Author Archives: SurfskiNorthwest
We’re expecting our first shipment from Ocean Paddlesports into Bellingham very soon. Please let us know if you would like something added onto the trailer. We look forward to being able to support our local paddling community as we head into another great paddling season in the PNW!
As in previous years, we plan on having a full line of Fenn skis & paddles in town throughout the season. We’re excited to be restocked shortly – include a couple Fenn Blue Fin’s – our most popular entry level surfski! The Fenn Elite-S is an obvious favorite in Bellingham (a dozen in town at last count!) and the Fenn Swordfish-S has been another very popular design for the diverse choppy conditions that many of us enjoy. Please feel free to contact us at anytime with questions or to set-up a demo opportunity and see for yourself why we take pride in standing behind the quality OPS product line!
We plan on continuing to offer private demo opportunities throughout the year. **NEW FOR THIS YEAR** – Look for OCEAN PADDLESPORTS & FENN Athlete Rep AUSTIN KIEFFER to be offering monthly demo clinics as a way to tune local paddlers up for paddling adventures. Austin will also be offering a Ski to Sea instructional course and downwind specialized clinics in June and July leading up to the Gorge Downwind Champs – more info to follow shortly.
Please feel free to contact us at anytime and we look forward to seeing you out on the water!
HanoHano Race, San Diego
After putting in a miserably cold first month of training in Seattle, the Hanohano Race in San Diego was a welcome slice of sun and summer weather. The race consisted of an 8.5km flat water short course and a 12.5km ocean long course with only an hour of rest between. With a handful of fast doubles and the reigning surfski Surf Lifesaving World Champ, Tim Burdiak, on the registration list, I was fired up for a challenging day of racing.
The short course started off fast! The local sprint club had come out in force and they roared off the line, pulling the pack for a blistering first kilometer (km). After that, things began to settle down and Tim, a K2, and I managed to break away from the pack. We tussled for two more km, probing each other for weaknesses, until I got an inside line on a turn and made my move. Early I know, but the other two boats were forced wide by the turning radius of the K2. I made the most of the gap and immediately put the hammer down. After about a 5 minutes, I checked over my shoulder and saw that the other boats had opted to work together to reel me in rather than chase me down immediately. Game on. To spare you the boring details, the rest of the race was a head down time trial to keep a lead that I only just managed to hold all the way to the finish.
After an hour respite, a few protein bars, and some time in the sun, it was time for the long course. Most of the field (plus some new fast doubles) lined up for the second portion of the Hanohano Race. The hour-long course in the ocean didn’t offer much in the way of helpful downwind, but there was plenty of chop to keep you on your toes. I opted for a more conservative start, not knowing how I would fair in the chop after so long away from the ocean. Right off the line I found myself surrounded by two of the fast doubles I had spotted on start list. When I managed to pulled away from them, I thought I was out in front, but I was sorely mistaken. Two boats (Tim and a new double captained by Rich Sprout) had taken a much deeper line and while they weren’t necessarily on a direct course to the turn buoy, they were a good 200m ahead. It took everything I had to reel in Tim by the first turn buoy (about a third of the way into the race) and for the next few km I pulled out my bag of tricks to work my way past him. We had quite the battle in the chop, his nose staying just ahead, but when general confusion finally lined up in a tiny section of downwind, I made my move. I inched ahead and worked every wave I could to open up a gap. Then I set my sights on the next rabbit, chasing down the leading double. Try as I might (and convinced i ate a lung in the process), the illusive double was able to hold me off and finish just 15 seconds ahead, claiming the overall Hanohano title.
All in all, it was an incredible day of racing and a wonderful way to kick off my 2017 season. Cant wait to be back in sunny So Cal for the NAC Race in two weeks time. Happy paddling and good luck with the early season training, wherever you are (even if that means you are sensible and are cross-training indoors).
Here are the deals!!!
Double XT-S Vac Glass – $2500 – only been in the the water 3 times – NEW DESIGN – best double ski deal going!
Swordfish Reg Vac Glass -$2000 – used only a handful of times – amazing downwind machine
USED Demo Hybrid Glide – only $1000!!!
NEW Blue Fin-S Vac Hybrid
NEW Swordfish-S Vac Glass
XT Vac Glass
NEW Hybrid Spark
Feathers – we have two of them – cross between k-1 & ski – use this winter as your secret tool and you will be unstoppable next summer!
Like always, please contact us at anytime for a demo paddle or for any info on any of these deals.
See you on the water!
We’re super excited that there are now SIX happy owners of Fenn Elite-S’s in Bellingham with more on the way up to the PNW next month. No other elite surfski has ‘hit the target’ like the Elite-S; super fast on flats, comfortable in the chop – most importantly – downwind surfing machine!
