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15 Jun 2019 22:43
I'm located in Orange County, California and I'm just about to get started with my journey into surfski. I just started paddling this year on a recreational SOT and have logged ~40 trips, mostly in the ocean, and trips up to ~22 miles so far. I was hoping some of you could give me advice. I'm very safety conscious, I always carry a VHF radio and waterproof phone in the ocean, along with my whistle and obviously PFD. Are there any special safety concerns for a surfski?

I'm getting ready to order an Epic V5 (used) - although it's been a challenge so far to find one (anyone with a used V5 or V7 that you can drop off in SoCal, let me know).

I'm hoping I'll be able to quickly move up to 30 mile solo trips. How fast do paddlers tend to average over 6 hours (half upwind half downwind)? Is it reasonable for a beginner like myself to start thinking about 30-40 mile trips in a V5?
20 May 2019 05:14
Replied by SpaceSputnik on topic Leaking Epic Bailer
I don't recall seals on the bailer of my V7. It just tight fitting plastic parts as far as I can see. Maybe just worn.
Lubrication seems like a good idea. Maybe use a drysuit zipper lube like TiZip lube. It is applied to the plastic TiZip zippers and it does make them fully waterproof. Non-lubrcated TiZips eventually leak.
09 May 2019 15:57 - 09 May 2019 16:22
Hi All
I am a little confused about something.
Epics come with a bung at the front that is at the topmost position, so one can flip the boat around, lift from the bow and drain these few drops of water than found their way in during a paddle. This is the way it works with my V7 at least (not sure if it snorts some through the bug  during remount practice or the hatch lets some in). I think I saw the same bungs on proper composite Epics as well.
On my Evo, there is a round access hatch with a straw sticking out and for the life of me I can't figure it how to even attempt to drain it. Now, there seems no water in the hull at all, but I just don't get it. If Epics have a provision for drainage why don't Thinks have it? Is there no need? Do we rely on evaporation through the open access hatch when in storage or this system simply doesn't take water in?
12 Apr 2019 16:20 - 12 Apr 2019 16:21

Do they allow the "rolling roof rack" type trailers in Germany?  Here in the USA, for less than half the price of a new ski you can buy a small trailer to transport kayaks/skis.  Most fold up so they can be compactly stored.  On my, the tongue is removable so it can be stored upright leaning against a wall.

Regarding boats, if you want to carry gear you might want to consider the Epic 18x and Stellar S18R kayaks.  Both will be a bit faster than your V7 and have large open cockpits so you wont feel claustrophobic.  There is currently another good thread active on this site discussing the differences between skis and kayaks.  
12 Apr 2019 11:48
Hi guys, a new post from the guy with the strange name incoming (is there any way to change my forum name from this number mess? Wrote the admin with a PN but got no answer)

I am paddling my beloved v7 for almost over a year now mostly flat water and sometimes on the Rhine (large german river). Since there is no open water around here (south western germany) so it is going to stay that way. 
Now I need a second ski to go out on the water with my girlfriend and since she likes the V7 too I am willing to pass it over to her. 
One big problem is, that there are no surfski dealers in reach where I am able to test some of them which is pretty bad. So one shot to fire and it has to hit more ore less. Another problem is that I need it till july couse we going on a paddling vacation and the third one is that i would love to buy a used boat because of the price stability and overall quality of the skis I know of there should be no problem with this. 

I am out on the water every second day mostly for recriational reasons, the love for the nature and of cause fitness reasons. I am almost 2 meters in hight and have a bit over 100kg on my hips not actually the sportiest person around here ;)

Now I am a bit stuck in the choices I have. On the one hand I love the feeling of "openness" in a ski but on the other hand a traditional sea kayak would serve my needs more.
I love to have the storagy capacity in the V7 and I dream to go out on river adventures with my girlfriend with a bit of camping gear and stuff. So I am thinking about the first logical choice: Epic V6.

Buuuuuut in the last year I have never ever used the storage in the V7. And the V6 is even more bathtub style than the V7 and maybe wouldnt serve my needs for a bit of a thinner, longer and faster boat for my 2 day paddling routine. I am afraid that I am stuck with the V6 between the will for Improvement  in technique and skill and the knowlage to have the space capacity to throw my camping stuff in and go out in the wild for a few days, which would be not that often compared with my normal paddling schedule.

