V10 vs. V10L for 170 lb. Paddler

10 months 1 week ago #33047 by TheJRM
Long story short: I have spent the past 2 and a half months training in a V10 Gen 2 (closing in on 60 hours of bucket time). This is my first true season of paddling & racing. I weigh 170 lbs and stand just shy of 5'11" with an inseam of approximately 32". Long time endurance athlete, but new to surfski. Current boat (owned): Epic V7.

After training and racing in the V7 since this past May, I have barely touched that boat since mid August when I started paddling a borrowed V10 and V10S (both ultras). I spent quite a bit of time in a V10 Sport, raced it successfully and found it to be that sweet spot of super stable on the flat and stable, yet still challenging enough, in ocean conditions. Speed improvements in both the V10S and V10 were huge: .5 - .7 mph increase in speed over the V7. I'm very comfortable in the V10S and am buying a lightly used model this weekend along with a Big Boy rack and Epic full carbon paddle. I plan on using the V10 Sport for ocean training and racing next season.

As happy as I am with the V10 Sport, all of the time that I have spent in the V10 has most certainly helped me to progress as a paddler. Based on numerous 1 hour tempo sessions, I found the V10 to to be .1 - .2 mph faster than the V10 Sport... in flat water (my best 1 hour tempo session to date was 7.3+ mph in the V10 vs 7.2 mph in the V10S during an 8.2 mile flat water race). I have also found that training in the V10 makes the V10S feel much, much more stable by comparison, which goes a long way in regards to stability development. I see the V10 as a training tool that is helping me to progress, but am in no way operating under the assumption that I am ready to start racing it... yet.

My biggest issue with the V10: I feel like a cork in this boat. The wind pushes me around like crazy, I feel like the boat sits way up on top of the water instead of in it, and as soon as the wind or side chop picks up, my stroke becomes tentative and I struggle to produce power thanks to the fact that I'm putting all of my energy into staying upright. The V10S, on the other hand, allows me to power through and focus primarily upon my stroke.

As a lean, small - middle weight athlete, I'd have to think that the volume of the V10 is working against me. Seems like the bigger guys (200+ lbs.) have a much easier time than I do in this boat.

My question, for those of you with experience with the latest generation of the V10L is this: Does the lower volume help on the stability front for people weighing in the 165 - 170 lb. range? I plan on investing in a second boat this coming spring that I will use for flat water training and racing only (at least for 2019). I was hoping that I might find the V10L to be a little more stable in strong cross winds and chop given the lower volume, but I've never paddled one and am not sure when I'll have the chance to do so.

Thanks in advance for any feedback people can progress.

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10 months 1 week ago #33049 by PSwitzer
JRM- 7.3 is pretty quick, so nice work. Which version V10 have you been paddling? G2/G3 being more stable than the original so would be good to know what baseline you're working from. Also I'm not sure, maybe you or someone else can tell me: How many V10L versions are there? Because the original V10L was just the regular V10 hull with less volume above the seam and the bucket moved forward, meaning in flat water there isn't any difference in how it floats/stability.

If you fit well in the Epic bucket, the only way I see you running into trouble would be if you have been paddling a recent version v10 (more stable), then jump into a less-stable older or non-updated V10L which could be tippier. But again, I have no idea if the L version has been updated along with the regular v10 so I could be talking out my butt.

The other thing to consider is that the unsettling corky feeling could be just the fact that the boat is narrower and less stable period, and that's what it feels like when you're pushing the limit of your comfort zone. To rule out that possibility assuming you can't just try a v10L now, you could try to paddle any number of 17 inch hulls that have less volume than the V10 and see how it goes.

Either way, if you've got the cash to burn don't see how you could go wrong getting the L since you're obviously a quick learner and it's fun to paddle tippy boats once your technique is solid.

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10 months 1 week ago #33051 by TheJRM
Thanks for the feedback.

