Epic V8 PRO vs Think Evo 3

7 months 3 days ago #35762 by leolinha
Replied by leolinha on topic Epic V8 PRO vs Think Evo 3
Thanks guys! It doesn't show in the picture, but my wall hooks are already padded.
I was worried about the sun at first, but the boats are stored under a roof so that they are directly exposed to sunlight for only a couple of hours close to sunset time, when the intensity of the sun's rays is already very weak.

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

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2 months 1 week ago #36524 by Epicpaddler
Sorry to revive a 4 month old thread, but I've got too much time on my hands and am fantasizing about a new boat.

I'm super comfortable in my v8pro in all conditions, but still looking for a speedier boat for racing.  My current thinking is to keep the v8pro for ocean races like the Blackburn and general rough water paddling and pick up something like a used v10 or equivalent. Because of the lockdown, I haven't seen as many boats for sale as usual. There is a nice Think evo3 for sale that is quite tempting. Is the Evo on par speed wise with the Epicv10? I know the evo is gonna be a twitchier boat than the v8pro, but I've paddled the v10 and can stay upright.

Just curious leolinha how you are liking your Evo after paddling it for a few months.

Thanks
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2 months 1 week ago - 2 months 1 week ago #36526 by SpaceSputnik
Based on the Evo II I had: it is true what they say about the twitchy primary. I also test paddled a g1 V10 and felt better about it's primary stability than the Evo, even though the Evo had more secondary.
What did that boat in for me eventually is a questionable bucket fit. I felt like I was fighting the hump too much. I hear that g3 is better in that respect. But at my height I generally have issue with humps. I would prefer no hump at all...big part of why I swapped out the Evo for Epic 18x tentatively keeping the SES as it has a lower hump and generally fits me better.
But overall Evos are great boats, a lot of people like then. Will be a bit of an adjustment after V8P though. 

Current: Epic 18x Sport, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Think Evo II, Epic V7
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2 months 1 week ago - 2 months 1 week ago #36528 by leolinha
Replied by leolinha on topic Epic V8 PRO vs Think Evo 3
Epicpaddler: after some months paddling the Evo 3g and the V8 PRO, I am convinced that I made the right decision to keep the V8 PRO and have 2 boats. My boats handle differently in all situations, so that one complements the other very well.

Stability-wise, as I suspected, they are very different. The V8 PRO is VERY stable, almost as stable as a regular V8. No matter how choppy and confused the sea, sitting in a V8 PRO is like being in my couch at home. Very comfortable cockpit, spacious, but still a good fit for my 42'' butt. Very nimble, turns fast on a wave, great control at all times.
The Evo, well... I guess it is as twitchy as a V10 3g, although I have had only a single, very short experience with the V10. This is the price to pay for a boat that is potentially faster. However, in 4 or 5 months with the Evo I didn't score not even a single "personal best" with it. In normal routine paddling sessions, both V8 PRO and Evo feel the same speed-wise.

After 4 or 5 months comparing both boats, I could state my impressions of the Evo in two ways. Negatively, I could say that the Evo is a lot twitchier, but holds the same speeds as the V8 PRO. But positively, I could say that the Evo is potentially faster than the V8 PRO, since in the less stable Evo I still cannot put down as much power as in the V8 PRO, but yet can reach the same speeds.

The Evo is a very different boat. The cockpit is tighter, maybe too tight for me. I feel NOT comfortable in it, I have the impression that the Evo promotes a better posture, it forces your knees together, as opposed to the Epic where I can spread my legs at will. In a race this is OK, but I would never take my Evo to do a long recreative paddle (like 20+ miles). The V8 PRO has a very flat hull, smooth in the bow, wide and flat behind the seat. The Evo has a distinct keel in the bow, and a rounded hull behind the seat.

The Evo has a lot of rocker, as much rocker as the new Epic designs that are supposed to be downwind skis like the V10 3g or V12 2g. The V8 PRO has a very straight hull line. Maybe because of this I feel that the Evo surfs much better. When I catch a wave with the Evo, all instability goes away and it surfs beautifully. But beware, it is much less manouverable than the V8 PRO. If the wave is fast and the Evo starts to breach, I usually don't manage to steer it back to the correct position on the wave.

Another point: maybe it's just my boat, but I feel that the Evo is a LOT more frail than the V8 PRO. The Epic is built like a tank, it is a glass boat but has reinforcements in kevlar and carbon in key areas. The Evo is just glass, much more flexible, the walls feel thin and fragile. It took just one wipeout in a wave and already I got a huge crack (0,5 m) on the right side behind the seat, that needed an expensive repair. It takes just one small wipeout to seriously mess up with the rudder alignment. The V8 PRO is a beast, if I were on it on the day the Evo cracked, I am sure the boat would have survived it unscathed.

