Zephyr OC1

Now that a few paddlers own the new Zephyr OC from Outrigger Connection , can anyone here make a few comments on it`s performance and handling ?

Submitted by fuzerider on Fri, 10/12/2007 - 6:16am

i have been using a fusion and find the zephyr tends to track better upwind as well as surf waves with less pearling giving a faster hall speed in the bigger surf conditions of hawaii downwinders...of course

#1 Tue, 12/25/2007 - 2:02pm

Nice Canoe, one of the best I have been on. it definitely has speed ,nice ama action, longer than the my Pegasus. felt really durable but I just had taken it for a test run. I would defiantly would love to have that under the Christmas tree.

#2 Tue, 12/25/2007 - 2:30pm

ASFAIK the Zephyr is the improved Fusion, likely built based on Karel Jr constant feedback.

Both the Fusion and the Zephyr are very well built boats.
The key difference is a more vertical volume at the bow that changes the characteristics of the boat in the wave upwind and downwind.
The gunnel is higher in the cockpit area to even better prevent entry of water.
The boat may be slightly narrower and the footwell may have move slightly forward - I am not entirely sure about these last two.

I own a Fusion - it is a rock solid boat that does best what it is designed for - surf.

#3 Wed, 12/26/2007 - 12:30am

I own a Karel built Zephyr. First of all can I say what a pleasure it is dealing with those guys at Outrigger Connection... they were in regular contact with me as to the progress of its construction, and went out of their way to assist with helping me to get it out here in the middle of the South Pacific.
As for the canoe, well it takes a bit of getting used to - but I've found that to be the case for every canoe I've ever owned (viper, hurricane, pegasus, fusion, and now Zephyr). The deep hull makes flying the ama a challenge, as the canoe will 'fall' onto its side much more quickly, and makes the canoe seem tippy. I find the ama is very well balanced anyway, and when the canoe is on the wave, it will tend to sit on the very back part of the ama, which more often than not makes it unnecessary to 'pop' the ama. The canoe definitely has less volume than the Fusion at the back end - it has a pin tail - which is good for sidewind conditions etc. It is also an inch narrower than the Fusion.
I have found the canoe to be very, very fast in medium/large conditions with following waves, and exceptionally easy to manoevre from one wave to the next, especially when it starts to plane.
I also have the feeling I am sitting quite high on the canoe, which I guess is a result of the deep hull design. Some people may say this makes the canoe more tippy, but I like it because the angle of paddle entry into the water is better (feels a bit like the tahitian cockpit style canoes, where you sit higher and have more leverage 'leaning' into the stroke).

I think the canoe is a very technical design, and an experienced paddler will get alot out of it, but like the fusion, it takes a bit of getting used to - which is fine by me.

SO those would be my thoughts at the outset, I'm still working out the subtleties of this canoe, and will provide a more detailed assessment once I have been on it long enough.

#4 Fri, 12/28/2007 - 10:21am

i love my zephyer built by karel as well...will keep you informed as time goes on and i know what im talking about...doing the solo in april with it...lets hope its a big day.

#5 Thu, 03/13/2008 - 8:10pm

Do you guys feel the slightly lower stern volume helps to balance the bow out a little better ? Not including rocker please ,,, just isolate the sea-saw effect of volume.


Less 'tilting' from a volumeous stern 'angling' the bow down ?

Upwind and downwind in steeps:

Less resisting the bow from riding up over stuff ?

Hope this makes sense.

#6 Fri, 03/14/2008 - 1:06am

The Zephyr comes from a long line of excellent , big conditions , downwind surfing boats and when you first get on one you feel right at home especially if you have some time on a Fuze or Fusion.
The Zephyr has all of the excellent downwind qualities of the Fusion and more. I say this because the Zephyr is very fast downwind, it resists pearling but the bow rises more gently than Fusion if you dig it into a wave. The pitching moment is dampened somewhat in waves giving the boat better energy retention.
The shape of the new ama changes the handling of the boat ,
it has lots of volume aft of the iako attach point, this helps to unweight the ama as waves lift the stern .

Because of itsshape and the location of volume in its design the Zephyr has more speed potential than any boat Outrigger Connection has come out with to date if your weight falls within the recomended range for the boat.

For sure it`s a set of compromises, but the end result is a boat that goes really well in a wide variety of conditions, flat to huge.

#7 Fri, 03/14/2008 - 3:50am

That Zephyr must be the fastest boat ever, Look at Fuzeriders hair, Must have be hot on reentry, He looks a little red,

#8 Fri, 03/14/2008 - 4:47am

Go see your favorite southern California Zephyr dealer and you too can have a hairdo like mine.....

