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Product Reviews > Kayaks > Epic Kayaks, Inc. > V8 Add Your Review Now!

Reviews for V8 Kayak by Epic Kayaks, Inc.

Rated: 9.2/10 Based On: 10 Reviews

V8 Kayak by Epic Kayaks, Inc.

Length: 18' 0" - Width: 22.00" - Starting at: $2395.00
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Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     The Epic V8 is very playful in the whitecaps. My V8 is the proprietary layup and is about 28 lbs. This is a well made boat with great fit and finish. I really like the rudder system with large pedals and the rudder built in about 18" from the back of the kayak. This helps it turn sharper than a rear rudder. I find the primary stability very good and the craft to be very fast.

The only reason that I did not give it a 10 is the seat comfort. The seat is molded in with no padding but then this one is for speed, not comfort. The V8 is my sixth kayak and the one that I paddle most of the time.

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Submitted by: JGSSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I just bought a V8 today and was able to get out for a bit. This is an awesome boat. Been paddling a kayak for the last 10 years, mostly for endurance racing. Did the Yukon River Quest. I once had the Epic Endurance 18. It was a good boat. Now I'm paddling mostly for fitness.

The V8 is the new kayak for fitness. I love the idea of not being enclosed in a cockpit with skirt. I bought the Ultra version. Very light, good tracking, good stability. Maybe a bit more stable than the kayak Endurance 18. My local dealer had lent me a demo boat. So this is the third time I've been out in this boat. No regrets. Very happy with it.

For the equivalent price of a kayak, this boat is considerably lighter. So if you don't need the storage of the bulkheads and go out mostly for day paddles, this is the boat. I bought it from in Toronto. Michael is awesome, service is awesome.

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Submitted by: TLSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Just to add my 2 cents to the many positive reviews of the V8 on the web...
Got into Surfski last year and bought a V8 over the winter. Am hugely pleased with it. Comfortable (though only just small enough for me at 5'6"), well built, great stability while still having a great turn of speed. It's a perfect entry to racing skis and just a great boat to get out and play in the waves is.

Re-entry is no more difficult than on many rather more pedestrian sit-on top designs while the massive secondary stability lets you get away with all sorts of crazy heel angles while surfing!

Just a great boat all round.

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Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have owned both the V10 Sport in performance layup, as well as the V8 in performance layup. The V10 Sport is more efficient than the V8 above 4.5 mph. Below 4.5 mph, the V8 is more efficient. This is due to the larger wetter surface area of the V10 Sport, yet longer waterline of the V10 Sport. Both surfskis are ergonomic and comfortable. I have never had my legs, feet, or toes fall asleep in either.

In terms of stability; on flat water or waves up to six inches high, they are about the same. But in waves any higher, the V10 Sport will require your attention, and you will not feel as relaxed as you will be in the V8. Being that I almost always kayak alone, and in waves from one to three feet high, I tend to prefer the more relaxed feel and greater stability of the V8. Ultimately, the V10 Sport is faster, but it is at the cost of less stability.

It really depends on your paddling priorities, your ability, the conditions you paddle in, your skills, and your personal preferences. Either way, Epic makes very well designed and constructed products.

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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have taken the V8 out 6 times just bought it two weeks ago, it is very stable, there is a good review at fatpaddler about the V8. The only negative is the width of the footwell, with wintertime approaching wearing muklocks is a little tight.

Speed is good for this style hit 7 mph first time out on a small lake. Cruises well at 5.8 mph through 6.2 mph. would have gave 10 other than footwell width. Workmanship is excellent

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Submitted by: DavidSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     OK, an Update from my earlier posting (02-29-2012).
I have completely removed the Epic Pedal box assembly and fabricated my own fixed position one from lightweight stainless steel. This has given me an additional 1-2cm leg length and most importantly an extra 1-2cm footwidth. this has made a huge difference.