I'm paddling a V10 Gen 2. I know that the Gen 3 is out, and that it is a slightly different design - shorter by 8", more rocker, etc. Not sure if the gen 3 would work a little better for me or not. As for the V10L: I would be purchasing the latest model (gen 2, I believe).

Good idea on paddling another 17" hull boat for comparison sake.

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10 months 1 week ago #33052 by rhainan
I split most of my time this season between a V10 Sport and a V10L (both Ultra). The couple of times I was on a regular V10 (2G) I was struck by how much more stable it felt than the V10L.

To me, the V10L feels a lot different and more challenging than its brothers.

The cockpit of the V10L is sized so much better for smaller paddlers. At 5'4" and 150 pounds I feel like I'm in a bathtub when paddling the standard V10 and my feet barely reach the pedals.

Western Pennsylvania Epic Kayak Dealer

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10 months 1 week ago - 10 months 1 week ago #33054 by zachhandler
I have paddled flat and downwind in v10 2G and v10L 2G. I am 5’11 and 170#. My skill level is advanced - I am quite stable in a v12 in all types of waves.

I do not like the v10 2G that much. It is stable and forgiving for how fast it is. But the bucket is very large and the handling is a bit dull.

The V10L 2G is a much more enjoyable boat for me. On the flat the narrow catch and high seat are great - the boat feels very sleek and fast. In the bump the smaller bucket makes for a much better connection to the ski. It is a tippier boat than the v10, but still a solid notch down from the v12 in terms of stability.

If you get into conditions that are too hectic for you it would be better to be in the V10. But in the conditions you are comfortable in, you will learn much more from the v10L because it responds so much more to what you are doing with your body and blade.

Hope that helps.

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10 months 1 week ago #33055 by TheJRM
Very helpful! Thanks to everyone who has answered. Sounds like the V10L would make for a great flatwater training and racing boat. Also sounds like it would help me to further hone my balance and overall skillset development too.

Has anyone compared the V10L to the V10 Gen 3? That might be my other option. Since I won't be racing anything but the V10 Sport in open ocean conditions next year, however, I wonder if all of that extra rocker makes any sense for a boat that will only see flat water, calm conditions for another season or 2...

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10 months 1 week ago #33056 by Fath2o
Zachhandler wrote:

"I do not like the v10 2G that much. It is stable and forgiving for how fast it is. But the bucket is very large and the handling is a bit dull."

I find this a very interesting statement. I have been paddling my old South African built ~31lb. V10 quite a bit lately. Although I find the bucket quite comfortable, I would have to say the handling is quite "dull" and unforgiving. Spend a lot of energy downwind paddling to more or less force it to perform as desired. My currently unusable XT is extremely forgiving and anything but dull. I had an "Elite" with quite a bit more rocker and found it, other than being just a bit to unstable for my comfort, to have much better overall performance. I enjoy my old V10 just cause I don't really think about stability while paddling it.
Looking at the new V10 3g vs 2g, the 3g may well be more what you are looking for. I would say it may well feel more planted and less corky with the additional rocker and shorter length. Haven't paddle either one so I may well be talking out my arse also. Rocker profiles have a huge impact on overall performance and stability issues whether real or perceived. The rocker of the V10 3g shouldn't be an issue in flat water if you can put more power to your blade and not be preoccupied with the concern of stability. My perspective is from an old surfer dude who's first interest is how well a surski performs downwind. Using the dynamic surfski comparison tool very telling.
Good luck!
The following user(s) said Thank You: TheJRM

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10 months 1 week ago - 10 months 1 week ago #33057 by TheJRM
Thank you. I'll have the ability to paddle the V10 G3 this spring. Ultimately, that is the boat I am hoping to move up to as my central focus is upon ocean racing. If the V10L and V10 Gen 3 both fit and the G3 is nearly as fast as the L on the flat, that's the boat I'll go with.

