thinking of buying standard layup 18x this spring. i like the new design especially pedal/footbrace system & adjustable seat. a little concerned though about performance & durability of the rudder. please advise. thanks.
I paddled one of these back in the fall, it paddled well, not so well in chop though. The bow would submarine in 1’-2’ chop. It was pretty light The steering system worked okay, but not great. The quality of the boat seemed subpar, I later discovered that epic boats are made in a low cost China factory.
Epic 18x rudder
I think the rudder should be no problem (given reasonable care that any rudder should get). It certainly seems less prone to damage and weed snags than any underhull rudder is.
The footbrace might be a weak point, though. A similiar one on my V10 definitely will not withstand anywhere near what solid footwells will.
The 18x is clearly built to be the fastest USCA Sea Kayak rules compliant boat. It appears to be just that. An 18x (according to Epic) is about 5% faster than the Endurance. If your weight is over about 220, I get the impression that Epic recommends the 18x Sport.
Hope this helps.
I had a 18X and paddled it several times before selling it. I think its a very fast boat much faster
than the Endurance. Being able to get your knees up and get the correct foward stroke helps . It is a little tippier than the Endurance but not as much as a EFT.
I liked the boat and the rudder is fine for flat water but not great in ruff water.
I really like the pedal system but I don`t know how well it will hold up.
I was concerned on how well the entire boat would hold up.
I understand that the Ultra is super fragile and out of sight at 4 grand
if you like the merits of the 18x
and are concerned about durability look at the Mirage 580.
It has the length for speed, the established record of durability in severe crossings and the integral rudder.
Currently the price of one shipped to the USA including an extra rudder, kevlar construction (your choice of either expedition or regular layup)electric bilge pump installed and a carbon paddle is $2700.
I considered the Epic 18, but ended up getting the Mirage 580. The Epic is probably a tiny bit faster though not as stable nor as good in rough conditions.
The Mirage rudder and gas pedal arrangement has worked well for me. No durability issues and extremely useful.