Sean Rice was directly involved in the refinement and design process that developed the 3rd generation Uno Max. He then paddled it to his first victory at the Molokai World Championships.
An elite-level athlete that travels the globe extensively, training and racing in every type of water condition imaginable, Sean brings a unique perspective to the design table. Questions on how a boat’s performance might be improved in certain conditions, or what tweaks to the cockpit could most benefit the paddler, are one’s that Sean can answer based on a level of experience and expertise that only a small percentage of paddlers possess.
The 3rd generation design of Think surfskis has been met with resounding approval from paddlers around the globe. The Uno Max 3G is no exception. Even those already in love with the performance and ergonomics of Think skis have been wild about the latest evolution, highlighting the extra comfort and terrific balance between stability and speed. Particularly on open water.
Sean’s feedback helped develop the Uno Max 3G. He’s raced it all over the world on the World Surfski Series. Below, Sean talks more about the design updates he was looking for, how they were implemented and how they have translated into real-world performance on the latest Uno Max.
Sean Rice – Think Uno Max 3G
Stability: Along with World Peace, we would all love an elite level surfski with the stability of an entry level boat. Unfortunately, designing any boat always comes with a certain amount of compromise in performance and stabilty. I feel that the changes made to the Uno Max 3G limit those compromises better than any other boat on the market. We spaced the chine lines along the hull 8 mm wider apart than the 2G, providing an increase in stability. I feel you also get extra stability from the redesigned cockpit and seat (while maintaining 99% of the original hull that the 2G boat was loved for.) Very happy with the result: more comfort in rough conditions and long distance races.
Comfort: Paddling is felt in the arms of course, but a paddler hasn’t tapped into their full potential until their legs hurt just as much! There is no comparison in power output between legs and arms. Just ask the recent Americas Cup sailors how they flipped their whole sport upside down by suddenly using their legs instead of arms for grinding. The 3G Uno Max is built to encourage more leg movement and therefore power through the stroke. The seat on the 3G has more room, while maintaining the comfort and ergonomics we are so proud of. More room in the seat allows increased rotation and increased leg drive, leading to more power and performance!
Maneuverability: The changes in rocker profile on the Uno Max were made to make the boat just a touch more maneuverable, without sacrificing its original glide. The 2G was great in the downwind, but the slight change in the 3G (the rocker line has 12mm added to improve glide and maneuverability in the runs) is definitely noticeable in surf or downwind conditions. This boat is very smooth through the turning motion.
Speed: I have done controlled speed tests in both the 2G and 3G Uno Max, with outstanding results from the newly developed 3G! No sacrifice has been made in speed to attain the additional stability or maneuverability. I train in the river Thames every day against the K1 groups in dead flat water. I need the Uno Max to be just as fast as a K1 if I am ever to survive! I can tell you that the 3G is even faster than a K1!! Of course weight and boat length (improved glide) does help – soon the K1 people will see the light!
Overall: Total comfort and superior ergonomics have been the selling points of THINK Surfskis since the beginning. You simply wont find more comfort when comparing similar skis, and that’s true all through the range, from the Ace to the Uno Max. To change a first-class boat, but still keep that feeling of being right at home is a luxury. No need to reinvent the wheel. Comfort is king and we can only do our best to improve the design for speed and stability around this central point. Paddle your best – it’s the founding philosophy for Think surfskis, meant to design the ski around the paddler, and put them in a position to get the most out of their boat. I know the 3G boats have hit this nail on the head!
Visit Sean’s coaching website YourPaddleLife to learn more about surfski technique and training from one of the worlds best paddlers!
Photo courtesy of PaddleLife