The weekend just gone gave me a brief opportunity while camping with the kids at Sydney's Bonnie Vale, to jump in the V8 for an hour or so & run some gentle downwind chop.
Up to now when people come to try a V8 I always encourage them to try the V10 Sport as well, so they have both a comparison to the 'next' level up in competency, and also because at least half of the people who think they should get a V8 can probably very easily get into a Sport with a smidgin of instruction, and some dedication.
Why a Sport as opposed to a V8? Well, my story is that the V8 is based on a kayak hull, albeit a very fast kayak designed for the sea, and it doesn't 'run' like the narrower boats. That means the effort required in a following sea is obviously more in the V8 than the longer, narrower skis.
I took the V8 with me on the weekend so the kids & adults could have a play, but a decent blow came up around midday so I decided to go out & test my theory.
I didn't think there was a better way to make my point than by demonstrating an entry level ski in what are pretty user-friendly conditions.
The V8 is aimed squarely at people getting into the sport, and this sort of fun following sea is a fantastic way to learn the art of paddling downwind. It was manageable, fun & the hugely reassuring stability provides the best education you can get in your quest to work out how these craft work in the environment for which they were designed.
So, does it 'run'? Well yeah, in the sort of conditions it was designed for, it runs like a mustang, so my theory has some serious flaws (surprise surprise…!)
Sure, it would be found wanting for pure speed on the longer, more technical ocean swells & bigger developed seas, but by the time you're ready to head out into that stuff you would have a whole lot more in the toolbox, & probably also a narrower, faster boat more suited.
I made about 4 runs of 2km out & back across the expanse of Port Hacking, each time turning & running back to Mainbar on the 20knot breeze & tiny little wind waves.
You can see from the video how little input was required to keep the ski on a run in these conditions, sometimes running for a minute without much more than the odd burst to hold position.
My eldest daughter Kiri certainly thought it looked like fun, & insisted on coming for a paddle. She's becoming quite a little adventure junkie, and thought the best part of the whole thing was catching the waves into shore & then getting bashed around in the shore break!
As for the V8, well despite a welter of new designs aimed squarely at the market it has singularly created, demand continues to far outstrip supply. Our next stock lands in about 3 weeks & isn't expected to hang around for long. Check our Epic Kayaks page for details.