I am afraid the answer is less about the actual craft and more about the paddler. Most top open water paddlers see the ski as being inherently safer. Let me explain.
In the context of paddle racing, we have a choice of two craft - the unlimited kayak and the surfski. I've owned both. Neither is inherently faster - an unlimited kayak (vampire, thunderbolt, etc) has very similar speed for the same effort as a surfski (V10, mako6, etc). I had a vampire and while I think it is fast, it is *no* faster than a ski.
The advantage of the ski is that it is easily remounted in a race. When I am at race pace (HR = 170+) and I am gasping to stay with the pack, I don't believe that I could roll an unlimited boat, but I could (and can) get back on a ski.
The current winner of the blackburn would agree (he convinced me to get a ski and sell my vampire b/c of this issue).
Does this help?
: I realize this is perhaps a naive question, which might even have been asked
: before. However, I do have to ask: Why is it that surf skis are dominating
: open water challenges, such as the Blackburn Challenge? Looking at the
: times of the finishers over the past few years, the surf skis seem to have
: a clear time advantage.
: However, when I look at the pure specs of high-performing kayaks, such as the
: Thunderbolt, Rapier etc., they seem to be pretty much on par with surf
: skis: Epic V12: 21' and 17.1" and 32/23 lbs depending on lay-up
: West Side Boat Shop Marauder: 21' and 17" and 24 lbs
: What do you make of this? The hulls seem to converge to very similar
: dimensions and shapes. Is it that top athletes somehow prefer surf skis
: over kayaks? Why?
: I'm thinking closed cockpits have the advantage of keeping water out (weight,
: which otherwise needs to be drained, increasing drag) and allowing for
: rolling, while open cockpits may be more comfortable (less hot and more
: movement of the legs perhaps?).
Messages In This Thread
- Surf Ski vs. Racing Kayak