Think Evo - Experiences

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11 years 11 months ago #5365 by cody91
I was just curious if anyone has recently purchased a new Think Evo (or any Think ski) and is willing to share their experiences with it? I’ve heard Think has recently changed their manufacturing location and I was wondering how folks we’re doing with the recent batch of skis

More specifically:

How would you rate the fit and finish of the boat? Is the exterior clean and smooth?

How would you rate the integrity of the deck and hull? Any leaks or gelcoat issues?

Lastly, How would you rate Think’s customer service after your purchase? Did they reasonably respond to any service requests you had? Where they able to supply you with any spare parts or accessories?


Thanks in advance :)

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11 years 11 months ago #5366 by Sandy
Replied by Sandy on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
I had an evo (circa 2007) and have a legend(circa 2009). The finish on the hulls of both skis=excellent. The details..... both had suspect rudder assemblys....both had rudder assembly rebuilds/modifications. Think covered the evo repair under warranty , and blamed me for the legend(exact same problem , I repaired it myself along the lines of the repair to the evo.) hopefully they have improved the design and its execution in mfg. You can search the post archives for all the gory details. One would hope that the warranty is now clearly and cleanly upheld for any mfg. issues. Skis now are high tech and expensive , those who market them and the mfg. that they contract for construction should be accountable for product integrity , consumers should be informed and considerate in their purchase. Surfski should not only be light and responsive BUT seaworthy and solid , quite the balancing act. Imho-sticking with fiberglass , not as light as carbon but way more robust ! If you paddle in conditions there is considerable force applied to your hull ! (as there is driving down the highway at 65 mph with a crosswind and a convoy of semis passing you at 80 !) The think boats I have had didn't have gelcoat , they were epoxy resin infused with I believe two part paint (Imron or something like it) on the surface. Again the hulls/surface finish pretty darn nice , some of the "details" (ruddder assmbly) LOTS of room for improvement.

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11 years 11 months ago - 11 years 11 months ago #5367 by cdo
Replied by cdo on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
Hi,
I have a Think Evo (kevlar) late 2009/early 2010 vintage. Finish is almost a "work of art" with only a couple of very minor imperfections. Think don't have gelcoats but an epoxy finish which although maybe not quite as hard as gel coat is very easy to touch up if required. No issues with the rudder tube what so ever....including when some fool (Re. me) ran it aground heavy on more than one occassion. In fact I have destroyed one rudder without any damage to the hull or rudder tube at all. Support/help from my reseller has been well beyond my high expectations.
Issues: none really except for the large stickers which quickly peeled off the hull. Other than that I an not convinced the Legend is a natural progression from an Evo....wish Think had something in between the two re. stability and speed? No regrets buying my Evo and if Think have a suitable ski for my next purchase I will gladly buy again.
Last edit: 11 years 11 months ago by cdo. Reason: addition

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11 years 11 months ago #5368 by egger
Replied by egger on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
I had a Fibreglass Evo for 6 months and then upgraded to a kelvar Legend a few months ago. Both were second hand - circa 2009, so can't comment on after sales service.

I tried out a number of boats and came to the conclusion that the Think boats were brillantly designed and finished, with a lot of attention to detail. The finish is excellent and I haven't had any issues with leaks or anything else. Most importantly however the "fit" was perfect for me. As has been repeatedly posted try a number of boats before deciding which one is best for you.

If one boat was clearly better than the rest, everyone would have the same boat. The fact is that once you get into this level of boat, there is not much between them - particularly if you aren't an elite paddler. Some locations may have dealers where after sales service is better for one boat over another, but really the most important issue is how the boat suits you.

Based on my experience I wouldn't hesitate in recommending Think as a brand of boat.

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11 years 11 months ago #5369 by red_pepper
I can't comment on the very latest boats (but I have seen a new Kevlar Fit, and it was beautiful), but my wife owns a fiberglass Think Fit, and I've owned a fiberglass Evo and a Kevlar Legend. I'll echo what most of the others have said: the boats are superbly built. For whatever reason, they just feel a bit more stout than most other skis, even though the weight is pretty reasonable. I really like the features on Think skis: pluggable bailers, stow hatches, and a well-designed footplate/rudder system (with enough width for my feet).

