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This is our seventh boat review and the second of the "elite boat" category. I will make many references to our last article found here - https://www.k2nonlinepaddleschool.com/post/surfski-gear-review-think-uno-ultimate

These reviews become a test of splitting hairs for flatwater performances and should be seen as a showcase of the boats design and potential comfort levels in each different bucket. Currently we have Boat Specs, Measurements, Stability Rating, Remount Rating, and Flatwater Testing.


I am 5ft 6 (167cm) and 140lbs (63.5kg) slightly above the intermediate skill level as a reviewer. I typically fit in all boats without issue but have a good general idea of a paddler being too big for a given vessel based on club members using boats.


The Mcgregor Classic is quite a unique boat with its shorter 19ft4in/590cm length, its interesting bow shape being reminiscent of a sprint kayak nose, very narrow hull shape and bucket design, and its flatter hull for a section of the boat. For many pure flatwater applications this boat hits many of the design marks and has been popular amongst small/mid sized racers in flat to moderate race conditions.

Mcgregor Classic Ultimate Specs

19ft4in long x 16.1 inches wide (5.9m×41cm)

Bucket Depth 7 inches 17.8cm

Bucket Width(Highest point) 14.75 inches wide 37.4cm

Bucket Width (Lowest point) 10 inches wide 25.4cm

Footplate length (Longest setting) 42 inches 106cm

Footplate length (Shortest setting) 28 inches 71cm

Heel Depth 8.5 inches 22cm

Hump Height (highest point in cockpit) 4.5inches 11.4cm

Boat weight for testing - 23 pounds 11kg

Rudder 4 Inch Flatwater Custom 10cm


Outline Measurements from nose

15 inches from nose - 3 inches wide 38cm/7.6cm

30 inches from nose - 4.5 inches wide 76cm/11.4cm

45 inches from nose - 6 inches wide 114cm/15.2cm

60 inches from nose - 8 inches wide 152cm/20.32cm

75 inches from nose - 9.5 inches wide 190cm/24cm


Outline Measurements from tail

75 inches from tail - 13 inches wide 190cm/33cm

60 inches from tail - 11 inches wide152cm/27.9cm

45 inches from tail - 9.5 inches wide 114cm/24.1cm

30 inches from tail - 7.5 inches wide 76cm/19cm

15 inches from tail - 4.5 inches wide 38cm/11.4cm






Cockpit/Bucket Area

This may be one of the narrowest cockpits out there right now, even on my smaller frame it is closer to snug than spacious. Overall the back of the bucket seems to be pretty squared off which reminds me of the Stellar buckets. The footplate can be installed with an epic footplate system, which is what was there when I received this boat, I have not used the factory configuration in the Classic before so I am not sure how they differ. I would assume its relatively similar since they can be swapped out between boat.

Comparable to the Think Uno with the seated height position being very high and rivaling that of Entry/Beginner style boats. This hull shape is much more sleek in comparison in the front of the boat so overall it adds to the initial instability of the boat. The heel to sit bone ratio is slightly less with the depth being a 1.5 inches or 3.75cm, but is still a high differential compared to the lower bucket configured boats we will review next.


Quality of Life Details

There were also two drain plugs on the far side of the cockpit near the bungees that were plugged up for a Debrito style bailer. The plugs not being accessible meant they were always open before, which in a cold water scenario would be really annoying. The Debrito being installed is much more convenient but is also not a factory option. No carry handles, but being so narrow and short this boat is very easy to pickup and maneuver without additional grips. The epic style footplate also means the adjustments for the length is all the same with the pedals auto tensioning to the new footplate setting.


Stability Rating: High seated position, narrow nose outline and a very narrow overall width at 16.1in/41cm... this boat is one of the most unstable surfski I have ever used. There is a flat section under the cockpit area that runs towards the tail that does help counteract some of these tippy features. Flatter surfaces provide more surface area and in turn provide more stability at the cost creating more drag. The Mcgregor does this in an interesting way with only a section of the bottom being flat, with the nose and tail being more rounded again. It feels like nearly the minimum amount of flat area to make the boat feasible! When the boat is in motion and on glide, the stability is much more forgiving. But, when you're sitting idle you can really feel how twitchy it is. The edges are not as rounded as the Think Uno so you do feel in more control of the boat even if you tilt side to side in choppy waters since the edges are also flat as they engage the water.



