What's safer, a ski or a kayak....?

Paddling , Rolling , Rescues , Surfing
User avatar
Mark Sundin
Posts: 967
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 4:29 pm
KAYAK: Expedition Kayaks Audax
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Re: What's safer, a ski or a kayak....?

Postby Mark Sundin » Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:43 pm

If you read my first post Shroeds, I'm asking a fairly straightforward question, and the answers here have been terrific.

User avatar
schroeds
Posts: 592
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:35 pm
KAYAK: The mighty Raider X, Red 7 Pro racing ski
Location: That sunny place Sydney
Contact:

Re: What's safer, a ski or a kayak....?

Postby schroeds » Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:14 pm

OK although you asked the relative safety question in the subject, in the post you asked something a little different

"How good do the ski paddlers on this forum think their remount is, in comparison say to their roll? When was it last really tested?"

Whilst The discussion about the level of safety gear (eg decklines) built into each type of boat is interesting, the commenters struggle to address your question/s directly. Probably because it's a fairly moot question to compare a remount to a roll - all variables considered.As you yourself have pointed out to me it depends a lot on paddler's physical size, strength, balance etc. as well as the conditions at the time.

I guess I'm questioning the validity of such comparisons.

Now..why couldn't you use your plan C on a ski...the paddle float?

KenPatrick
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:25 pm
KAYAK: Pyranha Fusion
Location: Florida
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: What's safer, a ski or a kayak....?

Postby KenPatrick » Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:40 pm

When we tell people that surfski are safer than kayaks, most people don't really understand why this is. I'll emphasize a few things here:
Let's say you are paddling a boat and fall in the water (it can happen at any time, for any reason - sometimes beyond your control).

Near shore (KAYAK)
If you are within 30 feet of the shore, no big deal. You get wet, swim, empty the boat, remount, continue.

Near shore (SURFSKI)
You get wet, you remount, you continue.

Eventually, all people on kayaks and surfskis start to venture a little further out in the "open" (away from shore). It's human nature.

1/2 mile from shore (KAYAK)
If you tip over, your choices are limited. (a) eskimo roll your kayak and continue to paddle. (b) Swim back to shore towing your kayak full of water and freeze to death, empty the water, remount, continue paddling.. © know how to empty your boat in deeper water, remount, keep emptying your boat, freeze a little more, continue to paddle.

1/2 mile from shore (SURFSKI)
You get wet, you remount, you continue.

So try paddling each one… and then try flipping each one (near safety) and then ask yourself which one you actually preferred. If your eskimo roll is solid, you now have more options, and if not, stick with surfskis. Either way, you should really give surfskis a go - try one for your paddling level (they always seem fast)

Collo
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:17 pm
KAYAK: XploreX, Taran, S18, Gemini SP
Location: NSW
Contact:

Re: What's safer, a ski or a kayak....?

Postby Collo » Sat Apr 04, 2015 7:40 pm

Conditioning, knowledge, a solid skill set, an appropriately fitted out sea going vessel, and relevant recent paddling experience in similar conditions are all pre-requisites for paddling in truly rough water & really big seas. The reality is that no matter the skills and experience contained within any paddling group venturing out on these days, situations can arise where the sea state will negate the safety parameters established within your group and you will potentially be required to get yourself out of any trouble you experience without immediate assistance. Without putting a defining line on what each of us consider to be rough or really big days on the water, which will obviously vary person to person, I would personally prefer to be in an appropriately fitted out sea kayak that can be set up to provide a greater number of recovery options and higher degree of safety. In lesser conditions, paddle what you will with safety in mind & happy paddling :)

Adamjf5
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon May 05, 2014 4:43 pm
KAYAK: Nordkapp rm, etain 17.7 rm
Location: Puget sound, US
Contact:

Re: What's safer, a ski or a kayak....?

Postby Adamjf5 » Sun Apr 05, 2015 2:57 pm

I think one thing is for sure, in defined conditions, one of the two boats is going to be significantly safer than the other. They seem like so very different kind of boats, generally speaking it is not going to be close. So why the widely varying views on this? As others have pointed out, there are too many variables at play. That's why I think it's most relevant to assume the paddler is a highly skilled, gnarly paddler with nerves of steel who is not going to fail his roll in really bad conditions. I am not that paddler, nor do I have experience with surf skis. My gut feeling is that the kayak is going to be safer in offshore coastal paddling, but I already said that.

