Think EZE reviews?

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12 years 3 months ago #9799 by zachhandler
Does anybody out there have any experience or opinion on the new think EZE? I was thinking the short 17' length might work well in short steep wind waves.

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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12 years 3 months ago #9816 by richardh
Replied by richardh on topic Re: Think EZE reviews?

I was thinking the short 17' length might work well in short steep wind waves.

There have been some conversations in our paddling group that shorter skis would perform well in the wind generated waves in WA.

I paddled the Eze on Sunday in Mandurah near Perth (Aus). Unfortunately it was a 20kt offshore breeze, so I didn't get to paddle any big waves and Adam (the Think agent) advised me to stay in the 'protected' bay area - probably because he didn't want the ski delivered to South Africa!

I enjoyed paddling it and it’s on my short list for a replacement ski. Most of my demo paddling was done in choppy conditions with reflected waves so I need to demo in surfing conditions and flat water.
Most of my paddling is done away from the ocean, so flat water speed is important. A short ski is also important!

My thoughts are that the Eze looks great, appears to be well made and is light. There is a centre leash attachment, solid footplate with plenty of adjustment. The Eze has a narrow catch and appears to be fast (for a short ski) and has a compact cockpit - there wasn't much room left once I sat in.

I felt that the Eze was stable and I could paddle at close to full power in most directions.

I managed a sidesaddle remount, but needed to be upwind and it wasn’t as easy as my current ski. There were small stingers in the water, so I didn’t do much more practice!

The only thing that bothered me, and this may be a paddler issue/sloppy conditions, is that the Eze broached quite easily when I was trying to surf some small boat wakes. After a few recoverable broaches, I stuffed up and a wave came over and filled the cockpit. The cockpit is quite deep and I could not get it to empty until I pulled away from the wake into flatter water.

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12 years 3 months ago #9822 by Stew
Replied by Stew on topic Re: Think EZE reviews?
I won't go into a sales push on why the Eze is better than the V8, as with any ski, the best thing to do it try it for yourself, and if it feels right, and suits the type of paddling you would like to do, then go for it. We have a container of Ezes landing into Australia in 8 days, and they will be distributed to our network of agents nationwide. If I can help in directing you to a local dealer, just let me know.

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12 years 3 months ago #9846 by Nat Bradford
Replied by Nat Bradford on topic Re: Think EZE reviews?
I've had a couple of paddles with the Eze, and as a relatively new paddler, didn't even notice the boat was shorter!

You can check my thoughts here sydneysurfski.com/2011/11/18/thinks-new-entry-level-ski/ and sydneysurfski.com/2011/11/26/another-crack-on-the-think-eze/

My wife is testing one this afternoon :)

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12 years 2 months ago #10314 by richardh
Replied by richardh on topic Re: Think EZE reviews?

My wife is testing one this afternoon

Hi Nat.

How did you wife go?

I paddled it again in flatter conditions and while I think it is a great boat, in discussion with the agent it is probably 'too Eze'.

I'm like a lot of paddlers, I can paddle an Elite ski in flatish conditions, but struggle in confused water.

I try and paddle a couple of times a week which is probably not enough to get comfortable in anything other than a mid intermediate boat.

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12 years 2 months ago #10518 by markjlyon
Replied by markjlyon on topic Re: Think EZE reviews?
We don't have access to an Eze yet here in southern california. So I was wondering if any of you would care to comment on the Eze vs. Epic v8, especially with regard to stability? I'm having some issues and so I'm considering going to a stable boat. I'm 70kg, have been paddling 6 months. Any thoughts on the Eze and v8 would be much appreciated.

Thank you!

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12 years 2 months ago #10554 by richardh
Replied by richardh on topic Re: Think EZE reviews?
I went to the Think demo day today to catch up with Adam (the agent) and checkout the Evo II fit.

