Epic modifications for my Epic V7

Perhaps i should have named this Hurricane Modifications for my Epic V7 as I installed a front hatch and a back hatch cover from Hurricane Kayaks.

The back hatch cover never seemed very good to me except for day trips with an empty boat.  It is very watertight but the soft cover takes some time to put on if you want it to stay on.  Also hard or sharp things bouncing around in the hatch might cut the fabric, so I heated up a Hurricane oval cover with a hair dryer and greased it with 303 and made it fit my Epic.  It is hard, water tight, and quick on and off.  I still feel like it needs a strap or top to really keep it in place for times when I get washing machined at the inlet.

The V7 has no day hatch and no good place for your keys and your snacks, so I popped in a small hatch from Hurricane Kayaks.  It is very handy and if I want I could but my tent and a bunch of other long skinny things up here for a camping trip.

I'm thinking about putting a bungee over this cover to hold a GPS pocket where I can see it.

These hatches have made the boat a lot easier to use and it is still air/water tight.

I'm thinking about adding some deck lines like sea kayaks have but they would cause trouble with low hanging  branches on river days.  So for the lake I'm looking for a better leash that does not tangle.  So far I like my old paddle leash best, but you must not let go of the paddle.

Best shoes yet for kayaking

The Surf to Summit Ultra Flex Water booties Is recently purchased are excellent paddling shoes!

They are so thin that they fit under the strap in my surfski and let me use my toes to control the rudder peddles.  And yet the bottom protects me well from the rocks.

This is not a very supportive shoe for long walks but it great for getting in and out of the boat to the car.

At last I can also fit my size 12 feet in many sit inside (SINK) kayaks as well.  It is better to wear shoes when paddling to protect your feet as you cannot always be certain there are no sharp rocks, glass, or oysters where you take out.

This is the second time I've recommended something great from Surf to Summit.  Seems like a trend is starting.

Stretching could be bad for you.

I've been really sore lately because of my lack of paddling fitness and my ramping up the paddling and the deck rebuilding at my home.  Am so articles about stretching have been catching my eye.  I found it very interesting to read that stretch before exercise is now considered counter productive.  I am really baffled by this because often I need to stretch just to get moving again after a long drive to a paddling place.

I don't do the static stretching they taught me in in high school team sports, but I do stretch through my easy range of motion for any joints or muscles that I expect might be stiff.  For example,  I reach slowly down to the floor and then slowly stand up.  On the first pass I cannot touch my feet, but many days on the sixth pass I can touch the floor without discomfort. 

I've also noticed that stretching before paddling reduces or eliminates the foot going to sleep problems I sometimes have had.  This problem has become a non problem for me so long as I take the Wonderful Epic V7, but sometimes I use boats that are not so wonderfully comfortable. 

When I was had problems with my shoulder doctors, therapists, and even my chiropractor told me to stretch and showed me stretches to try.

I find stretch really improves my range of motion and my comfort for the long haul.

What's your experience with pre paddle stretching?

Epic V7 Surfski

I've wanted to try a surfski for a long time because I heard the ergonomics are great and the comfort is good. I'm not very comfortable for a long period of time in a confining traditional kayak so I prefer sit on top kayaks.

So when Jim Smith brought the Epic surfskis to our Carolina Kayak Club Demo Day, I got my chance.

I was very impressed with the comfort of the V7. It may be one of the most comfortable boats I've tried.  If you haven't been able to get the position right in your boat for good paddling try and Epic surfski they have the seating figured out.  Your feet and knees are together to facilitate easy rotation in the seat.   My feet were below my seat level for easy breathing and wonderful leg comfort.  

The Epic V7 turns well with the rudder and turns improve slightly when you edge the boat.  I had the under stern rudder and found that edging the boat towards the turn seemed to work better than edging away from the turn.  This is opposite from what I do in most sea kaaks to get them to turn well, so I recommend you try it both ways.

The boat was fast compared to fast sea kayaks I've paddled, but it is not a V12, a K1, or a thunderbolt.  

The plastic is a double dump with very shiney good looking outerlayer and a foamed inner layer that is a bit lumpy inside.  The weight seemed under 50 pounds with everything on the boat and the handles made it easy to carry.  

I think I've found the perfect boat for all my day paddles and short trips!

Work, Work, Work!

I have had one test paddle with the Shark Boat before I completed fabrication and started outfitting and finishing.

Still a lot to do, but only a little more outfitting.

She is very comfortable and ready for day paddles, and will be ready for trips and races this spring!