On my earlier model Evo, I did find that the decals on the side smeared after coming in contact with the sunscreen on my legs, but Daryl Remmler (the man behind Think boats) assured me the newer models had an improved decal.

Speaking of Daryl, I found him to provide excellent customer service. When a foot pedal broke on our Think Fit after the rudder caught when the boat was pushed backwards into the shore by some waves on a lake, Daryl replaced it rapidly at no cost. And I had purchased the boat used!

The Evo is the one boat I still miss sometimes of the various boats I've sold. It's a very friendly and fun boat to paddle, but still capable of some very solid performance. My only issue with Think boats is the cockpit fit tends to bother my back after an hour or so.

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11 years 11 months ago #5370 by cody91
Replied by cody91 on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences. It seems some of the experiences posted on this forum are similar to mine but some aren’t. I’d like to share my own personal experience so far.

I’ve owned a new Think fiberglass Evo for about a month now. It’s my first surfski. It took about 3 months to arrive from the day I ordered it. I believe it’s a new model of the Evo because it has deck cutaways that facilitate a closer paddle stroke while giving it an angular look on the forward part of the cockpit. I picked the Evo because of the many positive reviews I’ve read and a few opportunities I had to observe and paddle one locally.

I was a little dismayed when my new Evo finally arrived in bubble wrap. Instead of a smooth painted finish (as I had seen locally and described in many reviews), this boat has a rather sloppy gelcoat finish. There are many tiny craters throughout the hull where it looks like bubbles had formed when the gelcoat was curing. The color is very uneven throughout the orange sections with some areas showing what looks like scratchy areas that were not sanded down. The overall finish is not very smooth or shiny but rather dull looking. The areas where the color changes from orange, white, and to gray has many abrupt transitions with small ridges evident between the colors. When I contacted Think about the finish, they suggested that I take some 600 grit sandpaper and sand it down.

Regardless of the finish, I was still very excited about the ski and jumped at the first opportunity to paddle it in the water. I was able to mount it and paddle it on my first session. I liked the cockpit fit and how stable the boat handled in smooth water. After paddling for an hour, I put the boat on a stand and inspected it. I was further disappointed when I noticed that about 2 quarts of water had collected inside the hull after only an hour of paddling. Further inspection revealed the water was leaking through the rudder tube and the cockpit drain. It also looks like the gelcoat is cracking around the gunwales because there are air gaps between the finish and the fiberglass. When I contacted Think about the leaks they suggested I buy some epoxy and plug the leaks. They never responded to the cracking gelcoat.

So I bought an epoxy repair kit and attempted to patch the leaks. I made about three attempts at stopping the leaks with epoxy but water still seemed to be leaking through the cockpit drain and rudder tube after each subsequent repair. At this point I was losing patience. I purchased a new ski so I could spend more time paddling. I was not planning to take a course on boat repair. I contacted Think and they suggested I take it to a dealer that is about a few hours away from my home so they can repair the leaks. I’m currently waiting for an opportunity to take the boat there since this dealer is only open a few days of the week. I’m remaining positive that the dealer will repair the boat to a professional level. I hope others are fairing better than I with their new Think boats. I must say this is the worst customer experience I’ve had with a boat in the last ten years I’ve been paddling and I’ve owned many boats over the years (Epic, Necky, Feathercraft, etc.)
:(

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11 years 11 months ago #5371 by Sandy
Replied by Sandy on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
Customer service.......I concur , my experience with my legend and it's rudder assmbly. left a sour taste ! Think did not provide ANY warrenty support. Hopefully they will ultimately assume their responsibility for your repairs !

