Having just returned from a Stellar dealer conference a week or so ago, I’m more than excited to report the now or soon availability of some really cool things I’ve been longing to see. Check out the items below to see if some of these “wants” are on your list as well! And stay tuned for more cool items coming down the pike…
- Side cockpit handles for SR & SEI surf skis. Cockpit side handles have been a big hit on the shorter skis (S14S, S16S, and S18S), enabling significantly easier transport of the ski by 1 person. Now cockpit side handles are being added to the longer SR and SEI models.
- Over-stern rudder fittings now standard on ALL surf skis. Over-stern rudders are standard on Multi-Sport layups and the shorter S14S and S16S skis, with the longer skis having under-stern rudders standard in most layups. The S18S has been the only model normally equipped in all layups with the option of running either style of rudder (but over-stern fittings have been a custom option on all skis for about two years). Now all the skis (S18S and longer) will be equipped with the fittings to allow a simple change from under-stern rudders to over-stern rudders. Smart Track over-stern rudders are sold separately (except for Multi-Sport). Over-stern rudders are a nice option for paddlers using their skis in shallower waters.
- Surf Ski Back Bands!!! This is an item a number of paddlers have requested. The sit-on-top nature of our surf skis (easy entry/exit) coupled with their light weight and easy handling qualities make them a desirable choice for aging paddlers and for paddlers with some strength/stiffness difficulties. The lack of a back band, however, has been a challenge for many of these paddlers who lack the back strength or core stiffness to paddle without back support (and for those who simply prefer the extra support of a back band). Now we have back bands available to allow these paddlers the opportunity to enjoy the qualities of our surf skis with improved comfort and support.
- Debrito Bailers. Flat water paddlers rarely have much need for a bailer, and when the weather is cold that water coming in is not a welcome sight! The current solution for most Stellar skis has been plugs (Multi-Sport models come with a retractable Andersen bailer). Plugs work ok, but they’re easy to kick out – and usually at inopportune times. Now Stellar is offering the Debrito Bailer as a special order option. This is a retractable bailer that sits flush with the bottom of the boat when not in use, but when extended it will drain the boat in seconds. Easily opened and closed, it can be positioned with your feet so you don’t need to stop your paddle stroke. The only downside appears to be higher drag when opened (it has two positions), but if you aren’t operating in an environment when you need non-stop bailing, this could be an excellent solution.
- New Smart Track rudder options. We now offer 3 blade lengths for Smart Track over-stern rudders, but even more exciting may be the new Ski-B rudder. This rudder assembly places the blade housing above deck level to reduce drag in the water (on some surf skis the standard housing sits low enough that part of it falls below the water line, adding a small amount of drag). This new rudder is interchangeable with existing Smart Track rudders.