Can I ask Epic: "Why the obsession with ultra narrow footwells in a boat you claim to be for beginners or people transitioning from sea kayaks?" You may be expert paddlers who designed this boat but you forgot that a wider footwell is certainly more stable for us lesser mortals. The V8 is a great boat, just widen and redesign the footwell and you will have a better boat for the stated market.

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Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Hate to give anything a 10/10 but that being said, I thought the V8 'ski remarkable. Really enjoy this boat!

This is the surfski for those of us who aren't about to hang up our sea kayaks and dedicate our lives to mastering the inner gyroscopic workings required to paddle an elite surfski. The V8 is stable. You aren't used to seeing that word next to the word surfski so it bears repeating for those of you who may be thinking "he said what?" after reading that last bit. The V8 is a stable surfski. I hopped on a V8 and was super impressed; there was no "oops, oh crap" moment so familiar with the dilettante surfski enthusiast.

That stability comes from somewhere though and it isn't as fast as a V10 but it isn't meant to be. It's designed for and is aimed at a different paddling market - it's aimed at the market where you and I live...not Greg and Oscar and the rest of the 'ski elite.

In the Blackburn it's going to be in fast kayak division (same hull as an 18x). And most likely win. Besides being flat out fast, on a day with any bump at all, the under stern rudder is going to have an advantage over the over stern retractable jobbers. I think that certainly a sub 3 will be the winning mark.

It's stable, it's fast. At 6 feet, 230lbs I found it to be comfy and my only hesitation would be that the foot well was a bit cramped....but that may be me having to say {anything} critical. In any event, I found that to be entirely forgivable.

For what it is and supposed to do and for who it's aimed at, I give it full marks all around.

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Submitted by: DavidSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I've had my V8 for a month now, moving up in the world from my excellent old Cobra Expedition plastic boat.
The V8 is very nicely built, a great moulding, I really like the cut-away sides, this lets you get a good paddle blade entry. It's stable for a race boat but way tippier than the old Cobra Expedition. I've read the other rave reviews so I don't need to bore you with all the good stuff and there is plenty of it.

OK the negatives (for me): I paddle a river here in Australia and the lack of a trailing rudder option was initially a concern but I built my own simple, strong lightweight trailing rudder system that has no extra holes and is fully reversible in minutes. My real gripes are two. I find the narrow footwell, well, too narrow. I wear 3mm scuba boots when paddling and my feet push painfully against the cockpit sides while wedging together in the middle. Cockpit Leg length is another issue, I read a review that said it will take a 195cm paddler, well only if you are built like a duck mate! all long back and short legs. I am a pretty normal built for 190cm and I swear I need another 2-4cm length than its longest setting to reach what I consider a decent paddle posture (being able to fit a clenched fist and thumb under my knees)

It carries my 105kg easily but there isn't any spare 'butt width' either. I suggest that 188cm and 105kg is about the max for the cockpit even though the boat could carry more weight.

Sorry Epic an 8/10 is the best I can give, you seem to market this boat for larger paddlers and its just not so.

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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I am a novice skier and currently paddle the V10 sport. I have demoed the v8 twice allready. once on a a fairly calm lake and another at the Surfski Championships Demo day. Needless to say this boat feels right at home for anyone that comes from sea kayaking. It does feel a bit sluggish for the first few strokes definitely for those comming from the skinier racing skis. As you start moving along you realy catch up some speed and feel totaly in control. This is probably the only boat you can take directly from the shop to a down wind race without any preparations. in the Demo day I took it out and surfed it back down wind and felt as if i could win the Molokai :-)

You have absolute control on the wave and my GPS showed 9 mph which is the fastest I ever got with any Ski. On the flat water I got 7.7mph as my top speed and it to was my fastest speed for the flats. Paddling the boat is a lot of fun and even though it's 22" wide it feels like a lot less. the boat Catch recess really works and I never hit the boat shears (sides) due to it.

Epic used their 18x sport hull for this boat and I say that maybee they would like to make one out of their 18x narrower water line beam boat so we can get an even livelier beginner-Rough water Ski.