I paddled the Eze again and do like the ski, for me at 90+kg and a fairly regular paddler I can quite comfortably paddle across the waves/chop at full power in light conditions without issue.

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12 years 2 months ago #10555 by thebigadski
Replied by thebigadski on topic Re: Think EZE reviews?
Thanks Richard

Yes it is a fantastic boat!

Today at the demo day in Perth I had 3 paddlers jump on the eze who hadn't paddled very much at all - 2 if any!

They loved the eze and had smiles from ear to ear!!

It is very stable, but saying that, watching the paddlers heading into the beach it also catches the runs really well. Ive also done a pretty good downwind paddle on it and was SHOCKED at how well it went!!

Try one when you can and you'll be shocked too!!

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12 years 2 months ago #10566 by Nat Bradford
Replied by Nat Bradford on topic Re: Think EZE reviews?
Richard - check out how my wife handled the Eze here: sydneysurfski.com/2012/02/06/mrs-sydneys...tests-the-think-eze/

I really enjoy paddling the Eze and it surfs and catches runs quite well. I'm at the upper end of the beginner level and paddle an Evo II as my regular boat - the added of level of stability really lets me concentrate on my technique without having to worry as much about falling out. I time trailed one in Sydney Harbour recently in a full range of conditions (flat, boat chop, swell, rebound off cliffs, headwind) and it felt really solid. For the record, I'm 85kgs and 178cms.

I've been a V8 owner, and also can't speak highly enough of this new class of boats designed to get people into the sport, or to have some fun with on days when you think conditions might be beyond you - I really could have done with the Eze at the Fenn Cup :)

Cheers, Nat

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12 years 2 months ago #10572 by richardh
Replied by richardh on topic Re: Think EZE reviews?
Thanks Nat.

Unfortunately I find the Evo ii a tad too tight on my hips, with the Eze a firm fit. I caught up with Adam at the demo to confirm that my fit issues in the Evo ii weren't caused by a poor setup (I setup the ski) when I first paddled it.

The Eze was ready for a paddle and it was chance to paddle it in 'normal' conditions.

Although I've pretty much discounted it as my next ski, I really like it.

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10 years 6 months ago - 10 years 6 months ago #19145 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Re: Think EZE reviews?
I just bought a Think Eze in the fiberglass construction. Will take it to the water today, hopefully.

Disappointingly, the construction quality it is below the quality of my Epic V10 (and before that a Sport). The seams are wavy, the sides on the bow are wavy, the hull is a bit bumpy too. The gel coat is uneven (I can see the light casts rather uneven shadows inside the hull when looked through the inspection port). Non of these are terrible, but are quite obvious without looking too hard.

The ski feels lighter than the advertised weight, but it has a lot more flex than the Epics in pretty much all areas, especially deck and sides of the hull and the sides of the cockpit. Deck and sides don't bother me much, but flex around the cockpit is not good (recall the cracks that some Evos developed there?). On the inside, what looks like pink construction foam is used as a stringer - does not inspire confidence (that stuff is light and is somewhat rigid, but does not take compression well at all and breaks/separates from glued points easy).

Will post about how it performs for me after I paddle it a bit (bought it sight unseen). Hope the paddling qualities compensate for the less than "perfect" construction quality.

richardh wrote:

I was thinking the short 17' length might work well in short steep wind waves.

... My thoughts are that the Eze looks great, appears to be well made and is light. There is a centre leash attachment, solid footplate with plenty of adjustment. The Eze has a narrow catch and appears to be fast (for a short ski) and has a compact cockpit - there wasn't much room left once I sat in.

Last edit: 10 years 6 months ago by Kocho.

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10 years 6 months ago - 10 years 6 months ago #19148 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Think EZE reviews?
Paddled the Think Eze for a first time today. Here are my initial impressions on how it performs after a couple of hours in wind generated choppy conditions.