Comparing this to some other surfski, this does rank near the top for most unstable boats. The very narrow beam does reflect its overall stability rating compounded with the higher seat and shorter length it is very responsive to side to side movement. Length being a factor that does influence wetted surface area and the side to side feeling is a factor that we will elaborate on in the future with even shorter surfski. Models like the Epic V14, Fenn Glide, Stellar SES are similar, and models like the Epic V12, Kai Waa Vega, Elite Fenn S, Stellar SEL, Think Uno all slightly more stable options. This is splitting hairs on stability depending on your skill level, but if you are adept at these elite style boats you can definitely tell the differences.


(With all surfski your height, weight, age, current skill level and paddling environment will influence how each boat feels and that dynamic will continue to move back and forth on a spectrum forever. These ratings will give some insight into what the boats shape will do for rating as we begin comparing them to other similar model widths with different outline measurements. We will work towards numerical ratings as more reviews are completed to compare boat to boat on stability.)



Remount Rating: I found this remounting to be comparable to the Think Uno with its high seat position making the first half of re-entry simple. This boat is much more unstable feeling when not in motion, so the process of transitioning the legs into the boat is much more touchy than the Uno - again combined with the narrower outline and shorter hull you have to be more meticulous with those last movements into the boat or it is easy to fall again. We are still a few more articles away from assigning a numerical value/tier list to remounts but for now it is "harder than a Think Uno."


(Like Stability Ratings, we will rate remount ratings boat to boat as we complete more reviews.)




Flatwater Testing Overview: For all tests ongoing we will be using the format of 3 miles 4827m at a specific stroke rate. This lake has the same water depth annually for consistency, and the course is marked by 4 buoys that do not change position making it easy to run different boats on the course for cross analysis. The Stroke Rate goal is at 45SPM(This denotes double strokes, so 90SPM single strokes) with a margin of error for 1SPM 44-46spm. Noting boat weights and rudder sizes as potential future differences amongst similar shaped boats. This serves as a good general guide on boats that vary dramatically in width, but will also be fun to see how similar width boats compare and factoring in the outline measurements towards that.




Flatwater Testing - This was actually a lifetime PR for me, ha ha! I am in pretty good kayaking shape right now so this was awesome to see. Another reason I am working to get these time trials done in the same time frame before transitioning into longer distance racing and losing some of the lactic acid threshold push. I have had this boat for a couple months now so I am much more familiar with it than the Think Uno which may attribute to the performance difference purely from a comfort stand point. For my size and skill level I can feel a discernable difference in glide between stroke, ending at 44spm when the target is 45spm. The urgency to turnover sooner isn't quite as prevalent since the boat feels like its doing so much of the work. Spending time in Olympic K1 I feel like this boat is very close to that feeling overall which makes it great on flatwater. All of the features that do help it glide faster are likely detriments in a downwind application. Comparatively to the Think Uno only losing 8s/mile but having a half dozen great surfing features shows how competitive boats can be with those attributes in contrast to more flatwater centric models. The gap between all boats may end up within this range with only seconds dividing different models. Bucket comfort and identifying your paddling conditions to have a boat match it will always be the most important features to match with,

Thank you all for checking out the article. If you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to reach out. I'm going to try and continue to get a bulk of these elite surfski reviews done in a similar time frame so my overall fitness does not influence the results too much with the time trial. These articles should be a showcase of the boat and features and only take my personal performances with a grain of salt.


If you have any questions about boats or our online coaching feel free to message anytime via Live Chat or my email Robertnorman142@yahoo.com

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This is our sixth boat review and the first of the "elite boat" category. These reviews become a test of splitting hairs for flatwater performances and should be seen as a showcase of the boats design and potential comfort levels in each different bucket. Currently we have Boat Specs, Measurements, Stability Rating, Remount Rating, and Flatwater Testing.


I am 5ft 6 (167cm) and 140lbs (63.5kg) slightly above the intermediate skill level as a reviewer. I typically fit in all boats without issue but have a good general idea of a paddler being too big for a given vessel based on club members using boats.


The Think Uno is the flagship boat in the Think line-up! A relatively low volume design in comparison to some of the other Think boats but overall plenty of flotation across its 21ft/640cm length and 17inch/43cm width. These narrow boats definitely challenge the balance of most users, and the Uno has interesting features on achieving its glide and stability profile!

