Epic V7 first paddle

6 years 6 months ago #23766 by Marieski
I bought one of these because I launch in a 2m wide bit of sand between exposed and underwater rocks and need to carry my ski over more slippery rocks to the boathouse. So my weather limitation is getting the ski in and out without crashing/dropping it. Hence plastic construction and kick up rudder. My intended use is for rough and windy conditions and my test was in diminishing 12-15 knots with 1-2 ft chop, so not really a fair test. My beginner level comparison boat is my Custom Horizon. I've never paddled an Epic V8 or a Bluefin. However I did discover some stuff.

Firstly, those of you who are considering the boat know it has a number of features making it more touring capable: handles fore and aft an on the gunnels, drink bottle and deck bungees, a rear hatch and ability to (easily) fit a kick up rudder. It also has a (terriffic) Anderson style bailer, excellent footplate adjustment, (not attached at the bottom so swings, and the length adjustment can actually be adjusted without cutting your fingers, bashing the boat and lashings of bad language!!). Despite the touring features and it's short wide profile, it actually looks like a surfski, with very sexy (and functional) deck cutaways for close paddle planting.

Yep, it's short and wide and looks almost dish-shaped with its flat bottom and low sides. The nose is short but high volume. These features have the following consequences: Extremely high primary stability; so much that I had trouble leaning the boat enough to assess secondary stability. One of my stability exercises is to paddle my ski with a rail in the water. The SES was rock solid doing this, the Spark a bit less solid but very controllable. On the V7: impossible because I just couldn't make it tilt over! A bigger heavier person probably could. I wasn't quite sure whether I liked this feature when sideon to waves because the hull would tilt with the water angle rather than pointing to the seabed. Anyway, kayak-stable.

The big fat nose and flat bottom made upwind paddling in short chop unfun. The ski would rise and splat, rise and splat as it went over waves. The Horizon has far less volume and is narrower so cuts through more (the Spark barely notices head on waves!). And it's plastic. It fleeeexes.

What I didn't expect was how easily the V7 jumps onto even small runners! Must be the short nose and consequent forward weight and that flat bottom, which just made it want to plane immediately! I will have to assess again but was streets ahead of the Horizon, better than the Swordfish and all my previous Epics and the SES.

I have the option of the underboat rudder and the kick up. I used the kickup in my test. It looks very small (I'm an elliptical rudder girl: got them for all my skis) and I was very doubtful it would be effective. Well, I was wrong. Fabulously responsive. Turns on twice it's length, which is equal best with any boat I've ever paddled. The real test will be strong downwind in a quartering sea, where my beloved elliptical rudders stop me from broaching. Best I can say is downwind quartering in 12 knots presented no problem.

Shallow bucket, low sides, yep, the boat is wet, but the bailer is extremely effective and easy to adjust. That shape also makes it a cinch to remount.

If you get into seriously bad conditions, remounting won't be hard, but I don't like the look of the hatch cover at all! Both the material and the attachment look extremely flimsy. I'm sure if you had a moderately heavy object in the back, if you went upside down it would pop the cover off. In which case, game over because you can't bail the ski out from sitting in the cockpit. I would like some reassurance and/or an alternative hatch cover from Epic before taking the boat out with anything under the hatch. I have already replaced the ridiculous bit of string with a thick bungy.

Hatch aside, a very well thought out boat. Looking forward to testing it with a bit more weather. I reckon it will go like a bomb downwind and be especially good in short chop (which is what we mostly get). It will also be a great introductory boat. Epic will sell a squillion of them.

Past skis: Spirit PRS, EpicV10Sport Performance, Epic V10 Elite, Stellar SES Advantage. Current skis: Fenn Elite Spark, Fenn Swordfish vacuum. Custom Horizon, Epic V7
The following user(s) said Thank You: red_pepper, zachhandler, rhainan, sv607, Atlas

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6 years 6 months ago #23771 by rhainan
Replied by rhainan on topic Epic V7 first paddle
Thanks for the review, Marieski.

I also am dubious about the hatch cover. Oscar Chalupsky says its great and will not come off. That may be so, but the thing just looked like an afterthought to me.

I predict that there will be an option for a hard cover as the design evolves.

