Epic V8 Pro vs. Think Zen

1 week 12 hours ago #35064 by Wallyh2
Seeking incremental upgrade from Epic V8. Flatwater speed of more importance than surfing capability. And obviously, stability. I'm 6'1" 1 75. I'd like to demo both but may not have the opportunity. From photos, the Epic appears to have much more rocker which may be of little benefit to me on flattish water.  Thanks for any help.

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1 week 7 hours ago - 1 week 3 hours ago #35066 by Wingnut
Replied by Wingnut on topic Epic V8 Pro vs. Think Zen
I own a V8 Pro and it's perfect for me.  I've taken the Zen out for just a few minutes and my only observation between the two is that the bucket fit is quite different.  If you are happy in the V8 bucket and you can't try a Zen you will be safest buying the V8 Pro.  I can't compare rocker but do find the V8 Pro wonderful on flatwater.  It is stable but still lively enogh for me after almost two full seasons.  I don't expect to want anything more challenging than this model.  Hope this is helpful.

Wingnut

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1 week 1 hour ago #35067 by Davelis
Replied by Davelis on topic Epic V8 Pro vs. Think Zen
Hi from Greece in our club we have both so I have test them both V8pro always is the winner in flat is just a little faster than the Zen but in
downwind there is a huge difference quality wise are the same and if
you want numbers for 1 km TT in flat with the Zen I was 5.05 with the
V8pro 4.58 in downwind with the Zen I was 4.20 with the V8pro 3.48 in
the same conditions

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6 days 15 hours ago #35069 by SpaceSputnik
I think it depends a lot on what your goals are. If you are looking at a boat that you can take anywhere you go now with a similar comfort than V8P or Zen is the way to go. However, if you are looking to build up your skills and willing to scale down the conditions accordingly than maybe give Evo a thought (pun intended).
It's certainly fast and won't tolerate the liberties a V8 would but it probably won't dump you every few min like an advanced ski. It will teach you the skills that are more in-line with what's required for advanced boats that a V8 or V8P won't, such as proper posture, keeping the boat quiet and the stabilization value of a stroke. Will probably keep you busy for a couple of seasons. Your mileage can vary of course and it's a leap of faith if you buy without a test paddle. However, I did exactly that and find the Evo a perfect training tool.  After a few months in the Evo I did a quick test paddle on a V10L and it felt comfortable in flattish water. I was expecting to wobble a lot more.
But again, your mileage may vary.

Current: Think Evo II
Past: Epic V7

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6 days 15 hours ago #35070 by Wingnut
Replied by Wingnut on topic Epic V8 Pro vs. Think Zen
Spacesputnik, that was an impressive leap of faith you took going to the Evo after paddling a much more stable boat.  I think I saw a video of you surfing a powerboat wash in the Traverse City training camp, you looked like you were very comfortable in it.  I test paddled an Evo gen 3 recently for just a few minutes and I was not stable.  I could probably be okay in time but I would swim a bit getting there.  I would be worried about feeling comfortable when things got rough.  You certainly made a great choice.

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6 days 14 hours ago #35071 by SpaceSputnik

Wingnut wrote: Spacesputnik, that was an impressive leap of faith you took going to the Evo after paddling a much more stable boat.  I think I saw a video of you surfing a powerboat wash in the Traverse City training camp, you looked like you were very comfortable in it.  I test paddled an Evo gen 3 recently for just a few minutes and I was not stable.  I could probably be okay in time but I would swim a bit getting there.  I would be worried about feeling comfortable when things got rough.  You certainly made a great choice.


Oh gee, thanks!
There's some confusion here though. I did not surf the wash at Oscar's clinic in the Evo. There was a video of me with Oscar in a double:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63eJOrCRIBU&t=6s
(the red suit behind Big O). There are some other videos on my channel, but it's all in my home waters in Toronto.

The thing about the Evo is that it feels twitchy on-center at first, which may be off putting. Wesley mentions that in his reviews. It's somewhat of a false impression and requires some mental work. It goes away in time. You can feel it the most in small confused seas where secondary does not come into play. In 1-2 feet the boat actually feels more stable to me than the initial impression may suggest. But, yes, it does require respect and careful matching of the conditions to the current skill level.

Current: Think Evo II
Past: Epic V7

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