Upgrading from Epic v8

6 years 4 weeks ago - 6 years 4 weeks ago #31907 by jaydee49
Roughly 2.5 years ago I made my first jump into the surfski world and a bought a used Epic v8 for some fitness paddling on the flatwater lagoon near where I live. At the time it was a huge jump from my 14' touring kayak but I quickly got comfortable and loved it.

I am now looking to upgrade to something a bit faster but still relatively stable. My initial boats I've been looking at have been:

v8 Pro

First question I guess is would the Bluefin even be noticeably faster than the v8?

I paddled a Swordfish the other day for about 30 minutes (first surfski other than a v8 I've ever been in). The first 30 seconds I thought for sure I was going to tip over before even getting a paddle in the water. I slowly got a little more comfortable and by the end I was probably paddling at about 60% power and aside from many pauses to stabilize myself after wobbles, I didn't tip over.

Trying to decide if I should buy the Swordfish and hope after padding for a while I will get comfortable with it. My worry is that if after a while there is still a small part of me that is trying to keep the boat afloat at all times that I am not going to be any faster than my v8 where I can go all out and know I am never going to take a swim.

I haven't been able to find a Bluefin or v8 pro used in the area and while I think the v8 pro is probably my best bet I think the odds of finding a used one especially in my budget is slim and none since they are so new.

Any thoughts/suggestions? I haven't looked at any of the Stellar boats (SR?) but there may be a fit somewhere there. I am on the thin side, 5'11, 155-160 lbs. Thanks in advance for any help you can give this newbie!
Last edit: 6 years 4 weeks ago by jaydee49.

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6 years 4 weeks ago - 6 years 4 weeks ago #31909 by Hacker Mike
Replied by Hacker Mike on topic Upgrading from Epic v8

Whilst I love my Bluefin in the wild stuff, I don't think the Bluefin will be faster than the V8 (other than perhaps in BIG downwind conditions where the Bluefin really shines). If most of your paddling is in flat water/small protected waters, I would say look elsewhere. If on the other hand you are looking for a boat that surfs really well and is easy to remount (an often overlooked virtue of the BF) the BF become a serious contender.

The V8 Pro is a nice boat, nice narrow catch, comfortable and more stable than the SF. It does have a relatively flat bottom, which has different surfing characteristics which I didn't like. But that is purely personal preference as I am more used to the characteristics of the more rounded Fenn's.

The SF is a great all round boat. Less stable than the V8 Pro. Once again if you are paddling in safe protected waters with small to medium conditions, you will probably get the hang of the SF in a relatively short period. If however, you are in more wild open ocean conditions, perhaps a step too far and may compromise your safety (harder to remount and less stable than the V8 Pro).

In summary, I think the decision on how big a leap you can take (safely), depends on the conditions you paddle in. If you are paddling in a safe environment, take the bigger step up to the SF. If however, you are paddling in open ocean exposed environments, rather opt for less of a jump and go with the V8 Pro. You can always upgrade again once you feel the V8 Pro is the limiting factor

Hope that helps (BTW, I have owned all the boats I have commented on, so my reference is first hand experience)
Last edit: 6 years 4 weeks ago by Hacker Mike.

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6 years 4 weeks ago #31910 by kwolfe
Replied by kwolfe on topic Upgrading from Epic v8
The V8 pro will be hard to find used. You could look into a V10 Sport, Stellar SR and even Nelo 550. The 550 is the least volume which might make a difference given your weight. I was also a former V8 owner and most things feel tippy compared to it since it's very stable. What you will find is that you start to get used to the looseness in the primary stability and depend on the secondary stability to really save you from getting wet.

Good luck!

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6 years 4 weeks ago #31934 by jaydee49
Replied by jaydee49 on topic Upgrading from Epic v8
Thanks guys. I ended up going with the Swordfish. I figured i would try it out for a month or so and if I don't get comfortable with it I can always resell and go for something a little more stable.

I appreciate the advice!

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