Think Uno Ultimate Specs

21ft2in long x 17 inches wide (6.45m×43cm)

Bucket Depth 7 inches 17.8cm

Bucket Width(Highest point) 15.5 inches wide 39.4cm

Bucket Width (Lowest point) 10.5 inches wide 26.7cm

Footplate length (Longest setting) 42 inches 105cm

Footplate length (Shortest setting) 29.5 inches 75cm

Heel Depth 9 inches 22.9cm

Hump Height (highest point in cockpit) 4.5inches 11.4cm

Boat weight for testing - 23 pounds 10.5kg

Rudder 4 Inch Flatwater Custom 10cm


Outline Measurements from nose

15 inches from nose - 4 inches wide 38cm/10.2cm

30 inches from nose - 7.5 inches wide 76cm/19cm

45 inches from nose - 8 inches wide 114cm/20.3cm

60 inches from nose - 9.5 inches wide 152cm/24.1cm

75 inches from nose - 11 inches wide 190cm/28cm


Outline Measurements from tail

75 inches from tail - 13 inches wide 190cm/33cm

60 inches from tail - 11 inches wide152cm/28cm

45 inches from tail - 8 inches wide 114cm/20.3cm

30 inches from tail - 7 inches wide 76cm/17.8cm

15 inches from tail - 4 inches wide 38cm/10.2cm






Cockpit/Bucket Area

Overall this is a fairly narrow bucket, likely venturing into one of the most narrow out there right now. For most users this is a relatively snug fit all the way through. Low profile center hump does not impede leg drive which is always a great design. One of the most unique aspects with this boat is the overall seat height. You sit about 7 inches/18cm into the bucket which is a very high seated position. Most elite level surfski counter the narrow widths stability demand by placing the rider a little lower for better center of gravity. Entry/Intermediate surfski will feature a higher seat since balance is found through the width of the boat. The Uno has roughly the same seated height as those Entry style Surfski but with the sportier hull outline. Higher position increases your paddling leverages which then helps the boats speeds but there is another feature we will talk about that works opposite of that part of the equation. The other benefit of this higher seated position is the relationship to the heel depth which is around 2in/5cm different to the seated position. Most surfski have a 1in/2.5cm differential in this height. For many paddlers that experience dead leg the contour of the bucket and the lower heel to sit bone differential are the primary causes.




Quality of Life Details

Small hatch in the front of the cockpit area for a small storage area. Great for an emergency tool bag for the rudder or tools needed for the pedals/rudder line. The footplate system has teeth every millimeter for the adjustments rails which is very handy to dialing in your surfski exactly where you want it. Individual foot straps are personal preference compared to the larger foot strap for both feet. No carry handles but with these skinny boats its easy to carry with the arm across the beam. Debrito style bailer is easy to kick open and flushes the bucket quickly.



Stability Rating: The Uno takes a slightly different approach to finding speed with the hull design overall. The overall outline and width of the boat is not razor thin comparatively to other 17in/43cm width boats or narrower. The bottom of the boat features a long flat section that work as chines. Flat has more surface area than purely rounded shapes, more surfae area is more stability and more drag. So, there are two distinct features that are stable in nature - but the very high seated position changes the stability profile immediately. Your increased leverages with paddling also come at the cost of more leverage moving the boat side to side, then the boat works with you to not immediately flip over with the outline and flat areas. That being said the boat is stable in motion and when the bottom is in contact with the water, but will feel much different if the boat tilts and the rounded sides touch the water. You can really feel that drop in surface area leading to instability. For reference, most boats feature a fully rounded hull, and a sleeker overall outline and sits the rider lower for the stability equation.


Since this is the first elite ski review, I don't have other articles to contrast or point to as references but over time we can begin building that framework more and more. Overall this boat does rank very "middle of the road" in stability to other elite level surfski. Models like the Epic V14, McGregor Classic, Fenn Glide, Stellar SES slightly less stable, and models like the Epic V12, Kai Waa Vega, Elite Fenn S, Stellar SEL all slightly more stable options. This is a game of splitting hairs amongst many of these boats, and over time hopefully we can really split them!!!


