Epic V8 – Fast and Fit Boats

Epic's first surfski

Photo: Robert Zaleski

($1,895 in fiberglass on core mat/$2,395 in fiberglass-carbon-Kevlar composite/$3,395 vacuum-bagged in Nomex honeycomb core-Kevlar; epickayaks.com)
L: 18′; W: 22″; D: 13″; 40 lbs./35 lbs./29 lbs.

Epic’s first surfski, a 21-foot racing machine called the V10, was designed to be the fastest all-around ocean kayak in the world. Arguably, it was, especially when either of the designers—Olympian Greg Barton and 11-time Molokai champ Oscar Chalupsky—sat in the bucket. Fast, but useless to even seasoned sea kayakers who floundered in rough water like a drunk on a slippery dance floor. Enter the V8: Marrying the hull from its 18X sea kayak (the one Freya Hoffmeister used in her 8,845-mile paddle around Australia) and the sit-on-top deck from its latest, fastest ski, the V8 is swift and stable and, better yet, allows you to paddle in rough water without fretting about the dreaded C word (capsize). “The cutouts on the deck allow you to place the blade closer to the hull, which makes you think the boat is narrower than it is,” one tester said. There’s also built-in bow and stern handles, a drain in the foot well, water bottle holder in the cockpit, and bungee cords behind the seat. By far the fastest boat we tested, it has a responsive under-stern rudder and is dynamic enough to allow you to surf the 2- to 3-foot runners that litter the Hudson like day-old newspapers in Central Park.

http://www.canoekayak.com/gear/epic-v8-kayak-review http://www.canoekayak.com/gear/hurricane-category-5-kayak-review http://www.canoekayak.com/gear/pyranha-speeder-kayak-review http://www.canoekayak.com/gear/kayakpro-namu-kayak-review http://www.canoekayak.com/gear/cobra-eliminator-kayak-review http://www.canoekayak.com/gear/current-designs-freedom-kayak-review

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  • http://www.charlestonpatriotchallenge.com Rick Carter

    Bought my first kayak two years ago. As a non-athlete, this 56 year-old Geezerjock was in desperate need of a coach. Instead, I had to make do with the internet

    Just paddled the V-8 in the Blackburn Challenge. I’ll let the numbers speak for themselves:

    Blackburn Challenge 2010 11th place 3:37

    Blackburn Challenge 2011 3rd place 3:04

    Seventeen surf skis finished behind me.

    What else is there to say?

  • John Dye

    Its the same hull as the Epic 18. I’ve raced that boat occasionally here on the west coast and been able to keep pace with many of the surf skis. Normally I paddle a V10, Mako6 or Mako Millenium, but the V8, the epic18 and even the 16 are very quick and much more forgiving. I find them more enjoyable to paddle than other comparable boats on the market.

    As paddlers develop better balance and we teach them better skills, all the extra beam just isn’t needed. I hope to see more people on the water, gliding along in easily driven hulls such as the Epics. Outside of racing hulls, no manufacturer is designing a boat as efficient as these, with the possible exception of Nelo, and its hard to find a Nelo in the US.

    -John Dye
    Guide, California Canoe and Kayak
    Head Guide, Tuolumne River Trust

Buyer's Guide

Buyer's Guide