Epic V5 - Feedback

2 weeks 16 hours ago #37634 by Agent009
Epic V5 - Feedback was created by Agent009
Hi all

I'm chasing some feedback on Epic V5. Firstly, I know this forum mainly consist of paddlers who want to go sleeker/faster/lighter and the V5 is probbaly a ski you wouldn't even look at. The above probably doesn't describe me...I've only owned heavy plastic SOT kayaks and also older/shorter surf skis from the 80s.

Given I have no interest in kayak fishing anymore, I am looking to transition to a ski that is more performance orienated, but at the same time easy to use (I don't want to master the balancing...I want to be able to get in it and use it immediately), something that is easy to remount in the water, something which is easy to handle off the water and something which catches waves/runners with ease. I think the V5 ticks those boxes but that's why I'm posting on here, just to gauge what you think.

Just two questions:

1. Will the V5 feel a lot more performance orientated (including faster) than your run of the mill 4.2m plastic SOT kayak?

2. I see the V5 comes in 3 models - Polyethylene, Performance and Ultra. Is there any recommendations? I like the price of the Polyethylene but I don't like the 22kg weight as that's the same weight as my last SOT kayak. But I imagine this is also bullet proof which I like. The Performance model at 16kg seems like a good middle ground out of the three, but with a composite hybrid of fiberglass, carbon fiber, and kevlar, will this withstand punishment (lets say I accidentally dropped onto concrete floor). Love the weight of the Ultra at 12.5kg and ideally this is the kind of weight I really wanted but it adds $1000 to the price and the I'm assuming woven carbon and kevlar fabric is even more susceptible to damage?

For me it's not all about speed and I'm not interested in progressing up the ladder as a lot of you probably are. But at the same time I don't want something which paddles like a truck. I have no interest in racing but want something that is relatively fast but also fun in the surf zone and catching runners etc.

Anyway, what do you think? Yay or Nay? Interested in your thoughts.

Thanks everyone!
Agent009

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2 weeks 13 hours ago #37635 by Arcturus
Replied by Arcturus on topic Epic V5 - Feedback
To answer #1:  Yes, the V5 will be faster than the average SOT.

On #2:  I don’t think anything but rotomold plastic would be unscathed by dropping onto concrete. I’ve heard of people dropping fiberglass sea kayaks onto parking lots without harming them (aside from scratching), but these were not lightweight layups.

I rented both a V7 and a V5 from a shop last autumn. Both felt very stable compared with the narrow sea kayaks I was used to. Coming off a fishing SOT, YMMV, but it’ll probably be easy to adjust. Try to demo both of those.

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2 weeks 13 hours ago - 2 weeks 13 hours ago #37636 by Agent009
Replied by Agent009 on topic Epic V5 - Feedback
Thanks Arcturus!

I had a look at the V7 (on the website) and in the rotomold plastic it adds another 2kg over the V5 (obviously being a longer ski). I do like the size profile of the V5.

I think in my head I'm settled on the V5, but I'd like to demo the three different layups and just see the differences between them on the water.

Does anyone on this forum own a rotomold plastic V5? Thoughts?

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2 weeks 13 hours ago #37637 by waverider
Replied by waverider on topic Epic V5 - Feedback
2 issues with plastic, firstly they are heavy. After slinging a composite over your shoulder and strolling down the beach the thought of hauling plastic is a pain. Once you get over 20kg you are looking at two person carries or a trolley. Secondly they are not as stiff, this is what affects their performance compared to composites. yes they will survive a confrontation with rocks much better. There are multisport skis that have better durability than regular composites, though not as much as plastic.

My take on plastic would be that they are ok if you really need the durability or you cant stretch the coin for a composite. Coming from a kayak fishing background myself I can say that making a break to lightweight composites is a breath of fresh air

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2 weeks 12 hours ago #37638 by Agent009
Replied by Agent009 on topic Epic V5 - Feedback

waverider wrote: 2 issues with plastic, firstly they are heavy. After slinging a composite over your shoulder and strolling down the beach the thought of hauling plastic is a pain. Once you get over 20kg you are looking at two person carries or a trolley. Secondly they are not as stiff, this is what affects their performance compared to composites. yes they will survive a confrontation with rocks much better. There are multisport skis that have better durability than regular composites, though not as much as plastic.

My take on plastic would be that they are ok if you really need the durability or you cant stretch the coin for a composite. Coming from a kayak fishing background myself I can say that making a break to lightweight composites is a breath of fresh air


Thanks mate, exactly what I was thinking too. I really want something different to a big heavy plastic 24kg SOT kayak, and the plastic Epic V5 isn't venturing too far from that.