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Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Once again I find myself at Gloucester High School, home of the Fighting Fishermen, bearing up beneath dark storm clouds and a gale of calendar pages. I'm staring down the barrel of my 56th birthday and Father Time's itchy finger grows heavy on the trigger. The words of Mike Livingston play over and over in my head:
"Good morning. We are privileged to live another day in this magnificent world. Today you will be tested."

Just two years earlier a vascular conspiracy brewed in my bloodstream. It knocked me flat on my back and left me unable to get out of bed. Faceless strangers wheeled me down hospital corridors as I stared at the ceiling tiles and counted light fixtures. The "eternal footman held my coat and snickered" and in short, I was enraged.

Today, the roster of competitors in the 25th Anniversary of the venerable Blackburn Challenge includes yours truly. Attention to detail, relentless analysis and dedicated training will combine with old age and treachery for a go at the winner's circle. A former friend owns a veterinary pharmacy but he selfishly refused to provide horse steroids. The best I can muster is a fair representation of a caffeine-fueled jackass. Heat is an issue. Last year, I used a yak with a cockpit. Three miles from the finish line it flipped in some chop. With no skirt, the boat took on water and I hauled an extra 100 pounds of shifting payload to the greasy pole. Again this year, a skirt is not an option because of the heat. Yesterday, we had record temperatures at Cape Ann. These wormy legs would bake into cramps under that black shroud so I've found an alternative, the Epic V-8. If the boat flips, you can jump back on and it will self-bail.

At the starting line is Roger Gocking who took first place last year. He jumps ahead early and as we hammer the water to catch him I sense I'm going out too fast. Dave Furniss is on my wash and the three of us snake down the Annisquam River as a single creature with loose joints. This is unsustainable. I'm on the express train to Bonk City. Somehow I make it to the ocean in second place. Gocking slows down ever so slightly and things get a little easier. Furniss is stuck on my wash like a tick on a bird dog. Near Halibut Point we find some small bumps and the kid blasts ahead. He moves to the front. Now I'm in third place.

Three or four times, I have had to fiddle with my "hydration system" only to fall off their wash. Each time, the acceleration and responsiveness of this vessel lets me rejoin without undue effort, but now the bumps are throwing me beyond Gocking's stern and I can't find the brakes so I steer past him. Catching some good runners, I surge ahead, but at a 20 degree angle away from their course. For a few glorious seconds the corn dog is in first place! I think I've found a faster line. I am an idiot.
It is now just a matter of holding on to third place as they shrink in the distance.

Approaching Dog Bar, the swells increase. My gaze remains locked on the turn at the seawall but I'm conscious of cold water crashing abeam into my lap and filling the cockpit. The stability is dead solid and I never miss a stroke. As I'm surfing toward the rocks, trying to exploit the bumps, the safety kayaks are getting nervous. One paddles towards me to steer me away. My right shoulder is screaming. The temptation to coast is enormous but I won't. After coming this far, it might as well be Olympic gold on the line. I finish the race without ever having made the first brace stroke and officially become what Bart Simpson calls the "second loser".

Roger later says that at the seawall, the swells and slop were a concern. He became tentative and Dave pulled away. That would have been my moment. That is where the better boat would have won the day, if not for a weak motor and a bad decision. Now, I'm on the beach enjoying Ipswich Ale and visiting with my favorite people. Tomorrow we will resume the battle with unemployment, personal relationships and all the thorns and spurs of this life. Today is for savoring the simple privilege of just one more day. As for the boat, the numbers speak for themselves.

Blackburn 2010 11th place 3:37
Blackburn 2011 3rd place 3:04
Seventeen surf skis finished behind me.
My sincere thanks go out to the folks who hosted this event and the many people who supported me in this crazy pursuit. That last part would include Wyndy, who suffers from a strange affinity for skinny old men with abnormally large heads. See ya at Molokai.

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