Update with a question.

9 months 2 weeks ago #35335 by Surfhead
Hello all. I'm new to this forum and the sport. I recently stumbled across a classified for an epic V12 at a very reasonable price. I'm wondering if this could be a starter ski for someone that's spend a lot of time on the water and spent thousands of hours kayaking traditional Roto mold ocean kayaks. I know it's narrow, which is why he's selling it. I've had varying opinions. Some saying I should go for it and learn it. Others say "stability before availability." I'm 6ft tall and weigh 165. My goal is to get into ocean racing but realistically it will probably be used mostly for Flatwater training /exercise. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

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9 months 2 weeks ago #35336 by Fath2o
Replied by Fath2o on topic Questions on first ski.
The V12 is an advanced elite level ski. Even with sot kayaking experience the V12 may prove to be a real challenge. As far as ocean racing goes, you may never be  fully comfortable on the ocean in this ski. May take years to find out. If you do choose to start out on this ski I would strongly recommend you get expert paddling lessons early on. Will help a lot. Good luck!
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9 months 2 weeks ago #35337 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Questions on first ski.
As you say the V12 is a 43cm beam elite level ski. I bought a 43cm ski for my first boat because it was dirt cheap and all I could afford at the time. I spent the winter swimming multiple times every paddle in icy water (in a drysuit). Although elite skis are a blast speed wise (once you can handle them), they are horrible learning platforms. 

I was not able to concentrate on my stroke mechanics in any meaningful way, as all your attention is spent on staying upright. I sold it the next spring and got a 48cm Stellar SR, which is a good beam for competent beginners. 

Basically, obey the law - Stability Before Ability. Read through this thread  https://www.surfski.info/forum/1-general/19701-my-first-paddle-today.html#35317  Every comment in that thread applies to your exact situation. 

So resist the urge and get a more suitable entry level boat in the 48-52cm range. You could possibly go down to 45cm on flat water and still be somewhat ok depending on your natural balance, but 48+cm would be better. You'll be much happier in a beginner to intermediate boat. 43cm is elite. You dont learn to drive in a bugatti for a reason :) 

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"
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9 months 2 weeks ago #35340 by Epicpaddler
Replied by Epicpaddler on topic Questions on first ski.
Surfhead,

All good advice here. I was tempted to pick up an elite level ski for a killer price until I tried to paddle it. I barely made it a stroke or two before falling out. I consider myself an experienced sea kayaker, but that 43cm ski was like balancing on a telephone pole. I saved for a few more months and picked up an Epic v8Pro which is a great beginner ski. Fast enough to keep it interesting, but stable enough to paddle in the ocean. The v12 is fast on flat water.... if you can stay upright. I'd rather be able to develop the proper forward stroke without worrying about swimming all the time. 
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9 months 2 weeks ago #35341 by SpaceSputnik
V12 as a first ski is a huge no. Paddling other types of kayaks is pretty irrelevant when it comes to skis. I have seen sea kayakers swim off more stable advanced level skis just the same as anyone with zero paddling experience.
I'd say nothing above a V8 for a start. Even with that you may swim a couple of times at first but that would pass soon with a boat of this class.
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9 months 2 weeks ago - 9 months 2 weeks ago #35342 by Surfhead
Replied by Surfhead on topic Questions on first ski.
Thanks for all the advice/ input. I'm going to pass on the V12. I remember trying to learn how to surf on a 6' surfboard. That experience was an excersise in futility. I ended up learning on a 9' foam board. It sounds like surf skis have a similar learning curve. I think I'll hang around the board for a while and see what would be better suited for me. Thanks again, John

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9 months 2 weeks ago #35343 by Wingnut
Replied by Wingnut on topic Questions on first ski.
When I started out two years ago I had considerable past experience with sea kayaks.  I test paddled a V7, V8 Pro and briefly a V10 sport.  The V10 sport was too much for me and V7 too stable.  I made a great choice with the V8 Pro.  I definitely recommend try before you buy.
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9 months 1 week ago #35366 by Arcturus
Replied by Arcturus on topic Questions on first ski.
One other person and I rented a V7 and a V5. Both of us had started paddling sea kayaks at the same time, but he is average size and I am small, plus he simply paddled less often than I have and never showed much interest in furthering his skills. It was his first time on a ski. I had previously paddled a Nelo 520 S, which was my first time on a ski.

First day, he used the V5 and I the V7. He was comfortable on the V5, no surprise. I felt the V7 was very stable, also no surprise. More stable than my sea kayak, in fact.

Second day, he started out on the V7 and I on the V5. He asked to switch after a while, saying the V7 felt too tippy. All of this was on flat water, and there was no capsizing. But I could see by his stiffness and restricted motion that he was uncomfortable, so we switched. (I liked the V7 better anyway, but not nearly as much as I liked the 520 S.)

Just a couple of examples of newbie reactions to the V7.
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9 months 1 week ago - 9 months 1 week ago #35371 by SpaceSputnik
I have heard of bigger folks taking swims off a V7 at first. I think it's tougher on taller people. I am short and never had any particular issues in a V7.
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9 months 1 week ago #35376 by waverider
Replied by waverider on topic Questions on first ski.
In an ideal world you have two skis, a tippy one to perfect your paddle stroke on flatwater only, and a very stable one to get into the bumps. Stable helps you get confidence, but to a degree allows you to get away with sloppy technique in flat/calm conditions. Hence the tippy one (or even a flatwater boat such as a k1) that will give you a smack when you get sloppy.