Too bad the V7 will not hit North America in time for the launch of our paddling season. :(

Western Pennsylvania Epic Kayak Dealer

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6 years 6 months ago #23775 by Marieski
Replied by Marieski on topic Epic V7 first paddle
For those who want both the underslung and overstern rudder, the conversion is simple. Graeme, the local Epic representative set it up for me before delivery (thanks, Graeme). We agreed the key was to line the rudder T bar up with the underslung rudder still in place, then tie on the rear rudder lines, then drop the underslung rudder out. The T bar ends up floating in space with lines tied fore and aft. This has the added advantage of simplifying the reverse process.

For the anatomically minded, the T bar is then strongly reminiscent of a hyoid bone!

Past skis: Spirit PRS, EpicV10Sport Performance, Epic V10 Elite, Stellar SES Advantage. Current skis: Fenn Elite Spark, Fenn Swordfish vacuum. Custom Horizon, Epic V7

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6 years 6 months ago - 6 years 6 months ago #23776 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Epic V7 first paddle
If you feel the rear storage compartment could get flooded, put inside it a float bag. White water kayaks often have these and they work great inside touring kayaks' storage spaces. They come in different sizes, so I'm sure you'll find one that can fill most of the space nicely. Just keep it inflated in there, and if you need space to store something, deflate a bit - just enough to put whatever you need and the bag fills the rest of the space. This also secures things so they don't roll around a big open space.
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6 years 6 months ago - 6 years 6 months ago #23781 by tony h
Replied by tony h on topic Epic V7 first paddle
agree - neat review of an impressive ski
also agree with concerns about back hatch - would love to take it out in a big DW but not with current hatch (any river kayaker knows neoprene type spray decks pop under pressure - ok in river as it is easy to get to the side & empty out, but alas ocean would be a terrible predicament: would limit v7's diversity of function)
very difficult to get that hatch on as well
hope a fibreglass / carbon cover is developed over time
floatation bag sounds good - any idea where to source?

ski's - McGregor C/R // Nelo 560L // Epic: 1st/2nd/3rdG V10/10L/10 sport, V14, V12, V8, V7, double -v10/v8 // Stellar: SES 1G/2G, SEI 2G // Fenn: double, elite SL, swordfish 1G/2G // Carbonology: vault, atom, flash //hayden spec ski / gibbons oc. ski / red7 / stealth spec/ocean ski / think legend
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6 years 6 months ago - 6 years 6 months ago #23783 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Epic V7 first paddle

floatation bag sounds good - any idea where to source?


I get mine at the end of the season for a half-off from local paddle shops that cater to white water kayakers. NRS sells them online too in the US. Some make their own from heat-sealed materials - if you are a DIY type, google it and you'll see the how-to.
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6 years 6 months ago #23799 by tony h
Replied by tony h on topic Epic V7 first paddle
my initial hatch attempts were technically remiss:
- page 9 of user manual highlights correct technique
- most NB step is tightening the stringer
- see 3 videos below
- evidently a hard shell surf cover is planned :-)

ski's - McGregor C/R // Nelo 560L // Epic: 1st/2nd/3rdG V10/10L/10 sport, V14, V12, V8, V7, double -v10/v8 // Stellar: SES 1G/2G, SEI 2G // Fenn: double, elite SL, swordfish 1G/2G // Carbonology: vault, atom, flash //hayden spec ski / gibbons oc. ski / red7 / stealth spec/ocean ski / think legend
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6 years 6 months ago #23800 by tony h
Replied by tony h on topic Epic V7 first paddle
initial attempts show insufficient stringer tightening

ski's - McGregor C/R // Nelo 560L // Epic: 1st/2nd/3rdG V10/10L/10 sport, V14, V12, V8, V7, double -v10/v8 // Stellar: SES 1G/2G, SEI 2G // Fenn: double, elite SL, swordfish 1G/2G // Carbonology: vault, atom, flash //hayden spec ski / gibbons oc. ski / red7 / stealth spec/ocean ski / think legend

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6 years 6 months ago #23801 by tony h
Replied by tony h on topic Epic V7 first paddle
correct hatch technique
see 2nd video below

ski's - McGregor C/R // Nelo 560L // Epic: 1st/2nd/3rdG V10/10L/10 sport, V14, V12, V8, V7, double -v10/v8 // Stellar: SES 1G/2G, SEI 2G // Fenn: double, elite SL, swordfish 1G/2G // Carbonology: vault, atom, flash //hayden spec ski / gibbons oc. ski / red7 / stealth spec/ocean ski / think legend