If I were forced to sell a boat and keep just one, it would definitely be the V8 PRO. More comfortable, more stable, yet fast enough, more reliable, stronger built, more nimble.
But the Evo won a place in my heart because it is a boat that will challenge me stability-wise for quite some time. Because it has a potential to be noticeably faster than the V8 PRO. Because it surfs so well and, last but not least, the Evo is BEAUTIFUL. Man, what a gorgeous boat. When I go to the beach carrying my V8 PRO people usually turn their heads to have a look at it, but when I take the Evo, wow...!!

Current: Epic V8 PRO, Think Evo 3
Past: Epic V8, Epic V10 Sport
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2 months 1 week ago - 2 months 1 week ago #36529 by agooding2
Thanks, great comparison there.

My Nelo 550 also encourages a better seating position.  It is fairly flat on the bottom like the V8 Pro meaning good stability for a narrow 45 cm boat on the flat but it is a bit less predictable in waves.  I will need more time in it for a fuller review.  It is definitely a step up from a 51 cm boat, but not excessively so.  The lack of hump means I can already use more leg drive in it than in my Think Fit, so I already know I will be faster.

My Kevlar Think Fit is plenty sturdy, dropped it a few times with no damage.  I'm not familiar with the current Think performance layup, sorry that it seems more fragile than Epic's.

It sounds like the EVO, the SEI and the 550 are all about the same speed:  www.surfskiracing.org/2017/11/nelo-550-t...surfski-time-trials/

Wes Echols says the V10 is a little faster and the V12 much faster, if you can balance it:  www.surfskiracing.org/surfski-reviews-updated-march-2012/

There is something to be said for balance being the key to good power application, with some people I know faster in their V8 Pro's than in a V10 or a V10 Sport due to their being more comfortable to apply full power.
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2 months 1 week ago #36530 by Epicpaddler
leolinha,

Thanks for the response. I agree with what you said about the Evo being dead sexy. The one I'm looking at is the full carbon model and it's a looker. I'm kinda disappointed  that you say the Evo isn't noticeably faster. Maybe with time it will pick up for you. I was hoping for an instant speed upgrade. To me, the v8pro is not slow, but doesn't have the same glide as the v10 does. When the lockdown lifts I have a friend with a v10 and v12 he said I could try. When I think about my reality vs fantasy, I'm probably never gonna run the Gorge or paddle the Molokai. Most races are on bays and rivers where there is only a moderate chop. The Chesapeake Bay where I paddle doesn't have any legit downwind conditions. Yes, there are big waves sometimes, but more often than not are created by powerboat wake. I want something faster so I can hang a little closer to the front of the pack. I also want the challenge of working towards an elite ski.
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2 months 1 week ago #36531 by wesley
Replied by wesley on topic Epic V8 PRO vs Think Evo 3
The Evo 3G is much faster than the V8Pro all things being equal meaning a proper fit in the Evo and skill level. The Evo 3G is far less stable than the V8pro. V8pro is at one end of the intermediate-range or novice? range, while the Evo 3G is at the polar opposite. Occasionally I wanted more stability in bigger conditions in my Ultimate Evo 3G so I opted for a DK 8 inch rudder that calmed it right down for me vice the standard Think rudder through, the Think rudder overall is a very good rudder for most uses.  Also, the Evo 3G is noticeably faster than the Evo 2G and slightly less stable and the hull shapes are different as are the buckets(Evo 3 is more narrow, less hump). Epic buckets are what I call a "relaxed" fit though super comfortable and ergonomic while the Think skis are more streamlined, deeper buckets, and if you fit properly are super comfortable and you feel race-ready with excellent ergonomics and great leg drive. I have owned an Evo since 2007. Many great skis these days. I also got to paddle again the Huki S1XL(23lbs). That ski surfs amazingly well. I enjoyed paddling it a lot.  My new Think 6 should be at my house next week!  Excited to see how it paddles in all my New England conditions. 

Wesley Echols
SurfskiRacing.com
#1 in Surfski Reviews.
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2 months 1 week ago #36533 by leolinha
Replied by leolinha on topic Epic V8 PRO vs Think Evo 3

Epicpaddler wrote: leolinha,
I'm kinda disappointed  that you say the Evo isn't noticeably faster. Maybe with time it will pick up for you. I was hoping for an instant speed upgrade. To me, the v8pro is not slow, but doesn't have the same glide as the v10 does.


That is a thing that many people want: an instant speed upgrade. In my experience, there isn't such a thing. The Evo won't immediately give you more speed, instead it will offer you the potential for more speed. But you will have to work on it!

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

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2 months 1 week ago #36534 by Epicpaddler
Oh, I know. Speed isn’t free. I followed the stability before ability thing religiously. If I could crank out full power on an epic v10 or v12 I’d be faster. But, I’d probably spend half my time just trying to stay upright, so no gain there. Don’t get me wrong, I know the challenge I face. Since I have a surplus of time and I’m paddling every day it seems like a good time to learn a new  boat. I’ve only paddled a v10 on flat water. If I took i it out into the 20 knot breeze  I paddled in this morning I’m sure most of my time would have been spent remounting. 
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2 months 1 week ago - 2 months 1 week ago #36536 by leolinha
Replied by leolinha on topic Epic V8 PRO vs Think Evo 3
My first proper surfski was a V8 (black tip) which I paddled for 3 and a half years. Then I upgraded to a sexy all-black V10 Sport elite, full carbon. Just look at the specs, I was obviously expecting a huge speed gain right away. But that was a humbling experience. Although I felt comfortable in the V10 Sport after just a handful of paddling sessions, it took me many months to start scoring new personal best times. My best 20 km time with the V8 I beat only 2 years later, and it wasn't with the V10 Sport, which I kept for 1 year and a half, but with my new black tip V8 PRO, again a "heavy" boat.

