Paddling Buddy Dave and I finally got out for a training run together with these two boats yesterday. He in his Epic V7 and me in my Nelo 510.
We started out and maintained a healthy pace for a while to see if one boat pulled ahead of the other, given that we are fairly equal paddlers.
The two boats kept even with each other.
Then we switched boats and did a few sprints. Dave initially thought he got the 510 going faster than he ever had in his V7, at 7.7mph, but I quickly pointed out he was heading down wind. I mounted his V7 (the first time I ever paddled one) and watched the GPS behave almost exactly how it does in the 510.
We then switched boats back again and continue to log 15.5 training miles with numerous sprints and we were not able to discern any difference in speed between the two boats.
That was good news for me as I was hoping to find a plastic ski that could keep up with a V7 without being a V7.
I found it in the Nelo 510.
I now have a competitive plastic ski for downriver races that is stable and comfortable enough for ultra-marathon races.
The interesting thing to keep in mind, however, is the Nelo 510 is 3″ shorter than the V7 and about 1/2 of an inch wider, so on paper it would seem a slightly shorter and wider boat, therefore slower, but we did not find that.
We conclude the two boats are pretty much equal in speed and we were able to get each one up to 7.0mpg with no wind on flat water.
If I had to give a edge to one boat or the other I would have to give it to the 510 for being a bit lighter, and because it is shorter, might sneak into lesser race category than the V7 if race classes are separated at the 17′ mark.
The bow design of the Nelo 510 also creates the illusion of a much sleeker boat. In fact, when I paddled the V7 the bow just seemed like a big bubble there up in front of me. The higher volume bow of the V7 probably gives it an edge when bobbing back up to the surface through class III rapids.
We shall see.
But for now, we are calling the boats even in terms of speed.
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Kayaking is a passion and a hobby and I do not have any financial interest in promoting any particular boat or manufacturer.
Since I posted this review yesterday I’ve done a little bit of research and found out this kayak sells for ~$180 at Wal-Mart. A pretty good deal, in my opinion, for an entry level, beginner’s kayak. Obviously is sells for much less money that I expected because I thought it was probably a $300 kayak.
The rear hatch is not bulkheaded so don’t expect anything back there to stay dry if it isn’t in a dry bag.
I paddled it on French Creek from Rt. 97 between Union City and Waterford, PA to Rt. 6N near Mill Village which was ~9.5 paddling miles and the boat was quite comfortable for that distance.
A customer who purchased the video plans for my kayak ergometer was nice enough to send me a photo of the finished product and I think it looks fantastic!
Completed compact kayaker ergometer built by Alan M. using my plans
Alan took the time to sand and stain the device and it truly looks beautiful. He also reports the device paddles much smoother than he imagined it would.
Getting feedback like this is great. Thanks, Alan!
Buy your video plans and part list for only $20 USD.
You may recall me bringing home an old-school, Hyperform Prijon Interceptor last summer. https://davethekayaker.com/2017/08/10/a-vintage-downriver-racer/
I finally finished her restoration in between the thunderstorms and decided to make her pretty rough and ugly.
Here’s the back story.
Since the James River Rundown (JRR) is no longer, a new outfit, The Crosswind Paddle Co., is hosting a new race in August, The Richmond Paddle Cup. Rumor has it they added a 17-mile race to try to attract the JRR long-distance crowd.
Well, I have news for them.
It is going to work.
In fact, it is going to work so well that the elite JRR paddlers have agreed to enter the race but we will all compete with kayaks and canoes we purchase from Craigslist for $200 or less. It is known as the Craigslist Challenge and will be a race within the race.
I finished the restoring the old Prijon Interceptor (purchased for $90 from Craigslist) and took her out for a paddle this evening.
She is the most uncomfortable boat I’ve ever paddled and the cockpit opening is so small it is hard for me to get in and out of.
Nonetheless, she will be my boat and I painted her up nice and ugly so nobody in their right mind would ever think of stealing her.
The boat is now a cross between a Swiss Army knife and a candy cane.
I hope her integrity and my lower back will be able to survive those 17 miles on August 11 on the James River.
This was originally going to be my James River Rundown boat for 2018 until the James River Association discontinued the event.
Now it is a boat in search of a race.
I’m waiting for the back-ordered, over-stern rudder to arrive before I can do any downriver distance with it, but as it stands, it is a very fast boat for a plastic design. I do not yet know how it compares to the Epic V7, but hope to have that verdict to you soon.
I wish it was sharper in the bow to cut through the water rather than splash and push a bit of water (I felt like it always had a leaf stuck on the front) and wish it had a reasonable space for a water bottle within easy reach, but overall I like this ski.
I’ve got only 14 miles into it over the weekend so a full review will be coming once I’ve had a chance to put it through its paces.
I have to say, the difference between under-stern and over-stern rudder is huge. The shorter ‘wheelbase’ of an under-stern rudder makes turning much more efficient such that it takes very little movement of the peddles to turn the boat significantly.
I’ll explore this more fully in a future review, but once I got everything setup and adjusted I found that if I found myself thinking about using the rudder I was already overthinking it. Only the slightest press of the foot with a toe involved achieved the desired effect.
And Ben not too many years ago…
Picking up new, top secret boat tomorrow.
Hopefully a review video will be coming over the weekend.