I tried the Epic Rec GP carbonlite today at the Oakland Estuary, Calif. The wind was moderate as well as the waves. I find it very easy to paddle and it is fast for a relatively short kayak. It is so light I can lift it with one hand. The cockpit size is what I prefered- slightly roomier but not excessively so....I'm 5'8" 155 lbs. Definitely easy to turn specially with some leaning. No problem with tracking either. This kayak fights short waves (1-1/2 ft.) confidently. I was told by a kayak instructor that the bow digs into heavy waves partly due to his 250 lbs weight. I think I don't have the experience to try this small kayak in such waves. But then this is a recreational kayak.
I've been kayaking almost twice a week in the last two months and the Epic Rec GP impressed me as compared to some really good ones out there (about 10 seakayaks total). I've owned the Epic GP Recreational Ultra-Carbon for a couple weeks now and am fairly happy with it. My initial purchase to a Sit-In from a SOT was one of weight. When I saw the 26 and one quarter pound Epic sitting in the local kayak shop, I went ahead a sprung the 2 grand for it. My poor ole Cobra Tourer SOT was lingering around 60 pounds and I'm right at the poor ole age of 52, I figure every pound off that I can muster with a new boat would be just fine with me.
I must say though that the length of this boat only being 12 foot 8 inches makes it a little on the small side. I did though keep up with a couple of 16 foot plastics this weekend. Put a smile on my face.
Going from the SOT to a SINK is kind of fun. this weekend I took a beginning class and learned a wet exit, recovery, and few extra tibbits that will definitely come in handy. It's not so scary to be upside down with an unfounded fear of being trapped. The exits were easy (knock on carbon)
I like this boat for it's speed, and weight. The carbon color is not so bad either. I imagine it may get a little hot in Summer, but we'll soon see.
Doing a few recoverys this weekend was a little tricky as the other plastic boats were banging into mine, and even I had to crawl in the deck trying to be careful not to put any cracks in my new boat, even though I'm sure I did. I'll check later.
I give this boat an 8 as it is fast, and light. I'm thinking that a fourteen footer would be nice in carbon, as 12'8" is just a tad short for any ocean going, but then again, I will update this once I spend an afternoon on the open ocean.
Well, I must go for now and will say that I am relatively happy with this excellent little boat. Each time I go out (3 times) I've received a nice compliment on it's looks. It's a bit expensive for my pocketbook, but hey, ya only live once so ya might as well take some risks. I mean it could be a 100 thousand dollar car instead of a 13 foot kayak. What's not to love...it is lightweight, reasonably priced, fast, turns on a dime, it's very comfortable (with the new seat back which took me less than 5 minutes to install), its very stable and I easily keep up with and surpass my friends in their 18 and 19 foot kayaks.
I have spent the past 3 months trying sea kayaks (17-18 ft range, fiberglass) probably 10 or so. In the past 2 years, I have bought and sold 10 other kayaks. Not having a lot of success finding one that fits me and that I enjoy ( many I simply outgrew).
A friend reccomended that I try the Epic GP fiberglass. I was so impressed after kayaking for a couple of hours, I came back into the shop and bought one with a minor blem. Thought I'd use it until I find the right sea kayak. Now I'm thinking I don't need to spend the $3000+ for another boat. The 2 or 3x per year, when I go out on the ocean, I'll just rent one. I kayak roughly 6-10 times per month, year round, on mostly flat water.
I agree the stickers are a bit much but its a great boat.
I felt a little silly in the mini kayak, next to my paddlin' friends in their "real" kayaks and there was even some chuckles at my little yak...that was until I was zipping along with them, making quick turns, that they started asking "what the heck is that boat anyway?
Oh, having only had this boat for the past few weeks, I have yet to be out in rough water. I seriously doubt I would take it in the ocean.