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Stellar Surfski SEL

Spesialt godt egnet for skandinaviske forhold med moderat bølgehøyde.
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Produktinfo

  • Stellar SEL er bygget på inspirasjon fra SL-modellen, men den har et lavere volum for mindre vindfang. SEL kjennetegnes ved å være rask mens den likevel er å regne som stødig. Den er spesialt godt egnet for skandinaviske forhold med moderat bølgehøyde. Smalt åreisett er også en egenskap som det er verdt å trekke frem ved denne flotte surfskien fra Stellar.

 

Length: 21'6" / 6.55m
Beam: 17.3" / 44cm
Depth: 13.8" / 35cm
Paddler: 5'5"-6'6" / 1.65m-2m
Capacity: 285 lbs / 130 kg

 

Review

Fittings and construction
Composite bow and stern handles
Initially not something I would ever consider a highlight on a racing boat. I would previously have considered them dorky and a feature which would belong exclusively on a touring or recreational craft, they are in fact very practical. They also seem to be a feature in the racing craft if of other manufacturers too. The Stellar versions are both good looking and feel super strong. Particularly handy when tying your boat on after a 30 knot downwind!

Footboard and pedal system
A robust yet beautifully presented composite setup which is as easy to work with as it is to look at. The cam locks on the horizontally oriented rails mean no tools are needed and there is enough room between the pedals and the inner sidewall of the cockpit to allow fat or fumbly fingers to make adjustments on the fly. A 3rd rail and contact on the heel surface means no squeaking, rubbing or loss of energy in the leg drive.

Rudder and Steering system
The self-adjusting footboard and pedal system is complimented with a sturdy rudder controlled by dyneema lines. Rubber sleeves in the holes in the yolk prevent any chaffing on the dyneema, another thoughtful addition from Stellar. I had to change rudders on boats before sending my race boat to Durban and grabbed one from the SR (completely different dimensions to the SEL) hoping to find that it had a similar length shaft. As it turns out, the rudders from all of the surfski's fit all the boats. This, I think, is awesome. It means that getting replacements or swapping out between different boats or rudder styles is hassle free.

Interchangeable footstraps
Another new feature for me. I have a damaged peroneal nerve in my left leg which results in limited dorsiflexion of my left foot. With a single footstrap this means I need the strap to be loose to allow me to get my feet in easily. The downside to this is no support for the "pulling" foot in my leg drive. The SEL offers both the single and dual footstraps, the change takes only minutes and both are wide, adjustable and comfortable. To me, the duel straps have effectively given me back the ability to pull with my feet.

Venturi, leash anchor and bottle holder.
This is another feature which is new to me but not to others. The venturis are very effective and feature soft rubber bungs attached to light bungy cord. To the racer, being able to plug the venturis means an empty cockpit for water starts which is a lot lighter, it's also a lot warmer when paddling on colder water. The bungs themselves are pretty easy to pull out, other with your hand and a missed stroke or a quick push with your heel. The leash anchor is well placed and means no flapping leash from footstraps to calf strap. There is also a neat cut-out for a standard 800ml sports bottle in the drop of the hump.

The cockpit itself
I have rather unique body geometry. I have wide hips, no butt, the legs of a man who is 6'6" and the torso of a man who is 5'6". What this means is that I need a wide cockpit, high seat and low footboard to feel comfortable. The SEL is probably the closest I have felt to being 100% comfortable in a Surfski. The low "hump" and wide seat allow for good rotation and leg drive, I have a little extra room to play with so may try out some hip pads at some stage but for now I'll keep it as is.

Summary
Somebody asked me just this morning how I was finding the new boat. I found it pretty easy to answer. The SEL is a simple boat. It is stable, predictable and highly responsive - just what I would look for when paddling in the complex, ever-changing environment that is the ocean. Stability can initially be confused with a lack of speed, however, I am confident in saying that this boat is not slow. I managed an 11.37 km downwind in just 38:10 last week, that's an average speed of 17.5km/h or 3:25 min/km.

 

 

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