New surf ski shopping

Trying to determine whether the Epic V7 is the right ski for me or should I move up to the V8 pro model?

I demo paddled a stellar SR and being my first time out felt it was a little tippy.

So I’m looking at either the V7 which I’m confident is very stable or the unknown stability for a newbie in the Epic V8 Pro.

Anybody have any experience in the V8 Pro they are willing to share?

Thanks in advance.

Check out the forums on for surksfki specific forums.

I have a gen 1 Stellar SR for reference and have had tippier boats in the past, but got rid of them to better learn my wing paddle stroke, and as Oscar says, Stability Before Ability

Anyways, the general consensus over at is that for novices and even lower intermediate paddlers, the speed difference between boats below 6 mph is negligible, as most of the resistance is from hull friction, not wave resistance. Therefore, unless you can paddle above approximately 6mph for about an hour, there is really no benefit to a skinnier boat, speed wise at least.

Also, there may be a large detriment to a skinnier boat, that is, if you are bracing, you’re not padding forward as fast. If you’re concerned about stability, you’re probably not focusing on technique, leg drive, torso rotation, ect. Also, if you’re apprehensive about stability, you probably wont take the boat out in conditions it was designed for: WAVES! ohh god riding waves are fun in a ski. Im inland and rarely get to the ocean, but even chasing ski boat or fishing boat wakes is fun.

So my .02 is for the V7 for now. Paddle the hell out of it for a year or 2 and upgrade to a 19" ski when you want more of a challenge.

For me, I have decent natural balance and could handle the SR in all but the messiest conditions right off the bat. I am ok with the occasional unintentional swim, and I often paddle 3-4 days a week, so balance improves with frequency. Decide how much of a challenge you want (balance wise) and how much seat time you can put in. If you’re paddling less than 3 times a week, get the more stable boat to start and focus on technique, technique, and technique.

Ask the same question on the surfski forums and you’ll get more experienced paddlers answering as well.


There are a lot of factors one has to consider before buying a surfski. First is where you will be paddling it. Flatwater or open seas makes a huge difference in the kind of ski you should purchase. I paddle 95% flatwater and therefore paddle an elite ski. I would not have chosen my ski if I loved on the ocean.
Your size makes a big difference because the elite skis are too thin for most Americans therefore a large bucket model would be required. If you are going to paddle shallow rivers you should go with a plastic ski with a retractable rudder. Ski weight will be an issue if you have to carry your craft a long way. Kevlar and carbon are the lightest materials. As for balance there is a learning curve. I had been paddling fast sea kayaks for decades but when I switched to a racing ski it to me a few weeks to paddle it with my feet inside the boat. Now I don’t even think about it. As the previous post mentioned, go to
For more info. is a great resource, as others have mentioned. When I got mine, I had some difficulty my first time out, but once I forced myself to relax, I was good to go. A ski will require a shorter paddle, and preferably a wing paddle. Good luck!

I think the first thing to ask yourself before moving forward is: what is your end goal? Ski’s have come a long way and now include a wide variety.
So, is racing where you want to end up? Surfing shore breaks? Downwind? Light Camping? Fitness? Do you need a light boat for transport? Do you have size limitations for storage? How does money factor into the decision? Do you have or aspire to have a strong core. These are all critical considerations before laying out the money for a boat.

Boat choice is very subjective. You’ll get way more accurate answers if you provide a bit more info.

That being said, based on your original question. I would get the V8 Pro if you want speed, lighter weight, downwinding, racing and storage/cost is not an issue.

I would get the V7 if: general fitness, low cost, light touring is what you want and heavier weight is not an issue.

I had a Stellar S18S. I fit but it was tight. 6’5", 230. I had No experience in Sea kayaks , mostly paddle Tarpons.
I found the ski a bit twitchy at first but I loved that boat. Fast and beautiful.
Unfortunately, my back didn’t it. Sometimes I think I should have kept it just to pet and admire.

I’m a sea kayaker, never owned a surfski yet unfortunately, and was comfortable on a V8 pro for a demo. But I don’t know what that means to anyone else. Stability questions are always a tough call. But I would consider it well within my own confident transition range. I could edge it side to side without issue, and I had no twitchiness paddling through light chop.