Entry Level Vs Elite Surfskis


Cape Town Fishhoek has wind about Three hundred out of three hundred and sixty-five days a year which is almost enough to drive the average person crazy. However, the Surfski community enjoys a kind of special downwind paradise. For some time I have wanted to know how an entry level boat for supposed beginners fairs against an elite surfski when it comes to downwind. The millers run would provide the perfect time trial for my test.
  Let’s Put The Golden Rule To The Test!(Stability Before Ability)

One of the things I discovered while comparing my miller run times on the Bluefin to recorded times in my Elite S,  is that on average I was only about a minute slower on the Bluefin. My best time on the Bluefin was 41:15 mins where I averaged 17 km an hour. I believe someone like Dawid could easily record a time under 40 mins in the right conditions. I must also mention that I wasn’t paddling a carbon Bluefin I was paddling a heavy glass version although this might sound a bit fussy.

So what does this information tell us? Well, it tells us that the Bluefin is a little slower than Elite S but only by a small margin, about a minute or 0,5kmh slower on millers. Obviously, this measurement is subjective to conditions, distance, ability  etc… In most cases with most people, the Bluefin will, in fact, be much faster than the Elite.  I also found that because I couldn’t push the boat over waves as easily as my Elite, I was forced to surf the waves as long as possible. I had to work on my run riding skills rather than my brute strength.  

A Stable Boat Allows Will Allow You To Spend More Time On The Water
So in conclusion, the fastest way for a new paddler looking to improve their speed is first to build up their fitness, improve their paddling technique and downwind skills. A stable boat encourages the development of the fundamentals. My advice is to look for a boat that is going to make you want to spend more time in the ocean. Sitting in a boat that requires all your energy to keep upright is incredibly discouraging and can actually hurt your paddling technique.