Focus or Evo 2?

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10 years 1 month ago #20461 by Davidw
Focus or Evo 2? was created by Davidw
Hi all
I currently paddle a Focus. I find the boat quick and stable. However in the conditions that predominate locally - wind chop/swell on the Langebaan lagoon - I find that when going upwind or crosswind in a decent breeze the low sides allow a lot of water over. The very long cockpit means that upwind in 20+ knots I'm lugging a lot of excess weight. Similarly, going downwind, my imperfect technique means I occasionally get a full cockpit of water if I wallow off a big one. And then getting momentum back is a pain.

I'm considering a change to the Evo 2 but haven't had the opportunity to paddle one. Can anyone compare the two boats? Would the Evo be better here? How do the two boats compare downwind? I've read somewhere that the Evo works better for bigger guys. I'm 75kg and 181cm. How does the speed and stability of the boats compare on the flat and upwind and downwind.
Thanks
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10 years 1 month ago #20463 by stretchstruwig
Replied by stretchstruwig on topic Focus or Evo 2?
I also paddle a Focus, 1,985m 95kg, excellent ski overall - suggest yu fill the un-used airspace with polystirine and make sure your bailler bullets are correctly set-up !!!
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10 years 1 month ago #20470 by Rookie
Replied by Rookie on topic Focus or Evo 2?
Hi GOOD questions - i also paddle a focus and love it but the Evo dealer is just up the road from me. Perhaps we should arrange for a shoot out between the 2 one saturday/ sunday morning. The venue could be fish hoek or milnerton - happy to travel.

Focus, Apex 2, Zeplin

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10 years 1 month ago #20471 by Ric
Replied by Ric on topic Focus or Evo 2?
I paddle a carbon Focus. In terms of build quality, you're going to get a better deal with the Evo. They seem to be made really well. Not sure about the price though.

I have also heard the Evo requires a bigger paddler, as advised by our site's owner, while he had one on test.

As for the extra water, Mark made a nice polystyrene block to fill up that extra space for me, which works wonders. Another tip would be a wave deflector, or at least a homemade one from a Coke bottle.
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10 years 1 month ago #20472 by Davidw
Replied by Davidw on topic Focus or Evo 2?
I'm game for a shootout but we need an EVO. Andrew is only getting one mid May and it's not for demo. Do you have access to one?

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10 years 4 weeks ago #20475 by Rookie
Replied by Rookie on topic Focus or Evo 2?
I think so - Shaun Rice is the agent down here and i think he has a demo that we could borrow for the weekend

Focus, Apex 2, Zeplin

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10 years 4 weeks ago #20488 by [email protected]
Replied by [email protected] on topic Focus or Evo 2?
Dale Lippstreu and I both paddle hybrid Evo II's which weigh in the region of 13kg. Both built by Carbonology Sport, both extremely good quality build.

I weight 84kg right now and Dale is about 10kg heavier I think.

Haven't paddled the Focus so can't compare unfortunately, but I can tell you that the Evo II is an outstanding boat in rough water, being very stable, not at all prone to broach, and relatively dry. The nose has enough volume that it seldom dips its nose in, and I can't remember the last time I filled the cockpit.

Probably the most easy to use (intermediate) downwind boat I've ever paddled.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...
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10 years 4 weeks ago - 10 years 4 weeks ago #20490 by craigDBN
Replied by craigDBN on topic Focus or Evo 2?
I rode a standard layup (19kg) Focus for a couple years. I found it a great allround boat, felt comfortable in downwinds, and surfed the beachbreak very well. However, at 70kg, I was always on the hunt for a lighter boat, which in my mind, would translate to better average speed.

So I bought the EvoII a few months ago - not sure of layup (13kg) but its substantially lighter than the Focus. As suspected, the lighter boat has me paddling quite a bit faster, probably just under 0.5km/h. This is obviously the most important factor, so broadly speaking, I'm happy with the new boat.

However, the following issues come with the territory :
(1) I may be too light to sink the EvoII to the correct waterline, and thus find it slightly corky at times - this leaves me slightly reluctant to track hard angles on a downwind for fear I get kicked out.
(2) surfing beachbreaks, once tracking across the face, I cannot turn the boat straight towards the beach again, no matter how hard I brace / rudder it onto the opposite rail - it just holds its line until the foamie eventually hits broadside.

The Fenn Spark would probably solve these problems, but not sure if stability would become an issue. Are there any other intermediate boats for light paddlers that I haven't thought of ?

Alternatively, would a lighter Focus (carbon say) perform the same as the standard layup, with added benefits that come with the weight saving ?
Last edit: 10 years 4 weeks ago by craigDBN.

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10 years 4 weeks ago #20493 by Kayaker Greg
Replied by Kayaker Greg on topic Focus or Evo 2?
Craig I'm 71kg and paddle an 11kg Carbon Vacuum Swordfish and find it very stable and it does not feel like a large volume ski like the old V10L and Stellar SEL do to me which are both supposed to be low volume versions. I also have a Stellar SES but its not an intermediate boat.

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10 years 3 weeks ago #20502 by craigDBN
Replied by craigDBN on topic Focus or Evo 2?
Thanks Greg.

I tried the Swordfish as well as the Vault and unfortunately didn't like either. To me, the Swordfish felt almost like a paddle ski (very rafty). And the Vault seemed to require constant steering - perhaps thrown around more than I'm used to due to its rocker and much shorter length.

I still wonder if different layups effect the properties of given boat .ie. would a carbon Focus sit higher in the water than a glass Focus due to reduced weight ? If so, then the performance would be different, and thus becomes a lottery.

