We picked up an Epic V7 surfski last fall and finally took it out for a paddle this weekend. The V7 is an entry level surfski that measures 17 feet long and 21.25 inches wide. The V7 is unique that it only comes in a plastic layup. Most surfskis are lightweight composite layups which tend to drive the price way up. The plastic layup makes the V7 a great introductory surfski because it retails for $1,695, which is about half what you pay for a low end composite layup (e.g. Epic V8 in performance layup is $3,395). The downside to the plastic construction is that it is heavy for a surfski (53 lbs,) but it still weighs less than many plastic sea kayaks. Enough about boat specs…How is it in the water?
The stability of the V7 was great. You can tell you’re not in a recreational boat but the stability is strong enough that paddlers with a sea kayaking background should be able to hop in and go. Recreational paddlers may take a bit to get used to it but even beginners should be able to paddle this boat with minimal learning curve. The boat also performs well. Paddling in a small deepwater lake in flat calm conditions I could run it up over 6 mph without doing an all out sprint. The narrow catch area made for a smooth and consistent paddle stroke. I could definitely feel the heavier weight of the boat in the water compared to the Stellar SR I normally paddle (25 lbs vs. 53lbs) but it still scooted right along without too much effort.
The Epic V7 is a great option for paddlers who want to get into a surfski on a budget. You can’t beat the price point and the on water performance will not disappoint anyone who is moving to surfski from a recreational or sea kayaking background. If you would like to get into surfski paddling and want to try out some boats before pulling the trigger on a purchase let us know. We offer boat demos and intro to surfski paddling lessons. We have a range of boats from the entry level Epic V5, V7, Stellar S18s, and an intermediate level Stellar SR.