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6 years 6 months ago #23802 by tony h
Replied by tony h on topic Epic V7 first paddle
3rd correct attempt reveals solid hatch that I would be comfortable using in the ocean

ski's - McGregor C/R // Nelo 560L // Epic: 1st/2nd/3rdG V10/10L/10 sport, V14, V12, V8, V7, double -v10/v8 // Stellar: SES 1G/2G, SEI 2G // Fenn: double, elite SL, swordfish 1G/2G // Carbonology: vault, atom, flash //hayden spec ski / gibbons oc. ski / red7 / stealth spec/ocean ski / think legend

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6 years 6 months ago #23803 by tony h
Replied by tony h on topic Epic V7 first paddle
if no videos above see vimeo link for 3 videos:

vimeo.com/user16193615

ski's - McGregor C/R // Nelo 560L // Epic: 1st/2nd/3rdG V10/10L/10 sport, V14, V12, V8, V7, double -v10/v8 // Stellar: SES 1G/2G, SEI 2G // Fenn: double, elite SL, swordfish 1G/2G // Carbonology: vault, atom, flash //hayden spec ski / gibbons oc. ski / red7 / stealth spec/ocean ski / think legend
The following user(s) said Thank You: Marieski

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6 years 6 months ago - 6 years 5 months ago #23844 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Epic V7 first paddle
I paddled a V7 2 weeks ago out of curiousity :whistle: and a challenge put out by the shop owner to see who could break their groups plastic race record ;)

The shop owner runs a Saturday morning training group which starts with a 4km race.

I was blown away at how good this ski was. I averaged 12km/hr over the 4km and it was extremely comfortable. The most comfortable plastic boat I've sat in.


Photo Courtesy Terry Bolland, Canoeing Down Under.

The cutaways make for really easy paddle placement and together with the good seat height don't hinder rotation and catch.

I tried to tip it over when paddling it around after the race and you've virtually got to purposely fall out of the boat to get it to tip to the side.

I still suspect it wont be quite as quick as some of the narrower/longer plastic skis out there but it is light years ahead for quality of finish, comfort, stability and stiffness.

Yes it is heavier than composite and yes, smaller less strong paddlers will perhaps need a hand to carry it, but on the water it doesn't feel heavy.

The new manufacturing process has resulted in a very stiff and hard plastic. Compared to the other brands I've owned.....well :huh: there is no comparison, it is a huge leap in technology to get something the same weight so stiff.

The bailer can be opened and closed with the heel of your foot while you are paddling.

I take my tippy plastic ski away on holidays to surf waves but this would be a better bet as the rest of the family could paddle it as well.

In Western Australia it is priced slightly more than the competitors top plastic race skis (which are made here) but I reckon for the beginner to mid pack paddler who wants an all round ski that the whole family can paddle, it will be very popular.

Always looking for the next boat :)

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6 years 6 months ago - 6 years 6 months ago #23845 by tony h
Replied by tony h on topic Epic V7 first paddle
after overcoming my technical inadequacies with the neoprene hatch cover, I ventured out into the ocean with the V7 - it was the best fun in the waves: surfs & turns beautifully

12km/hr on the flat with this ski is great going Brett

Oscar's efforts in the surf & 10knot downwind - see attachments - certainly show it is a versatile fun ski

ski's - McGregor C/R // Nelo 560L // Epic: 1st/2nd/3rdG V10/10L/10 sport, V14, V12, V8, V7, double -v10/v8 // Stellar: SES 1G/2G, SEI 2G // Fenn: double, elite SL, swordfish 1G/2G // Carbonology: vault, atom, flash //hayden spec ski / gibbons oc. ski / red7 / stealth spec/ocean ski / think legend
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6 years 6 months ago - 6 years 5 months ago #23846 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Epic V7 first paddle


Oscar's efforts in the surf & 10knot downwind - see attachments - certainly show it is a versatile fun ski


Yep, thats what I love my plastic for, fun in the waves without stressing about stress on the boat. I reckon the V7 would be even better in this sort of surf as the length of my ski while good in the flat makes it hard to stay on the wave longer without risking wiping out and it doesnt turn very well, which the width of the V7 would help with a bit more of a "rail" effect when leaning it.