(With all surfski your height, weight, age, current skill level and paddling environment will influence how each boat feels and that dynamic will continue to move back and forth on a spectrum forever. These ratings will give some insight into what the boats shape will do for rating as we begin comparing them to other similar model widths with different outline measurements. We will work towards numerical ratings as more reviews are completed to compare boat to boat on stability.)



Remount Rating: For an elite ski this remount rating is near the top. Many of those design features with the hull really kick in here. The rounded edges makes the boat easy to lean towards you to start the remount and minimize how high you need to lift yourself. The flat edges on the bottom offer a lot of stability as you level the boat climbing in. The drop into the bucket is easy since its such a high bucket overall. For learning to remount a narrow boat this would actually do the trick well for many since the boat feels like its really working with you in the process.


(Like Stability Ratings, we will rate remount ratings boat to boat as we complete more reviews.)




Flatwater Testing Overview: For all tests ongoing we will be using the format of 3 miles 4827m at a specific stroke rate. This lake has the same water depth annually for consistency, and the course is marked by 4 buoys that do not change position making it easy to run different boats on the course for cross analysis. The Stroke Rate goal is a submaximal 45SPM(This denotes double strokes, so 90SPM single strokes) with a margin of error for 1SPM 44-46spm. Noting boat weights and rudder sizes as potential future differences amongst similar shaped boats. This serves as a good general guide on boats that vary dramatically in width, but will also be fun to see how similar width boats compare and factoring in the outline measurements towards that.




Flatwater Testing - Pleasantly surprised with the overall speeds; this was right within my range for many other elite level surfski. The longer hull and rocker line aren't great for dealing with upwind or sidewind comparatively to a lower profile boat - but obviously in a downwind scenario those features make all the difference. It's interesting feeling the flatter bottom and wider outline each stroke but the leverage advantage overcomes it to still find glide. Being the opposite approach to the same goal and still reaching it is fascinating. On the turns I felt that "edging" paid off to engage the sides to roll into turns better. The rudder position is pretty far forward so the turn ability in the first 90 degrees is very fast, then the next 90 degrees you can feel the slow down unless you work the boat with leaning it a bit.


I can already tell that most of these boats will be divided by only a couple seconds per mile!!!

Thank you all for checking out the article. If you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to reach out. I'm going to try and get a bulk of these elite surfski reviews done in a similar time frame so my overall fitness does not influence the results too much with the time trial. These articles should be a showcase of the boat and features and only take my personal performances with a grain of salt.


If you have any questions about boats or our online coaching feel free to message anytime via Live Chat or my email Robertnorman142@yahoo.com

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Currently we have Canoe Specs, Measurements, Boat Comfort/Quality of Life, and Flatwater Testing.

I am 5ft 6 (167cm) and 140lbs (63.5kg) slightly above the intermediate skill level as a reviewer. I typically fit in all canoes without issue but have a good general idea of a paddler being too big for a given vessel based on club members using boats.


Another old school design with the Mike Giblin Storm and one of the first generation of boats manufactured at Ozone with no seam. These boats definitely feel like they are made by the same shaper with the nose and front bungee system being reminiscent of the Tempest/Hurricane. At a glance it feels like a "beefy" Hurricane being a touch wider in certain points and having more volume in its design. There is also an evolution to the ozone manufacturing technology changing over time as this boat is freaky light for its size even by todays standards, it seems like there are a couple more layers of carbon in todays boat for structural integrity. As with our previous articles we will touch on the quality of life changes in the cockpit area/rigging systems in comparison to todays boats.

Stingray Specs

21ft long x 15 inches wide (6.4m x 38.1cm)

Seat Depth- 3 inches to Velcro (on top of deck) (7.5cm)

Seat Depth with Seat - 2 inches/5cm

Seat Width - 15.75in/40cm

Footplate Leg Distance (One setting) 22 to 44 inches / 55.8cm to

Heel Depth 10in/25.4

Ama Distance- Shortest 32in/81.7cm Longest 33.5in/85cm

Boat weight for testing - 20lb/9kg

Rudder 10inch Surf Rudder

Outline Measurements from nose

15 inches from nose - 4 inches wide 38cm/10.2cm

30 inches from nose - 6.5 inches wide 76cm/16.5cm

45 inches from nose - 9 inches wide 114cm/22.3cm

60 inches from nose - 11 inches wide 152cm/27.9cm

75 inches from nose - 12.25 inches wide 190cm/31.1cm

Outline Measurements from tail

75 inches from tail - 12.5 inches wide 190cm/31.8cm

60 inches from tail - 11 inches wide152cm/27.9cm

45 inches from tail - 9 inches wide 114cm/22.3cm

30 inches from tail - 6.5 inches wide 76cm/16.5cm

15 inches from tail - 4 inches wide 38cm/10.2cm


Cockpit/Seated Area:

