Made the switch to a surf ski.

-- Last Updated: Sep-28-14 2:30 PM EST --

I chose the Epic V10 Sport. For anybody that's been wondering what a surf ski is like and I've weathered some nasty storms in a Tempest 170: The Tempest compared to a Surf ski is an Aircraft Carrier (although I do love it). The V10 was way beyond my abilities. The V10 Sport is supposed to be very stable and it is compared to the V10, but I nearly turned it over 3 times on very flat water. These things require several notches of skill beyond sea kayaks. It was quite a rude awakening for me. In case anybody was wondering.


Warning: It Will Change Your Life!

– Last Updated: Sep-28-14 4:11 PM EST –

It changed mine over 25 years ago when I got my first surfski, a Chalupski, designed by Chalupsky and made by Twogood. I would paddle it using a 90 deg. feathered Werner San Juan paddle and have a blast. Skills develop with use, so as your water time increases, so does your balance. Once you put in the time and paid your dues, everything else, as you have found out, are plugs. Enjoy...
ps: Surfski, like surfboard, is one word (Spell Check is incorrect).

I have demoed them …
a half dozen times and have no problem in the short time I was on them.

With that said, as far as I am concerned, they are only good for two things; racing and working out.

I would never get one unless I got a deal that I couldn’t pass up, and then I would just use it for racing.

I’ll take an Epic 18 or a QCC-700 any day for an all around kayak.

Jack L

Very true
And those kayaks are indeed beautiful. But once I saw a surfski pass me and disappear into the distance like a motor boat on a recent 36 mile paddle I was smitten. Had to have one.

25 years!

– Last Updated: Sep-28-14 5:00 PM EST –

I just heard about them last year. Well better late then never. They feel cool just sitting in them!

that’s what entices me

– Last Updated: Sep-28-14 5:36 PM EST –

Speed. I keep drooling over the Epic website. I appreciate the OP's comment here, as I have wondered how much of a learning curve I would have with one. What a blast they must be!

How hard is it to get back on one of these when you go over?

Not sure yet
I’m going to be working on it. But the nice thing is you dress for swimming and your very intimate with water even while paddling. At least you don’t have to pump out he cockpit when you do go over.

not paddling
fast enough

Try a K1 for a bigger challenge
Once your surf ski feels stable, try an ICF K1. It’s another magnitude of difficulty on the stability scale. My V12, which is one of Epic’s more “twitchy” offerings, feels like the family SUV compared to my Legacy K1. That said, the ski is much more “practical” in real conditions. The K1 is mainly limited to flat water and if you dump, recovery usually means swimming the kayak to shore.

Greg Stamer

My friend tried out a K1 and never left the dock. I don’t know how the racers keep them upright.

I Second That
Basically, that’s how the top surfski racers trained in Hawaii 20 years ago: trained all week (intervals & technique) in the flats on their K-1, then jumped on their surfski for the open ocean races during the weekend. Today, the high school racers are doing the same in the early a.m., but switching to skis in the p.m. session during the week, then race in the flats on surfskis on Saturdays.

I have raced only a handful of times…

– Last Updated: Sep-29-14 2:52 PM EST –

But I still paddle the skis more than my kayaks. Considerably more, I should say. So it depends on your use. For trips, kayak. For day paddling and exercise - ski.

Jack - when was the last time you practiced self rescues in your QCC in rough conditions? If you have not, or if your roll is not 100%, you might rethink the utility a ski provides in terms of safety by self-rescuing with a quick remount.

Different Strokes…
I too, went this route, but not without a glitch or two. Paddled FSKs for quite a while: QCC700, then Endurance 18, then Westside EFT, T Bolt. It was the ability to remount (once learned) that sealed the ski deal for me-now I feel trapped in a SINK. If you want to go fast, then an open cockpit facilitates the rotation and leg drive needed, which poses unique problems if you go over: you simply fall out of the cockpit. In the EFT, if I knew it was coming, I could quickly wedge my knees under the coaming and roll back up-it was an easy roller. But that was a big ‘if.’ The EFT was/is a brilliant boat, but on the ski, it’s an easy sidesaddle remount.

Good choice on the V10 Sport. I have the Ultra-‘scaled back’ after the V10. The Sport is just plain fun. It’s a boat you can grow with, like a number of its ilk (Fenn Swordfish, Think Evo II, Huki S1-XL, etc.). The first time you jump on a swell/wake and the understern rudder carves a precise turn without lifting clear in the air, you’ll be whooping and hollering. Have a blast!

Ask me when was the last time…

– Last Updated: Sep-30-14 5:38 AM EST –

I tipped in my QCC !

I enjoy touring and exploring. Not doing a balancing act

When was the last time you went touring and exploring on your ski ?

Jack L

Be safe, practice
’nuf said.

Good point
That’s the same reason I don’t wear a seat belt.


V10 Sport
Yea the V10 Sport was definitely the boat for me. I can use that little bit of extra stability. Can’t wait to get some following waves in this thing!!

I went the same route

– Last Updated: Sep-30-14 3:44 PM EST –

Paddled a sea kayak for many years then bought a v10 sport. Spent 18 months (we paddle year round in the NW) in a v10 sport then bought a new v10. The new v10 felt no less stable at that point but had much better race speed. The sport is a great boat. It won't take long to get the feel for the stability and you will be able to just sit there and relax.

Easier than a trad. kayak
I’ve just started the transition in an 18x to an eventual purchase of a surfski. They are actually far easier to get back into than closed cockpit boat if you follow some of the techniques suggested by the pros.

as previous poster stated
If you’re exclusively into touring and exploring only, you’d be better off in a kayak for sure.

Although I wouldn’t say you can’t explore on a ski. Maybe just a different kind of exploring.

I’m definitely more inclined to go explore the open ocean now than in my yak.

I’m also more apt to go further distances based on speed and comfort in the bucket.

I can’t believe I paddled without full leg drive up until this year.

Going back is like walking on one leg.