Epic V8 PRO vs Think Evo 3

2 weeks 3 days ago #35673 by leolinha
Hi all,

I currently own a black tip V8 PRO and I am very happy with it.
Recently, an opportunity turned out to buy a brand new Think Evo 3 (fiberglass, orange stripes). It is a precious opportunity indeed, since in my country there are no Think dealers at all. I know two happy Evo owners who live close to my hometown, so it will be easy to arrange a "test drive".
I just love the way the Evo looks and we all know how this factor, although irrational, plays an important role for so many of us surfski paddlers! Besides, the Evo is for me a very interesting boat since everything I read about it is positive, to the point that I wonder: is there such a thing as an unsatisfied Evo owner?

However, the rational part of my mind keeps saying: "hey, you don't NEED another boat". Besides, the Evo and the V8 PRO seem to fit in the same category, and some people say that this buy would be redundant. Would I end up with two very similiar boats, the Evo (6,25 m length, 47 cm beam) being just marginally faster than the V8 PRO (5,79 m length, 50,5 cm beam)?

To help me making a decision, I would love to hear any opinions from people who know both models. What are their main strengths and weaknesses? What about stability and speed, any noticeable difference? What about the handling on the water, glide, volume, anything?
I feel VERY comfortable on the V8 PRO in any conditions, and it seems that the Evo would give me a little challenge. Is that so?
I am 176 cm tall and weigh 85 kg, so I guess that either boat would be a good fit.
I paddle in the ocean as well as on flat water, like 50%-50%, I really appreciate stability and don't want anything with advanced skis.

Thanks in advance

Current: Epic V8 PRO, Think Evo 3
Past: Epic V8, Epic V10 Sport

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2 weeks 3 days ago #35674 by Fath2o
Replied by Fath2o on topic Epic V8 PRO vs Think Evo 3
IMO you should be looking for a substantially lighter boat than you have now. A fiberglass EVO 3 might not be much of an improvement weight wise. An EVO 3 is probably much less stable and not  tremendously faster than the V8 pro. Just my opinion though!
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2 weeks 3 days ago #35675 by leolinha
Replied by leolinha on topic Epic V8 PRO vs Think Evo 3
I had a lighter boat before, but I really don't mind the extra weight. My V8 PRO weighs just 14,7 kg.
Stability is always a controversial issue. I have read several times in this forum that the speed and stability differences between V8 PRO and V10 Sport are negligible. Some claim that both Epic intermediate boats feel the same stability-wise. But I had a V10 Sport and for me, the difference in stability was very noticeable, although speed-wise the boats are the same.
Now enters the Evo. At least on paper it should be faster. Is that comparable to a V10?

Current: Epic V8 PRO, Think Evo 3
Past: Epic V8, Epic V10 Sport

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2 weeks 2 days ago #35678 by mickeyA
Replied by mickeyA on topic Epic V8 PRO vs Think Evo 3
evo will certainly be more twitchy than the v8pro.  evo is probably manageable for you, but in rough confused seas, i would rather have v8pro.  flatter water or clean straight downwind, evo.  I read somewhere recently where Wesley Echols ranked stability (not on his chart necessarily) of evo g3 just below the V10, even though evo is 2 cm wider.  also less stable than SF S and SEI (both narrower).  evo would be a decent bit below v8pro in stability.  if you can keep two, i do not think they are perfectly redundant.  one for flat, one for rough.  both exceptional boats.

Epic V12, V10Sport, Fenn Tarpon S, Swordfish S, Stellar SE, Fenn XT, Twogood Chalupski, Findeisen Stinger spec, Huki S1-X, Burton wedge2, Fenn Tarpon
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2 weeks 2 days ago #35679 by Wingnut
Replied by Wingnut on topic Epic V8 PRO vs Think Evo 3
Epic V8 Pro and Zen would be comparable.  The Evo is definitely more twitchy than either one of the above. It sounds like having both the V8 Pro and Evo would be ideal!
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2 weeks 2 days ago #35680 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Epic V8 PRO vs Think Evo 3
I have not paddled either boat, but would add this from my personal experience - flat water speed will probably be minimally different. Where I noticed the biggest difference of a skinnier boat was the ease of getting on swell and the lack of a speed wall. Here in SoCal, we do not get Australian or South African quality swell, its more shallow and tougher to catch. 

On my wider boats (Stellar SR specifically) it was nearly impossible to accelerate fast enough and get enough speed to get on the swell. On the SF-S, it can still be difficult (depending on the size and period of the swell), but its much more possible on the SF. With the SR and XT, I would regularly miss the wave, swamp the bucket, then miss the whole set. This rarely happens on the SF. 

