The new Epic V7 sets a new standard for rotomold performance. It is lightweight, extremely efficient, and easy to handle. The V7 is outfitted with the same high quality fittings as every surfski in the Epic lineup, including the carbon fiber footboard and pedals and the hugely popular Epic designed bailer. In addition, it features an aft storage compartment with a lightweight, waterproof hatch that puts the V7 in a class of its own.
It offers similar stability to the V8 with the increased durability of a polyethylene kayak. Its capability can be further enhanced with the optional kick up rudder (no modification needed). This combination allows the V7 to be paddled in areas where composites cannot.
Submitted by: Canuka on 11/29/2015
- 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.
Submitted by: Anonymous on 11/25/2015
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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Submitted by: dswanger on 11/20/2015
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.
Submitted by: FrankNC on 10/13/2015
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.
Submitted by: Mark Snyder on 8/31/2015
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.
Submitted by: Anonymous on 7/1/2015
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.
Submitted by: 1Recluse on 3/27/2015
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.