V10 GT Review & Feedback

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6 years 8 months ago - 6 years 8 months ago #24525 by photofr
12 days ago, I acquired an Epic V10 GT.
From day one, I have been wanting to share the excitement, but like all new toys, I like to give it a "fair" chance and so, to be sure, 150 km later, I am now able to give you my feedback with even more accuracy.

The GT doesn't disappoint.

There are two main differences with the V10 GT:
Its incredibly light weight
Its stiffness

We have all imagined what light and stiff could have done, and should do for our paddling, but here's what it boils down to in real life paddling:

SUPER LIGHT
My GT is 9.4kg, complete with seat pad, rudder and LEASH.

TRANSPORT
You just pick it up and go… I know it sounds stupid, but you can even stop and talk to the neighbor with your boat under your arm. You barely notice that it's there.

LET THE WIND CARRY IT
Just like windsurfing, on a super windy day, I just let the wind carry my gear. Same here: it's a breeze (no pun intended). I just wouldn't let it untied on a roof rack for more than 1/2 a second.

UPWIND
I had to adjust my paddling a bit… after all, I only weight 125 pounds or so. For better results, my paddle rate went up, and my stroke got shorter… and stopping was out of the question unless you want to go backwards. Mind you, this was in 55 MPH of wind.

SIDEWIND
I needed a day like this… and it came: gusting to more than 65 MPH, let me just say that side-on, it was a bit brutal when gusting (and I most certainly felt it) but let's face it: we do not go into such conditions thinking we are on "vacation" or that we are going to stop paddling. My take: I had zero difficulties for as long as I kept relaxed, and stroke rate descent. I just concentrated on my breathing, and enjoyed the ride(s).

DOWNWIND
This is WHY we train, this is why we look for better paddles and boats… this is why we do it. The GT will not at all disappoint, in fact, you will LOVE IT. So, picture this:
You feel the rear end going up, you think it's a good one, so you accelerate a little, but not quickly enough. Just when you realize you missed that wave, I nearly guarantee it: paddle… and you will actually catch that bump with the GT. The boat will feel light and lively… it will help you do better - hands down.

OFF THE LIP
I kid you not… this boat is so light, that if you are about to loose a wave DW, get your ski sideways a bit and the wind will push you back DOWN… and down you go again. I don't know if this makes sense to you, but it sure felt like I was on a longboard, surfing off the lip… and that's a whole lot better than most skis I know of.

LOST OF MOMENTUM
I will not let anyone try to convince me that heavy boats will carry on momentum. Why? Because I have tried that for nearly 30 years on surfskis… and in the end, smaller people like me will always do better on lighter boat. I think the plot against lighter paddler was entitled "momentum / get a heavy boat" ahahahahah.
In any case, forget nearly everything you were thought in your 11th grade physics class. Momentum is great, but with a ski this light, you can catch bumps that are IN FRONT OF YOU - so who needs momentum ?

Wait… some of you like momentum… well, then let me just point out that I caught my longest wave in France (granted, I have only been here 20 months)… and when I say longest wave, I mean: no paddling, only change of body positions / brace position.

OTHERS
I have raised the seat on my V10 GT. Two people have complained about its stability, but that's only because they are used to seating so very VERY low in their skis - which has been the current trend (not that I like it or anything).

The V10 GT is just faster than the V10, any day, any time!
To me, that's because it's that much lighter, and therefore rides higher on the water surface. Because of this, and in my opinion, the boat hull has less wetted area, and the boat becomes "narrower" and therefore faster.

The boat pictured here is the boat in reference. I am told that new GT will most likely be ALL WHITE, with orange nose and tail. It's a brilliant idea, because I must admit that the black is a bit hot to the touch when left in the hot sun.

CONSTRUCTION
I should have started with this… and merely give you some insight as to how it was built. Actually, I did it on purpose, because I know you guys and gals wanted to know how it handled first.

In any case, the GT is a pre-preg; meaning the entire carbon is first soaked, then stored in a cool area, then applied, then laid out, and finally COOKED at nearly 400 degrees Celsius. The end process is: the fiber has less good on it, and therefore weighs less. It is without a doubt stiffer than any other surfski I have ever seen:
You can hear it, touch it, bang on it and hear it better, bounce it and watch the lack of flex… but more importantly, you can simply take it out in the ocean and go DW: it's amazing.

This boat is made in a brand new factory - yes, BRAND NEW. I am not sure I am allowed to say where, so I will refrain for now - and let an official tell you.

Couple of photos… sorry in advance, because I couldn't get my photographer to venture too far offshore.

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Ludovic
(Brittany, France)
Last edit: 6 years 8 months ago by photofr.
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6 years 8 months ago #24526 by tony h
Replied by tony h on topic V10 GT
looks good - what did you pay for it?

be careful of the sun: evidently aircraft studies show
white aircraft in the sun = up to 60 degrees centigrade
black aircraft in sun = up to 110 degrees centigrade ==== high risk of delamination at those temperatures

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 8 months ago #24527 by photofr
Replied by photofr on topic V10 GT
One can expect to spend about 5000 euros for it (about $ 5200, I reckon) .

