Read reviews for the Epic V7 Surfski by Epic Kayaks Inc. as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!
After eight years of paddling, I finally graduated to a surf ski. Watching several paddling colleagues attempt to paddle a boat narrower than 20 inches wide I was quite skeptical at my abilities. My initial thoughts first boarding the V7 was that the primary stability was much better than I imagined. In the 2 years I have been paddling it, I have never capsized and feel that it would be pretty difficult actually. It came with a short 8 inch as well as a longer under stern rudder, both of which are extremely responsive. I purchased an over stern kick-up rudder for shallower waters. Installation is a bit challenging and the turning response time is much different.
Are use the V7 primarily in still waters for racing. I have raced on larger, rougher waterways including the Mississippi River in the Gulf of Mexico with no problem. I have surfed a few smaller waves but have not had the chance to do any serious surfing as surf skis are intended to do. I can imagine it would handle remarkably well given my prior experience.
The rotomolded body make this boat ideal for a “beginner” surf ski or for waters that may have debris that would damage a fiberglass or carbon boat. At 37 lbs, it’s light enough for almost anyone to load/unload and fits in most kayak racks without additional positioning devices. Overall, this is my favorite boat (out of 9) and is a great way to work on stroke technique and balance if you plan on progressing to a more narrow ski.
I am in love with this surfski, we are rowing them on lakes and ocean, rivers and in pool for capsizing and loading practice. the folding rudder option for lake use is so intuitive and simple to install and use. balance is not an issue and I am 6'7! the v6 was too narrow for me, but these babies are just my size. the fact that they can take a hit and not crack is my favorite thing so far. I am all about speed but some lakes and rivers do have floating surprises and one hit on a very fast session could be a crack on a carbon hull (I have one carbon surfski and it is well pampered and covered). one thing i dont like is the fact you can not paint them, they are white because of the material they are made of and any paint or sticker will not stay on this kayak/surfski.
I PADDLE A V8 AND IT IS THE OLDER MODEL WITHOUT A VENTURA, WHEN YOU FIRST LAUNCH THE FOOT COMPARTMENT FILLS WITH WATER BUY QUICKLY EMPTIES ONCE YOU GET GOING THE BLUE PAINT ON FRONT AND BACK CHIPS VERY EASILY AND EPIC DOES NOT SUPPLY TOUCH UP PAINT.
BOTH MY FELLOW PADDLERS BOUGHT V7 SKIES AND WE ARE AMAZED AT THE EXTRA WEIGHT OF THE V7 COMPARED TO THE V8 .THEY HAVE FITTED BACK RESTS TO THEIR SKIS AND ARE HAPPY EXCEPT FOR THE PAINT JOB WHICH IS VERY SHABBY AND BOTH SKIS HAVE FADED ALREADY AFTER 6 MONTHS AND THR ORIGINAL BLACK COLOUR OF THE PLASTIC USED IS COMING THROUGH
THE PAINT JOB IS VERY THIN
- Super stable. So stable in fact, that I can rock my hips from side to side without bracing (holding my paddle chest high), to the point of getting water in the seat bucket, and this boat will not flip. You have to really lean over to fall out.
- Very fast. Obviously, at only 17 feet long and 21.25 inches wide it is not competition fast. But it will blow the doors off any sea kayak. It is only slightly slower than the V8.
- Super tough. It is plastic, so banging it against rocks and scraping the bottom on a fast-moving, rocky river is no problem (use the kick-up rudder, obviously). The plastic is very stiff, not a wobbly wet noodle like some poly kayaks. This is due to the stiffening foam layer inside. However, you must still take the same precautions you would with any poly boat. Do not leave it sitting on narrow bars in the heat. It will deform. I know from experience... Still, it popped back to shape with a little time.
It is heavy (but you already knew that, right? It's poly). Epic originally advertised a weight of 45 lbs. Subsequently, they had to change that spec to 50. I got 51-52 on my bathroom scale. The fabric hatch cover is cheesy and a pain to put on in the wind, but I was happy to read in another review below that they will make a hard hatch cover available soon.
