Epic 16x/18x and V8 owners, chime in!

Any owners of Epic 16x, 18x and V8’s…I have an Epic V10 Sport that is still a bit too tippy for me as my first year in a surf ski. I also have a Delta 17. I am a fitness paddler and racer only. Maybe a day trip here and there, but primarily, I love going to the local lakes and lapping as fast as I can. I paddle solo usually 95% of the time.

I am looking to sell the V10 Sport and pick up an Epic V8. But I am also considering selling both the V10 and the Delta and getting an 18x to use for both fitness paddle and the odd race.

How equatable are the 18x to the V8 in speed and perceived stability? Would the 16x do the same with two less feet of water line? Any pros and cons for any or all three of the boats inquired on is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Comparing hulls
Here’s an interesting article (Greg Barton’s comparison of different Epic hulls): http://www.rivermiles.com/forum/Attachments/Epic_Surfski_Times_w-Greg_Barton.pdf

The V8 was originally based off the 18x Sport (not the 18X). I’d wager that an 18x would be faster than a V8 but it might simply depend on which cockpit configuration you find works best for you and whether you prefer to roll or perform a ski remount.

How old is your V10 Sport? There’s a new model that is said to be more stable. A friend of mine has a 5 year old V10 Sport (Ultra) and just recently tried the new model, and claims that it feels much more stable.

For reference, I have a V12 that I use for fitness/short races and an 18X that I use for long-distance events where you have to pack camping gear (e.g. Watertribe events).

Greg Stamer

I took a short run in a V8 Pro
Something else to consider:

“The new Epic V8 Pro is the perfect boat for those who want a performance upgrade from our popular V8. The V8 Pro adds 12” of length (30cm) and takes nearly 1.5” (4 cm) off of the width, creating a surfski that is livelier and faster. In terms of speed and stability, the V8 Pro fits perfectly between the Epic V8 and the V10 Sport.”

Our local Epic rep is somewhat familiar with me as a sea kayaker, and said I should try the V8 pro. I asked him how much swimming I’d do, and he laughed and told me I wouldn’t swim. “Don’t even worry about it.” he said. There was a little wind chop and boat wakes, but he was right on. I don’t paddle surf skis, and I had no problem with stability. I was able to put all my focus on my forward stroke, rotate my hips, just do my thing. I probably only paddled half a mile, but it felt really good. I could drop an edge without having to brace, so while it didn’t have that secondary hang point that most sea kayaks have, it didn’t just slip out from under me either. So even as a sea kayaker, I felt pretty confident in the V8 Pro on the first run.

a bit off topic

– Last Updated: Sep-06-16 3:23 PM EST –

Don't know where you are located but if you're shopping for another Epic I just noticed on our local Craigslist somebody near my area (Pittsburgh PA) is selling a 2004 Endurance 18 for $800 (no pics but allegedly in good shape). Seems to be more toward the touring design than surf ski. Maybe predecessor to the 18X?


Thanks! More input is always welcome.
Thanks all so far, (I will welcome more/additional info).

My V10 Sport is the first generation with the venturi drain.

I did look at the V8 Pro, but it seemed to have nominal changes from my V10 Sport, not enough that it would be any big step, but that is just based on the numbers alone. Its hard to test paddle here in East Central WI as there is only one high end dealer anywhere near (in Madison), and they don’t deal with surfskis (other than entry level Stellars).

I will check out Barton’s assessment of hulls. That would appear to be very pertinent to my questions, thanks!

Regarding my surf ski remount
I have the surfski remount down pat, but only in calm conditions. My hips are so wide that when I slide into the bucket, my thumb on the far side grasping both the side of the ski and the paddle gets trapped by my hip. I just fit in side to side currently, and when first getting in the boat in the shallows, I can adjust my hips to be flat. In rough conditions, I tend to recapsize trying to get my butt square into the bucket, or when I try to get both feet in and under the retention strap. If not for that, I would stick out training the V10 Sport and just get my remounts a ton of practice until comfortable and balanced in rougher conditions. I am hoping that the V8 will have a slightly larger bucket as the boat is a full four inches wider (IIRC).

Across the pond but
It might be worth touching base with Traverse City Surf Ski.