Epic V10 Sport Surfski Beginner Notes

-- Last Updated: Jun-05-08 6:49 PM EST --

Well, finally rented a surfski for 90 minutes. The first few seconds away from the dock had me reconsidering my boat choice for the evening, and how it would look if I went over five feet from where I started, hehe.

The seat almost fit me in terms of width, so I could see why skinny folks would have something to complain about.

Wind did move the bow around a little bit, talk about volume. Love the idea of someday putting it to use while piercing through waves.

And oh my, the speed. The few times I strung together a series of good forward strokes with some rotation (balance isn't good enough to go all out yet) the wing blade just grabbed and I could feel the boat lunge forward. What a great feeling.

Didn't race in the weekly 5 miler, but I did sign up for a couple of lessons that included two weeks of unlimited renting, so I hope to be racing with it on flatwater in a few weeks.

I think I caught the bug though, maybe next year this time I'll be in some of the ocean races that take place in the New England area.

congrats! i bet in a few weeks you’ll feel pretty solid in it, and will be looking for some waves to surf. once i got used to the wing blade - especially bracing - my stability increased dramatically. enjoy!

I’ll be getting
the Mako XT surf ski on June 16th. Guess what I’m doing on the 17th.


Once You Go Ski…
you don’t go back (And everything after a wing feels like a pool noodle.) :wink:

As one friend says: “Think like the shark; keep moving.” Every stroke with the wing is, in essence, a brace stroke. Practice some remounts and when you feel confident with those, start looking for some beam chop. The Sport is a little more tender in terms of initial stability IMHO than other skis in its class (S1-R, Evo, XT…) but the secondary is comparable.

First time you pick up a wake or swell and you see why the ‘surf’ is in ‘surf ski’, you’ll likely be hooked-be forewarned, and enjoy.

It’s all good
Once you paddle a ski, you love paddling a ski. Doesn’t mean other sorts of paddling aren’t still fun.

EVO is on list to try as well

– Last Updated: Jun-06-08 9:45 AM EST –

Heard it was a little more stable with a bit of a chine, we shall see...See if I can even fit into the seat! There seems to be used V10 Sports around for $1000 less than the EVO, in the $1200-$1300 range, which is a pretty big difference.

Swimming a LOT???!!!???

– Last Updated: Jun-06-08 10:39 AM EST –

Hey Andy,

You asked, "guess what I'll be doing on the 17th?" My guess is that you will be swimming a lot.

Congrats on getting a new surf ski. I am envious! Best of luck with the learning curve.


Hi Beanboy
If you’re anywhere near the north Florida area, you are welcome to try my Evo.

Congrats on the paddle. Sounds like you did great. More seat time and you’ll have it down. You’ll will be praying for waves and wind. That’s where you’re Sport will really shine!

Good luck


thanks for the offer

But I’m a wee bit north up in New England. Dealer has Think Evos and offers free demo paddles, so I’ll be able to at least see if I fit and get a sense of the stability of one.

Each swim gets you one stroke closer to mastering the boat. I like my Sport. I don’t paddle it much but I like it. Unlike trilobite, I like the K-1’s way better than the surfskis, sorry Mark. :slight_smile: Just my personal preference. I like flat, non-salty, water. But whether you’re learning a K-1 or a ski, swimming is part of the deal, and gradually the swims get fewer and fewer as you go along.

jcamry knows about swimming in the Sport, heh heh, I watched him in mine last summer to my great amusement. Don’t worry Jeff, I assure you I was not laughing at you, I was laughing because I have totally felt your pain. :slight_smile:

The seat in the Sport is big, but so is my backside so I like the fit, although I know several guys with narrow hips who do not like the extra width in the Sport seat. Epic actually sells a kit to pad out the seat in the Sport to make it fit better for those who need extra padding in that area. Sure wouldn’t be me. :slight_smile:

I may actually sell my Sport, there is a Kirton Typhoon that’s been calling my name.



Concur: It’s All Good
The surfski is my current love, but also enjoy paddling the EFT, and my tandem as well. My ‘chicken’ boat, Epic 18, occasionally gets some use as well. As long as you’re spinning a blade…

Beanboy, if you’re in the CT area, you’re welcome to try my S1-R. The Evo has a standard hull design-the new Legend has the chines, and one friend who just bought one is raving about its comfort and stability. Can’t wait to try it. I thought his S1-X Special was very stable and he claims it’s a notch above that.

Susan, you go girl! Talk about notches above…keeping those K-1s upright is a feat in itself, let alone racing them. Congrats on the Clinton, BTW-you made me feel like I was living it from your descriptions.

Great morning out on the ski today-socked in by fog early, keeping the dark outline of the coastline right off our shoulders, GPS compass rose pointing the sure way out, and hammering back in with an incoming tide. Yup, it’s all good.

Where in CT?

Where did you and your buddies paddle today? We had some decent fog here in Mystic this morning. I had to work today so couldn’t get out on the water anyway.

I will be paddling my S1-R out of the Stonington Dinghy Association (fishing piers) towards Napatree, Wath Hill & Misquamicuit for most of tomorrow afternoon. Likely on Monday too. I think you come down this way some times.

