v7 for a first surfski

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6 years 11 months ago #24134 by heckofagator
I'm located in the Tampa Bay area. I first came across Epic at the Florida Cup SUP race about a month ago. Epic has some boats there and I remember thinking "I want one of those".

I've been doing a little reading and found a new, version1 Epic V8 Ultra in the local craigslist, but have held off as I was thinking a used boat might be more in my price range, just to make sure I like the sport.

Just recently I came across the V7 and the price and reviews certainly look nice. The 1' less length would probably be beneficial in the garage and while I have no experience with any surfski, composite or not, the added durability of the v7 sounds nice.

So I suppose my question is - is there any doubt that the v7 would make a great surfski for a first timer? They seem to be hard to find now, but should I get a boat locally so I have the support of a dealer to get me properly introduced to the sport?

Thanks!

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6 years 11 months ago #24135 by red_pepper
Replied by red_pepper on topic v7 for a first surfski
How much experience do you have paddling kayaks, and what do you want to do with the boat? The V8 would probably give you a little more performance and weigh a bit less, and the durability would not be an issue if you expect to always paddle someplace like Tampa Bay, but I suspect either would be an enjoyable place to begin. If you want to carry something, the V7 has a hatch that could be beneficial.

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6 years 11 months ago #24136 by heckofagator
Replied by heckofagator on topic v7 for a first surfski
thanks for the reply. I could probably count the number of times I've paddled a kayak on both hands. I'm guessing this would be mostly flatwater fitness paddling, as we don't get many waves in the gulf (I don't think).

I'm 6'1" and 200lbs and the extra weight of the v7, I think, would probably be ok, but if course, lighter is better for carrying around I'm sure.

I have 8 and 11 year boys. I'm not sure if these boats are too big for someone their size, but the durability of the v7 sounded nice. Maybe it would come down to a new v7 or used v8, maybe the price would be similar?

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6 years 11 months ago #24138 by red_pepper
Replied by red_pepper on topic v7 for a first surfski
Either boat would suit your purposes well, and would probably be pretty comparable. You can usually get a pretty decent buy on used V8's, since people will often buy one to get into surf ski paddling, then later sell and move to an intermediate ski. Most skis are pretty durable, as long as you aren't running into rocks and logs, or dragging them across gravel or something (get into your boat in the water and don't drag it across the shore). Other good intro skis would include the Stellar S18S and S14S, Epic V6, and the Think Eze. I would advise you to try before you buy if you can to make certain the seat fits you, etc. If you can get a paddling lesson in the process, so much the better! :)

I would recommend getting a good wing paddle and some good info on how to use it. Epic sells Greg Barton's Forward Stroke video, which is a good way to learn how to use a paddle properly and effectively. There are also a number of YouTube videos on how to paddle (but make sure they're showing you how to use a wing paddle and not how to paddle a white-water boat or something).

As a side note, there are a lot of experienced paddlers in the Tampa area; you should be able to connect with some folks who can get you started properly.

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6 years 11 months ago #24141 by Fuyang Guy
Replied by Fuyang Guy on topic v7 for a first surfski
The V7 does accommodate the largest range of paddler heights of any of the Epic ski's. People under 5' should be able to paddle the ski comfortably. so your boys should be able to get into it.

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6 years 11 months ago #24144 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic v7 for a first surfski
If you have only paddled less than a dozen times, be prepared to feel the V7 (and similar boats) somewhat unstable at first. They are unlike the rental or fishing sit on tops that are 2-3 times wider and much more stable. Just be prepared for a bit of a learning curve.

Another boat to consider in that range is the Epic V6, which at 16 feet is the smaller brother of the V8 and also has hatches so you can stow some useful gear for a day or a longer paddle. It too is very stable for a surf ski, but again will definitely feel twitchy for a beginner.

Stellar Kayaks also has a 14 foot model, which you may want to consider.

For fitness paddling the V7 (or as a step-up the Think Eze) will be great, IMO. Near 50lb is not terrible, but compared to around 30lb or less it is a noticeable difference off the water (enough to care for some, not enough for other, stronger folks) and does make a performance difference on the water (but not enough to care for recreational and fitness paddling).

