Vega Surfski review by a flat water paddler

2 months 4 weeks ago #38649 by AR_convert
I thought members of this page may be interested in taking a look at my Vega review. While they've been around for a couple of years now they have been slow to catch on, at least here in Australia. So when I was offered the opportunity to take a demo one for a few days I jumped at the chance.

I am primarily a flat water paddler, these days doing probably 95% of my training and racing in K1's. I have owned and raced many ocean skis over the years (Fenn, Epic, Carbonology, Think, Stellar) so still have a good appreciation of what makes a good fast ski. 

Since posting the video I have been made aware that there are other rudder options available. 

I hope you get something from this. 


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Always looking for the next boat :)
The following user(s) said Thank You: Rod Thomas, Atlas

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2 months 4 weeks ago #38650 by Epicpaddler

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2 months 4 weeks ago - 2 months 4 weeks ago #38651 by waverider
didn't know they were available in Aus

I believe a small k1 size flatwater rudder is one of the options available, I have a k1 sized rudder fitted to my V10 gen 3 and it changes the whole feel of the boat. Would be keen on an updated review if you can get hold of one

The paint finish will save a fair bit of weight over gel coat..but will scratch more readily.

I think the longer length in skinny skis is to keep the bouyancy. Not an issue for flat water but would be in the bumps

Great vid by the

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2 months 4 weeks ago #38652 by wesley
Nice Bret. Enjoyed it listening to and seeing you!!!

Wesley Echols
SurfskiRacing.com
#1 in Surfski Reviews.

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2 months 3 weeks ago #38653 by zachhandler
Hi Brett - i have owned the vega for 2 years. You are right about the footplate adjustment being suboptimal. It is nice to have unlimited ability to micro adjust leg length down to the millimeter. But it is hard to get those cams locked hard enough to not slip. If it is your own ski and only you paddle it you will get it set well and then forget it. But if you are letting a lot of different people use the ski than there are a lot of opportunities for someone to not crank it down hard enough and have the plate slip on them. Not a big deal if you are on flat water close to shore but it is not something that is easy to fix on a downwind as it takes a lot of leverage to get it tight enough. 

Regarding the bailer I removed the original closable internal mechanism and had the dealer get me a custom made plastic tube that gets inserted to turn it into a conventional scupper. It sucks air at 10km/h and seems to work about as well as other scuppers.  

My understanding of the pro vs the regular layup is that in addition to lacking paint, the pro layup also has about a kg less carbon in it. A friend has a flex in the pro layup. Insanely light. super stiff. It seems there must be some tradeoff in terms of robustness, but whether that would ever actually become an issue in normal use I have no idea. 

One thing that really impresses me is the quality of the product coming out of the ozone factory. I have seen and heard of several friend's Vegas taking huge hits, such as cartwheeling off a boat trailer onto the asphalt, and suffering almost no or only cosmetic damage. Our local guy that has been repairing skis for a long time put an epic bailer in a friend's flex. He was astounded by the quality of everything in the boat - the hardness of the paint, the density of the carbon, the quality of the resin. He described it as space age. He said he was able to take a power sander to the hull and it was like trying to sand a bowling ball. Other makes of skis (and he has worked on most) by comparison are much softer and very easy to oversand according to him. 

As far as the bungies on front and back deck - they allow you to tuck each end of the paddle under and then the ski and paddle stay together as a unit as you carry them to and from the water. Not sure if that was the intended purpose but it sure works great, especially if it is windy. 

Current Skis: Kai Wa’a Vega, Nelo 550L g2, Epic V12 g2, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X

Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy

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2 months 1 week ago #38721 by pnwpaddler
I received my Vega Pro in May of this year. I weighed it just to check and it is 18.5 lbs. I've gotten my footplate locked down to where it doesn't move, but I can see where some movement could happen. Kai did mention some time ago that they were working on a different footplate design. They also discontinued the use of the retractable bailer system. It was very easy to use, but drained very slowly. For now, it is just a fixed venturi (no bullet) and there is a large rubber plug to block the hole from inside the bucket. I do find that it is still slow to drain water. The plug is also a hassle if you need to remove it often, but the bucket fills up a lot when stationary, so I think it is necessary. I believe they're working on a new drain system as well. As for mine, I'm debating if I should glue a bullet on to see if that helps, or bring it to a shop to fit an epic/andersen/debrito bailer. So other than the bailer which isn't great but still gets the job done, I've been thrilled with the Vega. It is a must demo for anyone looking for a new boat.

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2 months 1 week ago #38722 by tve
Having tried a Vega I must say that the weight, stiffness, and finish are outstanding. It's a very very nice boat. The feeling, e.g leaning the boat, is also very good.
I thought the footplate and the bailer definitely marred the overall impression. I have two Nelos and always needed to fiddle with the rudder adjustment. Since switching to Epic boats I just don't touch that stuff anymore at all, maybe a 1/2" tweak every few months. Why does every manufacturer have to "improve" what works?
I did pass on the Vega 'cause I find the seating position of a V12g2 to be vastly superior. My ability to apply power is just night and day between the two boats. Anyone contemplating an elite boat would do well to test drive...

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2 months 1 week ago #38723 by zachhandler
Tve I agree with everything you say. Epic mechanical parts are simple and reliable. I really trust them. And yes the vega has a very low seat. I think for a lot of people it is not a big deal but with my tight hamstrings i find it hard to get over the stroke and generate good power. To counter that I raise the seat with 2 seatpads. Helps the ergonomics, but it hurts stability, which in turn dampens the vega’s surfing magic a bit. But I just love that hull so much downwind that I stick with it.  

Current Skis: Kai Wa’a Vega, Nelo 550L g2, Epic V12 g2, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X

Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy

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