And for those who think you cant have much fun in a heavy plastic ski check out how this 23kg monster does. (I titled it 20kg as I didnt quite know when I first got it, now know it's 23kg). Would love to get a V7 in the same conditions.


Always looking for the next boat :)

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6 years 5 months ago #23982 by Jerry
Replied by Jerry on topic Epic V7 first paddle

Thanks for the review, Marieski.

I also am dubious about the hatch cover. Oscar Chalupsky says its great and will not come off. That may be so, but the thing just looked like an afterthought to me.

I predict that there will be an option for a hard cover as the design evolves.

Too bad the V7 will not hit North America in time for the launch of our paddling season. :(


Regarding availability, I picked mine up Saturday 5/17/15 in New Jersey. I agree with most of the comments made here, but have to add that it is a bit slower then the V8. However it does seem to catch any size runner and ride it well. The fun factor and knowing that it is not easily damaged will make up for any of it's shortcomings. All in all it's a great value boat and the only problem Epic will have will be supplying the demand.

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6 years 5 months ago #23983 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Epic V7 first paddle
How does the seating position and size of the cockpit compare to the V8 or other Epics that you have experience with?

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6 years 5 months ago #23984 by rhainan
Replied by rhainan on topic Epic V7 first paddle
It appears that about half of the US Epic dealers have received at least some of their pre-orders. The other half are still waiting for the slow boat from China to arrive :angry: , which is supposed to be sometime in June.

I don't think there will be many extra V7's on the market for 2015. Most dealers I have talked to have their V7 orders already spoken for. Hopefully production will catch up in 2016 in time for the introduction of the V5.

Western Pennsylvania Epic Kayak Dealer

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6 years 5 months ago #23985 by Jerry
Replied by Jerry on topic Epic V7 first paddle

How does the seating position and size of the cockpit compare to the V8 or other Epics that you have experience with?


First off, I am 6'4" and weigh 160 lbs., so most boats have a "loose" bucket for me. That being said, I felt no difference in unpadded width of the V7 and V8 buckets. I did not have time to pad out the sides of the bucket prior to taking it out and was concerned that it might be too loose in that respect. However the boat is so stable it was not necessary for me to do that, I don't think it would make any difference for me anyway.

Regarding leg length, I think it would accommodate a 7 foot person, really an incredibly long bucket. And, the foot board hinges up so there is no contact with the bucket floor when sliding for adjustment. Very easy and fast to make fine tuning leg position.

Placement seems to be more forward then I am used to, but this may be due to overall shortness in length. Someone mentioned that it "bobs" when going into chop, yes it does but not as much as my V8 ultra. For me, the heaviness is keeping the bow down a bit more, this is a heavy boat.

I am very happy with it, a great addition to the fleet. I paddle in the winter and run into ice and debris. With this boat there is no worry of damage.

If I could ask Epic one question it would be, "are you making any money selling this thing?"

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6 years 5 months ago #23986 by zachhandler
Replied by zachhandler on topic Epic V7 first paddle
Isn't v7 made in S. A. ?

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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6 years 5 months ago #23988 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Epic V7 first paddle
Thanks! I too am 6'4" but have about 30lb on you and if I remember right from paddling the latest V8 for just a few minutes last year, the V8 cockpit was just about right in terms of width (don't fit in the V12, fit fine in the new V10, the new V10 Sport is just a smidgen wider and a better fit to my bum). So I guess I will fit fine, but the question only I can answer would be whether the seating position and shape will be comfortable. Hopefully I'll get a chance to try one myself locally from our Epic dealer (and if it fits nicely, maybe I'll drop the asking price for my other 2 skis that I have for sale now ;).

How does the seating position and size of the cockpit compare to the V8 or other Epics that you have experience with?


First off, I am 6'4" and weigh 160 lbs., so most boats have a "loose" bucket for me. That being said, I felt no difference in unpadded width of the V7 and V8 buckets.
...
Regarding leg length, I think it would accommodate a 7 foot person, really an incredibly long bucket."

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