Epic 18x v. 16x

Sampled the Epic 18x, 18x Sport, and 16x a bunch of times at the ECCKF.

Didn’t sense much difference when moving between the 18x and 18x Sport. Both had more much more stability in the calm conditions than I thought they would.

But I think I liked the 16x best. It just seemed more like a Ducati where the 18’s were more like a drag racer. The 16x just carves turns a lot easier.

Now the question: While I don’t surf (yet), I would think the 16 would be a much better surfer than something longer like the 18. Correct? Shorter waterlines would be generally better (less broaching potential)?

Bill G.

Mt. Pleasant, SC

(for those around D.C., the Mid Atlantic Kayak Festival in a few weeks seems awesome.)

Beach Break vs. Open ocean
Beach break … the 16.

Open ocean / distance / connecting bumps … the 18s by miles.

Carolina Bring It Home
Spent many a summer off the Outer Banks and lived in Charlotte for some years too, with many coastal kayak trips in the ocean.

Why not have two boats? One a pure miles boat, don’t know much about Epics except they are touted by many as a competent speed kayak if you are traveling faster than 4 knots (any 18 foot boat driven slower than that has more wetted surface and more drag than a less long version at slower speeds).

My bias for surf is if doing allot of it, get a boat made for it. There are quite a few to consider, just a few, Avocet, Romany or Romany S, P&H several models, Tiderace Xcite and Xcite S and so on.

Just remembering how great an area you live in and how fantastic it would be for you to have a boat that really rocks in those waters.

Very small venue.

– Last Updated: Apr-23-09 6:07 PM EST –

The 18 can't even really begin to show it's potential there as you're dodging others or to the other end before it's even close. Just enough room to poke about a bit, and maybe do a half hearted short sprint. Naturally a shorter kayak seems more than adequate and more suitable there.

On larger waters over longer distances, you might reconsider. Even just on flat it would take an hour or so doing 4 knots or more the whole time to really see what's what. For traveling through slop (not sitting in it) and catching free energy as you go, longer will be better and smoother.

For what these two are designed to be good at, I really can't see going with the 16 except for those who want less kayak/more stability and are not doing as much distance on open (or flat)water.

The shorter length and extra beam of the 16 do make for more potential response to edged turns, but 18 won't need all that much more room and has a rudder anyway.

If short/more maneuverable (as in more suitable for surf zone/tide race/stay in one spot type play) is really your thing, maybe consider another line entirely.

Best bet, the two kayak (or more) approach already mentioned. Two used for price of new if budget is king...

Yes, yes, and yes. NM

Epic is working on their new rudder for the boat. It can be retrofitted to all the current Epic’s. The new rudder should make it a “huge fun” boat in the bumps!

I am going to get the 18X with the new rudder made from their new factory…late summer? Hope so.

Not sure the light weight Epic is the boat I’d want to play in the break for an extended time. Did I mention light weight? They might be a little on the fragile side. I am going to keep my QCC (NEVER SELL IT) for camping and day trips and use the 18X as my exercise boat. I have a buddy that’s got a brick of a Romany. It is their heavy layup and he’s broken the boat three times. If you’re thinking wind waves and swells, just not the break, I think they’d be awesome.

Good luck!