What are your thoughts on the Performance and Ultra V5 models? Here is the comparision from the website:

Performance35.3 lbs (16 kg) $2,995
  • Infusion grade foam core
  • A composite hybrid of fiberglass, carbon fiber, and Kevlar
  • Vacuum infused, heat-cured epoxy
  • Black bow & stern

Ultra27.5 lbs (12.5 kg) $3,995
  • Nomex honeycomb core
  • Woven carbon and Kevlar fabric
  • Vacuum bagged, heat-cured epoxy
  • Red bow & stern

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2 weeks 12 hours ago #37639 by waverider
Replied by waverider on topic Epic V5 - Feedback
TBh I would stick with the cheaper and probably more durable model as a starter. Probably easier to resell without loosing coin, then putting the savings towards your next upgrade once the bug kicks in, and it will

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2 weeks 12 hours ago #37640 by Agent009
Replied by Agent009 on topic Epic V5 - Feedback

waverider wrote: TBh I would stick with the cheaper and probably more durable model as a starter. Probably easier to resell without loosing coin, then putting the savings towards your next upgrade once the bug kicks in, and it will


This will be the last ski I ever buy. I have no desire to upgrade so whatever I buy, this is what I'm keeping for good.

Hopefully some people on this forum have real life feedback from the different V5 layups.

Cheers for the reply :)

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2 weeks 9 hours ago #37641 by Ronbo
Replied by Ronbo on topic Epic V5 - Feedback
I normally paddle mid level carbon skis (Swordy, etc.). Definitely not what you are looking for. Recently I escorted some people doing a 27km ocean swim along Sydney's northern beaches and wanted something super super stable that I could paddle at 4kph for 7 hours. I rented a poly V5 a couple times for the escorting duties.

Certainly the poly V5 will be durable for drops, but at 22kg, it is much more likely that you WILL drop it. I played around with it in a couple waves and runners, but found it to be an absolute dog at surfing. I would not buy a V5 to have fun with.

I think most absolute beginners go really well on a V8 (or Fenn Bluefin, Carbonology Cruze, etc.). Those are not as stable as the V5, but they are skis that you can have fun on. You won't win any races with them, but I've never heard of beginners having issues with them for stability. I've borrowed a V8/Bluefin for friends that come into town, have never paddled, but want them to experience the harbour. None have had stability issues with the V8 or Bluefin.

If you drop a glass ski, most likely it will be a small chip in the gelcoat. Easily repaired on your own if needed.

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2 weeks 8 hours ago #37642 by Agent009
Replied by Agent009 on topic Epic V5 - Feedback
Hey thanks for the reply Ronbo...very interesting. I've been doing a lot of research/reading outside of this forum too and the thing that everyone agrees on is how fun the V5 is and how good it is in the surf zone and catching runners. And your reply just did a 180 on all of that so now I'm confused again haha. I'm wondering if its because you paddled the plastic V5? Most reviews I have read are based on the Performance or Ultra layup. I read one particular write up and the guy owns a V14 and a V5...very good paddler. And he was saying he is taking the V5 out more because of the fun factor and also because when he catches the waves it goes nearly as fast.

Keep the feedback coming guys. Particularly on the Performance layup which I'm eyeing off.

I was also considering the Fenn Bluefin as my backup depending on my V5 decision.

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2 weeks 7 hours ago #37643 by waverider
Replied by waverider on topic Epic V5 - Feedback
keep in mind ocean racing skis are not really designed for surf zone, thats the provence of the tougher SLSC spec skis, which may be why a shorter V5 feels fun in surf zone compared to longer skis. Oceam racinmg skis are meant for catching runners where the longer length helps with less bobbing in and out ( and squirreling) of the troughs

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2 weeks 5 hours ago #37644 by Agent009
Replied by Agent009 on topic Epic V5 - Feedback

waverider wrote: keep in mind ocean racing skis are not really designed for surf zone, thats the provence of the tougher SLSC spec skis, which may be why a shorter V5 feels fun in surf zone compared to longer skis. Oceam racinmg skis are meant for catching runners where the longer length helps with less bobbing in and out ( and squirreling) of the troughs


Ahhh gotcha. Thanks yes I did some reading on spec skis so your reply makes sense. A lot of my paddling will be in the surf zone and catching waves into the beach. But I also want something quite fast and nimble to paddle as well...and a ski anyone can jump in and use. Probably doesn't exist what I'm after but the V5 is the closest to that I think? I was also checking out the Stealth fibreglass kayaks...yes they are targeted for fisherman but they have a Touring kayak too.

stealthkayaks.com/toura-17/#1555083234182-2246277a-816a

I imagine the V5 would be a step up though?