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10 years 3 weeks ago #20544 by Davidw
Replied by Davidw on topic Focus or Evo 2?
Hi Craigdbn

I have a relatively heavy glass Focus but as I said in my opening post I find that it takes a lot of water over the rails and into the cockpit in choppy conditions. This is my major issue with the boat. (I'm sure that for anyone much heavier than me this would be worse).

You're fairly close to my weight. How does the EVO compare on this? Is it a drier boat in chop. Does the cockpit hold as much water as the Focus?

Thanks

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10 years 3 weeks ago #20545 by Davidw
Replied by Davidw on topic Focus or Evo 2?

Rookie wrote: Hi GOOD questions - i also paddle a focus and love it but the Evo dealer is just up the road from me. Perhaps we should arrange for a shoot out between the 2 one saturday/ sunday morning. The venue could be fish hoek or milnerton - happy to travel.


Hey Rookie, are you still keen for that shootout? A Saturday would work best for me if you can winkle a demo Evo from Sean. You can mail me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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10 years 3 weeks ago #20550 by craigDBN
Replied by craigDBN on topic Focus or Evo 2?
Hi David
I never really stress about or notice a bit of water in the boat, so I can't directly answer your question in relation to sidechop.
But surf launches, the boats obviously fill up a bit, and I find the Focus and Evo to drain at about the same rate (not too surprising since they both use 2 bullet scruppers and have similar bucket volumes).
If you are considering buying a new Evo however, the best is to give it a test run in chop and see. And maybe read the Evo review on this site...I read it again the other day and learnt 2 new things that I hadn't considered at time of purchase :
1) the Evo performs better with a bigger rudder (apparently, this might solve my "corky" issue)
2) the Evo seems to be better suited to bigger paddlers ???
I also read the review on the Spark, which will be the next boat on my radar to test, although I concede that tippiness might become the problem. I just don't think there's an intermediate boat on the market designed for us light paddlers, which is surprising given the growing crop of ladies.
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10 years 2 weeks ago #20623 by Rookie
Replied by Rookie on topic Focus or Evo 2?
Hi, sorry to take so long but i got distracted by two fantastic weeks of leave. no computer - no reception = bliss.
Anyway spoke to the Evo dealers near me and the long and the short of it that they are happy to have the comparision done between the two skis but sold their last demo ski to a rather insistant paddler (nice one - my kind of oke :laugh: ) and are waiting for their new demo ski to arrive.
Makes sence their last ski was not built by Carbonology so why hang on to a ski that Carbonology is now building better. :whistle:

Focus, Apex 2, Zeplin

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9 years 11 months ago - 9 years 11 months ago #20955 by Davidw
Replied by Davidw on topic Focus or Evo 2?
Following up on my original post: I had the opportunity this past weekend to paddle an Evo (standard glass version) and came away impressed.
At the same time I was also able to try out a glass vacuum Swordfish for the first time, alongside my Focus.

I found all three cockpits reasonably comfortable but certainly for me the Focus has the best and most comfortable fit. The Swordfish bucket is slightly too big for my hips and the Evo a little more so. I would probably pad both of the last two up a bit. One thing I did notice was that the lower back twinge (a chronic tear that I need to get attended to) I have was not present when paddling the Evo but could still be felt in the other 2. Maybe the Evo bucket puts me in a more anatomically correct posture.

In the moderately choppy conditions (no ocean swell on the lagoon) I found the primary stability of all 3 very similar, but the secondary stability of the Evo is unbelievable! In fact I have never really understood how secondary stability affected me until I paddled the Evo.

Speed-wise it was difficult to tell with no one to paddle against. The Swordfish was the lightest and felt the most responsive. The Focus was substantially heavier than the others and felt it. My impressions are that the Focus may be the quickest all round in flat to moderately choppy water, maybe because of its flat rocker; the Swordfish probably best downwind in moderate conditions (it seems to pick up runs very easily); and the Evo would be the boat to paddle in the big stuff.

Both the Evo and the Swordfish are much drier boats in the chop than my Focus with its low rails. I know this doesn't bother some and many prefer it as the low rails make re-mounting easier, but I prefer a drier ride. The Evo is a noticeably bigger boat than the Swordfish and takes the least water over the nose and rails.

I was concerned, prior to paddling it, that the Evo would be too much volume for my 75 kilos, but it never felt like it. (I have felt that corky sensation in the old V10s).

Based on my experience and on Rob and Dale's opinions I am considering ordering the Evo. Just not sure whether to go for the standard glass or hybrid versions. Would the extra stiffness of the hybrid make the boat substantially more twitchy and/or corky?
Rob or Dale, I know you have paddled both versions, do you have an opinion here? (I may get to Hout Bay this Sunday to pick your brains!)
Last edit: 9 years 11 months ago by Davidw.

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9 years 11 months ago #20956 by [email protected]
Replied by [email protected] on topic Focus or Evo 2?

Rob or Dale, I know you have paddled both versions, do you have an opinion here? (I may get to Hout Bay this Sunday to pick your brains!)


I paddled the heavy glass demo boat built by Kayak Centre, a very light boat in Hong Kong and then my own 13kg hybrid.

In my opinion, there's no discernable difference in stability or corkiness between the boats; I found them all agreeable stable!

We did reverse Millers Run last night, quite a strong wind but very bumpy with waves going in all directions. Particularly near the lighthouse, it was like a roller coaster, you'd catch a run, but then be hit from a wave coming from the side or even the opposite direction, and go flying... It's then that the stability really counts, because you can still put all your effort into accelerating onto the next run when it matters, instead of paddling tentatively in an effort to stay upright.

But yep, come along on Sunday and we can chat! (Hmm... just looked at WindGuru, and we may be on a reverse Millers mission given the 25-30kt NW forecast!)

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...
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