Epic X series

Is there anyoneout there that has paddled the epic’s new x series more specifically the 16x or 18xs.

From what I have read it sounds like the one I would most like to try out. However, I have not read any review on how the new tracking system is working out and quality of construction. Am also considering the Eddyline Falcon 18 and QCC 700.

Haven’t paddled them
but I did check them out in the store. The quality of construction looks great. And the funky skeg/rudder system looks good too.

Note the other short thread…

As to construction, a number of the new Epics have come through with small cosmetic blems, dimples and the like, mainly in the fragile Ultra layup. These appear not to be structural-with the CNC plug the mold is so straight and finish so smooth on these boats that the slightest blip is apparent. I have some question as to the durability of the Ultra layup though-that ‘skin’ is mighty thin. Ultra light weight is ususually at a price.

My QCC came out of the shipping tube flawless-even the inside was smoothly finished and the boat itself was very strong-not a single spiderweb or crack after numerous reentries, and three years running races like the Run of the Charles, with bumping and banging portages. I’m sold on their build quality.

In terms of speed I’d give the nod to the 18X, with the 700 probably pretty close for being more of a ‘true sea kayak.’ The Falcon 18 would bring up the rear; it’s not in the same league if you went racing, but tracks well and has a decent turn of speed.

Concur with the above
Not aware of your intentions; racing, camping, all around sea kayak for potentially rough water?

Own a Falcon S18, (Skeg) with satisfaction. I am still developing my paddling skills. However, enjoy the kayak out on the Chesapeake Bay as well as the lower Patuxent River and the Potomac River. Boat is stable, tracks and has speed. Company and dealer stands behind their product as the other high end Mfr. do; QCC and EPIC.

Racing has been a humbling experience. Lost many a race to QCC 700 kayaks and other models. Lack knowledge on the Epic line. Suggest contacting Greg Barton, EPIC or write up your question on the Chesapeake Paddlers Association Forum web site where several folks paddle the Epic series. Good luck, R/ Mark

Falcon S18

Consider your weight and conditions
The QCC700 is more bouyant and stabile compared to the Epic 18X. Therefore a heavier paddler (175lbs plus), especially in rougher conditions, could be faster in the QCC. This especially true in surfing conditions when catching waves can increase average speeds significantly.

The Epic 18X has a narrower entry and a rounder profile, and less wetted surface. This boat will be faster for most folks up to about 220 lbs in flat water.

If performance paddling is your goal I would recommend getting either the QCC or Epic with a rudder. Learning to paddle an efficient kayak with a wing paddle and rudder will double your average speed and triple your range over the typical sea kayaker with his typical equipment. Anyone who thinks of open water paddling as an athletic sport like swimming, riding road bikes, running, xc skiing, etc…will appreciate the incredible difference in performance attainable by an efficient sea kayak with rudder and wing paddle.

Good Luck

What about your design Envyabull ?

Hi Patrick
Hi Patrick, hope you and your family had a great holiday!

I am too busy with my career in the sailboat industry to put my design into production. I should offer the design to a smaller shop like QCC or you to see if they want to make a go of it.

My kayak, designed as a collaboration with John Winters, is a fast boat and it looks an awful lot like the Epic 18X. My boat was tested side-by-side with the Epic Endurance 18 and shown to be faster in flat water conditions. It also won a number of USCA and other events.

I am not sure if my boat provided some inspiration for Epic’s new 18X. Many folks think the old Epic Endurance was very similar to the QCC700. I have even heard somebody accuse QCC of stealing the design from Epic, when in fact the QCC was around well before the Epic. Epic has recently been involved with some contraversy regarding and Australian company building a surfski very similar to their V10. There are also some who say Epic’s wing paddles look very inspired from some earlier european blades. There has always been a sharing of ideas in the marine industry and I personally do not have a problem with it. Certainly as one looks to design the most efficient hulls their shapes will look very similar.

I’m not surprised that the Epic 18X looks almost exactly the same as my design. The USCA specs forces a smart designer to come up with nearly the same hull shape in order to be optimized to their rule. I recognized this and did it 5 years before Epic. Anybody else that wants to build a competitive kayak optimized to the USAC spec will end up with a similar product as well. Eventually the USCA and competitive paddlers will find out that a fit and skilled paddler of 200 lbs + weight will be at an advantage in a USCA spec kayak in the typically flat water that the USCA races on.

5 or 6 years ago I tried to influence the USCA to define their kayaks with a waterline beam to waterline length ratio like the Sound Rower’s FSK spec. This would have allowed paddlers of various weights to select or design a kayak optimized to their personal weight and stability requirements. It would have also allowed many popular production kayaks to be included like the Seda Glider and QCC700.

There is a slight difference between my design and the new Epic 18X. I intentionally kept the waterline beam a little bit wider than the USCA allows. This makes my design legal for every other “Sea Kayak” spec I know of including the very logical Sound Rowers FSK spec. The new Epic 18X does not meet the Sound Rowers FSK spec so anyone racing in the Northwest will have to race the 18X in their Unlimited class.

Thanks to you and all that provided input. Most of my kayaking will be on flat water (primarily Lakes Mead and Mohave. Also have plans for Powell and the Green River). I do compete but only against my own times and a grandson that can beat me in a short sprint. I’m 5’8" 165 pounds and pretty physically fit for someone approaching 70.

I currently have an Eddyline Merlin Lt that I use for performance kayaking and have used it for multi-day trips up to 3 days. My average moving speed (without camping gear) is 4.2 mph.

The goal was to have a kayak that would be light, carry more gear (for longer camping trips and provide an average moving speed over 5mph

All of the input todate suggests that I will likely go with the Epic (probably an 18xs with std layup and a Midwing full carbon Epic paddle.

Again, the input has been informative helpful and is much appreciated.


Arnie Sealove

I have the 18X
It’s a fast boat and I love the rudder system for paddling through weeds or over floating logs like in a cypress swamp. It doesn’t do as well as a typical rudder when in big waves as it can be tricky to control.

In terms of a true sea kayak I like the hatches on the QCC boats better, but for racing and efficiency I’m happy with the 18X. I can get mine up over 9 mph on sprints. I’d let you try mine out if you lived closer to SC.