Wind was 18 mph, gusts to 28, short fetch, so only up to 2 feet short period waves with lots of white caps. Also, in one section of the paddle, near a vertical stone wall at 45 degree to the waves, lots of reflected wave action (clapotis up to 2.5 feet or a bit higher) with waves intersecting at 90 degree to each other.

The flattish hull with vertical sides behaved as expected: solid (though not too strong) primary stability. Little additional stability was gained when edging the boat, unfortunately. Perhaps a lighter paddler might find it different, but at nearly 200lb with my day's gear, I felt I was loading it pretty good. The sides have little flare, so a boxy shape like that gives you this kind of stability profile. Compare this to an Epic V6: the Epic has very lively on-center feel due to its roundish hull - it feels unstable just sitting in it (wobbles side to side very easy), but it builds progressively stronger secondary stability very fast as you edge it more as it has lots of flare and its final stability on edge is higher than the Eze. It feels (and is) wider all over though. On calm flat water this is a very different feel from the Eze I thought. I have not paddled the V6 in bumpy conditions so can't compare how that translates to its handling compared to the Eze.

The flat and fat rear with narrow front on the Eze result in some interesting behavior that took me a few minutes to adjust to in the steep short waves. Most skis do that to some extend, but it is more pronounced in the short Eze. The rear tends to get pushed around a lot as it gets lifted up by waves and blown by strong wind. When the wave is a bit from the side, the flat bottom in the rear tries to follow the curve of the wave (it tries to edge for you), while the narrow front offers little resistance to that. Thus, the rear gets tilted down-wave and I broached a few times until I got the hang of it. Seems that more aggressively controlling the angle of the boat (edging it) and counteracting directional changes with the rudder earlier is a good cure for this. After I made these adjustments, I made several more runs up- and down-wind and did not broach any more.

The decent primary stability (not stiff, predictable) allowed me to paddle with full power while not feeling like I am pulling a lot of boat. The lack of increasingly strong secondary stability when on edge was a bit odd at first, but I got used to it. Still, I would not mind having a bit more of it, even the expense of losing a bit of primary stability.

The 7" rudder is probably the smallest you want for steep waves. No issues in the strong wind, but I felt it was at its limit occasionally on steeper waves. Still good enough for zigzagging down he small waves wherever I wanted. With more speed on bigger waves that would not lift the rear so abruptly) it might perform even better.

The drain is ineffective (slow and needs a relatively high speed to work). The drain plug leaks too much to be if any use - I left it open after trying it initially on the flat water. On the plus side, at 6'4" and 200lb with my gear (in a dry suit) I seem to fill up the cockpit pretty good and there is never much water there.

The nose catches leaves more than ideal. Perhaps I'm on the heavy side of things for the Eze, though I felt the boat performed well otherwise for my weight - did not submarine or get washed over by waves much. Perhaps folks over 200lb dry weight should look elsewhere though.

The cockpit is narrower overall than on my new V10. The tightness is mostly at the calves and thighs and the sides of the seat are more vertical. The width between the foot rails is 9", but half an inch is wasted in the center for attaching the dual foot straps. The V10 has 8.5" width (1/2" less than the Eze) but offers the same if not a smidgen more foot width and more room for my toes to spread outwards if desired, above the rails. The dual strap setup on the Eze was more restrictive but effective in terms of leg drive than the single strap setup on the Epic. I barely fit my paddling shoes in the straps on the last notch, and felt a bit too tight still. The foot plate is more solid than in the Epics, the adjustment fore and aft is finer too (but more cumbersome, and the straps adjustment is really time consuming and requires you to be on dry land or you will lose the washers and nuts).

The leg length in the Eze is perhaps just a 1/4" longer than the V10, so about the same. With booties over neo socks over my dry suit's latex socks and over another pair of thin socks inside, I have about 3/4" left behind the foot plate. I got a 36.5" inseam, measured by the road bike method. Barefoot usually gains me about 1/2" more leg room.