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10 months 1 week ago #33059 by zachhandler
The v10 g3 is a better downwind boat than the v10g2 and the v10L g2. It’s got more rocker. You can carve around and follow the wave better. The lower rocker skis need to be kept higher on the wave to turn. They favor “point and shoot” surfing rather than weaving around.

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10 months 1 week ago #33061 by TheJRM
Thanks, Zach. My primary focus is racing. Next season's race calendar will feature a mix of flat water events (ocean rivers) and open ocean races here in New England (Blackburn, Light House to Lighthouse, etc.). Do you think that a boat like the V10 Gen 3 gives up much speed in flat - milder conditions over the boats with less rocker, like the V10L? Although I do enjoy playing in the surf, almost all of my work is time trial/pace oriented.

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10 months 1 week ago #33062 by zachhandler
If you look at Barton’s speed comparison, and look at the estimates for intermediate skill paddlers, you will see that there is not a lot of difference between any of the boats from v10 S upward. There is probably a flatwater speed loss, but probably on the order of 5 seconds an hour or something.
How many of our races come down to a 5 second margin? Almost none, at least in the USA.

The strongest argument for getting one of the 2G boats is that they can be found fairly cheap used.

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10 months 1 week ago #33063 by wesley
I agree with Zach having paddled all three boats V10 sport 2g, 3g and V10L. You will be faster on V10L and it will fit you better but will be faster especially on the flat water races than the Sports. You are going down the path so many of us have been on, searching the for ski for all conditions.
So think about what your goal is: To race and win our races. So the guys who you are competing with will have "advanced" flat water skis, V14, V12 w/short rudders, Uno, Uno Max, 560, mohican, SEA, SES, etc, and they will have a more stable ocean ski. The greater difference for you will be they will have a significant advantage on the flat water races, Essex, Narrow River, ROTC, Great Stone Dam races. You may be fit enough to do well and win but the difference in boat speed between intermediate and advance on flat water is very significant.
So I suggest you decide on what ocean ski, and then think about getting a flat water ski. You may have to get another brand than Epic or not, but you can find these on the used market for not much money. Because at some point this is what you will end up with(flat water/ocean ski or you will have one ski that you race for all races, but you will know you are giving up speed and will have to live with that in the race standings. I will be posting a few skis for sale and reviewing a new one soon.

Wesley Echols
SurfskiRacing.com
#1 in Surfski Reviews.

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10 months 1 week ago - 10 months 1 week ago #33064 by zachhandler
Check out the v10L. Slightly narrower than the 10, but with much better fitting cockpit. A snug cockpit adds a lot of stability. Also it is fast. It is what rachel clarke, world champion paddles.

These boats are all fast. Have you read Erik Borgnes’s speed comparison on v14 vs v10? He is an elite paddler and couldn’t wring much more speed out of the 14 than the 10.

My advice is find a boat that fits and is in the general class of boats you need (sub-elite). Then forget about finding your next ski for as long as possible. Fretting about the boat will sap your mojo, and becomes a distraction from the things that actually improve race times: paddle technique and feel, body position, flexibility, strength, and endurance.

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10 months 1 week ago - 10 months 1 week ago #33065 by TheJRM
Thanks Wesley. I'm picking up a like new V10 Sport this weekend. I plan on using that boat as my go to craft for the ocean next year. Due to the price savings of buying used, I'll have money in the budget for a second boat come spring. Based on all of the paddling I've done in the V10 this fall, I have found it to be .1 - .15 mph faster than the sport in the flat. That's a good 1 min over 1 hour, which is substantial, race results wise, at least. My thinking was V10S as my ocean boat and V10L for my flatwater training and racing boat for 2019. I could see using the V10L for years to come and upgrading to the V10 Gen 3 as my ocean/Blackburn boat for 2020 and beyond.

Interestingly, now that I'm getting my stability sorted, I find that paddling the 55 lb V7 into strong current and rough water is helping on the fitness front - a great form of in-the-boat resistance training!

Can't wait for 2019 season. Thanks for the feedback!

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