Tuesday, 27 March 2018

The Epic 18X Double - Reviewed


Epic announced a new double touring sea kayak late in 2017, and we were quick to order a demo, seeing the potential for a light weight, stable and fast design in a market where at the moment there isn't really anything like that in a double.

The doubles we see round the traps, at races & on trips, are either wide, heavy and in relative terms quite slow, or high performance race craft not suited in any way to carrying gear.

We have tested the new Epic 18X double in a range of conditions and can report excellent performance in the kinds of seas 95% of paddlers would enjoy paddling. It hits speeds which put daylight between it & the nearest composite touring double in the market, and a set of ergonomics which allow a full range of paddler size, combined with cutaways that encourage full power in your stroke.
In a nice design tweak, both cockpits have a forward glovebox hatch, and the rudder is the transom-mounted Smart Track system that we have tested over the years & also use with supreme confidence on our own Audax, with the solid Epic footbrace & pedals developed for the original 18X.

The ergonomics are excellent, a high leg position allowing a full leg drive, seats which adjust fore and aft to accommodate paddlers of different heights, as well as crucially allowing you to tune the trim of the kayak, so important in a double, especially if you're using it for marathon racing.

It's already developing an imposing record in the US, having won a number of prestigious long distance races, and is extremely well suited to the very popular series of marathon races that are becoming more and more prevalent in Australia.

At 6.7m long, it's an easier boat to handle & car-top than most other doubles, and considering the speed capabilities (Rob & mark had it ticking over at 13kmh without raising a sweat), has carrying capacity of 240kg. That said, like most fast doubles (as opposed to the big tankers that are designed primarily to carry gear), the distance you could travel with the 18X Double fully loaded would depend on your ability to pack light.

If you're after a light, fast, stable double sea kayak with ample capacity for cruising with gear for an extended trip, this should have made it's way onto your list. Prices, specs & construction options are below. We have the only demo in the country here at our warehouse if you'd like to take one for a whirl.

SPECIFICATIONS

Length: 22' (6.7m)
Width: 57 cm
Depth: 38 cm
Capacity: 240 kg
CONSTRUCTION OPTIONS

Performance

29 Kg $5,000
  • Infusion grade foam core
  • Composite hybrid of fiberglass, carbon fiber, and Kevlar
  • Vacuum infused, heat-cured epoxy
  • Black bow & stern

 

Ultra

 26 Kg $6,000
  • Nomex honeycomb core
  • Woven carbon and Kevlar fabric
  • Vacuum bagged, heat-cured epoxy
  • Red bow & stern

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