Another problem are the german traffic laws. Because of resaons I dont understand it is only allowed to transport a boat up to 1.5meters longer than my car or up to 3meters longer up to 100km radius from the point where i start the ride. So all boats over 5.79meters are out because 100km is not that much when I want to drive to interesting places. 
I think a V10Sport whould be soooooo awesome especialy for my size but it is much too long ;( 

A V8 would be okay(ish) but I see no improvement over the V7 other than the weight and it is widely available in the used markets around here. 
The V8 Pro would be perfect in length but they say on the webside that I am too large for it ;( (I am 1,97-98M and they say it is up ti 1,96m and I dont went to push the limits.)

There is a VAJDA dealer here in germy and the NEXT 52 looks awesome but it is maybe a bit too bathtubby? There is not much to read about VAJDA here so I am wondering about there quality. 

Then someone posted about the REVO R3 and I fall totally in love with it. It has the right length and dimensions and I  would be very proud to have one of these but there is no way to find a used one and no chance to try before such a big investment. The nearest dealer is in the UK as far as I know so there will be a huge amount of transportation cost. 

I am in need for a new boat but I dont know what to do. Oc couse I could just buy another V7 and push that decisicion to a later point in time but I thing you all know the itch to get new gear ;)

Sorry for the wall of german english text but maybe you can help me in the forrest of boats.
Cheers Justus
10 Apr 2019 09:16
Replied by Topender on topic Ski/Kayak Advice
You should have a look at the Stellar SR Multi-sport or the Stellar SEI Multi-sport if you are getting into Adventure Racing as you can fit kick up rudders to them as well as use surf rudders off-shore for training. They have stronger hulls to handle hitting and scraping on rocks.
The SEI is probably equivalent to a V10 in stability and speed and the SR similar to the V10S. The V12 would be the faster of the three but less stable obviously. Epic make good boats but refuse to make a good multi-sport boat apart from the V7 which has its place but is slower and heavier.
I have a SR Multi-sport and an SEI Advantage which I use for Adventure racing depending on the river or lake I am competing in. I would like to try one of the Kiwi multi-sport kayaks like a Flow kayak but hard to find around here.
I did a multi-sport race about a month ago in my SEI and I was passed by a V10S so its also about the paddler, not just the boat.
A few options to consider anyway;
05 Apr 2019 00:39
Replied by Epicpaddler on topic Ski/Kayak Advice
I agree with everything SpaceSputnik said. I transitioned from sea kayaking to surfskis. I raced my sea kayak once and was required by the race organizers to wear a skirt. Not fun popping a skirt and running to the finish line. (Race was primarily SUPS and surfkskis). I love my surfski. It's lighter, faster, and everything better. It's not for week long camping trips or plowing through rock gardens. If I was racing on a river where there are rocks a boat like the Epic v7 with a kick up rudder would be better. I only use me sea kayak now when my son paddles with me. He likes the ski better. 
04 Apr 2019 18:15
Replied by SpaceSputnik on topic Ski/Kayak Advice
Sea Kayak vs Ski is a very big question here. Let me try to ramble about it a bit.

1. Self-rescue. Sit-in sea kayaks is something you wear, not ride. Your lower body is tucked under a deck. Thighs, knees, feet, bum are in a pretty tight contact with the boat. You are attached to the boat with a spray skirt. Ski is something you sit rather on top and can fall out at any given time. In a kayak falling over means getting inverted, pulling a strap on the skirt to pull it off and "taking off" the kayak kinda like a pair of pants. I does not mean it is excessively hard (can be if your boat is too tight like a Greenland style kayak). personally I find this totally unpleasant, especially in cold water which means often around lake Ontario. Lots of folks are fine with it though, but it needs practice.
If you are serious about paddling a sea kayak you need to invest into a reliable roll. Reason being is that if you do wet-exist, you end up with a cockpit full of water. You can't paddle it like this as it affects stability significantly. In order to get back in you need to employ a paddle foat or a cowboy rescue, slide in and pump the water out. It is energy and time consuming and you are more prone to re-capsizing while you are doing all that, so it's not very fitting for active conditions. Roll is quicker but it requires a significant amount of practice to master it to a reliable degree. And it requires a calm execution of a technically complex body motion while inverted. I personally do not like relying on that but many sea kayakers are ok with that, so it is personal.
A ski remount is far easier to learn and execute (although it does require a bit of a sustained effort and ongoing maintenance). If you are diligent you will learn it quickly. No need to get upside down, fall off, remount, paddle. I sometimes do it just to break the monotony of a paddle, it's a bit like standing up evety so often when you sit at a desk all day.