#9 Fri, 03/14/2008 - 6:41am

Impressive belly chines on the fuzerider.

#10 Fri, 03/14/2008 - 7:35am

Zephyr vs Pegasus? surfing and flats.

#11 Fri, 03/14/2008 - 9:39am

Although you can hardly say that the Pegasus is the best flat-water boat around, it beats the snot out of the Zephyr in the flats.
...of course that's with Lauren B. paddling the Pegasus, and Grover from Sesame Street in the Zephyr.

And I KNOW about flat water.

#12 Fri, 03/14/2008 - 11:10am

How long do you think it takes Grover to dry out after paddling? Must take a while and I bet he stinks like ass after.


#13 Fri, 03/14/2008 - 11:19am

i'd like to hear the comparison with the zeph and the scorpius which has simular measurements and characteristics

#14 Fri, 03/14/2008 - 11:54am

The Zephyrs` entire cockpit is moved 1 inch forward of the Fusions cockpit. The footwell drains are much improved. The drains on Fuze and Fusion work just fine but,the Zephyr
drains even faster. Due to the relatively high gunwale height in the cockpit area the footwells stay pretty dry most of the time. To meet Australian specifications the bell crank has a cover over it . In a strong cross wind the Zephyr tends to point downwind .

I`ll have more info on this boat as experience with it increases.


#15 Sat, 03/15/2008 - 5:14am

If you really want to sell a boat that's perfect for most paddlers on the east coast, you'll get in touch w/ Keizo and co. and pick up a few Kaimanas!

#16 Sat, 03/15/2008 - 6:03am

Yeah , Id like to see that boat come out to Blackburn this year with Danny riding on it. The Blackburn Challenge is a great place for manufacturers to show off thier wares . Its a long east coast race , 22 miles and circular so racers are exposed to every wind and surf condition.
Jr. holds the record for OC1s` at 2:47 and change. riding a Chineese Fusion.

Eastern Outrigger will have boats available for visiting paddlers.

This is the big one on the east coast so , don`t miss it , very fun for all and good food and lots of brew at the finish.
Google Howard Blackburn to learn about the man the race honors.



#17 Sat, 03/15/2008 - 12:02pm

For those not familiar with the Aussie specs for OC1/2's. all our canoes must have no bolts or fittings exposed (including covering up the rudder tiller bar with a cover)

Legend has it that a paddler was smacked front on in the chest while punching over a wave and ended up straddling the stern, the only thing preventing a complete exit at the rear was a Goolie bag snagged on the tiller bar bolt. He was also inappropriately dressed in " Speedos", which are skin tight short bathers or togs .. ala the "HOFF". After a short layoff from paddling activities, the stitches were removed, the AOCRA specs upgraded and paddling resumed.

This paddler never called "Huts" ever again, voice was too high pitched.

True story.

Cheers Rambo

#18 Sat, 03/15/2008 - 3:36pm

Rambo when I read OC1/2, I thought you were talking about a Half man's boat. Then I read your story and ... you are definitely talking about a man that has been halved !

#19 Sat, 03/15/2008 - 5:59pm

I just got a super light one today made in Hawaii. Wow is all I can say so far. Very true, almost no up and down movement. I was told it slices through chop and thats no exaggeration.

#20 Sun, 03/16/2008 - 8:15pm

#21 Sun, 03/16/2008 - 10:05pm

He's half the man he use to be but still rockin' the Zephyr for all it's worth. Nice one jc.

I swear the car in the video is a Studebaker Zephyr ??? ... could be wrong

Cheers Rambo

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#22 Mon, 03/17/2008 - 12:19am

I've never paddled one but I was looking at a Zephyr at the club the other day and that buggah is huge! Looks like way more volume than Kaimana even. Anyone under 200 lbs must have a hell of a time getting that thing to glide in the flats.

#23 Mon, 03/17/2008 - 4:44am

All my wives have said the same thing about me. :)


#24 Mon, 03/17/2008 - 5:11am

No glide in the flats?

#25 Mon, 03/17/2008 - 5:17am

it has glide in the flats.it defenetly runs.

#26 Mon, 03/17/2008 - 5:59am

Yeah, but Mulus, you could make a barn door glide with your skills. I'm talkin' 'bout the average canoe buying public. That being said, like all of Karel's products, it appears to be extremely well made and designed...for huge roping trade wind swells!

#27 Mon, 03/17/2008 - 6:28am

At 21 feet 6 inches overall length , it`s as long as a Fusion but as narrow, even slightly narrower than a Fuze. The boat glides very well on the flats, upwind even and that kind of surprized even me.


