Go Big or Go Home......V8 to V14

3 years 1 day ago - 3 years 1 day ago #26953 by kwolfe
Ha! Ok folks, for those of you who followed my thread wondering whether someone could go from a V8 to a V12........weeeeeeell I decided to just go all in. This morning, I drove out and met Cliff from Goodboy Kayaks and bought his V14 in the performance layup.

First of all, let me say that I recently bought a vbar rack from Cliff and just happen to come across his add on another sight. He is a heck of a nice guy. He actually brought another ski with him so that he could paddle with me for 30-40 minutes.

OK, now to the ski. Holy cow is this thing skinny!! It was intimidating just looking at it sitting in the water. The bucket is snug an comfortable and I have decent hips for a guy (6ft 190lbs) and felt like I had good contact with the ski. Skinnier paddlers might need a little padding. I have the old baler in my V8, this new one is awesome!

Now my experience. I took the ski down to the beach are and just sat in it to get e feel. Sheeeesh this thing is twitchy! The V8 might as well be a boat dock compared to it. So then I grabbed my paddle and began my adventure. The first thing I said to Cliff was "now watch me swim"! Ha! Actually, I got about 1/4 mile when he came along and said "I thought you were going to swim?". Well wouldn't you know it.....that's when I fell in first! Remounting the ski isn't easy given how tippy it is. Really need to use the paddle across the bucket to create a tripod for stability.

I did swim about a dozen times over about an hour an a half. I was starting to get tired (actually paddled my SUP before Cliff got there). Interesting, once I got the "feel" of the ski, I could figure out when I was gonna take a dunk in the drink. It did not go over for no reason though. Most of the time, I knew I was going to get wet. I could actually lean it over a bit and recover by using pure balance as well as using some pretty aggressive low bracing.

Lastly, this ski definitely commands go balance and core strength. I will definitely need to make sure that my leg drive is timed well with my catch and pull. You can't over rotate with this ski as I found it got shaky at that point. That's it for now, I'll keep documenting my progress. I have a Garmin 310XT coming Saturday and a gopro is definitely in the cards very soon. Here's a couple of pics of the ski.
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3 years 1 day ago #26954 by rhainan
Good Luck with that! You bought it from a great dude.

You may benefit from switching to a surf rudder. I see Cliff has the current one cut down. A bigger rudder can improve stability.

Keep us advised about your progress. I was going to make the leap to the V14 from a V10L but instead will wait for the V12 2G coming out at the end of the year.

Western Pennsylvania Epic Kayak Dealer

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3 years 1 day ago #26955 by Aurelius
I'm very curious to hear what you think of the V14 after a few months. I made a similarly big jump, going from a plastic kayak to a Mako XT. It took me weeks of trying before I could paddle across the lake without falling over, but in the end I'm glad I did it.

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3 years 1 day ago #26957 by kwolfe
Funny but I was wondering what a surf or universal rudder would do for stability. I know with SUPs it definitely makes a difference. Epic doesn't have the length on their website.

I'm definitely going to document the progress. As soon as I get video, I'm going to post the V8 next to the V14. I'm really curious to see why the 14 rocks when I think I was paddling well.

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3 years 1 day ago #26959 by red_pepper
The longer rudder isn't a cure-all, but it will help. The extra area helps resist the roll of the ski.

It's impressive that you were able to make that big of jump so quickly. Just be careful not to screw up your stroke (keep the V8 around to improve your forward stroke). Paddlers making a big jump like that often make a mess of their stroke as they strive to keep upright, and it can take a while to pull it all back together.

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3 years 1 day ago #26963 by LaPerouseBay
That's awesome kwolfe, congrats on a great boat.

I'm about your size and almost got a 14 because the bucket was so unbelievably comfy.

What I remember was that sitting up properly was very, very important. The slightest lean back would set off the alarm bells. A 14 won't tolerate slouching. But you probably know that already.

Great boat. Elite skis are super fun. I had a blast in a carbon spark too. Very responsive!

Like the others said, get a surf rudder in there. And keep that V-8 for drills, you will be glad you did!

downwind dilettante

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3 years 12 hours ago - 3 years 12 hours ago #26981 by kwolfe
For sure, the v14 will not tolerate and shenanigans of any kind. It was very apparent that when I was finishing up yesterday, I needed to be very aware of my posture and stroke length. Sometimes I think I keep the paddle in the water a little to long and that makes the boat twitch.

I would like to try a surf rudder. I can imagine it might reduce the initial roll effect. By any chance would anyone around here have one they want to part with??

I have a Garmin 310xt coming today and am look into a Gopro or Garmin Virb Elite so that I can record myself for comparison here and for my own training. I have every intention to document my progress here just in case anyone else wants to try this kind of foolishness! :woohoo:

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3 years 11 hours ago #26983 by Aurelius

kwolfe wrote: For sure, the v14 will not tolerate and shenanigans of any kind. It was very apparent that when I was finishing up yesterday, I needed to be very aware of my posture and stroke length. Sometimes I think I keep the paddle in the water a little to long and that makes the boat twitch.