2. Winter paddling. Yes, a decked boat is warmer. But we need to qualify what temperatures we are talking about. Last season I was paddling alongside my kayaker friends into the very late December. Even with all the right gear the toes are getting to be a problem somewhere at maybe 3C air/water mark because they are exposed. I was certainly feeling it after a couple of hours. However, none of the aforementioned sea kayakers made it further into the year anyways because we came into the deep freeze shortly after our late December excursion, so maybe not a huge difference practically speaking. But it was easier for them to keep warm. 
Another thing to note that in a ski you may have a problem with freezing rudder lines when the air gets below freezing. Happened to people.

3. Comfort. I did not enjoy the seat of my sea kayak for more than 1-2 hours. My bum was getting numb and painful and I had to land to walk it off. In my ski, I never have to, it is very comfortable. But a lot of people spend many hours in their kayaks, so I suppose it can be worked out.

4. Stability. On average sea kayaks are more stable. They tend to be wider and shorter. I have not seen many kayaks longer than 17 feet and narrower than 21 inch. There are hull differences and some of them are tippy because of the hull shape (flat bottom is tippy), but on average they are more stable, 17/21 is the beginner level boat in the ski world and it usually translates to a tippy-ish sea kayak but is considered a bathtub by surfskiers. 

5. Rivers, rocks, ets. You don't want to use a ski in those places unless you are in a plastic boat like an Epic V5/V7. Even with that, I am not sure talking a carbon wing paddle is going to work that well. They are tough, but don't like being speared into hard objects which is likely on a river in scenarios like pushing off a rocky shore. And using a kayak Euro or Greenland paddle in a ski is kinda odd, as skis were designed for a stroke technique that makes most sense with a wing paddle specifically.

6. Storage capacity. None to speak of in a ski unless you own Epic V6, so camping trips are questionable.

It's a personal choice between very different boat styles build for different purposes. 
01 Apr 2019 08:08
TBH I think your asking too much. I bought my V7 in Adventure HQ in July 16 for Dhs 5000 new and sold it in perfect condition in December 18 for Dhs 1700 after it had been on Dubizzle  for at least a month.
31 Mar 2019 13:52 - 01 Apr 2019 13:15
Included on the sale two carbon fibre Epic paddles and 2 SUSPENZ trolleys,  leaving Dubai April 16, Price2000 per ski paddle and trolley, will not sell paddles separately. Call me on 0529174242.  They were bought two years ago in Adventure HQ and have hardly been used, they are as good as new.
25 Mar 2019 19:22
Replied by SpaceSputnik on topic A few V7 questions

1. When moving straigt forward and getting some speed (not that much cause my technique is crap) I am getting a "flattering" from the rudder. The lines are straight so there is no wobbly movement from side to side and I am not feeling it in the pedals. Could it be up and down movement from the rudder fin? How tight should the rudder be in the hole and against the hull?

Mine rotates freely and I am not observing any fluttering. I find that most of the time it tracks fine with feet of the pedals, I am only in contact with pedals if there's broadside wind or waves. If you fixate the pedals and try moving the rudder, will it stay in place?

As to other questions, I will PM you an email address of an Epic contact that was helpful to me in the past, give them a try.
01 Mar 2019 08:44
Replied by robin.mousley on topic V7 Bulkheads
I got some feedback from Tyrell at the Epic Kayaks factory:

I would not remove the bulkheads as there is a stringer behind each bulkhead. While the stringer doest really do anything substantial it does help the boat not flex as much. 