I think part of the reason for all these varied answers is that we all love what we got. So for those of us who are not expert paddlers and don't know all there is to know yet, we stick by what we got. To help make my point, look at the kayak reviews on paddling.net. Most people say they have 1 to 5 years experience and they give their kayaks 9s and 10s mostly. If you only have a few years of kayaking experience, your opinion matters and should be shared. But to make meaningful rating of a kayak, it seems to me you would need to be a highly skilled paddler with experiences paddling lots of different boats in different conditions. If such a skilled and knowledgeable paddler were to rate the kayaks, I believe you would see much lower ratings. I know this probably seems obvious, but I think that is also what's at play here. People love what they got and want to defend it against others who say what they have is better. And that's why those surf ski'ers are unwilling to admit that their craft is less safe than a kayak when the shit really hits the fan:)

User avatar
Redback
Posts: 138
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:54 am
KAYAK: Nelo K1; Hayden PR2 Spec; Stellar SES; Touring Double Ski (Project)
Location: Sunshine Coast Queensland
Contact:

Re: What's safer, a ski or a kayak....?

Postby Redback » Sun Apr 05, 2015 7:54 pm

"And that's why those surf ski'ers are unwilling to admit that their craft is less safe than a kayak when the shit really hits the fan:)"

I realise this was a tongue-in-check comment, :-) but I'd be happy to test the equation with volunteer in a sea kayak and me on a ski.

We'd need to wait for a really big, gnarly day, then paddle a few kilometres offshore (for situational authenticity) and do some remounts and rolls (respectively) while being thumped by white-caps.

Any volunteers? I'm in! :-)

User avatar
schroeds
Posts: 592
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:35 pm
KAYAK: The mighty Raider X, Red 7 Pro racing ski
Location: That sunny place Sydney
Contact:

Re: What's safer, a ski or a kayak....?

Postby schroeds » Sun Apr 05, 2015 7:57 pm

I hear you redback. ..but let's face it we're on the wrong forum to get an objective response to the question being posed!

User avatar
Redback
Posts: 138
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:54 am
KAYAK: Nelo K1; Hayden PR2 Spec; Stellar SES; Touring Double Ski (Project)
Location: Sunshine Coast Queensland
Contact:

Re: What's safer, a ski or a kayak....?

Postby Redback » Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:40 am

Very true!

User avatar
owenw
Posts: 383
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:34 am
KAYAK: Rockpool Taran, Nordkapp LV, Valley Avocet RM, F1 SoF. 2 x Stellar Ocean Skis, plus a few others
Location: Beautiful Lake Macquarie
Location: Beautiful Lake Macquarie
Contact:

Re: What's safer, a ski or a kayak....?

Postby owenw » Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:50 pm

It is interesting to note from the responses, that in the main the "ski knockers" do not or have not paddled one. Alternatively the most reasonable responses seem to come from people who have a wide experience in both (eg Sundo, Schroeds etc). Just saying!
Life truly lived is full of risk; to fence out risk is to fence out life itself.

Mac50L
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:31 pm
KAYAK: Mac50L
Location: Canterbury, New Zealand
Contact:

Re: What's safer, a ski or a kayak....?

Postby Mac50L » Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:28 pm

KenPatrick wrote:1/2 mile from shore (KAYAK)
If you tip over, your choices are limited. (a) eskimo roll your kayak and continue to paddle. (b) Swim back to shore towing your kayak full of water and freeze to death, empty the water, remount, continue paddling.. © know how to empty your boat in deeper water, remount, keep emptying your boat, freeze a little more, continue to paddle.


Except it shouldn't be full of water. An inverted kayak floats as high as one the right way up. A quick rotation might add a little water but never "full of water".

1/2 mile from shore (SURFSKI)
You get wet, you remount, you continue.
)


If comparing most skis and most "general purpose" kayaks there will be usually a difference in beam meaning the ski is tippy and the kayak not so much. I know from a little trying which I can re-enter and which I fall off. Sounds like we are talking apples and oranges, especially if you ask "What caused the capsize in the first place?" Weather beyond the paddler's skill level? Inattention? Lack of skill?

Adamjf5
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon May 05, 2014 4:43 pm
KAYAK: Nordkapp rm, etain 17.7 rm
Location: Puget sound, US
Contact:

Re: What's safer, a ski or a kayak....?

Postby Adamjf5 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:45 am

Redback,

I would take up your kayak vs surfski in rough water challenge, but we're more than 10,000 kilometers away from each other. i'd probably end up with egg on my face anyway.

User avatar
Redback
Posts: 138
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:54 am
KAYAK: Nelo K1; Hayden PR2 Spec; Stellar SES; Touring Double Ski (Project)
Location: Sunshine Coast Queensland
Contact:

Re: What's safer, a ski or a kayak....?

Postby Redback » Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:47 am

Hi Adam,

My post wasn't actually a serious suggestion, but I suspect my questionable attempt at humour was perhaps lost to everyone but me. :oops:

I'd love to do some paddling in your neck of the woods though. I spent a weekend sailing on Puget Sound during some conspicuously fine weather and I swore I'd go back to do some paddling, but so far it hasn't happened.

Beautiful part of the world...

Adamjf5
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon May 05, 2014 4:43 pm
KAYAK: Nordkapp rm, etain 17.7 rm
Location: Puget sound, US
Contact:

Re: What's safer, a ski or a kayak....?