The seat bottom did not feel like it was trying to keep me upright. I also felt a bit crammed in it side to side and against the hump. I felt more tendency to lean back than I do in the V10. In the V10 I have a bit of a tendency to slouch, but in the Eze I felt a tendency to lean back, which is more tiring to counteract. I thought the Epic's seat was more ergonomic from this perspective, but the seat in the Eze offered more contact through my calves mostly. Adjusting the leg length (bringing the foot plate closer to me) helped a bit, so I will revisit this next time I paddle both skis.

The upper rear of the seat pan is also a bit steeper on the Eze (I prefer the one on the Epic, which allows me to more freely lay flat on my back over the rear deck to rest, looking up to the sky).

The inside of the ski stayed dry, despite the one swim I took (remount was easy) and the really bumpy conditions with waves washing over the deck fore and aft. Having an inspection port is nice (even though seeing the pink construction foam inside was not too confidence inspiring).

The outside width of the cockpit at my feet in the Eze (where the paddle enters the water) is 13", compared to 10" on the new Epic V10, which has nice paddle cut outs there. The gunwale height on the Eze also feels higher there. So initially I felt I would hit the sides with my paddle but I adjusted to this quickly. Paddle cutouts would be really nice to have, but they are not there, unfortunately.

The Eze has tubes for the rudder lines leading to the rear where an over stern rudder can be installed in the provided hole (I got the under stern rudder).

The Eze felt solid (no flex) in the bumpy water, but given its short length, this is expected. As for build quality, based on my 2013 model year Eze, it trails behind Epic on some counts. Specifically, the stiffener/stringer inside the ski is made of what appears to be pink construction insulation foam (does not compress well, separates easy from glue points, but is lightweight). Gel coat is a bit unevenly applied - can see brighter and darker areas where light shines through the hull when I look through the inspection port. It is also easily scratched and there are occasional micro dimples from the painting process. The seams joining the deck and hull are invisible from the outside, there is tape on the inside (good). The seams are a bit wavy as are some other areas on my boat (sides near the bow, bottom of the hull, sides of the hull near the rear). This is I assume mainly cosmetic and not too bad visually, but is easy to see without even looking hard. The fiberglass is a bit flexible in many areas, including the upper sides of the cockpit, the deck, and the sides of the bow (more so than on my Epics of similar construction grade and weight). A bit of flex in the deck and sides is OK on light duty craft like this, but the seat area (where one holds the boat during portages and the full weight of the paddler is) not being fully reinforced bothers me. I've seen cracks in these areas on a pair of Think Evo II skis, hope the Eze will fare better as it is shorter and presumably subject to a bit less stress due to this.

Carrying the Eze at the take out was not as easy as its short length and relatively light weight would suggest. It was a bit awkward, because the hull is too wide to wrap my arm around it when up on my shoulder. It is slippery (and there is some flex in the fiberglass) so carrying at the hip was awkward too, but worked better. A carry handle in the cockpit would be a nice addition.

The gel coat (or whatever paint it is) is very easy to scratch off. It has less resistance to abrasion than the stickers (!) that Epic uses on the front and rear. I've bumped my new V10 and my older V10 Sport against concrete many times, I've slid over rocks a few times - with barely a superficial scuff mark on the stickers and bottom. A similar bump today took off the entire gel coat layer and some of the fiberglass on the edge of the bow on the Eze. First scratch, no biggie, but the little it took to get it tells me this ski should be babied in terms of touching bottom and other hard objects with it.

