this review is for a demo paddle i did on a carbon swordfish. i paddled it about a mile or less. i usually paddle a westside wave exceed which is 18 inch beam same as fenn swordfish. length about the same also.
exceed weighs 27 pounds, the swordfish carbon is 25 pounds. i owned a fenn millennium in the past and loved the boat except it would rub a lot of skin off my back after about 8 miles of racing. i was hoping to find a surfski that handled and felt like my exceed.
the swordfish seemed to be equivalent to the exceed but ... i did not paddle it 8 miles so for all i know it will rub the skin off my back! the millennium also felt good short distances.
i guess you pay your $ and take your chances, i wish i could rent one for a day and see. the build quality is good and i like the seating position.
the huki's i have tried seem like i am sitting in a deep hole - the swordfish did not feel that way. i have never tried an epic surfski because the local epic dealer never has one to demo. not sure what is up with that but after years of trying i have given up on epic. not sure they want to sell me one! maybe they are smart...:-)
happy paddling!I just paddled the new Swordfish from Fenn at the US surf Ski championships in San Francisco Demo day. I currently am Paddling an Epic V10 sport as a newcommer to the sport (9 years into sea kayaking)and was happy to discover that the move to a Ski wasn't as intimidating as I thought. The v10 sport has plenty of secondary stability in calm and even slightly chopy waters. I was amazed at how quickly I felt at home. I am 6' 215 lbs guy and I don't consider myself as having any exceptional balance skills (never a Gymnast)
When I bought My v10 sport the Swordfish was not on the Market yet and anyway I wanted to go with a known brand that had the proper dealer support in my Area (sf bay).After trying out the Swordfish and having a few months of Experience it seems like I would be ready to take the plunge. I actualy paddled the boat for about 20 minutes in the calm Berkley lagoon and took it out into the wind waves of the bay for a Half a mile or so.on the way back I was really enjoying the feeling of one of my first "Highs" as a down wind Surf Skier, almost without any Intimidation... Almost :-) In fact I felt so good on the Ski I started to do some dumb stuff like cutting a sharper than I can handle left turn back into the Lagoon and being tossed out into the water. A little help from a fellow Skier and climbing on the right side of the ski (Butt to the wind)and I was on my way.
The things I liked about it:
1) it has an Amazing secondary stability for an 18" wide boat.
2) it has the right catch area recess and I don't have to think twice about not hitting the shears (sides) of my boat like you would (and hit) a non recessed ski.
3) it has a double ventury drain which after a couple of strokes actualy clears the cockpit of water.
4) it has a strong and stardy (non squeeking) foot plate.
5) it has just like the Epic v8 a bottle recess in between your legs and a seperate leash attachment close by it.
6) it's suppose to weigh 2 pounds less than the price comparable Epic Performance layup.
The things I don't like:
1) the Layup is less durable than Epic's performance layup.
2) Comparable Layup from Epic costs $400 less (but heavier)
3) it looks Awfull compared to my Epic.
To sum up my short experience both as a surf skier and even more on the Swordfish, and After trying out about 8 different skis it felt like this boat was exactly chalenging enough for me without making me scared. (like the speedy V12 for example) Fenn actualy made an 18" wide boat that makes you feel like a champion. it gives the novice skier enough comfort and security to push himself a little bit further and Enjoy this fantastic sport even more. My rating is 9.5 due to a first time experience only and the "uncharming" looks of the boat.