"OK-1" fun!

When my wife and I purchased our Huki V2-X, we wanted to be able to use kayak paddles as well as canoe paddles, so Jude created a custom large-hoop front iako that allows us to paddle it using whichever method we choose. Now having purchased a Scorpius XS, I wanted to have the same dual-propulsion capability, but I found that the ama was a bit too close to allow a solid paddle stroke using a wing paddle. Not to worry; Chris Harper came to the rescue by creating a set of custom aluminum iakos 7” longer than stock, giving me plenty of room to flail away with my wing paddle. Yesterday was the maiden voyage with the new iakos on a nearby lake; all I can say is the boat is awesome! I love paddling it with my Kialoa “Wacky Shaft” outrigger paddle – it’s fun, and great cross-training for my surf ski racing – but with a wing kayak paddle this boat really flies! I was able to sprint almost 2 mph faster than I can with the outrigger paddle, and cruise 1 mph faster (some of that is no doubt from spending significantly more time behind a kayak paddle than behind a canoe paddle). As an extra bonus, the extended ama and slightly heavier iakos serve to really settle and stabilize the XS. In comparison to the surf skis I’ve paddled, I would say the XS compares favorably to a good intermediate surf ski (Think Evo, Stellar SR, Epic V10 Sport) in terms of speed/drag – with a lot more stability. My Epic V12 seems to have less resistance/more speed, but with the super stability of the “extended” XS it’s easy to really lay down the power.

As a side note, Chris Harper does some great work creating iakos, at a very reasonable price, and he’s great to deal with.

Submitted by red_pepper on Wed, 06/25/2014 - 8:54am

Why not take your surfski paddling up to a higher level and paddle it with your single blade canoe paddle? You might be able to attain greater speeds than the wing with half the strokes when you jump back in the XS with the ama raked in and at the highest setting? After your first huli in the chop, paddling your ski, you'll realize that the double blade kayak paddle also functions as an ama substitute.

#1 Wed, 06/25/2014 - 6:13pm

Actually, I have paddled my surf ski with my single-blade canoe paddle. It was fun - but you certainly lose some of the stability you gain from the double blade paddle - particularly when you need to switch sides. It's hard to run as fast with a single blade paddle in any boat; your stroke rate has to increase significantly to match the double bladed paddle where the second blade is ready to enter the water almost as soon as the first is removed.

#2 Thu, 06/26/2014 - 5:30am

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