The Legend, not Evo?
The Legend is the new model with some chines. Based on paddler reports, I get the impression its stability falls somwhere in between the more stabile skis (like the Sport you tried) and the faster skis, V10, Huki S1-X et.al…

I’ve always been a little skeptical of chines on sea kayaks. I think you can get nearly the same flattish waterplane profile without resorting to drag-creating hard chines. However, if located in the right area of the hull, the chines could help shed water while on a plane. I am okay with chines on white water play boats and surf specific boats. But surfskis will only temporarily plane and only while surfing a wave.

Planning sailboats from high performance skiffs to 70 ft Volvo Ocean Race boats, have strategically placed chines to get the high speed water to break away from the hull. But these boat are on a plane enough of the time to offset the drag the chines create while in displacement mode.

Based on what I’ve read and seen so far, I think the Legend is designed to be more specialized toward downwind runs. This is actaully a cool concept and an interesting market to target a surfski towards. There are a growing number of surfski paddlers seeking out downwind only runs. They will leave cars at both ends much like the whitewater guys. If there is more growth to downwind-only paddling, I think you may see other surfskis come out with chines or at least flatter sections.

We may be on the cusp of a more specialized discipline in the paddling world. Along with that may come more specialized craft. An analogy may be the growth of downhill specific mountain bikes some 10 - 15 years ago. These bikes have evolved into some pretty extreme mchines today, but you wouldn’t want to pedal one up the block. but, I’m not saying downhill surfskis will ever be that extreme, compared to wher their at already. :wink:

I will reserve judgement until there is more evidence, but if I had to predict I would guess that the Legend will eventually appeal mostly paddlers who put most of their priority into downwind runs and are willing to overlook a little performance when they have to get somwhere through the other 270 degrees of wind.

Slight correction
not that it matters much! Ha ha!!

Susan must still be feeling the effects from successfully running the 70 mile Clinton. I wasn’t in her V10 that day, I was instead falling out of her Mark I, . . . . . repeatedly. It was a little tough since I am 6’2" and back then about 260 and not using a wing paddle. I think Susan is about a foot shorter than I am and about 8 inches shorter in the inseam. Let’s just say that I could barely fit my arse in it and there was no way to get my feet comfortably into the foot wells. The boat was custom built for HER inseam, not mine.

To her credit, or maybe she just wants to laugh at (with?) me some more, she said that we would get a chance to go out again, only this time on her V10. Film at 11.

was out of Greenwich, Jonathan. I’m much further down toward NY. I generally go out of Westport/Norwalk/Greenwich but will be taking the family out tomorrow. We had some heavy fog too at 7AM, and it was like glass out there-a bit eerie actually. By 9 it had all but lifted and was still fairly cool.

Jeff, stay at it. Had a Mark 1 also and always thought it was a little nervous in terms of initial stability-strong secondary though (Of course, your knees being up to your chin doesn’t help matters…smile.).

Enjoy the heat!

Jeff’s right!

– Last Updated: Jun-08-08 8:14 AM EST –

Thanks guys, the 70 was brutal, but as always, I'm glad I did it! :)

Jeff's right, that was my Mark 1 and not the V10 Sport that he was in, and it was unfair that his 34"(possibly longer?) inseam was in my 27" inseam custom built ski. But it was also totally funny! We had a great time. I sold the Mark 1 yesterday and put the Sport up for sale today, I just like the K-1s better than the skis, just my personal preference. But like Mark said, no one can dispute that it's ALL good! :)

Same Experience
Don’t mean to steal your thread, but I had a chance to paddle a V10 Sport this weekend. My first surf ski experience.

Like you I never really got comfortable enough to go all out, but I definitely could see the potential for enjoyment (love a fast boat). Now I want to do some shopping and try some other competitors.

Are there any North Carolina Surf Ski paddlers out there? Where did you find your surf ski, and where did you demo them before buying?


FSK transition to Surfski
Some feel many performance stroke oriented paddlers could skip getting a fast sea kayak, like the Epic 18’ QCC’s, EFT, Nemo’s and move right into one of the more stabile surfskis like the Huki S1-R, Epic V10 or XT. This assumes open water paddling is your thing. I wish I had moved into a ski a few seasons earlier.

I think one of the keys to success in a surski is to already have a fairly good wing paddle stroke. To get a surfski into its efficiency speed range you need to be able to provide the continuous power at hand with a torso rotation based stroke and a wing paddle. Furthermore the wing is the key to maintaining stabilty in these skinnier craft.

I’m hoping the new guys trying surfskis for the first time are already using a wing or at least working their way towards it. Otherwise, I don’t know if they will ever fully embrace what surfskis offer.

no wing paddle yet

– Last Updated: Jun-09-08 11:21 AM EST –

Got my Manitou 13 up to 5.05 mph over 7.5 miles Sunday at a race. I'm really itching to put that power into a boat that's a bit faster, hehe.

I can feel what a wing paddle is trying to do, and fought it the first time I tried it. Wondering if getting one and practicing my Manitou would be a good idea...

On the surfki again 6/11 for a 90 minute lesson, then it is two weeks of unlimited rental time. I'll let you guys know how many times I fall off, especially when I start cranking up the rotation and power, hehe.


PS $1300 for a used V10 Sport reasonable? Stadard fiberglass build-up. Tough judging used costs since there's only a handful of boats I could find used online, but $300-$500 off sticker seems to be the going rate.

great discussion thanks
I’ve been thinking about a surfski for years and this is a good read.