#28 Mon, 03/17/2008 - 8:21am

I wonder how many Zephyrs were in the Top twenty of that Koa Nui time trial? That would be an excellent indication of performance in the flats, I think.

#29 Mon, 03/17/2008 - 8:37am

Koa Nui Day 1. Kea and Kai on Scorpius. Not bad for a canoe made for the surf! Glide!!! Surf!!! Lauren Bartlett- Pegasus -not bad in the flats and surf. I'll be interested to see how day 2 went.

#30 Mon, 03/17/2008 - 9:01am

them winning had nothing to do with the fact that they're some of the best athletes in the sport. It was all the boat.

#31 Mon, 03/17/2008 - 3:26pm

think we covered this before

#32 Mon, 03/17/2008 - 11:50pm

Still fun to talk boats though , right?


#33 Tue, 03/18/2008 - 4:35am

Hell yeah

#34 Tue, 03/18/2008 - 6:07am

Here`s some pics of a brand new hawaiian built Zephyr.

The deck was designed and boat built by Milan Tresnak.



#35 Tue, 04/01/2008 - 7:51am

I have to say Fuserider - as a fuse owner myself, I am disapointed in the finish of the china boats. I think they are dull and I can see some of the buffer marks on the deck. This goes for all the fuse / fusion and zephyrs. I am surprised Karel lets them out to market after making such beauties in hawaii.
Do you why this is ?

#36 Tue, 04/01/2008 - 11:18am

Sun damage maybe . Hard to say , and to tell you the truth I havn`t seen dull boats from any manufacturer. Most boats look pretty good if they are properly taken care of.

Here`s the typical shine on a new Chinese boat:


#37 Tue, 04/01/2008 - 11:37am

Last time i saw both the Hawaiian made and the China made side by side in the racks at Karel's shop, the only difference i could see was the stickers were in different places.

If you're comparing Gelcoat to Polyurethane paint, then the former will appear duller.

Are the buffer marks on the surface from a finishing polisher or is it bleed thru of the underlying fabric?


#38 Tue, 04/01/2008 - 11:44am

The dull finish can be a number of things. The mold may not have been wet sanded and polished to a mirror finish. But that wouldnt matter with a painted boat which gets sanded and painted. More than likely the clear coat was not wet sanded very well and they tried to polish it anyways. In the end, the LP painted boats have the capabilty of being more "glossy" than the gel coat but you'll have to wet sand the clear to 2500 and polish. If you wish to do it yourself I'd suggest starting with 1500, then 2000, then 2500, then polish with system one ( http://www.systemoneaps.com/ )

#39 Tue, 04/01/2008 - 12:09pm

Now lets get back to the topic on the Zephyer ,well after over three months now and many Hawaii Kia runs downwind I can tell you this boat punches through small wind fetch with ease and gets you right into the action up ahead when you need it.It surfs like Laird Hamilton in the large ground swell, thats if you have the power to get into them in the first place...Over all we have tested this boat with the same course runs with the same paddler against the Fusion and it always comes out on top in times completed...now lets test the Scorpious anyone got one to loan ????

#40 Tue, 04/01/2008 - 3:22pm

"I was really impressed with (Tresnak) today," Bartlett said. "He caught me and then he took off. And I mean he took off like a bat out of hell."

Quote from the Honolulu Advertiser and one of the best eye witness accounts of Chine Effect i`ve ever read....


#41 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 3:22am

...or maybe it was his training and skill. What happened to his chine-effect last year?

Bottom line, there is no evidence for your chine-effect. None. Zip. Jr's a damn good paddler and was long before chines were on his boat.

#42 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 3:49am

From what I read in the paper JRs` 7 minute time gain was established in the final 3rd of the race .

What I posted before about the 7 minutes being gained during the 2nd half of the race was apparently in error. It happened in the final 3rd of the race.

This means that there was more like a minute per mile pace difference between the first and second finisher in the last 3rd of the race.

This to me is an astonishing statistic when you consider that the entire group of top ten paddlers are all world class athletes.

Bottom line is this:
Either JR. is superman or the chine effect was in full flight mode..... or a little of both .


#43 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 6:30am

Very Informative ..lots to be learned here :-)

#44 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 7:00am

Thats funny. It aint the chines. Jr. is just that good. What happened last year. Get off of OC Connections nut sac.. Its embarrasing.

#45 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 7:52am

you all notice Jr. had a different ama? it apeared thinner and more pointy at the front were the iako goes in...take a look at the pics and look at pics of a normal one...just an observation...

