My long anticipated Nelo 550 should be ready for me to pick it up from FastPaddler.com this Sunday. I have already purchased several rudders to optimize its performance over the next month while I put it through the paces. Many paddlers now have their 550’s here in New England and throughout the country so I will see if my experience is similar to theirs. I also get to compare it to my other favorites skis now in my garage and basement, in particular the other intermediate skis: Stellar SEI, Stellar SR, Think Evo 2 and 3. It will be fun to tease out the differences and then add the 560m, 550M, Evo 3, V12 2G, Ion 3g, Uno 2G(?) to my comparison chart to give paddlers something to think about over the winter months before they buy their next ski just in time for the spring racing season.
To get ready for comparison, I paddled my Stellar SR for only the second this year. The first was this summer when Sean Rice was here and we did beach surf training. I have had an SR 2G in my garage since Stellar launched it in 2015 when I reviewed. I took advantage of the tide the day after a full moon and time trialed it on my 1.63 course. I have not time trialed it since the Epic conditions of 2015 Blackburn Challenge. Once again it did not disappoint. I clocked a 7.5 mph average speed or 8:03 pace which is a great time for an intermediate ski on this course, tide or no tide. So the Nelo 550 will have its work cut out for it going against my favorites skis. How will it stack up? Stay tuned for its review and the updated Surfski Comparison Chart.