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2 weeks 5 hours ago #37645 by waverider
Replied by waverider on topic Epic V5 - Feedback
I have mate who has a Stealth Toura 17, and just got himself a Think Zen which he loves. Spec skis have more rocker and raised noses so they dont nose dive, they also have a minimum weight of 18kg so they are tougher in the pounding waves. If you are going to crack a ski, thats where its gonna happen. Spec skis also have smaller foot wells and seat buckets, this minimises effect of swamping in breaking surf

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2 weeks 8 minutes ago #37647 by leolinha
Replied by leolinha on topic Epic V5 - Feedback

Agent009 wrote:

waverider wrote: keep in mind ocean racing skis are not really designed for surf zone, thats the provence of the tougher SLSC spec skis, which may be why a shorter V5 feels fun in surf zone compared to longer skis. Oceam racinmg skis are meant for catching runners where the longer length helps with less bobbing in and out ( and squirreling) of the troughs


Ahhh gotcha. Thanks yes I did some reading on spec skis so your reply makes sense. A lot of my paddling will be in the surf zone and catching waves into the beach. But I also want something quite fast and nimble to paddle as well...and a ski anyone can jump in and use. Probably doesn't exist what I'm after but the V5 is the closest to that I think? I was also checking out the Stealth fibreglass kayaks...yes they are targeted for fisherman but they have a Touring kayak too.

stealthkayaks.com/toura-17/#1555083234182-2246277a-816a

I imagine the V5 would be a step up though?


I have lots of experience with the combination "waves in the surf zone + performance layup Epics". 6 years doing that! Well it depends on the intensity of the shore break of course, but my black tip V8 handled the breaking waves very well. I bet the V5 will fare even better. But there will always be some degree of risk, of course. If you don't tolerate risk and want to be 100% safe, than you have no other choice than the rotomolded plastic version.
If there are rocks around, than you should definitely go for the plastic version.
But if you go through the surf zone wisely and in reasonable conditions, I recommend getting the performance version (glass on coremat, black tip).

The ultra (carbon/kevlar on honeycomb, red tip) layup is a little bit less durable - not because of the carbon/kevlar combination, but because of the honeycomb core, which absorbs a lot less resin during the manufacturing process and is much less puncture/impact resistant.

Current: Epic V8 PRO, Think Evo 3
Past: Epic V8, Epic V10 Sport

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1 week 6 days ago #37652 by Agent009
Replied by Agent009 on topic Epic V5 - Feedback
Thanks Leolinha.
Based on your experience I think the black tip middle model is probably going to suit me best. I rarely paddle anywhere with rocks.

I guess my next topic is rudder. Just listened to a video from Epic and they said it's compatible with any of their rudders and he mentioned 4 or 5 of them...the only one I can remember is surf rudder.

I dont know much about rudders at all. Based on everything I have said so far, what is the ideal rudder? 

Cheers

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1 week 6 days ago #37653 by leolinha
Replied by leolinha on topic Epic V5 - Feedback

Agent009 wrote: Thanks Leolinha.
Based on your experience I think the black tip middle model is probably going to suit me best. I rarely paddle anywhere with rocks.

I guess my next topic is rudder. Just listened to a video from Epic and they said it's compatible with any of their rudders and he mentioned 4 or 5 of them...the only one I can remember is surf rudder.

I dont know much about rudders at all. Based on everything I have said so far, what is the ideal rudder? 

Cheers


I am no rudder specialist. All I know is the common notion: the bigger the rudder, the more control you have (but also more drag). ALso it seems that a bigger rudder helps with stability a bit, although in a V5, you definitely won't need any extra stability.

I have the small Epic waveless rudder and the standard Epic surf rudder. I bought the small one after hearing so many people say that it significantly reduces the drag. I am not sure about that - if I really was any faster, then I must have missed something and didn't notice. But in flatwater races in places with lots of shallows and sandbanks, it is a relief to have a small rudder that probably won't reach the bottom and damage the hull.

I never used the small Epic rudder at sea, where I always used the surf rudder, which is great. If you are in doubt, I recommend it. It works as a very good multi-purpose rudder.