The Fenn Blue Fin-S and Fenn Swordfish-S have also been hugely popular as we get cracking for another FENN-TASTIC season in the PNW!
Recently some local surfski paddlers did some quick math to check the numbers on $$ value between buying Fenn skis from OPS or jumping the boarder and taking advantage of a weak Canadian dollar from the Vancouver Epic/Think dealer. Here’s how the math came out –
Epic Ultra Construction vs Fenn Hybrid Construction
(made in China) (made in Fenn owned/operated shop in SA)
Weight – 26.5 lbs Weight – 26 lbs
$4695 Canadian $3200
Exchange rate currently 0.77 approx shipping to PNW – $200
= $3608 USD = $3400 USD
(their prices are about to go up soon) (we’re holding firm & enjoying bringing the best designs/construction to our local ski community)
Please feel free to contact us with any surfski related questions or to set-up a demo paddle.
Hope to see on the water
Big thanks to local paddlers for your continued support of our quality surfskis. We work hard to bring you the best surfskis & we are very excited about another amazing season in the PNW!
As many of you know, Fenn continues to expand their product line, here’s five favorite designs worth considering as the season heats up;
- NEW ELITE S
Latest elite boat from Fenn that won top marks on the international circuit last year, including being paddled by Cory Hill for his wins in the 2015 Molokai and 2015 Surfski World Championships. More importantly, its won acclaim from many local paddlers who have found it to be an amazingly stable downwind machine. It’s a downwind race design, but has retained quick flatwater speeds and increased stability. We have a demo boat in town which is available for you to find out why so many paddlers are making the switch the to Elite S!
- NEW Blue Fin S
Same top selling entry-level ski just got better. New carry handles on the bow, stern and side were added for your carrying comfort. This is the stable platform which newcomers to the sport need, plus it’s a ‘just add wind & water’ downwind machine! This is the ultimate new design that allows novice paddlers to chase the downwind, feel confident in chop, and a stable platform to learn proper technique.
- NEW Elite Double S
You know it’s good when several top paddlers from other manufactures say “I shouldn’t say this, but the new S double is amazing”. Redesigned hull, cockpit cut-outs for improved paddle entry, and rudder moved forward for better grip while surfing are some of the reasons why this double has set the standard as the premier double ski.
- Elite Spark
We’ve said it before, if you’re a light-mid weight person, why paddle the same design as someone 50-100 lbs heavier? Doesn’t make sense to float with most of the hull out of the water. This is truly the only elite on the market for smaller folks. Burns up the flats, zips downwind, at home in mixed conditions. Plenty of local paddlers have become believers…
5. NEW Swordfish -S
The top selling ‘all-around’ ski just got better! The ultimate crossover ski at 20’long by 18″ wide, it’s by far what most ski paddlers need to be paddling! The primary differences to the previous model includes;
Seat is a new shape, a more fitted and comfortable design
The hump has been reduced allowing for greater leg drive
The footwell is lower and the foot plate is further angled towards the paddler
New leg leash attachment point near the base of the footwell
Rudder has been moved forward on the ski.
Please feel free to contact us regarding any of the Ocean Paddlesports products. We are excited to bring Fenn surfskis to our local PNW paddling community. Demo days throughout the season will be posted, and like always, please feel free to contact us to set up an individual demo. Please check out oceanpaddlesports.com for the newest products and deals.
Current Bham Surfski Inventory Includes-
– Fenn Elite –S
– Fenn Swordfish –S
– Fenn Elite Glide
– Fenn Elite Spark
– Fenn Elite
– Fenn Blue-Fin
Plus much more, including Vaikobi PFD’s & Fenn Paddles!
Feel free to give me a shout and look forward to seeing you on the water!
Quick heads-up on some OPS deals we currently have in Bellingham. We’re super excited to help make 2016 your best paddling season ever & have a couple incredible bargains just in time for the Holidays!
– Fenn Elite Double – $2000
Lightly used, vac glass, great condition –we’re giving it away at this price! Won’t find a better deal than this!!!
– Fenn Carbon Elite – $2800
Another lightly used ski at a reduced price point. This is the same design/lay-up that Jasper Mocke won Mauritus Ocean Classic in 2014, he was 6th in a super light V-14 this year. Needless to say – still a GREAT downwind design!
– Fenn Glass XT – $1500
This ski has probably been in the water about a dozen times. The XT continues to be a top selling beginner/intermediate ski. You could spend x2-3 more on similar ski….. but why?