The surf rudder attachment is terrible. I don't know why they chose to use a clamp system for their boats, instead of a simple nut on the top, like Stellar uses, for example. The others attach with a simple nylock nut on the threaded shaft-simple, it works. The V7's rudder has a smooth post with two tiny holes drilled into it. Once the rudder is inserted into the boat, you must insert a tiny pin in the uppermost hole (why it has two, I don't know), then tighten a clamp around the post with two allen bolts. Why?
But the problem that has infuriated me most is the way the rudder cables (cords, really) are tied to the clamp. The clamp has sharp edges, which started fraying one of the cords. If I hadn't noticed, I could have been left without a rudder out in the middle of nowhere. Also, I think there should be a dummy post for when you use the kick-up stern rudder. As it is now, the clamp just floats around loose when the surf rudder is removed.
All in all, apart from these cheesy details, I love the boat. I've had a blast so far and I'm sure I will continue to enjoy it for years to come.
I didn't rate the ski a 10 out of 10 because the compromise for stability is speed; although this is still a fast ski. I ended up buying the V8 after trying the V7. As I understand it they're the same design just made from different materials. I love my V8 mainly because I take it in the ocean and it's quite stable and great for catching runners.
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Even so, I must report that the neoprene hatch cover can fail. This happened to me in a surf launch when a wave broke over the boat and collapsed the hatch cover. The V7 swamped, and I was lucky to be close to shore.
I contacted California Canoe and Kayak. Keith, of CC&K, volunteered a new rudder for the one that broke off in surf thrash, and said he would transmit my concerns to Epic.
Then, wanting to forewarn other V7 paddlers as soon as possible, I described the collapsed hatch misadventure in a review sent to Paddling.net. They wrote back that they were surprised to learn of this issue and would get in touch with Epic.
Subsequently I heard from Vince Bechet, Epic's Marketing Director, who wrote back that Epic has a design change coming. New V7s will have a hard hatch cover, and current V7 owners will be able to obtain a hard cover retrofit kit. When the hard covers become available, Epic will work with its dealers so they, rather than Epic Kayaks Inc., may contact current customers.
For now, I award my V7 retailer, CC&K, a 10; and the same goes for Epic Kayaks Inc. The V7 ski itself, with the new hard cover, or with the retrofit kit installed, will earn the same.
It is absolutely the most comfortable kayak I've ever paddled so it is my first choice every day I paddle.
While I have enjoyed playing in the surf with it, I would not recommend it as a rough water play boat. This boat is used for getting out through the surf and then working outside the impact zone. It does get out through the surf well and it surfs well, but confused seas are very difficult to paddle.
I love the V7. It fits me and it also fits my 5'2" daughter. I have been paddling the V7 a couple of times a week for the past 2 months and I have not fell out of it yet. Unbelievable! Waves and wakes from motor boats are fun and challenging. I'm getting a great workout and having fun at the same time. This is the fastest plastic boat available in the USA in my opinion. I have been able to knock off 3 minutes in my weekly 2 miles race compared to my Eddyline Nighthawk and 2 minutes quicker than the V10 Sport.
Test one out at your local Epic dealer. You'll be glad you did.
- Mark from Rochester NY.
Fast forward a month with plenty of practice time in the middle I completed a 10k flat-water race against a mixed field of K1s, kayaks and safari boats. That I finished first by a margin that says more about this boat than this paddler.
Bottom line: surf-skis have always been fun but the learning curve was steep. With the V7 it feels like Epic has found the balance between speed and ease. The boat is beautifully built and being plastic I'm confident in taking it everywhere.
I just use it as a day tourer and it is great for that as it has a roomy aft compartment. It is fast and the rudder allows me to maneuver far better than my old kayak which had a skeg only. The seat is molded into the cockpit and has no padding but optional pads are available.
It is far easier to paddle than my old kayak as the hull is scalloped allowing for the paddle to get very close to the kayak without banging my knuckles. Even though it is polypropylene it is 6 pounds lighter than the old one which was 2 1/2 feet shorter. Also the storage is only about 10% smaller and has no skeg cable interfering with the rear compartment. It even has a bottle holder in the cockpit.
I really like the ease of entry from the water as it has no seat back interference and the water just drains out automatically. What I do not like is that the water drips off the paddle into my lap so I have to wear paddling pants if it is the least bit cool.
It is an awesome day tourer and handles wind and waves well. I can paddle into the wind as fast as my old boat paddled in no wind.