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11 years 11 months ago #5372 by cody91
Replied by cody91 on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
Thanks for the support Sandy. Yes it seems the rudder compartment is still a point of weakness in Think's manufacturing process. The gaps in the rudder tube are big enough that you can feel the air rushing out with your fingertips when doing a simple air pressure test. I also hope they fix the boat.

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11 years 11 months ago #5373 by zachhandler
Here in Minnesota 2 of the 4 Think boats I have seen have developed cracks along the gunwhale in the first year of use. In one case the boat was a total loss as there were large areas of glass with no epoxy saturation and extensive delamination. The customer service has been mixed for my unfortunate paddling partners. I wonder if this is a problem with the Chinese boats rather than the south african made ones? Or maybe just a bad batch sent to the States? I personally find no boat as comfortable as a Think, and the built in leash anchor and hatch are great. I have paddled the Evo and I love it. But I'm hesitant to get one based on what I've seen around here so far.

Current Skis: Epic v10 g3, NK 670 double, NK exrcize, Kai Wa’a Vega, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X
Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Nelo 550 g2, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy

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11 years 11 months ago #5374 by cody91
Replied by cody91 on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
Thanks for sharing your experiences Zach. I thought I might have been a lone victim in a sea of supremely satisfied customers. It looks like the truth is slowly emerging. I think Sandy summed it up quite nicely in an earlier post. It seems that Think has some great boat designs but lousy execution on the manufacturing side of things. If Think doesn’t quickly rectify these manufacturing problems they will probably be easily outdone by their competitors in this rapidly growing surfski market.

I’ve only had my Evo for a month but small holes started to form on the gunwales after the first week of use. I haven’t even taken the boat out in the open ocean and have taken great care when transporting it. The gelcoat has now chipped away where the holes first appeared and it now looks like there are intermittent gaps between fiberglass and the exterior shell along the gunwale. I just hope it holds up structurally and that Think will restore this.

Like some of the other folks on this forum, I also have had the stickers on the boat begin to peel away. I know this is a small cosmetic flaw but I thought it may be useful for folks to know. It seems the stickers are paper based and not made of vinyl or plastic. It may be a possible cost cutting measure. Not a wise move in my opinion.

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11 years 11 months ago #5375 by Rightarmbad
Simply take the boat back and get a refund.
There is no excuse for a sub standard product.

It's not up to you to try and fix it.
The boat was manufactured badly, simply get it replaced or a refund.
When push comes to shove, you have the law on your side.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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11 years 11 months ago #5376 by cody91
Replied by cody91 on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
Darryl (Rightarmbad),

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. For the record, I have asked Think to replace the boat but they only offered to repair it. I'm trying to be optimistic about this and give them ample opportunity to rectify the problems I mentioned by having them repair the flaws.

Despite the fact that Mr. Remmler has not returned my phone calls (he says he's in China this month) I still believe he and his firm our honorable people and they will help bring this matter to a positive closure.

I'll keep you posted on how this evolves.

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11 years 11 months ago #5377 by Sandy
Replied by Sandy on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
Maybe he is cutting a deal with flying eagle......... :laugh:

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11 years 11 months ago - 11 years 11 months ago #5378 by jsowers
Replied by jsowers on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
Sorry to hear of your problems. I would strongly advise that you insist for replacement or refund. My first surfski was from a different builder but it had the same type problems, leak at rudder tube and ventures and poor finish. I too was instructed to repair the problems myself. The boat was a disaster and almost turned me off from the sport. the boat was never right. 3000 buck wasted. Two years later bought a Fenn and was amazed at how much better it was built. The Fenn has over 5000 miles on it and is as solid as it was new. Don't waste you time and money trying to fix Think's poor quality control.

It's about time for me to get a new boat and based on design would like a Think. However for now sure would not buy one based on what I've read on these forums.
Last edit: 11 years 11 months ago by jsowers.

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11 years 11 months ago #5379 by rubberDuck
I have an Evo (traditional fibreglass and gelcoat construction) built under licence by Knysna Racing here in SA and I have never seen any of these problems with their boats.

