First paddle on V8

10 years 8 months ago #7692 by robin.mousley
I got to try out the Epic V8 last night here in Cape Town.

(The boat was heavy, I'd say around 18kg, it's a plug intended to have a mould taken off it. Because of that it also has unfinished seams.)

The boat is billed as the ultimate beginner's ski so I was interested to see how it would go in some extreme conditions... We did a "Reverse Millers" run in wind that was measuring at times 20m/s (38kt) at the lighthouse half way down the route. The runs were small to begin with (the NW wind blows offshore from Fish Hoek) but grew until at the halfway point they were getting up to about 3ft. Fast, steep, wind generated chop, wind howling, spray flying everywhere....

First off, the bucket feels similar to the V12 ie (for me) a lot more comfortable than the V10 or V10S both of which attack my coccyx.

The boat is extraordinarily stable. The hull is based on the Epic 18X sea kayak and is virtually bullet proof - I'd defy anyone to turn it over.

For such a wide boat, my stroke felt very comfortable - there are quite radical cutaways in the foredeck at the front of the cockpit.

So how did it behave? It's quite a short hull (18ft) and the foredeck is quite wide. I found if I let it hare down the bigger waves it would bury the nose, and assume the attitude of a crash-diving U boat, slowing dramatically. To prevent that, I'd stand on the footplate, leaning as far back on the rear deck as I could go and mostly I'd keep the nose up! I found it very controllable directionally - it has the smaller rudder that is also shipped as standard with the V10Sport - and I think I only broached once, and that pretty mildly. (I slewed violently to one side at one point - but that was with the nose buried when I almost pitch-poled on a steep wave! I nearly slid over the side on that occasion...)

The tendency to nose-dive was no doubt exacerbated by the fact a) that it's a heavy example of the boat and b) by the fact that a litre or two of water had got in through the unfinished seams.

Unsurprisingly, I found that I could not push over the next wave very easily - which turned out to present an enjoyable challenge. The key to downwind paddling is to chose the moment to accelerate onto the next wave - and this boat forces you to concentrate on this aspect. It's unforgiving and if you get it wrong, it just wallows up the back of the next wave. So you really have to focus on staying on the current wave until a proper gap/hole opens up - charge onto it and you can link the runs no problem. Every paddler should be made to do a regular downwind run on the V8 - to hone their downwind technique!

I guess I didn't get it all wrong, because I arrived at the other end about 2mins before my companions who were on a V10S and Mako6 respectively!

So given that the sort of paddler who would use the V8 would hardly be out in a gale-force downwinder, I was really impressed with the boat. For a total beginner, it's a very easy way to get into surfski paddling. And when that beginner wants to go downwind, hey, it catches the runs nicely. For some folks, clearly, the V10S might be a more lively, faster craft, but it's also more challenging and I've seen plenty of paddlers become discouraged after failing to master other so-called beginner skis. The V8 is a fun, undemanding craft.

But if you're a more accomplished paddler who finds yourself offered a V8 to paddle, you can still have a lot of fun with it.

Here's my garmin track:
Reverse Millers - V8


Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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  • RobH
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10 years 8 months ago #7696 by RobH
Replied by RobH on topic Re: First paddle on V8
Rob, I have to say, that's an impressive GPS track, on a V8 no less!

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10 years 8 months ago #7698 by [email protected]
top speed of 23kph is fantastic (on any ski). I read on the Epic site in an interview with Oscar he lists his top speed at 56kph (35mph).

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9 years 11 months ago #11693 by jazzalbart
Replied by jazzalbart on topic Re: First paddle on V8
No doubt, Epic V8 is a wonderful kayak/Canoe. This is the canoe that has a very good look and great stability into the water. I am wondering to have a trip of it as soon as possible.

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