Current: Epic V8 PRO, Think Evo 3
Past: Epic V8, Epic V10 Sport

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1 week 6 days ago #37655 by Agent009
Replied by Agent009 on topic Epic V5 - Feedback
Thank you kindly! The surf rudder sounds good.

I'm not looking to buy until early next year (after the Xmas madness) so just getting my ducks in a row for now. Sounds like a Performance V5 with surf rudder is what I'm currently leaning towards.

Of course, keep the feedback coming :)

Thanks everyone...great forum!

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1 week 6 days ago #37656 by waverider
Replied by waverider on topic Epic V5 - Feedback
Couple of general thoughts on rudders. bigger surface area equals more resistance. This can be good and bad.  It turns more easily due to this imposed resistance, it reduces roll ie increased stability, it also induces drag which slows you down.

How important each aspect is depend on your skill, the boat and environment. As a beginner a big rudder will help stability ( but V5 is not unstable to start with). It will help you turn quicker especially to avoid spending too much time broadside to surf waves, important if you are just going in and out of surfzone rather than downwinding. A long boat is harder to turn than a V5 so larger will be more effective. An advanced paddler will be more capable of turning a boat on a wave using minimal rudder compared to less experienced paddler. Any slowing of boat due to large rudder is probably more applicable to flat water advanced paddlers, and probably negligible to anyone else where increased stability and control probably more than compensates for it. lastly of course a larger rudder is more likely to hit obstacles and collect weed etc.

I have 2 rudders, one surf rudder for open water and a custom made small flat water rudder, probably  half the size of a standard rudder. Skis turn pretty well so a small rudder is good enough in calm conditions where stability is not an issue. They are easily swapped out as per requirements, so i wouldnt sweat it as you can always have both.

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1 week 6 days ago #37657 by Agent009
Replied by Agent009 on topic Epic V5 - Feedback
Thanks waverider....i've learnt a lot from this thread. I think the surf rudder will suit me.

At the end of the day as long as it glides better than a 4.2m fishing yak, which I'm sure it will then I will be pretty happy.

I'm 95% sure a V5 in Performance layup will suit me, but I'll have to organise a test paddle at some point.

Cheers all.

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1 week 6 days ago #37659 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Epic V5 - Feedback
I have no experience with the V5, but am sure the V5 performance will be a great bot for you. Its light, stable, and perfectly capable of surfing short period waves.

RE the rudder, the rudder size should match the size to steepness ratio of the wave. If your waves are very steep, then an abnormally large rudder would be very beneficial. Large waves (as in ocean waves that are 5+') that are shallow do not require a large rudder to maintain adequate control because the period is long and the energy-per-time imparted on your boat is low (lets say 15 second period). Take the same wave and half the period (lets say 7 second period) and suddenly your energy-per-time of the wave is a lot higher so you need a bigger rudder to maintain the same level of control.

Wave Steepness is the main driver of needing a larger ruder. A large rudder allow you to apply more correction force, faster, which is primarily necessary to counteract the force of a medium-large steep faced wave. If you don't need a lot of correction force fast to counteract a large and or steep wave, then its only a liability (drag). I use a 9" high chord versions at all times mostly on the ocean which ranges from flat to 9'/3m. Im not racing on small water and dont care about 20 seconds per mile. I like having control when its big and the 9" 20° does a good job, but honestly to keep full control in 6'+ I'll get a 10" 15° next time.

The v5 is a short boat so will inherently turn a lot faster. That said, if you want to surf shorebreak in the 3-4' range (or any size really) a larger rudder is beneficial in my book. Shore break is inherently steep and you will get broached regardless of rudder size if you come in wrong. But I still like big rudders. In medium-large waves I have never regretted a large rudder and many times said I'm getting a bigger one next time, unless you care about 20 seconds/mile.  

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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1 week 6 days ago #37660 by Agent009
Replied by Agent009 on topic Epic V5 - Feedback

MCImes wrote: The v5 is a short boat so will inherently turn a lot faster. That said, if you want to surf shorebreak in the 3-4' range (or any size really) a larger rudder is beneficial in my book. Shore break is inherently steep and you will get broached regardless of rudder size if you come in wrong. But I still like big rudders. In medium-large waves I have never regretted a large rudder and many times said I'm getting a bigger one next time, unless you care about 20 seconds/mile.  


Wow, great post! Thank you MCImes!!

Like you, I certainly don't care about 20 seconds/mile and therefore a larger rudder (surf rudder) definitely sounds like the right pick for me. Cheers for the detailed reply :)

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