In my case the problem was always the reverse: the ski wants to roll over just after I stick the blade in the water and begin to pull back on it. That's why it took weeks just to figure out how to get the ski started when I first got mine. Once I was traveling at 3-4 mph, the instability went away.

I would like to try a surf rudder. I can imagine it might reduce the initial roll effect. By any chance would anyone around here have one they want to part with??


What are the dimensions of a surf rudder? I've got a rudder from my V7 that I'm not using, but I don't know if it's what you're looking for.

I have a Garmin 310xt coming today and am look into a Gopro or Garmin Virb Elite so that I can record myself for comparison here and for my own training.


I've been making training videos for just that reason. It's amazing the kinds of glaring errors you see on video that you were totally unaware of while you were paddling!

One word of warning if you're planning to use a suction cup mount: take the precaution of taping it down to the hull, or fastening the camera to a tether line. The suction cup on mine almost came loose, which would have resulted in sending hundreds of dollars worth of equipment to the bottom of the lake.

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3 years 4 hours ago #26991 by kwolfe
I know that all rudders are not interchangeable but what is the main difference. The shaft on the V14 looks short, especially since the stern is so small. Are all the shafts the same diameter? If so, I imagine the V7 would just have a longer shaft that could be cut down.

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3 years 3 hours ago #26992 by waterbornewarrior
That's a tricky question. Let's just talk about Epic.

Material
Epic has used aluminum, stainless steel, stainless steel tube, carbon fiber, and titanium shafts. New ones should be titanium.

Connection method
All new Epics use the same connection method, a clamp-style yoke with a little centering pin. Old Epics used a clamp yoke with a rudder shaft machined with fore and aft "flats."

Diameter
The shafts are generally the same diameter, although older boats worked well with 3/8" (0.375"), and newer ones are better with just a hair under 10 mm (0.393").

Length
There are 3 or 4 standard lengths for Epic shafts, in terms of the location of the centering pin hole relative to the rudder blade. For example, the V8 (G2), V12, and V14 take the same length. V8 (G1) and V10 Double the same. V10L / V10 / V10 Sport basically the same. Not 100% on the V7 and V8 Pro, so I won't comment. A longer shaft can be cut down for a boat that takes a shorter one (or leave it long if you own both boats, and just forego the rudder well cap). Drilling a new pin hole is not trivial, but can be done. Ideally have it done by a machinist with a milling machine, or at least with a good drill press set up. A #45 drill is ideal.

Angle
There is typically an angle between the rudder shaft and the top edge of the rudder blade of just less than 90 degrees, to match the rocker profile of the hull. As with the lengths, there are compatibilities between boats. Ideally you want the top forward surface (forward of the rudder shaft) flush with the hull, to keep weeds from getting stuck in there. Ideally you want the top aft surface free of the hull, so that it swings easily, and if you bash the rudder on something and bend the shaft, you may not penetrate the hull with the rudder.

The vast majority of other brands take a 5/16" / 8 mm rudder shaft diameter, although they can vary enough to be problematic, and materials, connection methods, lengths, and angles are all over the place. Generally assume that a rudder from another boat won't be compatible, but in rare cases it will.

I hope that's not more than you wanted to know!

Don

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3 years 2 hours ago #26993 by kwolfe
That's perfect. The more the better! I took off the current rudder and measured it. Just barely a hair under 10mm and 6 inches long. Funny but there are three holes drilled in it. It is currently pinned at the top hole. I would guess that as long as it's 10mm and at least 6 inches, it should work. I would love to remove some of the initial twitch, even if only a little. Even a half second of slowing the roll would make a decent difference.

I'm gonna take it out for a few miles after work tomorrow so I'll report back then. Just need to get a gopro so I can show some video early on.

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2 years 11 months ago - 2 years 11 months ago #27016 by kwolfe
Day 2 of my adventure in stupidity! Did 5 miles on a local lake. The wind was around 10-15mph which created some 6-12" chop which wasn't bad accept when it came from the side. This time, I only fell in 6 times. I think 3 of them were due to side chop. :unsure: I will say that with such a narrow hull, the ski really seems to bob over it where as with the V8, you feel more rocking in the boat.

Interesting enough, I found that paddling upwind was easier. The boats cuts right through small chop without any splashing and the headwind gives a little stability. Downwind actually seemed to make me more off balance.

The boat feels fast. It feels like it want to accelerate with ever stroke. In the V8, you could feel a bit a resistance when you really pulled on the blade, the V14 just feels really slippery! On a final note, I don't think paddling the 14 will hurt my form at all. If anything, it makes it better. Keeping the ski balance forces me to use good leg drive, better posture and a good catch. When its gets sloppy is when I got wet!