Features a recessed seating area to insert the velcro seat based on leg length. Seated position is about 2 inches/5cm inside the boat with the heel position 10 inches/25cm below from the top giving around an 8/20cm inch difference in that heel to sit bone distance. Every boat we have reviewed has this similar ratio in the seated position for leg drive. The foot pedals are a bit oversized and positioned where it is very easy to engage the rudder lines for steering. It can be problematic with touching the pedals while paddling and will take more conscious effort to minimize this. Foot plate shapes and angles have evolved to allow a mid foot push and this design is strictly heel drive. The large single footwell is great for leg drive and shows this design comes after the era of individual foot wells for each leg which were a little more restrictive.



Quality of Life Details:

The iakos twist into the ama using a cinch system for tightening, identical to the Hurricane. But it then attaches via a pin system into the canoe itself. I have never had the pin system fail on me, but I have had these twist systems wear down over time. Using a little epoxy to add on the layer the grinds away is simple maintenance but something to keep an eye on. Overall there are a lot of combinations with 5 settings on both front and back for the twist side, then 2 adjustments on the pin side. You can make this boat extremely "light" on the ama which is fun if you are adept at skimming it across the surface of the water.





Boat Overview:

Overall the trend with this boat was to add more features for surfing swells efficiently. More volume above the waterline gives it more lift to stay high on a wave, little extra length and rocker line to help keep from plowing swells, and a noticeably forward rudder position makes this bat very nimble. Many of these ideas take away from its pure flatwater glide but not by much. The underside of the hull is totally rounded which minimizes the surface area and potential drag giving it a decent balance in both context. I would say in a head to head the Ares balances both ideas better for surfing and maintaining flatwater efficiency but much of that comes from volume distribution being a little more superior. The ama is very small and being fairly close to the hull and being lightweight makes it feel easy to manipulate to minimize drag. It ends up not being a huge point of drag as much as just enough balance to apply power.





Flatwater Testing Overview:

For all tests ongoing we will be using the format of 3 miles 4827m at a specific stroke rate. This lake has the same water depth annually for consistency, and the course is marked by 4 buoys that do not change position making it easy to run different boats on the course for cross analysis. The Stroke Rate goal is a submaximal 55SPM with a margin of error for 1SPM 54-56spm. Noting boat weights and rudder sizes as potential future differences amongst similar shaped boats. This serves as a good general guide on boats that vary dramatically in shape, but will also be fun to see how boats compare and factoring in the outline measurements towards that.



Flatwater Testing:

Pleasantly surprised with the glide this boat has. You can feel the volume and length in the acceleration but it maintains its own momentum very well. The big take away is feeling the larger rudders forward position being a drag on the glide potential. Testing this with a 3 inch rudder would definitely shave off a noticeable amount of time. This would put this boat within the realm of the Kahele for overall flatwater speed if I had to guess. I think a 3 inch would work as opposed to a standard 4 because of the hulls shape and the rudder position helping it feel larger. For the time trial the turns were very tight, and very quick to complete which felt more efficient than whirling around for 20 strokes on a 180. Power is the name of the game with this boat to make it glide, small inputs of quicker strokes might not be enough to get over the wave drag it creates and find that efficiency.





Final Thoughts:

Overall this is a fantastic boat. I wasn't sure how I would like it at first but for an entry level model to get into the sport, this would do the trick. Theres been a lot of innovations over the last 10 years that do result in slightly better ergonomics and performance but we are only talking seconds per mile on flatwater. For surfing this would be a treat to take into a downwind for sure too. If you spot one of these in the wild, don't underestimate it!



Thank you all for checking out the article. If you have any questions about boats or our online coaching feel free to message anytime via Live Chat or my email Robertnorman142@yahoo.com

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