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Surfski Gear Review - Think Uno Ultimate

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

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1 Comment

8MPH?! WOW! The following is well articulated: “(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.” 😃

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