After reading many reports and suggestions I definately plan on purchasing a quicker performance kayak for simple fitness type paddling. I will never haul anything in it nor will it ever see anything more than a lake but I do want to be careful and not get something so tippy that it won’t be efficient or fun. I know the epic V8 is a great ski but I still kind of want to stay with a kayak this year. I find a 17’ sea kayak quite stable but worry about something like a jet and would like to hear your own experiences. Thanks ahead of time.
Why purchase a boat that offers no storage or carrying capacity and why buy a boat that goes fast and nothing else unless you plan to race it. There are many boats out there that can offer storage and stability and still go fast. Going fast is not necessarily an indication of fitness gains. A plastic 8’ boat paddled hard can give you good cardio and strength benefit. However, you probably would be happier in the long run with an 18 to 16’ boat inasmuch as you’ll get more visual input and balancing benefits. Best wishes.
Epic 18X Sport
has the same exact same hull as the Epic V8 ski. It is very fast but also stable. Weight is 41 pounds and it carries plenty of gear. I got a new “blemished” one from Epic for $1,800 (Epic had to have the deck repainted). Freya Hoffmeister is paddling the same kayak around South America, but in the expedition layup for extra strength.
Which 17’ sea kayak do you find stable?
They vary greatly in stability.
I suggest a 10’ Rec boat for fitness
I really don’t understand why someone who wants fitness wants a very efficient boat. Doesn’t it defeat the purpose? Kind of like lifting weights using nerf balls.
Go to Dicks Sporting Goods and get the shortest, wide boat they have and fill it with the coal from under my Christmas tree this year and have at it!!!
Now granted I don’t paddle for fitness but I get fit to paddle.
Smile! But I do have a point don’t I?
because going fast is fun for many and if it’s fun you do it a lot. Then you may find yourself enjoying the sense of competing with friends and racing encouraging you further to push your limits. Thus fitness builds. Many saying they’re looking for fitness look for this more than things like being good for camping, surfing, etc…
fitness in a performance kayak
The truth be known going faster is just plain more fun for me than paddling a short slug. I currently have a Valley Auquanaut that is fun but way heavy and I don’t need any storage as I only do a couple hour day paddles. Thanks.
Can sit in your valley, you’ll be fine. Any new boat is going to feel different, but you will settle in. The epic 18x or qcc 700 sound like the kinda boat you’re looking for. Point 65 makes a fitness boat, as does hurricane, and a few others. Most of them are at least 21" wide. You’ll be fine with a little seat time.
Epic Endurance 18
I have an older Epic Endurance 18 (2004) made primarily of
fiberglass with carbon fiber around bulkheads and seat.
I'm no triathlete paddling monster racer, but I can
bang out 15 miles in under 3 hours on a lake,
using a Lendal touring paddle. If I actually trained,
I'm sure I could squeeze 18 miles in 3 hours time.
A used older Epic Endurance 18 probably can be
bought for under $2,000 depending on it's condition
Paddling 5 to 6 mph in a kayak is twice the ordinary
rec boat touring speed of 2.5 to 3 mph.
Adding a simple ""ballast bag"" filed with water
can add quite a bit of stability to a tippy boat
and may help with weathercocking on windy days.
Water is 8lb per gallon, easily customizable in bag.
Boats are made to carry things, adding weight can
actually improve performance -- up to a point;
versus paddling a complete empty tippy boat.
Performance is not a dirty word
Go ahead and get a performance boat. I think of skis and K1s as “performance” boats. They put you in the proper position to get full rotation, and therefore are more efficient. Traditional sea kayaks have your knees bent up under the deck for control in big seas, and to allow rolling. A rec boat won’t allow you to get the paddle catch near the centerline of the boat. Performance boats don’t have these concerns. Epics V8 is a very stable ski that can let you develop a proper stroke. Don’t be afraid of it. Hukis S1R is also very stable. West Side Boat shop makes the EFT, which is a hybrid sea kayak that puts you in a race position. If you are feeling more adventurous, you could try a Epic V10 sport, Think EVO, WSBS Thunderbolt, Or a stable K1 like the Jet or Burn. Cliff Roach
I’d get a performance boat for sure - even if you don’t race it’s a blast to fly on the water. Get a ski so you can more easily surf boat wakes and wind waves in addition to just flatwater workouts - once you get the skills surfing a ski is one of the most fun things a person can do. Start squirreling money away for a carbon wing paddle too… I guarantee that once your balance and fitness progresses you’ll be having more fun in a kayak than you thought possible. I made the switch to skis 5 years ago, and am still as motivated and pumped to paddle as I was back then. Before you know it you’ll be daydreaming all day at work about the next time you’ll be in the waves, or how your stroke is improving, or how much your fitness has increased. I still do.
Fitness alone vs. fitness plus. The same argument can be made for bicycles. For fitness, and nothing else, a clunker works best. For fitness and a good experience plus experience in a racing bike (kayak), a different answer.
Buy an Explorer and park 200 yards away from the launch area.
stability in a performance kayak
i just bought from westside boat shop a thunderbolt x …and i could not be happier …what a pleasure to paddle …and when you buy from doug not only do u get amazing boats …but you get doug and his years of paddling experience …best connection i have ever made in kayaking …stan (toronto)
QCC Q700X (I paddle one and love it)
Point 65 XP18 (kayak built on a surf ski design)
Current Designs Nomad/Extreme
Seaward Quest or Chilco or Ascente. Probably less fast than the others, but more stable.
Check out Stellar Kayaks/Skis
Stellar makes a super stable surfski called the SR that is extremely forgiving yet faster than any Epic 18x. Not to mention - the rudder blade is UNDER the boat which makes it more efficient in waves/boat wakes too.
They also make a 18’ fast kayak that is pretty quick as well.
RE: Performance Kayaks
Yes, the one feature I also like about performance kayak is its stability. The bottom molding of it has a slight edge that creates additional volume and stability, as well as,it keeps the straight tracking into the deep water.