Yeah, I am being careful when storing it.
Lucky for me, it seems to stay nice & cool while on the water.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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6 years 8 months ago #24530 by zachhandler
Replied by zachhandler on topic V10 GT
Consider using a UV protectant every few months such as "303 aerospace protectant" by 3M. otherwise the resin in the sections not covered by gel coat will age very quickly.

Current Skis: Kai Wa’a Vega, Nelo 550L 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 8 months ago #24532 by Kayaker Greg
Looks great and I'm interested in more info about the construction. Would you not be better suited to the V10L? Wondering why you went for the V10?

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6 years 8 months ago #24533 by photofr
Replied by photofr on topic V10 GT Review & Feedback
As probably mentioned before, there are many different boats out there, and a great many manufacturers too. I went with Epic for couple of reasons, including:
Great R&D
Innovations
The History of the Brand, and trust I have come to expect

Next, I tried different boats… all of them to be exact, including the V7 which was a blast at 14.7 km/h on flat water. When it came time to make my decision, I went with a V10 for its ability to handle anything I would throw its way.

The V14 was too much for my old age - not training enough I guess :(
I felt I was too light for the V10L - I know, it sounds weird, but I am only 125 pounds, and I had faster times on the newly designed V10. I'll admit, I let my feelings do the talking, and I felt so good on the V10 (flats, rough, crazy rough, crazy nuts downwind, etc…).
The V10 Sport would have actually been my second choice… for the seat was (somehow) so comfortable. There was something about the new V10 Sport… but the V10 GT won (it wasn't fair) :)

Sometimes, I wish I was 145 pounds or more… but turns out I am super happy with my V10 GT choice.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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6 years 8 months ago #24534 by photofr
Replied by photofr on topic V10 GT Review & Feedback
For those wondering why the additional cost for a GT…
I can't reveal all the trade secrets, but here's some (perhaps) interesting facts:
The process requires wetting the fiber, and then removing the excess epoxy.
Once that's done, it needs to be stored, but unlike anything else… because it needs to be stored in a fridge.

We are talking a different facility to accommodate the Pre-Preg process, storage capacities to the wazou, etc…

Why go through all that trouble?
Pre-Preg is so much lighter, and so much stronger. Banging on something built using Pre-Preg will sound more like metal than the hood of most cars. It's "the best of both worlds" … Super Light, Super Stiff, and Super Strong (hands down, much stronger than anything I know out there, as far as kayak construction).

If you can put that in your budget, go for it. Pre-Preg also means no more excuses for not running to the beach with your boat. Enjoy !

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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6 years 8 months ago #24535 by tony h
Replied by tony h on topic V10 GT
current Australian pricing evidently $6,700 for white GT
5,000 Euro is about A$8,000 - do believe the black one is more expensive

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 8 months ago - 6 years 8 months ago #24536 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic V10 GT
nice to see pre preg in a ski. Savage River canoe has been using TexTreme PrePreg for 3 years, maybe more. it's super stiff. I mean ridiculously stiff. I want to see a ski in TexTreme. it's the coolest looking fabric I've seen, and super light and super stiff

Currently paddling a Kai Wa'a Vega Flex in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10g1, Stellar SRg1, Fenn XTg1, Swordfish S
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"
Last edit: 6 years 8 months ago by MCImes.

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6 years 8 months ago #24537 by Sandy
Replied by Sandy on topic V10 GT Review & Feedback
Wow , I want to hear more about your ability to paddle upwind in 55 mph winds....

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6 years 8 months ago #24538 by Rob1
Replied by Rob1 on topic V10 GT Review & Feedback
The GT models maybe lighter and stiffer but for $6700 Aus they want to be bullet proof and last for years. Will the GT models be stronger regarding dents and etc than the current ultra skis which do dent quite easy.

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6 years 8 months ago #24541 by owenw
Replied by owenw on topic V10 GT Review & Feedback

Sandy wrote: Wow , I want to hear more about your ability to paddle upwind in 55 mph winds....

Don't we all :woohoo:

Life truly lived is full of risk; to fence out risk is to fence out life itself

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6 years 8 months ago #24542 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic V10 GT Review & Feedback

Rob1 wrote: The GT models maybe lighter and stiffer but for $6700 Aus they want to be bullet proof and last for years. Will the GT models be stronger regarding dents and etc than the current ultra skis which do dent quite easy.


Reminds me of a bike shop owner I spoke to around 15 years ago who had a $10,000 bike in the showroom. I asked about it, he said he always keeps one in the shop as often he'll get some stock broker or professional type in through the door who has been invited out by mates for a cafe ride and they come in wanting the best bike they can get.

While some will undoubtedly be bought by paddlers who can realise the performance they offer I suspect many will fall into the "I can afford to treat myself with the best boat" category, and hey, good luck to those with that disposable income and good luck to Epic if they can exploit that.

Always looking for the next boat :)

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6 years 8 months ago #24543 by photofr
Replied by photofr on topic V10 GT Review & Feedback
A bit off the subject, but here's what seems to work well for me when paddling upwind:

First, heads up: I only own a motorcycle, but I love downwinds. This basically means that 95% of my DW are done when I first paddle upwind.