I also paddled for a first time today the Think wing paddle (smaller of the two they make). It has considerably less area and power than the Epic mid-wing that I also had with me and which is my primary paddle. I swapped between the two paddles a few times today. The Think paddle feels a bit heavier even though it is smaller. The shorter blades mean a shorter overall paddle length is needed compared to the Epic mid wing. The 208cm of the Think seem to correspond to about 212 on the Epic (to maintain the same spacing between my hands on the shaft and to the blades). The feel of the Think wing is also different - I don't remember the last time the Epic curled in under me. The Think wing did that several times initially, until I got the hang of it - perhaps of the smaller area but I think there is also a different shape. It requires more precise technique and more finesse when using (as it won't offer as much bracing power during the stroke and for braces). The Epic is also noticeably smoother through the entire stroke and lifts less water at the exit, despite being bigger and more solid. Got to paddle more to get a better feel for the Think. The metal lock lever on the Think feels more solid, though I have not had any issues with the plastic one on the Epic. The shaft is oval at the hand. It is also made of concentric circles that you can feel (not smooth as the Epic) - hard to tell if there is any advantage or disadvantage to this.

At the end of the day, I thought the 17' Eze was more fun in the short period waves than a long ski. That's what I got it for and it performs as advertised for this. Felt overall a bit more stable than the intermediate skis like the Epic V10 Sport and the new V10, considerably less stable than a V8, different stability profile than a V6 (for better or worse, depending on your needs).
Last edit: 10 years 6 months ago by Kocho.

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10 years 6 months ago #19150 by zachhandler
Replied by zachhandler on topic Think EZE reviews?
Thanks for the thorough review kocho. Ive thought about getting an eze because the 17ft length seems like it would fit better on short lake chop. I have sat in it a couple of times on flat water. I thought it was a very sexy looking boat and i really wanted to fall in love with it. The bucket, unlike other thinks that a amazingly comfortable, didnt quite agree with me, so i knew i shouldnt get it. I was close though. I do recall the narrow footwell as well as the less than expected secondary stability you mention. I imagine that once you get used to how it paddles, and get a bigger elliptical rudder, it will be extremely fun downwind.

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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10 years 6 months ago #19152 by Newbflat
Replied by Newbflat on topic Think EZE reviews?
Kocho.... On the Think site it looks like you should be in a Big Eze going by there recommendations. 130-240 lbs / 60-110 kilos for the Big Eze vs. 100-190lbs / 45-85 kilos for the Eze.

Bill.

FENN Bluefin S
FENN Swordfish S carbon hybrid
Epic V8 double gen 2
Lot and lots of DK rudders.


Had:
Stellar SEL excel (gen 2)
Stellar SR excel (gen2)
Stellar S18s g1 (excel)
Epic V10 Double (performance)
Stellar SR (gen 1)
V10 sport (gen 2)
V10 (Gen 2)
Beater SEL (gen 1)

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10 years 6 months ago - 10 years 6 months ago #19153 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Think EZE reviews?
I'm 185 lb usually, before gear. So my summer weight is right at the upper limit of the Eze. Several folks my weight have mentioned it is OK for them so there was a chance. I think from this one paddle today that it is. It is maneuverable - the tail spins fine, so I am not overloading the rear. The sides, while low overall, did not take on troublesome amounts of water even in side chop and rode above the wave tops in most other situations. I would have been taking on more water in the V10 in the same waves (the Eze seems to ride over waves, the V10 - through them as it is narrower at the seat and relies on its overall length for buoyancy). The bow is planted perhaps a bit more than ideal, but this is good for tracking with such short boats. It also has lots of volume and the lack of rocker combined with the wide flat bottom means it carries weight well on the water. Indeed, the bow resurfaced nicely downwind and did not plow at all upwind, which tells me it I am within a reasonable weight range for it. Because it does not have much flare, the waterline width is also similar for me as it would be for a lighter paddler, just I have deeper draft by probably half an inch...

At 18' by 22" for the Big Eze, it s the same dimensions as an Epic V8 (a very fine boat itself and I have access to it locally, unlike the Eze and Big Eze). But I wanted a shorter boat than that and slimmer. Tried the V6 but did not quite like its width and the shape of the seat. The Eze was supposed to be that slim short ski... Will see if it works for me, if not - watch for it in the classifieds section ;). I think it paddles well enough. So for me it's a matter of checking if the seat will agree with my behind enough to make it an enjoyable experience. I'm not going to race the Eze, so I don't particularly care how fast it goes. Though, I do plan to take the GPS with me one of these days ;) being able to park with it on top of my car in most garages is a plus (the V10 requires special attention as it sticks out so much behind my car).
Last edit: 10 years 6 months ago by Kocho.