– Feather K1 Trainers – $2000
Probably one of the coolest boats to hit the market. They’re a cross between a ski & K1 – perfect for giving you a wintertime challenge and improving your balance & technique! Talk about the ultimate dark horse secret training weapon!
PLUS, we all a full line of FENN/OPS demo boats located in Bellingham for your paddling pleasure.
– Elite-S – Cory Hill has basically dominated everything downwind in this design. An amazingly stable top elite design – rumor has is that owners of other ski companies have gone downunder to give it a try – it’s that good! This design makes the average working stiff a downwind legend !
– Elite Glide – boat of choice for Austin Kieffer as he keeps dominating the North American racing scene. This boat does everything well and continues to be a top seller in the PNW.
– Elite Spark – the ONLY small person (i.e. under 170lb) elite ski on the market. Michael Booth has established himself as one of the all around top racers in this ski over the past two years. Paddling a boat which fits only makes sense – that’s why there are so many happy Spark paddlers in the PNW – plus it’s an absolute downwind racecar.
– Swordfish-S – The original Swordfish was our best selling design ski in the PNW, and now the new Swordfish-S is poised to do the same. Fenn has improved the hull, changed the volume distribution, and played around with seat & rudder placement for this new design. We’re definitely going to see a lot of happy local paddlers in this new design.
Plus, we have the last shipment of the yellow Vaikobi lifejackets priced at $100 – seriously a great deal for an amazingly product.
**AND, buy any boat between now and the New Year and we’ll toss in a free Vaikobi lifejacket to help you look good in your new ride!
Also, we have a box of Mocke Quick Release Leashes – a must for every ski paddler – only $20. Even if you don’t like your paddling buddies, buy ‘em a leash for the holidays!!
It has been a pleasure bringing the best surfski products to the PNW. Please feel free to contact me at anytime for more info on any of these deals or to set-up a demo opportunity.
See you on the water-
The summer racing season is finally here! And this year, everyone is talking about the Gorge Downwind Festival (GDWF). The inaugural week of surfing, racing, and socializing will be the event of the summer, drawing an impressive host of domestic and international athletes the world over. As for racing, the iconic Wild Side Relay will be paired with a downwind singles race so ideal that it has been added to the 2015 Surfski World Series.
Here is a little video I made to promote the GDWF!
For me the Gorge has been a huge motivator for training. This year, my season hasn’t been optimal, four months out of the boat due to work and a brutal Idaho winter certainly wasn’t ideal summer preparation. But no matter how fit you are, it’s hard not to be fired up about downwind racing! While I may not physically be where I was last year, I still have the best gear in the industry. Thanks to Ocean Paddlesports, I am equipped to make the most of every session on the waves. As for what boat to paddle, Fenn Surfskies are the obvious choice for a summer focused on enjoying waves and kicking butt in one of the best downwind races of the year.
The entire Fenn line-up is downwind oriented. From the stable beginner Blue Fin, to the intermediate Swordfish, to the elite line of Fenn boats (including the SL, the Spark [for lighter athletes], the Glide [my boat of choice], and the NEW S! [the boat that won last year’s Perth Doctor and Peter Marlin, and just took gold in the 2015 Molokai Challenge]), every Fenn is designed to harness the power of the water and make it easier to ride runs effectively. Fenn surfskies allow you to surf longer, go faster, and ultimately enjoy your downwind paddling experience more than any other brand.
Ocean Paddlesports stocks the entire line of Fenn surfskies and will be out in force at the GDWF, but get your order in soon before boats run out!! OPS also carries the Jantex range, paddles known for being light weight, incredibly durable, and synonymous with superior quality.Finally, Ocean Paddlesports carries Vaikobi Performace Apparel. This new Australian company is making a huge splash in ocean racing world. If you are looking for high quality gear designed to help, “unleash the athlete in you,” then contact DJ or Ocean Paddlesports to outfit yourself today!
It’s going to be quite a summer and Ocean Paddlesports has everything you need to make it incredible. Surf, smile, enjoy the summer, and I will see you on the water in Hood River!
Today was delivery day from the latest shipment of Ocean Paddlesports skis & gear. Check out the SA river marathon K-1 – I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of them in the PNW – talk about good pricepoint! Also have a demo FENN ELITE-S back – the new top selling elite surfski! More Swordfish & Blue Fins are new in town – plus Glides and SL’s are in stock. Best deal going right now is a lightly used full carbon SL just in time for gorge season. Plus, check out these new Vaikobi PFD’s, made spec for ski & outrigger paddling. High visibility, great low profile design, quality details & construction – VAIKOBI is starting to set the standard for quality paddle specific gear!