#46 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 8:09am

What do you mean , what happened last year ? Last year was a fluke of nature . The channel was like a mill pond and then the headwind started blowing . The race was a long slow slog into the wind .


#47 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 8:12am

From the Y2K pics , that canoe Danny was in looks to be some kind of prototype , notice how the composite material comes high in the seat area .

#48 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 8:22am

yah, luke was tellin me they have a new design commin out. there is a party for it, and for kamana on the 5th to celebrate it. it is saposed to be a bigger design with the front iako moved a few inches forward to accomodate longer reach guys, etc...or that is what he relayed to me...

#49 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 8:27am

That`s good , good to see all the manufacturers pushing the design envelope . When this happens , we all win.


#50 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 8:35am

guess its not a good boat to use when going upwind or when the channel is like a millpond. Or if the race is a long slow slog. Karel will make any boat look great. doesnt matter if he paddled a sled.

#51 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 8:39am

So westside , you`re saying that all the excellent design work going on all the time over at Outrigger Connection is irrelevant?

If so , that`ll be a pretty hard notion to sell since most new designs coming out these days have features pioneered by Outrigger Connection.


#52 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 9:09am

Danny was riding the new Kamanu Composites desgin, Mael rode it on Saturday in Maui to Molokai and then Danny paddled it Sunday. Stoked to see some new designs coming from Kamanu Composites. Boat supposedly is incredible, that'll be confirmed when more people get theirs.

#53 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 9:07am

No, im actually a Karel fan and I really like the mirage six man canoe. Then again the lightning was 15 min. faster in the channel..hum. maybe the lightining was designed better. Dont really thing so. All the boats are designed well, but what I am saying is the paddler makes the difference. So, without Jr's amazing paddling skills, would Zephyr have done so well?

#54 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 9:11am

I am so surprised how much credit people give the boat rather than the paddlers. Blows me away! I guess its easier to think its the boat and not my training.

#55 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 9:17am

We posted at the same time , disrupting the order of posts.

Any way , I hear what you are saying and I agree with you .
Afterall a canoe is an innanimate object untill someone gets on it and takes a stroke.

So yeah , JRs` a super paddler but he also helps to design boats and right now his boat is the only one in the world that incorporates the use of those chines which he uses to such a huge advantage when race speeds are high.

Maybe that new canoe of Dannyshas chines , I dont know....


#56 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 9:18am

When others win, its the training. When Jr wins, its the boat. Got it? Now buy the damn boat.

#57 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 9:21am

the new Kamanu boat has no chines. that would just be silly sheep like behavior. it is called the Pueo.

#58 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 9:27am

crap e2060, shoots I didn't catch that. I am now enlightened. I don't have a zeyphr nor can i ever afford one, but I do have chines on my boat so I feel good about that.

#59 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 9:42am

Then you're chine-enabled, poops. You're good to go. No training necessary. Just turn on the chines in the final third of the race.

#60 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 9:45am

Hope they put chines on the mirage. Outrigger may need them to make up the huge advantage tahiti has with the Lightning.

#61 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 9:51am

Good point about chines on the Mirage. If chines are the ultimate, how come there aren't any on the Mirage.

#62 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 10:08am

6 man canoes dont plane so chines wouldnt be a benefit.


#63 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 11:29am

Seems to me that when you pick up a runner on an OC6, that you're definately on plane.

#64 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 11:32am

Yea, I saw OPT plane right by us with all paddles on their laps. I must be wrong tho, six mans dont plane. Sounds like someone is kissing butt. Im sure there are other ways to climb OC's corporate ladder..might as well try'em.

#65 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 12:20pm

I'll be planing tomorrow in Seattle at about 11pm PST, and de-planing in Honolulu a few hours later.

During the flight I was thinking about sprinting through the aisle, up to the cockpit, bursting in through the door, (no matter who tries to stop me) and asking the pilot if a plain plane with chines can plane as well as a planing plain six-man without chines.

#66 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 12:33pm

let me know how that goes

#67 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 12:35pm

Also, what's my favorite flavor of yoghurt?


#68 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 12:37pm

Isn't there some Homeland Security supercomputer that monitors all internet postings. I think the SWAT team is at your door right about now.

#69 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 12:42pm

I know that proper grammar dictates that names, sentences and headings begin with capital letters, but my name is: goto. All lower-case. It denotes my rank among paddlers - I have not yet earned the big G.

Hopefully the SWAT team finds Goto, and not me. Cross your fingers!

#70 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 12:48pm

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