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10 years 6 months ago #19169 by markjlyon
Replied by markjlyon on topic Think EZE reviews?
I've been paddling an Eze for the last year, and really enjoying it. I don't have much to add to this excellent review, just to note that it has held up really well over a year of lots of paddling. I am switching to a Fenn Bluefin for my daily paddle, as I like paddling in the surf and the Bluefin rocks there.

A friend has been borrowing my Eze, but it now looks like I'll have it back soon, and will probably sell it. If anyone's in Southern California and wants to check it out, let me know.

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10 years 5 months ago - 10 years 5 months ago #19187 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Think EZE reviews?
Here is a quick video from today. I wish I had the GoPro running the first time I took it out as the conditions were a lot more interesting :)



Last edit: 10 years 5 months ago by Kocho.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Watto, kwhatmough

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10 years 5 months ago #19317 by kwhatmough
Replied by kwhatmough on topic Think EZE reviews?
Great walkthru video! I've owned a Think Eze for several months now, up here in Canada. It's my first surf ski.

I like many things about my Think Eze:
(1) Comfortable seat and great fit for someone my height (6'5" 175lbs)
(2) The 17' length means easy to transport and store
(3) Weighs only 30 lbs (yes, 4 lbs less than manufacturer's specs)
(4) Fantastic customer service before AND after purchase from the Think Kayak owner himself.

I purchased a smaller rudder (3") from Think since I operate in shallow rocky shoreline. I keep the standard rudder as a spare.

Like you say, the Eze seems a bit narrower than some other beginner skis and that plus what seems to be a low rocker might make it a bit faster than some other beginner skis...(?)

Anyways Kocho many thanks again. (If you remember several months ago, it was your advice that introduced me to surf skis. I had been unable to find a sea kayak that fits my long legs and feet. I could fit in sit-on-tops but they were too slow and heavy. Surf skis turned out to be the solution!)

New boat, same old engine.

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10 years 5 months ago #19318 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Think EZE reviews?
Hi! Yes, glad you liked the ski! I remember we emailed back and forth with you. Judging by how the Eze fits me, it should be an even better fit for you, being a bit lighter than I am. Sorry, have not had a chance to use my GPS on it yet, and in the winter I am slower anyway (with all that gear) so it won't be very conclusive anyway. But my feel is that it is plenty fast and probably comparable with a Big Eze and a V8 for instance. Those might gain a bit in downwind conditions due to the extra foot length or in a short sprint by a strong paddler, but otherwise probably not a huge difference. I too have the smaller rudder (it might be a 5", looks rather tiny in comparison to the 7" on my Eze now and especially the 9" elliptical surf rudder on my V10). Have not tried it yet, because I prefer to go out when there are some bumps on the water and bigger is better there, and when on flat I don't usually care enough to swap rudders...

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10 years 5 months ago - 10 years 5 months ago #19319 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Think EZE reviews?
Oh, and I should add, it is a very good idea to install some protection from the paddle on the sides near the feet. I just put 3M paint protector and looks like it will do the job. I bought a 6" x 60" roll from Amazon for about $25 and that was enough for the Eze and my V10. I cut it in 3 pieces, about 20" long each. Cut one of these length-wise into two strips 3" x 20" and applied that to the Eze. 3" wide seems perfect for paddle protection. The 6" x 20" are a better fit for the V10 as it has more area to cover vertically due to the cutouts. The Eze is flat and square so easier to apply the strip, the V10 required more attention, but still fairly easy to do, even for a first timer like me.
Last edit: 10 years 5 months ago by Kocho.

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