Well that's it for now. Here are my results from today.

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2 years 11 months ago #27020 by red_pepper
Side chop is the bane of long, skinny boats; there's so little roll resistance with the narrow beam that it's fairly easy for side forces to roll the boat. They do tend to lock in nicely in downwind waves and they are easier to paddle going upwind. But side chop gives you a great opportunity to hone your balance skills - and your swimming skills. :)

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2 years 11 months ago #27022 by photofr
Side chop solutions aren't great, because when it's all said and done, you'll need:
- a wider / more stable ski
- be fit and paddle FAST
- shorten your stroke some

Being very relaxed (and flexible) at the hips will also help, but there's no secret: remove any one item and you will struggle some.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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2 years 11 months ago #27028 by Aurelius

kwolfe wrote: In the V8, you could feel a bit a resistance when you really pulled on the blade, the V14 just feels really slippery! On a final note, I don't think paddling the 14 will hurt my form at all. If anything, it makes it better. Keeping the ski balance forces me to use good leg drive, better posture and a good catch. When its gets sloppy is when I got wet!


I think my V7 is just a shorter plastic version of your V8, and I can certainly attest to it's reluctance to go fast. Up to 6 mph it's OK, but trying to go much faster than that feels like you're dragging an anchor behind you. I had it up to 7.1 mph this morning, and it was murder! :pinch:

I'm considering whether to trade my SR in for an SEL, so your progress on the V14 will give me some indication of what I'll be in for if I do.

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2 years 11 months ago #27030 by Flowmaster
When you use the ski in conditions like the movies you posted you sure can move up, you won't be faster in the beginning but after awhile sure. The V8 shines however when the going get's tuff. You can leave the v 14 at home and I'm sure you have a better time in a more stable boat.

...ooooO...................
...(.......)......Ooooo....
....\.....(.......(.......).....
.....\.__)........)...../.....
...................(__./......
JUST LEAVE FOOTPRINTS

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2 years 11 months ago #27031 by kwolfe
Thanks for all the comments guys. Ok, Day 3, same lake as yesterday but the wind was light and the water was nice am calm.

Only swam twice today! Once after about the first mile when I think I over rotated and because the paddle was deep in the water, a low brace only delayed the inevitable! :silly: The second swim was 4.5 miles in 5.09 mile trip. I was tired for sure and trying to push some speed. I will say, that the secondary stability is there a little bit. The boat will let you know when you are about to get when and give you a split second but your bracing needs to be strong and quick.

I did learn something really significant today. Do not correct balance with your torso. Instead, boat balance should really come from the hips as over correcting with the torso will surely send you in the opposite direction quickly. Keeps the hips loose and responsive. The second thing is really the biggest. This boat screams at you "LEG DRIVE!". A good catch and exit are important, however I found that a firm and well timed leg drive really keeps the ski balanced and reduces the twitch factor a lot. Also, off balance corrections can done with the feet.

Today's stats:
7.09 miles
47min 19 sec
6.5mph avg speed
11.4mph top speed

I'm wearing the garmin on my wrist so I don't know if that affects the top speed or not but I had a few decent sprints. That's it for now. Happy Paddling!!

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2 years 11 months ago #27032 by kwolfe
Flowmaster,
You are correct. I couldn't imagine taking the 14 on a choppy day. I'm glad I'm hanging on to the V8 for a while. It is nice to just get out and paddle sometimes without thinking so much. The V14 can be mentally tiring after a while.

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2 years 11 months ago #27035 by SurfskiEstonia
Hi, Kwolfe! I am really impressed by Your stats. Accelerating to 11.4 mph (that's over 18 km/h) has not been achieved by me on my Nelo Ocean Ski L, which is said to be a very similar to Epic V14 in terms of stability and speed. I can paddle my surf ski in rather large waves, but the top speed I have seen on my GPS has been around 16 km/h (10 mph). Also the average speed for such a distance is pretty good considering that You are probably bracing a lot and making many corrective strokes. Big props to You!!! Could You give some background info: age, weight, body fat percentage, previous sports (maybe rowing or smth?) Really impressed by this performance :)

Nelo Ocean Ski L, Jantex Gamma Mid, Jantex Gamma Rio Large Minus

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2 years 11 months ago #27036 by Aurelius

kwolfe wrote: Today's stats:
7.09 miles
47min 19 sec
6.5mph avg speed
11.4mph top speed

I'm wearing the garmin on my wrist so I don't know if that affects the top speed or not but I had a few decent sprints. That's it for now. Happy Paddling!!


Do NOT wear your Garmin on your wrist. You will get vastly exaggerated numbers that way because the unit is measuring the speed of your arm, not of the boat. I made the same mistake at first, but after that I attached it to my foot strap and got meaningful numbers.

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