If you have swell which facilitates surfing on the V8pro without too much trouble, you probably wont see a huge difference with the evo. If you are missing waves, the Evo may pay more dividend than the flat water time may indicate. you will have to build enough stability to handle the waves, but in my experience there is a noticeable difference. This was apparent to me when I paddled a 43cm boat for a couple miles at The Gorge - he was passing me all the time, then we swapped boats and I passed him consistently. It was easier to get on and overtake a wave on the 43cm Huki vs the 45cm SF-S.

Also, like anything in life you'll adapt to a less stable boat if you paddle enough. 3.5cm beam difference will be quite noticeable, but probably adaptable with some work. 

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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2 weeks 2 days ago #35681 by swifty
Replied by swifty on topic Epic V8 PRO vs Think Evo 3
I have a V10 Sport red tip and an Evo 3 carbon (bought at a good 2nd hand price). The widely held belief is that they are the same boat - I can assure you that for me they are not. The V10S is manageable for me in any conditions whereas the Evo is much twitchier and the narrower bucket doesn't allow as much hip rotation and I think the difference in stability between the two is the bucket width. The V10S allows me to absorb bumps a bit more independently from the ski whereas I feel every bump in the Evo due to tighter fit. The Evo3 is narrower than the Evo2 and it's noticeable for me.

The Evo feels faster and catches and glides on a wave easier whereas the V10S gives me the feeling of more stability for more power.

Sorry it's not a V8Pro comparison, I haven't paddled one, but I'd be thinking the V8Pro is closer to a V10S than an Evo3. If you can confidently paddle an Evo in all conditions then it'll rip.
I agree with the above, a V8Pro would be closer to a Zen or a Carbonology Boost 
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2 weeks 2 days ago #35683 by leolinha
Replied by leolinha on topic Epic V8 PRO vs Think Evo 3
Thank you guys for your answers.

swifty, the V10 Sport - Evo 3 comparison was very interesting and informative because I paddled a V10 Sport elite for one and a half years recently.

MCImes, where I live I guess we have second-rate swell just as you described, shallow and hard to catch. But I could catch more waves with the V8 PRO than with my old V10 Sport because the V8 PRO is such a stable boat, nothing seems to disturb it and I can put 100% power down. Maybe I would feel the same awkward with the Evo, at least for some time.

Wingnut, MickeyA: thanks for encouraging me to buy the Evo! Despite all the talk, the issue is quite simple: if those boats were cheap, that Evo would already be here at home with me. But since they cost serious money, some negotiation with my wife is also necessary...

Current: Epic V8 PRO, Think Evo 3
Past: Epic V8, Epic V10 Sport
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2 weeks 1 day ago #35690 by SpaceSputnik
Going from V8Pro to Evo will be a learning curve for sure. Wesley classifies it as "advanced intermediate" that would make a switch to a HP skis seem less shocking. It's a great skills building boat if that's what you are looking at and don't mind some initial pain.
Among the 3 boats I owned: V7, Evo II and Stellar SES, I feel that the distance between a V7 and Evo is quite a bit greater than between Evo and SES. After about a season in the Evo, I am able to stay upright on a SES and an old V10L in calm-sh conditions. At the moment I am faster in the Evo than in SES, but I am generally not fast so that's probably not saying all that much.
If you are looking for the Evo as more or less replacement for V8Pro then it's not going to work I suspect.

Current: Think Evo II, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Epic V7
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2 weeks 1 day ago #35691 by Epicpaddler
This has been an interesting and relevant thread for me. I also have a black tip v8pro that I can paddle in all conditions. Most of the racing I do is on somewhat protected water. Most time wind is less than 20 knots and 1/2 meter chop. I "think" I'm ready for a more advanced boat. Originally, I was thinking epic v10. I saw a sweet Evo 3 on a craigslist ad that got me considering other brands. Is a v10 similar or more "advanced" than an Evo 3?
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2 weeks 1 day ago #35692 by SpaceSputnik

Epicpaddler wrote: This has been an interesting and relevant thread for me. I also have a black tip v8pro that I can paddle in all conditions. Most of the racing I do is on somewhat protected water. Most time wind is less than 20 knots and 1/2 meter chop. I "think" I'm ready for a more advanced boat. Originally, I was thinking epic v10. I saw a sweet Evo 3 on a craigslist ad that got me considering other brands. Is a v10 similar or more "advanced" than an Evo 3?


Strictly speaking a V10 is more advanced. However it may not be an easy comparison. Evo (II in my case) has somewhat twitchy primary stability and a decent amount of secondary. Initially it can feel somewhat off-putting.

