I own a 2011 Epic GPX (37 lbs.). I find the boat to be nicely made, reasonably stable, and quite fast; it's also a really nice looking boat. However, I agree with a previous comment that the GPX does have tracking issues. Maybe this is not a problem to some? Those who paddle on rivers might appreciate the boat's nimbleness and easy turning. On lakes, though, it's annoying that the boat goes into an immediate turn whenever you stop paddling. A skeg option on the GPX would have been nice (I plan to add an aftermarket one). One other thing - I'm also not a fan of the GPX seat. The back band is not adequate support, in my opinion, and I've also had problems with chipping away of the black plastic finish of the seat bottom.
I was looking for a lighter kayak of one that I could handle by myself rather than depend on other people to help. I looked over lots of reviews and settled on the Epic GPX kayak which weighs 31 pounds and is one I can lift and load onto my car without any help as sometimes I like to go kayaking by myself. This kayak handles well and glides through the water without hard paddling and is pretty stable for me as I do like to take photographs of nature from my boat. I have had this boat for approximately 3 years and have had it in smooth water and some light chop with no problem. Its not a sea kayak but does well in rivers, streams and lakes. I am not interested in sea kayaking so this fit the bill for me.
The GPX with a black skeg matching the color of the bow and stern not only looks great it now performs extremely wall requiring minimal correction even in windy conditions. It is very comfortable and stable. I believe Epic should consider offering skeg at least as an option as it dramatically improves tracking performance and thus raising my rating to 10 with a skeg.
In addition to needing a very light boat, I wanted something that would perform in choppy waves on the Sound and be comfortable for someone who just had multiple hip surgeries and this boat delivers. I love it so much I bought another one this Spring.
My main kayak is an old 1975 Hyper-Craft 13' 11" X 24" wide crossover kayak, kevlar hull and fiberglass deck @ 34 lbs. The Hyper-Craft has a rather smallish cockpit and a seat that is a little tight but this old boat is fun to paddle on days when the wind is on the calm side. The boat is fast to a point then it will start to loose control, when this happens I'm usually paddling as fast as I can paddle anyway. The boat is fun, fast, and stable, it will flip if careless or in a heavy tail wind.
The GPX has not flipped over in a heavy tail wind or huge 2+ foot whitecaps I always feel safe, scared at first but safe it also works good for fishing it is nice and stable.
To fully enjoy any sport you need the proper Quality equipment and kayaking is no different. Start with the Epic GPX beautiful lines, that is what first grabbed my attention a real beauty in every way. The tall bow with the low stern and very little to no rocker to slow you down. The cockpit is big this aids in entry and exit, foot pegs are easy to adjust the seat and back-band are comfortable. The forward deck has a special shape allowing extra clearance for optimal paddle stroke, no banging of knuckles. GPX has a very nice storage area behind the seat and ample deck lines and rigging for extra gear and safety.
Epic Kayaks are designed by 2X Olympic Gold and 11X World Champs, Greg Barton and Oscar Chalupsky. The kayaking experience of these two Premier Kayakers shows in the design, handling and speed of the GPX. Who designed your kayak?
This is a very fast kayak, call it a little rocket if you will, very easily controlled without need for a rudder or skeg. Been out on 30 + mph windy days 2 foot whitecaps the boat handled well going into, with and across the wind and waves. At first the huge waves scared me but after a few miles I sat back and enjoyed the beauty of the moment, waves, spray and all. Paddling into the 30 mph wind never really slowed me down that much I made great headway with every paddle stroke. Never felt like I might loose control, tip or anything, the boat will weather cock into the wind but easy to correct with technique. This boat does not ride up over big waves like my Hyper-Craft, a spray skirt for rough water is a good idea you will get wet. I have no experience ocean paddling only cold MN lakes, the Hyper-Craft will nose dive coming over the top of huge waves.
I can't say enough good things about this little kayak, beautiful, fast, stable, low profile, nice tracking, edging, control. Spending extra for a quality kayak is in my opinion money well spent, you will get much more enjoyment. Spending money on a plastic toy tub to save a few hundred is a very disappointing experience you will never reach nirvana.
Go paddle an Epic GPX then be prepared to find out how really pathetic and disappointing your current kayak is in comparison.
For the curious:
Download the wonderful kayak design program Bear Boat SP then go to the Analysis and do the KAPER comparison. Pick the (Epic Rec. 13) and compare it to any kayak listed you will see how fast this little kayak really is. From my personal experience I say it is even faster than what the KAPER comparison shows, a wonderful kayak in every way.
I just love my kayak couldn't be more happy.
This is a General Purpose kayak and fits my needs perfectly. It is a composite yak and constructed very solid. The thing that sold me on the boat is the weight and the design. It only weighs 31 lbs. I am in my early 50's, but have a bad back. Did not want to haul around a 50-70 lb. boat. This boat really tracks well even though there is no rudder or skeg, even in the wind. This is due to the design of the yak. It is so much faster than a canoe and doesn't get blown around in the wind. I bought a spray skirt but have not used it yet. I may need it if I take the boat to the Florida Keys where it is a lot windier.
The boat is 25" wide and 12' 11" long and very stable. The width I don't think slows me down at all, and it tracks like a much longer yak. I did not want a boat that was too tippy. It has one storage hatch in the back. I bought a 2006 model from a local dealer and got 20% off the $2,000. retail price tag.
I am sure this yak is not for everyone, but if weight is a concern, check this boat out, it's truly "one hand" light! It is a little pricey, but worth it. I mean I plan on using this yak for years to come.