Fenn Elite S 4/15/2015
by Steve Scoggins
This review reflects multiple paddles over a weeklong period in a variety of classic Pacific NW Bellingham conditions. I am not an elite athlete. I paddle for fun, fitness, and adrenaline when the weather cooperates. With the exception of the original “OG” Elite, I’ve paddled all the Fenn lineup at some point in the last two years. After having the pleasurable opportunity to paddle the new Elite S, I feel compelled to share the results.
Day 1, part 1
Monday. The ski was ready with a beauty queen appearance that any new boat has. The carbon layup is almost silly light. Wind on the bay seems about 15-20. The waves are at 1-2 feet. Going upwind was smooth and easy in the Elite S. The volume up front sheds the water perfect and makes for a very dry ride. The boat felt extremely stable for its size. Turning downwind, the forward rudder placement is immediately felt. I’ve always had to be pretty aggressive when turning into a wave, but the S just slips right into place almost effortlessly. After several out and backs the boat just felt more and more comfortable.
Day1 part 2,
Off to the lake to do intervals with the youth K1 program. The boat performed well on flat water. The seat and hump are pretty much ideal for allowing full rotation and unhindered leg drive. I’m liking this boat more and more.
Back to the bay for a torture session with Kirk and Morris. Kirk provided the unobtainable carrot while Morris followed along effortlessly giving me motivation and dishing out plenty of comedy. The wind was around 10- 12, which around here pretty much provides ” nussiance waves”….you know, waves that have the basic appearance, but really only provide a constant speed bump that you have to plow over…and over, and over, etc. In my opinion, these conditions are not ideal for this boat. If you find yourself constantly racing in 10-12 Kt wind, or in a location with limited fetch, I think the Glide or the Spark will yield better results.
Wednesday night race at Lake Whatcom. This was a nice test. Controlled environment, 3+miles , light breeze.This race is pretty hilarious mainly because of the short distance. It’s too long for a full on sprint, but not long enough to warrant saving any gas for distance, so basically it’s just plain weird….but really fun. The S poweredup really quickly in flat conditions. GPS showed 9.8 mph off the line. I couldn’t help myself and just burned as long as I could, providing a real nice wash for my friends. Regardless of getting dropped at the first turn, I still made a PR for the course. From initial appearance, I wouldn’t have guessed the design to be fast on flat water. Turns out, the hull design, mixed with the forward seat placement provides a perfectly trimmed out boat that makes a sweet waterline. Fascinating.
I wasn’t planning on a paddle. The plan was to do a short jog/run from Marine Park before the K1 program in the late afternoon. The wind picked up pretty good, back to 15-20, and Duncan pulled up. Its just pain fun to go for a paddle with Duncan, so time to suit up. The only gear I had was a drysuit. We paddled out into waves that were capping or just on the verge. This was a perfect opportunity to run the S on the beam. I can’t say enough about how stable this boat is. Not a twitch or pitch, no need to brace as you slide up and over the sideways waves. We cruise downwind for a little while, milking the bay for everything it’s got. As we turn back for the shore it occurs to me that I’m wearing a drysuit…..perfect for remounts in our cold PNW waters. The boat remounts super easily. The bucket is deep, but not crazy deep. The lack of hump and the stable nature allow for a sloppy remount, no need for precision here. Seriously, just get your butt back in and start
Party time. Weather is giving us some proper downwind conditions, 25-30kts wind, 3-4 ft waves(a few bigger here and there) Tide is slightly ebbing so the waves are right steep, but not scary steep. Shuttle is leaving for Larabee, but DJ talks me into paddling upwind to meet the group. This turns out to be a good idea. We go out along the wall….lots of rebound and washing machine like hay stacking waves. Did I mention that this boat is super stable? The S just plows right through all of it without a hitch. Once we turn downwind I fully realize what this ski is designed to do . The rockered bow knows exactly where to go. The seat placement is just right. The usual experience with my limited surfing skills is one of guessing where to put the ski on the wave. The S removes the guessing game. It just feels right. The rudder is effective no matter where you sit on the wave. No more accidental pearling to avoid broaching. Carve, turn, straight down, the Elite S is a surfing stallion. In conclusion, I can’t say enough good things about this boat. In the week after I took these notes, I found the “nussiance” waves much easier to power over. I still stand by my opinion that the Glide and Spark are better suited for that. Fenn has a boat for every skill, every condition. If you’re looking for a fast in the flats, super stable surfer, look no further. The Elite S is a perfect addition to the already awesome Fenn lineup.
Stability is referenced multiple times in this review. This is a very subjective thing. The author has spent many hours and miles in the Glide, Spark, and K-1, thus the stated stability is in comparison to boats of this caliber. The Elite S is not a beginner boat. Use common sense and choose your conditions/equipment wisely.