Submitted: 07-23-2008 by gregj
This is about 5% faster than the Epic Endurance 18 (IMO). It is clearly the fastest mass market sea kayak out there. It seems as fast as a couple of K1 trainers that I've tried - which is amazing for something that makes USCA rules. For flatwater, I just don't see any other kayak beating this one - given a paddler within weight limits for the design. Epic tells me that 210-220 lbs is the weight limit for the 18x, the Sport goes a bit higher.
Speed is this boat's design goal, and Epic has obviously accomplished that. What they've also delivered is a very comfortable seat and cockpit. This is the most comfortable decked boat I've ever paddled. My legs and feet have not gone to sleep in this boat in 2 months of 4-6 workouts a week.
The stability is adequate, and the rudder ventilates a lot in rough water. For flat conditions, it is fine. Construction quality is very good, with very good fit and finish. The front hatch is tight, while the rear one does leak a little. Also, the hatches are not matched to the deck's color very well. Pedal adjustment is a bit tough, but can be done.
Overall, for a fast training sea kayak, this would be my top choice again. For an off season trainer, this would be a sensible boat. The stability and safety of bulkheads for cold weather training is a big benefit. The cargo capacity should be adequate for an overnighter, but this is not an expedition boat.
After a couple months, I'd buy this boat again. The guys at Epic are great to work with and respond to questions, and have done a lot to advance the sport. I think their boats have really raised the bar for what is expected in the speed department from hulls. The manufacturing is pretty good on this boat. Mine is the standard FG composite layup.