Surfski review: Stellar SEL Gen 2

This is the first weekend in 4 weeks that I haven’t been racing so I bought a new boat and took her out for a spin.

It was the next logical step up the learning curve.

This Stellar SEL is 17.1″ wide so once I master her I’ll be looking to go sub-17″ in width.

Not sure when that will be or what boat that will be but I’m open to suggestions.


Update 7/17/19:
I paddled after work this evening for a little over 11 miles in the Stellar SEL Gen 2 and have some conclusions to share with you.  The closest boat I have to compare it to is the WSBS Thunderbolt-X at 21′ x 18″ so keep that in mind.  (Stellar SEL is 21’2″ x 17.1″)

  1. I can get the SEL up to 6mph much quicker than I can with the Thunderbolt-X.  And then it is fairly easy to keep it there.
  2. Maintaining a decent/comfortable fitness/training pace in the Tbolt-X is somewhere around 5.8-5.9mpg while the same effort in the SEL is around 6.1-6.2mph.
  3. After reviewing my logs with average speeds, top speeds, heart rates, etc., I crunched the numbers and have determined I’m 5-8% more efficient in the Stellar SEL than I am in the Thunderbolt-X.  So yes, that means with the same effort I’m about 5-8% faster in the SEL.
  4. I’ve been able to get the SEL up to 7.4mph on flatwater with no wind.  I have not been able to achieve that speed in the Thunderbolt-X without wind at my back.
  5. My hunch was right.  It took me 100 miles in the boat (just got there this evening) to become very comfortable and confident with it.  It might be a different story with current, wind and chop, but I think I’ll be able to handle it reasonably well at this point.

So there you have it, the Stellar SEL is a faster boat than the Thunderbolt-X, but it definitely is significantly less stable.  I figure 1″ of width with these rounded hulls is worth about 5%.

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Kayak balance trainer:

DIY kayak ergometer from Nordic Track ski machine:



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