Given, the surface finish of the gelcoat is not quite on the same level as that of Epic, but structurally they are very sound and I would gladly take it into big surf without any worries. Mine has never taken water and the rudderbox assembly is sound and strong.

I would like some of the other Saffas to comment on their Knysna Racing manufactured Evos though to hear their thoughts.

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11 years 11 months ago #5380 by thebigadski
I would love to add my 2cents to give a balanced appraisal of a brand.

From my experience here in Aus I have nothing but positive experiences and comments.

I wonder if the boats mentioned in the thread were from an early manufacturing date where things weren't quite there yet? (I know Epic had similar issues)

I own a Kevlar UNO (yellow) and have been impressed with the build quality.
I used to own a ski from another big player in the market and it doesn't rate compared to the build quality of my UNO.

And after sales support has been top notch - I would recommend the Think skis to anyone that asked me, and there has been a few as I've got one of the few UNOs in the West of Aus

Overall I rate the skis bigtime!

Remember there are always 2 sides to a post and I would love someone from Think to respond to some of these posts

Happy paddling :woohoo:

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11 years 11 months ago #5381 by Bill L
Replied by Bill L on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
While I am certainly not dismissing the quality issue, as it appears there may be some problems, I think there are also a lot of satisfied think owners out there, I am one.

I have two Thinks - an Evo and Legend, both in kevlar. The evo was bought new, the legend was bought used. Before I purchased it, the legend was repaired due to hitting a rock and bashing the rudder into the hull, but was repaired very well by a local guy and is fine. The apparent build quality and fit-and-finish of each boat is excellent.

Both have been used for several hundred hours each, often offshore in 5-6 foot waves and 20+ knot winds. No problems with either. I have no leaks and no peeling. I rinse the whole boat, including the rudder compartment after each salt-water use, I have no problems (no corrosion, no leaks, nothing). I feel comfortable trusting in either boat each time I go offshore.

Basically, nothing but good things to say about both. For the record, I have no ties to Think. I just like to paddle, especially in the rough.

Bill L

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11 years 11 months ago - 11 years 11 months ago #5382 by thebigadski
Replied by thebigadski on topic ?
Last edit: 11 years 11 months ago by thebigadski. Reason: Double post?

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11 years 11 months ago #5385 by cody91
Replied by cody91 on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
John,

Thanks for the response. I'll definitely consider your advice.

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11 years 11 months ago - 11 years 11 months ago #5386 by Rightarmbad
It's amazing in this day and age of connectedness, how some manufacturers/retailers seem to ignore forums specific to their product.

For every 1 person that replies here, there are a at least a hundred that read, probably a thousand.

I am a rock climber and over the last year a problem with the manufacturer of some equipment come to light.

The manufacturer took the head in the sand approach.

This was a well respected, long established manufacturer.
They are now out of business.
Totally due to the way they handled the criticism leveled at them from a forum such as this. The general climbing community lost confidence in them and they paid the price.

This site is emerging as 'the' place to get advice on all things ski related.
Any manufacturer that fobs off legitimate bad manufacturing claims will do so at their peril.

When somebody has waited a couple of years to be in a position to purchase a new ski, poor back up service is the last thing they want to hear, as it will be a major influence in the purchase.
Any manufacturer that thinks it is just one customer, just one small problem, let's get out of it as cheaply as possible, is just plain ignorant of the power of the modern electronic world.

The single best advertising the manufacturer could do, would be to simply replace the ski.
If they have somebody on board that is a good communicator, then they might consider cautiously posting here as well.
But simply doing the right thing will soon get the message out, that purchasing from this company is a 'safe' thing to do.

I don't know how much advertising in the ski world is, but I bet that the manufacture price of a single ski is a drop in the bucket.
Hell they even get the old ski back to examine where they went wrong.
It can always be sent to a dealer as a demo boat. So their real cost is quite small.

So a message to all ski manufacturers.
Come on guys, stand behind your product or die.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson
Last edit: 11 years 11 months ago by Rightarmbad.

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