I start with a smaller blade, and I shorten the shaft by about 1cm.
Main focus: breathing easy, but high stroke rate.
I keep the nose into the wind, and I warm up by paddling at the slowest pace possible. It's amazing how we still move forward (with any surfski).
Aside from breathing easy, I focus on technique, and try as much as possible NOT to use my arms. There are 4 other major muscle groups that I will use instead.
After about 10 minutes, I "hit the gas" a little.
Another focus is planting my paddle on the crest of every single oncoming wave.

Gusts are "annoying" and they will push me around, a bit like a butterfly in the wind… but do not slow down, keep breathing, and making ground.

The primary goal is making way upwind without exerting myself too much. The fun is ahead… on the DW part - and I keep telling myself that upwind is fun.

Brittany, France… has about 15 days of no wind a year. It's the most "untouched' downwind destination I have seen so far.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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6 years 8 months ago #24544 by photofr
Replied by photofr on topic V10 GT Review & Feedback

AR_convert wrote:

Rob1 wrote: The GT models maybe lighter and stiffer but for $6700 Aus they want to be bullet proof and last for years. Will the GT models be stronger regarding dents and etc than the current ultra skis which do dent quite easy.


Reminds me of a bike shop owner I spoke to around 15 years ago who had a $10,000 bike in the showroom. I asked about it, he said he always keeps one in the shop as often he'll get some stock broker or professional type in through the door who has been invited out by mates for a cafe ride and they come in wanting the best bike they can get.

While some will undoubtedly be bought by paddlers who can realize the performance they offer I suspect many will fall into the "I can afford to treat myself with the best boat" category, and hey, good luck to those with that disposable income and good luck to Epic if they can exploit that.



Actually, I have bought my fair-share of incredible bikes, not because I had disposable income and not because I was going to place top 3 in every races. The fact is that I didn't have disposable incomes, and while you all (or pretty much) have bought a house, I have bought toys that I use more often than most.

Last year, for instance, I paddled 2800 km.
We only live once, and my philosophy is that of a kid: Enjoy it today, live a GOOD LIFE TODAY, because who knows what will come tomorrow. :)

On a side note:
My super expansive mountain bike was stiffer and faster, but it was NOT stronger. In fact, I broke the chain stay carbon arm.

The GT is not just lighter and stiffer: you must see for yourselves how strong that thing is. I'd do it again, because I think it's worth it.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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6 years 8 months ago #24545 by jagter
Replied by jagter on topic V10 GT Review & Feedback

owenw wrote:

Sandy wrote: Wow , I want to hear more about your ability to paddle upwind in 55 mph winds....

Don't we all :woohoo:


That ability comes standard with a 14.7km/h V7.
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6 years 8 months ago - 6 years 8 months ago #24550 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic V10 GT
double post

Currently paddling a Kai Wa'a Vega Flex in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10g1, Stellar SRg1, Fenn XTg1, Swordfish S
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"
Last edit: 6 years 8 months ago by MCImes.

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6 years 8 months ago #24549 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic V10 GT
nice to see pre preg in a ski. Savage River canoe has been using TexTreme PrePreg for 3 years, maybe more. it's super stiff. I mean ridiculously stiff. I want to see a ski in TexTreme. it's the coolest looking fabric I've seen, and super light and super stiff.

www.savageriver.com/canoes/racing/jd-pro-2

www.textreme.com/

Currently paddling a Kai Wa'a Vega Flex in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10g1, Stellar SRg1, Fenn XTg1, Swordfish S
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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6 years 8 months ago - 6 years 8 months ago #24551 by Watto
Replied by Watto on topic V10 GT Review & Feedback

tourfr
SIDEWIND
I needed a day like this… and it came: gusting to more than 65 MPH, let me just say that side-on, it was a bit brutal when gusting (and I most certainly felt it) but let's face it: we do not go into such conditions thinking we are on "vacation" or that we are going to stop paddling. My take: I had zero difficulties for as long as I kept relaxed, and stroke rate descent. I just concentrated on my breathing, and enjoyed the ride(s).


Went out on the Swan River before a squall came through last year and when it arrived there was only one direction to go regardless of intent and that was downwind. Bureau of Meteorology Melville Water recorded 90kmh/55mph/48 knot gusts. Water was wild, crazy, huge waves out of nowhere. I was kinda-sorta paddling (staying alive) getting smashed downwind with a potential 6km walk home. At one point wind so strong (maybe that 48 knot gust) that my paddle coming out of water was smacked forward to hit front deck; I was pushed forward head onto my knees like a big pillow had pushed me from behind. This was Force 9 (Beaufort).

I weigh 85 kilos - how the hell can you paddle sideways or into a Force 11 weighing 30 kilograms less?
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6 years 8 months ago #24552 by Flunder
Replied by Flunder on topic V10 GT Review & Feedback
Brand new factory epic.

No hairnets, because you wil not notice their carbon fiber haircolor in the lay-up. :)

Handcrafted workmanship is the best, far better then some CNC proces in this case anyway.

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