Principle is there are 2 causes of instability...the environment, and your balance/technique. Different ski for each, which then ultimately improve you across the board. a tippy boat on dead flat water will show up imbalances and shortfalls that you simply dont even notice once you get out in the waves, or are sitting in a forgiving boat.

If that means 2 x bargain basement boats while you get to grips with things, then upgrade to the one that is right later, then so be it. Few people stay on the boat they learn on for long anyway.

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9 months 1 week ago #35377 by SpaceSputnik
^ Very much agree on an idea of a tippy flat water trainer. It adds a whole new dimension to your technique that, I feel, is getting lost in the "stability before ability" narrative. Of course, it has to be chosen appropriately as to not be a swimming boat.

Bargain basement, yes :D That's a way to go as you lose very little on resale.

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9 months 1 week ago #35378 by zachhandler
Replied by zachhandler on topic Questions on first ski.
Cheaper than buying a second ski is just adding 5-10 cm of seat pad when on the flat. It will challenge your balance but be far easier on your marriage. 
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9 months 1 week ago #35379 by SpaceSputnik
Tried the pads in the V7. Not the same and made my butt sore.

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9 months 1 week ago #35388 by leolinha
Replied by leolinha on topic Questions on first ski.
Nowadays there are so many stable surfskis to choose, that it really makes no sense to start in an elite boat.
A stable ski is best for developing confidence in the ocean, learning the forward stroke the right way, and ultimately having more fun.
I have a neighbor that used to paddle big plastic fishing kayaks until he became curious about my surfski (V8 PRO). He noticed how much easier it was for me to negotiate the shore break and get in and out safely, without being thrashed by the waves everytime. He started looking for used skis and stumbled across a very tempting deal, an advanced boat, and asked me for advice. I told him to pass on it, that he wouldn't be able to paddle that boat etc. etc.
Well, he ignored my advice since the boat he saw is a very beautiful craft, looked brand new and was really cheap. He just couldn't resist. But now he is there with his new, skinny and tippy boat, and can't paddle most days because the sea is too rough for him. Only last week he tried his new boat and his report was:
"I capsized 17 times, paddled just a 100 meters... a lot of fun"
Well, I doubt very much that he had any fun. My idea of having fun with a surfski does not involve capsizing multiple times and not being able to get anywhere with it. He said that just because sometimes people have a hard time admitting to themselves that they took a bad decision!

Current: Epic V8 PRO, Think Evo 3
Past: Epic V8, Epic V10 Sport
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9 months 1 week ago #35418 by Surfhead
Replied by Surfhead on topic Update with a question.
I took the advice on this forum and decided not to get the V12. Today I paddled the Stellar s18s advantage and really enjoyed it. I have a line on a used one for $2,100. I see them for Less online but they're pretty far away. Is 2100 for a used s18s reasonable? I also looked at the epic V8 but it was considerably more money and I'm on a bit of a budget at the moment. The differences seem negligible. Thanks, John

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9 months 1 week ago - 9 months 1 week ago #35419 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Update with a question.
S18S would be a great starter boat for you. The bucket is on the large side, but its overall a good platform to learn on.

As for price, in Advantage layup, $2100 is not a great price, but also not bad if its in good condition. Depends on where you are too. Florida & the south east seems to have a bunch of cheap skis. New england and west coast not so much. For comparison, I got a great deal on a Stellar SR Advantage for $900 in great condition when I lived in MA, but that was one of the better deals in a year of looking, doing searches weekly and pouncing as soon as the deal came up.  

If you have the money and are ok with it, the S18S would be a good buy. Maybe offer $1800 and see if he bites. 

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"
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9 months 1 week ago #35420 by Surfhead
Replied by Surfhead on topic Update with a question.
The boat is part of the Charles River Fleet in Boston Mass. It's in great shape and comes with an over the stern rudder plus they are ordering the second Rudder in case I want to change it. They are also cleaning the boat excetera. I was just a little surprised to see some in Florida going for $1700. I see what you guys meant about the Epic V12. This boats quite a bit wider and I still found it a little Tippy at first.

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9 months 1 week ago - 9 months 1 week ago #35424 by zachhandler
Replied by zachhandler on topic Update with a question.
Is this a 1st or 2nd generation S18S? The first generation is a horrible ski in my opinion. The second generation by contrast is a very good ski. I think it feels faster and more nimble than a V8, and the v8 is a very good beginner ski.  The gen 2 s18s bucket felt good to me in terms if size and height, though my own hindquarters prefer the epic shape. The gen 2 cockpit is totally different from the olympic swimming pool that the gen 1 used as a bucket. Personally I would not have much use for the rear hatch, but you might. For me it would be a slight liability downwind. Be sure to orient the hatch “square” as if it is not it will leak. 

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9 months 1 week ago #35425 by Surfhead
Replied by Surfhead on topic Update with a question.
I believe it's the second generation. That is to say it's the s18s Advanced G2. I'm still learning in here LOL.

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