Current: Think Evo II, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Epic V7
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2 weeks 1 day ago #35693 by swifty
Replied by swifty on topic Epic V8 PRO vs Think Evo 3
I've paddled each of these boats and as a beginning intermediate I'd say these are similar:
V10 Gen 3
Evo 2 and 3
Swordfish S
Carbonology Zest

then drop down to V10S

then down to Zen and Boost
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2 weeks 1 day ago #35694 by leolinha
Replied by leolinha on topic Epic V8 PRO vs Think Evo 3
SpaceSputnik: your post helped me a lot. Now I am convinced that I should have an Evo AND keep my V8 PRO. Although classified as intermediate skis, it seems that they are very different stability wise.
As for the comparison between Evo and V10 (both 3g), everybody seems to agree that the Evo has low primary stability but high secondary, while the V10 is somewhat the opposite.

EpicPaddler: I could say exactly the same as you. I also race mostly on protected waters with low winds and feel very comfortable in my V8 PRO. But where I live I must negotiate the surf to get in the water, so that I would really appreciate keeping the V8 PRO fot those nasty days.

Current: Epic V8 PRO, Think Evo 3
Past: Epic V8, Epic V10 Sport

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2 weeks 1 day ago #35695 by tve
Replied by tve on topic Epic V8 PRO vs Think Evo 3
In good DW conditions the V10 g3 is amazing, it really keeps the momentum going well allowing you to accelerate and jump over bumps ahead and because of its relatively short length remains very maneuverable. A bunch of long term paddlers here (SoCal) have "downgraded" from a V12 to the V10 'cause it's almost as good but so much more stable (remounting a V12 in big conditions is "interesting"). I haven't paddled the EVO III in similar conditions, so I can't compare.
The difficult part of upgrading is to determine whether you're going to learn the new boat in a reasonable amount of time or whether it's going to be the too-tippy-for-me-how-do-I-sell-it-now boat that every paddler buys at one point :-).
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2 weeks 1 day ago #35698 by Cerca Trova
I currently paddle a G3 V10 Elite,  V11 Ultra,  Nelo 560 SSC, and a 520 WWR. The V10 is an amazing DW ski to paddle. Due to lots of Rocker the secondary stability is great with plenty of initial stability.  In confused seas the V10 is very sea kindly. I have never paddled the Evo so I cannot comment on it.
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4 days 17 minutes ago #35754 by leolinha
Replied by leolinha on topic Epic V8 PRO vs Think Evo 3
Well, after some miserable days I finally took a decision and bought a brand new Evo 3g (glass). It was cheaper than I had expected, my wife was mad at me for only 2 days!!  :-)
I was surprised by its weight. It seems to be much lighter than my V8 PRO which weighs 14,7 kg. I didn't weigh the boat yet but it feels very light for a glass surfski.
I paddled it once on the river and again, very positively impressed. It isn't as tippy as I thought.
Definitely tippier than a V10 Sport though. The feel is very close to a V10 3g. All these modern boats are incorporating the same new trends: more rocker, tighter cockpit, lower hump, higher seat.
I am very happy with my purchase and yes, very happy also because I will keep my V8 PRO.

Current: Epic V8 PRO, Think Evo 3
Past: Epic V8, Epic V10 Sport

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3 days 17 hours ago #35757 by Epicpaddler
Sounds like a win/win. Glad you got to keep the v8pro. I'd like to keep my v8pro  for the ocean races like the Blackburn challenge or the Carolina Cup. For the flatwater river/bay races I think I'd benefit from a faster boat. My wife isn't thrilled with my boat collection, but in the past year I did sell my Laser sailboat and an old rec kayak. I "justify" keeping my sea kayak for winter paddling. 
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3 days 16 hours ago #35759 by leolinha
Replied by leolinha on topic Epic V8 PRO vs Think Evo 3
Yes, good to have a best boat to each occasion.
Maybe someday I will feel as confident in the Evo as I feel today in the V8 PRO. Who knows? Then I could think of selling the V8 PRO and buying something narrower.
For now I am super happy with my wall...

Current: Epic V8 PRO, Think Evo 3
Past: Epic V8, Epic V10 Sport
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3 days 16 hours ago #35760 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Epic V8 PRO vs Think Evo 3
Enjoy the new ride! your butt will get used to whatever is underneath it if you practice enough :) skinnier boats are addicting

Put some pool noodles around the wall hooks though! A convex curve tangent to a convex curve has a very very small contact area and can dent your boats easily. A $2 pool noodle is probably good for all 4 hooks and provides a much better margin of protection if you set the boat down hard on accident 

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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3 days 15 hours ago - 3 days 15 hours ago #35761 by SpaceSputnik
Looks nice!

+1 on padding the racks or perhaps even going with a suspension setup. I picked up a Suspenz rack which is completely horizontal and has suspension straps. Works great (if I watch my head around it). 

PS Love the sunshine.

Current: Think Evo II, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Epic V7
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