Most Recent Reviews
Love it! I'm kayaking since 30+ years, had a dozen different boats but hands down my V8Pro Ultra is so far the best. Coming from 14'-18' 60lbs sit-ins the 19' long, 20" wide, 27lbs ski is a different world. Loading, taking it to the water, even portaging a 100 rods in BWCA is so easy! Took me some time to feel comfortable in rough water, but worst case you fall in, so what? Remounting is 2 seconds, with the bailer open in a few yards the ski is emptied. The cut-out is a terrific idea, I almost never bang the paddle to the hull. And man is this fast! I cruise 4.2mph in my 14' 28", 5.0mph in the 16' 21", 6.2 in the V8Pro. I know, it doesn't sound like a lot, however the perception is there. Maybe it's the acceleration, or the glide but it feels almost effortless since I don't push a lot of water in front of me. The rudder design is terrific, for my size 10 feet it is a perfect fit. A weed guard is pretty much a must, so is the seat pad. $20 each. Yeah, you won't haul your camping gear, even 2 bottles of water throws the ski off balance if I don't have them in the middle on the bungee behind me. To me skis are about simplicity, it's a different mindset than a touring or sea kayak where I carry 15 things with me. It is an expensive craft, like all high end kayaks but you get a big bang for your buck. If you can afford it definitely go for the Ultra layup.
I have paddled a V7 and a V8 for a bit, those are super stable entry level skis. The V8Pro is a bit more challenging so expect some learning curve. Finally, there are way bigger experts than me on surf ski dedicated forums, suggest to check them for a better comparison.
I have paddled with my America around 1000 miles by now, I like it a lot! It resembles to a tank, it's very stable, tracks like it's on rails (turns a bit slow), punches through waves. It's heavy as well and a bit too wide for experienced small people. The seat is super comfy, footrest can be adjusted in a wide range. My back hurts after half an hour in most kayaks, but I can go 3 hrs in this one.
In rough conditions, WW II rivers a spray skirt is a must as there will be buckets of water coming through it's huge cockpit. The Seals skirt 5.2 fits perfectly.
It's bulletproof, I had plenty of scraping, rock gardens, the kayak took it without a problem.
My average cruising speed is 4.5mph, top is 5mph.
Larger people who prefer stability to speed will love this kayak.