So for me, it was kind of a "busting myths" experience. I wanted a better 20 km time, but the lighter, narrower V10 Sport didn't do the job. The heavier, wider V8 PRO did. Well, of course there was some personal development taking place there as well, so I know it wasn't just the boat, but again... No matter how fast I "feel" in skinnier, better looking boats, at the end of the day it is the V8 PRO that takes me home sooner.

However, many paddlers I know still believe in the speed myth. Almost everybody here in my region paddle elite-level boats. Many of them with bad technique of course. Once, after a race, a fellow paddler approached me and asked why I insisted on paddling a V8, arguing that I could instantly add more 1 km/h or even 2 km/h to my average speeds just by changing to a "faster" boat.

The "stability before ability" (or "never sacrifice stability for speed") mantra is a funny thing. Anybody who paddles a V14 had to sacrifice a lot of stability at some point. If everybody followed that rule, then everybody would paddle a V8. But no amount of paddling a V8 can guarantee a smooth upgrade to an intermediate boat. Any upgrade will necessarily be a sacrifice of stability for speed, even if only temporarily so. But this "temporarily" can be quite long sometimes. The ideal thing is to keep at least 2 boats when upgrading, a safe one, and a challenging one, so that one doesn't need to sacrifice stability altogether, but still have a means of progressing.

Current: Epic V8 PRO, Think Evo 3
Past: Epic V8, Epic V10 Sport
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2 months 6 days ago #36537 by SpaceSputnik
For me Evo got faster than my previous boat, a V7 within maybe 3 months or so. But what was "faster" for me was still laughably slow for most of you here and the loss of freedom was significant. There are unpredictable cross-choppy places around here where I just wouldn't last very long in the Evo. I wouldn't swim but my form, comfort and speed would just plummet. I am working towards longer distance paddles (30+ k ideally) and a boat like that is not really sustainable given how unpredictable and different conditions can be.  So, I can give myself a pat on the back for "being able to paddle these boats" but that's about it. This moderate speed increase ended up being really really expensive.

Current: Epic 18x Sport, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Think Evo II, Epic V7

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2 months 6 days ago #36538 by Epicpaddler
Spacesputnik, 

I'm sure it was a  pretty big leap from a v7 to the Evo. I know we both come from sea kayak backgrounds, but surfski paddling is a different animal.  When I'm in my sea kayak, I usually paddle with a greenland paddle and can paddle over 30K without thinking twice. I've only done that a couple of time in my ski. For me, it's change of mindset. When I paddle a ski I want to go as fast as I can. Lately, since there is a virtual "race" sponsored by Newbury Canoe and Kayak, I have been paddling 10k's for speed. So far, my times aren't that impressive, but I've been battling 15-30MPH winds. My fastest 10K is around 56 minutes, but since the virtual race started I'm hovering at just under an hour.

There has been a lot of good info in this thread, and despite the challenge of loosing speed by going to a skinnier boat, I want to see what happens. I'm going to keep my v8pro, so I have a safety net. I know I'm probably never going to be Kenny Rice fast, but I want to see how fast I can go. 

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2 months 6 days ago #36539 by SpaceSputnik

Epicpaddler wrote: Spacesputnik, 
I'm sure it was a  pretty big leap from a v7 to the Evo. I know we both come from sea kayak backgrounds, but surfski paddling is a different animal.  

Well, I have paddled more surfskis at this point than sea kayaks.
It was a pretty big step and I consider that it was reasonably successful. It's just not the right modality for me. I was a better long distance paddler in a V7 as well as I am in an expedition kayak. I like the fitness and technical aspect, but also like to be less dependent on conditions and go from point A to point B as opposed to lapping wherever the conditions are suitable.

[quote="Epicpaddler"
 My fastest 10K is around 56 minutes, but since the virtual race started I'm hovering at just under an hour.
[/quote] 

I am not at that level yet and I am not sure I will get there anytime soon.

[quote="Epicpaddler"
but I want to see how fast I can go.
[/quote]

That's was exactly my intention as well, just see where I am at in that type of a boat. I have a pretty good idea now. With all the limits that came with skinnier boats, the Evo really doesn't feel much different from a skinny SES in the way I would approach paddling it, i.e. in some sort of a safe-ish sandbox type of place. SES feels like less effort per speed than the EVO, so it could work really well in some sort of a long canal setting.
On unprotected waters of lake Ontario it will be an 18x.

Current: Epic 18x Sport, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Think Evo II, Epic V7

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