So it looks as though it's not a great plan!
24 Feb 2019 15:26
The lay-up can make a noticeable but not huge difference to the primary stability or initial twitchiness of the Stellar SR. I demo'd the advantage and then bought the Excel with immediately apparent difference. Same issue a couple of years later with the Swordfish which was really comfy in mild ocean conditions in the Vac glass but had to focus much more on stability when bought the carbon hybrid. It's worth being aware of when upgrading.
22 Feb 2019 21:19
Thanks for all who answered this topic so far.
As I said first and confirmed here, most people seem to believe that black-tip
Epics are tougher, although the red-tip ones can take a lot of abuse too.

I currently own a V10 Sport "elite" (full carbon layup). In another thread, as I had just bought my new ski and was still highly impressed by it, I said that you never regret buying the best, that the elite layup is not fragile etc. By now, however, my ski already went to the repair shop three times and I am not so excited about it anymore.

I am seriously thinking about exchanging my carbon V10 Sport for a black-tip V8 PRO (the Epic dealer offered me that deal).

In my city I am the only surfski paddler. I live in front of the beach, but there is no bay here; I have to handle the shore break everytime I get in and out. I would feel a lot more confident in a more robust boat. The downgrade to a V8 PRO is motivated by its side handles, absent in the V10 Sport, which I think add value and comfort, as well as off-water handling safety, since a black-tip Epic is reasonably heavier.

Almost all my paddler friends have advised me to NOT doing this, saying that “you will lose performance”, “you will regret exchanging a superior boat for a cheaper one”, “you will lose resell value” etc. Those guys come from a very competitive background, they live on a bay and paddle on V10 - V11 - V12 - V14 kinds of skis. They paddle in groups most of the time and one can notice that group feeling in which anyone considering a change from, say, a V10 to a V10 Sport would be immediately regarded as a “loser”. They cling to seconds, everybody wants the fastest boat at any cost.

But I think that these concerns are somewhat exaggerated. Talking about performance, for example. There are many posts in this forum regarding boat comparisons like V10 Sport vs. V8 PRO. Also, many posts addressing the “light boat vs. heavy boat” question. If we take all that for granted, we must believe that a carbon V10 Sport must be considerably faster than a fiberglass V8 PRO. However, my previous boat was a regular black-tip V8 (not PRO) and from my own experience I can say that my speed gain was subtle, although I have been paddling my carbon Sport over a year now and feel pretty comfortable in all conditions. That being said, I believe that the speed difference between V10S and V8P, whatever the layup, should be marginal.

Even the differences in weight and stiffness seem overrated to me. We are not talking about a rotomolded boat like a V7; a fiberglass V8 PRO should weight 15 kg, what is by no means too heavy. And a relatively short ski like a V8 PRO in fiberglass is not much less stiff than a full carbon, as Greg Barton himself says:
A stiffer surfski will be faster.  It does not flex as much under speed and the rocker profile will remain consistent when weighted with the paddler.  But there is a point of diminishing returns.  For example, there is a larger performance gain moving from a plastic kayak to a composite, but less gain moving from a medium stiff composite to a super stiff composite kayak.( ).

Anyway, I am very inclined to accept the deal and give away my used black V10 Sport in exchange for a brand-new black-nosed V8 PRO, believing that, in doing so, I will get more durability, confidence, comfort and stability for a negligible loss in performance.

Is there something I am missing here? Any reason for not doing this that I didn’t think of yet? Any comment will be appreciated!
21 Feb 2019 02:07
Hey Guys,

Thank you all for your feedback, I thought I would relay my story so far.

I have been in contact with a local Paddler/Dealer Tim Altman, who has been amazing in looking after me for both coaching and is assisting with demoing some boats. I have paddled the Fenn Bluefin S and I am confident in that boat regardless of the conditions. I have paddled in the surf, screaming downwind and river conditions with complete confidence. The Bluefin S is a remarkable boat for beginners and I feel I will outgrow it very quickly. 

Tim has offered to allow me to Demo the Stellar SR (Advantage) next, which I am very much looking forward too. My initial research says it will be a good boat to challenge me a little more and quite competitive in races for an intermediate boat, not to mention the fantastic build quality. Could I get more feedback from fellow paddlers on the difference between the Layups in regards to the Advantage and Excel? any notable stability differences and speed advantages? I am leaning towards the Excel Layup.

Regards, James  
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