Epic Day on the St. John’s River
Â If any of you reading this post have ever taken a class with me in the past, you know that I often mention the word â€śefficiencyâ€ť. Itâ€™s probably the last thing you want to hear when your trying to escape the office, or the daily grind of life, and just want to go for a paddle, but I have to say it again, kayaking is a sport that is best enjoyed when efficiency is made priority.
Epic Kayaks and Paddles has taken the concept of efficiency to the next level. To give you a little background on the company, Epic was started by Greg Barton, who has earned more medals in kayak racing than any other American, as well as being the first American to ever win a gold in the sport.
As a mechanical engineer, and an olympian racer, Barton has taken the concept of efficiency, and applied to his kayak and paddle designs. Every aspect of the design feels as though it has a purpose, from the materials he uses to make his products to the delicate changes in design from paddle to kayak.
We just recently hosted an Epic Kayaks Demo Day in Downtown Jacksonville, FL at the St. Johns City Boat Ramp located next door to the River City Brewing Company. The turn out was great! We had a good number of folks come out and try some of the new and innovative designs Epic has recently released to the public, like the V8 and V12 surf skis. We had the honor of having Brian Houston and Waylon Willis, both of Epic Kayaks, on site helping people out with proper paddling posture, paddling technique, as well as body mechanics. This was a great event, and to have people test trying these serious looking boats on the St. Johns river Downtown Jacksonville, was an amazing sight!
If your ever interested in trying out or purchasing an Epic Surf Ski, Sea Kayak, Touring Kayak, Wing paddle, Touring paddle, or just have product questions, please donâ€™t hesitate to give us a call, we are now an authorized Epic Dealer, and look forward to helping you out how ever we can.
I have been paddling Epic kayaks and paddles for a while now, so I imagine my opinion may be slightly skewed, but I loved it. I paddled it Downtown on the St. Johns River, then down the Intracoastal Waterway the next day, and offshore for a downwind run from the Mayport Jetties to Atlantic Beach, and the boat and wing paddle preformed beautifully. I feel that it moves faster then the 18XSport, even though they have the same hull, but it could just feel that way because of the sleek design, and the longer range of motion I have with my stroke. It could all just be perception too. I know I can paddle with my knees together in the 18XSport, (I believe that is why Barton designed the combing in that unique way) but because of if its more Sea Kayak like design, it feels right to paddle in my pirouette like paddlers position with my 5 points of contact. The V8 allows me my full rotation with little boat to impede on my stroke.
For the last 11 years I have only paddled touring kayaks or sea kayaks and I currently paddle a P&H Cetus, which I love. I have found
that my Cetus is a great boat for expeditions and day trips but there is something so nice about not having to pack all my gear and just jump on a kayak for a good workout. I wasÂ apprehensiveÂ about the stability of a surf ski but on our recent Epic demo day I wanted to venture outside my comfort zone. I loved the V8, it is stable, really fast, and easy to paddle. As I took off from the River City Boat Launch I was surprised how it darted through the water, it just makes you want to paddle at full speed. The way that you sit in it allows for full rotation of your torso so that all the core muscles are engaged in your strokes. I am not one to use a rudder but the system is very efficient because you have a foot board which allows your feet to have stability toÂ effectivelyÂ act as a counter balance to your torso rotation with the rudder controls beingÂ controlled just by your toes. I was instantly in love with this “kayak jet” as my seven year
old son calls it. Joe and I have had a V8 for a week now and we have gone out for fitness paddles in the open ocean and inland waters almost every morning, I have really enjoyed this new mode of being on the water and plan on getting a second one as soon as we can.
I love to trail run and do yoga but I have never felt like I got a really good work out paddling until now so I get to combine my two favorite things with the V8, a runners high and being on the water with low impact on my body. If you have not tried a surf ski we encourage you to come out and experience it. Just give us a call we would love to take you out for a paddle.