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6 years 11 months ago #24145 by Kayaknut
Replied by Kayaknut on topic v7 for a first surfski
I live about 45 miles north of Tampa. I am almost 74 years old, have a bad back and other health issues,but it does not keep me from going out there in my V6 or my V8. Both are very stable. I was thinking of getting the V7 but the 50lbs weight scares me. I just purchased a Think ACE which is the big brother of the Think EZE. I participated in several races this past Spring and although I did not do well, I had lots of fun. Let's face it at my age and health condition I am no competition for younger guys in high performance surfskis. My advice is: get out there in either the V6, V7, or the V8. All are very stable and fun boats to learn in, then at some point move on to the longer skis (if you have room in your garage). Also, try paddling in the area around Honeymoon Island and Canadesi. There is challenging water there most of the time. They don't call the gap between those two islands "the washing machine" for nothing.

:cheer:

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6 years 11 months ago - 6 years 11 months ago #24146 by heckofagator
Replied by heckofagator on topic v7 for a first surfski
Great info guys. thanks for taking the time to reply. I think I'll call a couple close Epic dealers and see what their schedule is for the v7 and then keep an eye out for a used v6/v8 and see what pops up.
Last edit: 6 years 11 months ago by heckofagator.

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6 years 11 months ago #24147 by Joseph Di Chiacchio
Kayaknut, you got it right for sure!

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4 years 10 months ago #29063 by PharmGeek
Replied by PharmGeek on topic v7 for a first surfski
Any final decision?

I'm in a somewhat similar "boat" although I've paddled traditional sea kayaks for 2.5 years.

I have found some decent options to buy right now S18S used or a V8 (club model) - but keep coming back to v7 because I want to get kids involved as they get bigger and also May paddle some rivers and lakes around here and can't help but wonder if the plastic model will be less for me to worry about.

Still wow - I can nab an S18S advantage for 1500 - sorry for the hijack - was genuinely curious which way you went too!

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4 years 10 months ago #29066 by Spacehopper
Replied by Spacehopper on topic v7 for a first surfski
I think the footboard length goes a little shorter on the V7, compared to the V6 & V8 so this may be an advantage if you are thinking of getting your kids out.

Think the V5 leg length goes shorter still - we had a 6yo out on the water in one last year who could just touch the pedals!

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4 years 10 months ago #29075 by heckofagator
Replied by heckofagator on topic v7 for a first surfski
Hey guys, OP here.

I did get a used V7 last year from a dealer clearing out some of their rental stock. It was in pretty good condition, I thought, and I'm normally pretty critical of stuff like that. I think I paid $900 plus tax.

But I'm embarrassed to say, I still have not yet paddled it! I searched a while for a used Epic paddle but never did find one. To be honest, I kinda forgot about it - never enough time to do fun stuff on the weekends it seems.

I guess I really should just take one of my cheap paddles and just get out there. I'm glad I saved the money. I will probably never been good enough to tell the difference with the better models and this way the kids can try it and it can get banged around and I won't care as much.

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4 years 10 months ago #29076 by PharmGeek
Replied by PharmGeek on topic v7 for a first surfski
Whaaaaa?!?! Lol

Man you must be busier than even I am!

If I buy a kayak it must be paddled like yesterday!!!

:) - good luck!

I too look forward to having. My kids as they get bigger try it out (although for now it is all about me!)

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4 years 9 months ago #29656 by SkiBumEric
Replied by SkiBumEric on topic v7 for a first surfski
I just moved to St Pete and am looking at a V7 too. What dealer did you end up getting a used one from? I tried one out the other day at Bill Jacksons (only place I could find that carried them) and was surprised. It was fun, but tippy, seems like a good challenge.

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4 years 8 months ago #29660 by heckofagator
Replied by heckofagator on topic v7 for a first surfski
hey Eric, welcome to the area. I bought the demo from a shop down in Naples.

they post on CL pretty often. Here's one example

fortmyers.craigslist.org/col/sgd/d/epic-...-ski/6219623074.html

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