Postby Adamjf5 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:17 pm

Hi Redback

Well my last message didn't go through again last time and I must have missed the notification. I was just saying I hope you get your opportunity to make it out this way someday.

Adam

User avatar
ludovic
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:11 pm
KAYAK: Nelo 560M surf ski kayak
Location: Brittany, France
Contact:

Re: What's safer, a ski or a kayak....?

Postby ludovic » Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:43 pm

It's a bit of an old post, but I couldn't resist:
I paddle both surfski and kayak, though I started on a surfski back in 1986.

My opinion may differ from others, because after teaching both for years, I can assure you that surfski is safer, especially for beginners.
1. I have seen novice paddlers go into the ocean on their own and flip their kayak in rough water. Since rolling a kayak takes time to master, and since obviously the person didn't take the time to learn those skills, he remained "stuck" in his kayak, and almost died. Worst case scenario: he could have drown. Second worst case (that happened) is that he will most likely never paddle again.
2. Same scenario with a surfski, the same person may have had difficulties remounting his surfski, but wouldn't have "almost drawn".
3. ... and to me most important: it takes weeks to learn to roll a kayak, but it takes a few minutes to learn to remount a ski.
SUP Sprint 14' x 23"
SUP Allstar 14' x 25"
Nelo Surfski 18'4" x 17"
Nelo Surfski 17' x 20.9"

User avatar
schroeds
Posts: 592
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:35 pm
KAYAK: The mighty Raider X, Red 7 Pro racing ski
Location: That sunny place Sydney
Contact:

Re: What's safer, a ski or a kayak....?

Postby schroeds » Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:12 pm

Check this scary incident out... at 1:40 it goes seriously pear shape. If he was in a ski at least he'd have had a buoyant platform to hang on to. As it is he very nearly died.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsLrfPd_yek

Yes, he also would have been a lot better off in a sea kayak.

User avatar
Redback
Posts: 138
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:54 am
KAYAK: Nelo K1; Hayden PR2 Spec; Stellar SES; Touring Double Ski (Project)
Location: Sunshine Coast Queensland
Contact:

Re: What's safer, a ski or a kayak....?

Postby Redback » Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:05 pm

The Greymouth bar is notorious.

Not a great place to play in those conditions.

Maybe not the sharpest tool in the shed...?

Freeride
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 12:18 pm
KAYAK: Mirage 583 Freeride
Location: Hervey Bay Qld
Contact:

Re: What's safer, a ski or a kayak....?

Postby Freeride » Sun Jul 03, 2016 1:35 pm

What if you combined the attributes of a sea kayak with the open deck configuration of a ski like the blokes at Mirage did a couple of years ago ?
After paddling skis for a couple of years here in the Bay and meeting Mark and crew out at Northwest Island a few years back the seed was sown for a craft that would take me further and a reasonable turn of speed with a bit of storage but with a deck configuration that suited tropical paddling, was easy to remount and forgiving enough for a novice kayak paddler.My journey led me to the Freeride from Mirage.
I guess there will always be a bit of Kayak Vs Ski rivalry but why not have the best of both worlds (almost).
Cheers , Richo.

User avatar
Mark Sundin
Posts: 967
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 4:29 pm
KAYAK: Expedition Kayaks Audax
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Re: What's safer, a ski or a kayak....?

Postby Mark Sundin » Sun Jul 03, 2016 5:38 pm

G'day Richo! I was wondering if that was you...!

User avatar
Redback
Posts: 138
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:54 am
KAYAK: Nelo K1; Hayden PR2 Spec; Stellar SES; Touring Double Ski (Project)
Location: Sunshine Coast Queensland
Contact:

Re: What's safer, a ski or a kayak....?

Postby Redback » Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:55 pm

Freeride wrote:What if you combined the attributes of a sea kayak with the open deck configuration of a ski like the blokes at Mirage did a couple of years ago ?
After paddling skis for a couple of years here in the Bay and meeting Mark and crew out at Northwest Island a few years back the seed was sown for a craft that would take me further and a reasonable turn of speed with a bit of storage but with a deck configuration that suited tropical paddling, was easy to remount and forgiving enough for a novice kayak paddler.My journey led me to the Freeride from Mirage.
I guess there will always be a bit of Kayak Vs Ski rivalry but why not have the best of both worlds (almost).
Cheers , Richo.


The Stellar S18S is another good option for those wishing to combine the attributes of a ski and sea kayak.

Comfortable, well built and it has a decent turn of speed too...

User avatar
schroeds
Posts: 592
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:35 pm
KAYAK: The mighty Raider X, Red 7 Pro racing ski
Location: That sunny place Sydney
Contact:

Re: What's safer, a ski or a kayak....?

Postby schroeds » Mon Jul 04, 2016 2:14 pm

Two ways to look at these products: they're either the best of both worlds ie a brilliant hybrid if you don't mind compromising... or the worst of both worlds if you don't want to.

Depends on how 'applied' your usage is.


Return to “TECHNIQUE”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest