he was very unstable. The Horizon performed great and got onto the runs nicely. I look forward to trying out this new intermediate ski as I am sure that it will be a lot faster than the Horizon. Please keep me posted.


    John Woolf
    Swakopmund, Namibia

    • Hi John,

      Great to hear from you, thanks for your posting.

      We have a few final touches to do, but I would guess at least 4 more weeks before we can start making the ski. We have not named the new ski yet.
      (Watch this space).

      The new ski will definitely be the answer for plenty of paddlers.

      Reverting Regards.

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