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What’s your ride

What would you rather ride? A high wheel bicycle from the 1800's or a modern lightweight bicycle with brakes, gears and pneumatic tires?

We think that most people would choose the modern bicycle which is more efficient, much easier to ride and far safer.


While Aleut and Greenland kayaks were very advanced for their day, they do not provide nearly the performance or user friendliness that can be obtained with modern designs.

Epic kayak hull designs are based on data from naval tow tank tests, complex drag calculations, video analysis and years of experience. We use high tech lightweight materials.

Epic kayaks do not have the "look" of traditional sea kayaks. We've done away with the upswept bows and sterns common on many traditional and British style kayaks. A common misconception is that sea kayaks require extensive "rocker" or extended-bows to perform well in waves or rough water conditions.

Rocker

Rocker is the amount of curvature along the keel of a boat under the waterline. Once the hull rises above the water level any additional length is Extended-Bow (or sometimes Extended-Stern).

Extended-Bow is a length of bow protruding forward in front of the kayak above the waterline.

Many people mistake the look of an extended-bow for rocker. Epic kayaks have ample rocker but minimal extended-bow. This gives our boats a maximum waterline length which has proven to be more efficient in all water conditions.

It's a myth that extended kayak bows (or sterns) are required for good performance in waves. This myth is perpetuated because many older sea kayaks (based on Aleut Greenland or British style designs) have extended upswept bows.

This myth was proven false in open ocean kayak competitions. 20 to 30 years ago most competitive open ocean kayaks (or surf skis) had extended-bows - people assumed these would perform better in open ocean waves. As the competition has gotten stronger designers have realized that extended-bows are not needed and that kayaks perform much better in wave conditions with a full waterline length and relatively plumb bows. The same has proven in modern sailboats.

When a wave approaches an extended bow kayak, it hits further back in the boat where there is more volume. This causes the kayak to pitch upward. As the wave passes the kayak then slams down creating a large splash and a significant loss of performance.

With a plumb bow and full waterline length the bow gradually lifts as it approaches the wave and lands more gently. The longer waterline length gives a much more efficient hull and the kayak performs better in all conditions.

Rudders

We include rudders on our longer kayaks. While it's certainly possible to paddle without a rudder most people find paddling much easier, efficient and fun with one. Just as it's possible to steer a bicycle by leaning it without touching the handlebars most people find it much more enjoyable to steer with the handlebars! While a rudder can add 1% to 4% more drag on a kayak (depending on the hull rudder size & shape) making a corrective stroke can often result in more than 50% loss of forward power! Even minor corrections sap more than 10% of forward power. Olympic sprint racers paddle in a straight line on flat water. You'd think they would not need a rudder to navigate. However 100% of Olympic kayaks have rudders because they have found it is more efficient to make minor corrections with a rudder than to alter your stroke. If a rudder is more efficient for paddling in a straight line on flat water then it certainly will improve your paddling whenever wind or waves are encountered.

The choice is yours: would you rather paddle a kayak based on outdated designs from hundreds of years ago or a modern efficient sea kayak? If you prefer a modern more efficient kayak then an EPIC KAYAK is the correct choice!