Evolution Boat Review
The layup of the demo boat that I’ve been paddling is fiberglass and it is real nice and light. I liked the blank thighbraces on it. Being able to build from a blank slate gives a real nice fit and I feel like it is much more comfortable than molded braces. I put the seat about an inch and a half off the hull and the boat felt quite stable and responsive at that height. With my foot foam I needed a decent amount since I have a fairly short inseam (31ish). The deck of the boat is real nice and low, which I like because it sheds water off real nice and doesn’t pile water either. Since it is low there is not much foot room. I wear a size 9 (us) and my toes were none too happy with a extra snug fit on the outfitting, but that’s may be because of the personal preference on how tight I prefer my outfitting. I used 3.5inch plastic fins placed about 1.5inch back with the center a tad bit further back.
I weigh in at about 155lbs, the boat feels a tad bit bigger than what I am used to. It really should, the boat does have a bit more volume than what I need. That being said, in the surf I don’t feel like the extra boat hindered me at all. Flatwater speed was what I expected. Not as fast as an IC boat, but I could get going real good and move when I needed to. Paddling out was real nice and easy. The Evolution would jump over 3 foot piles of foam real easy and would duck dive effectively under heavier stuff. Its not quite a necessary thing for a boat to do but wavewheels and the like were fun and easy to do in the boat, especially with the low volume deck.
Catching waves is not particularly hard in the Evolution. Stern squirting in the boat was real stable. The stern has good volume with a slight taper at the back and at my weight would rebound off the squirt with almost enough speed to drop right into wave. The flat water speed is fairly quick and will easily drop in on the shoulder if necessary. Dropping straight down doesn’t always work since the boat has a fairly small amount of nose rocker, but with the right trim will absolutely haul out of the bottom turn. Out of the bottom turn the boat is real responsive and maintains its speed as it climbs. The speed carries easily off the wave and will air maintaining most of that speed. On re-entries the rails are real forgiving and don’t often catch. Going big and technical off the lip doesn’t often get tripped up even when not landing entirely flat. When the rails do catch I always get pummeled super hard for some reason. Going down the line you can generate your own speed real easily but it starts losing momentum real fast when you get in the flats. Rail to rail the boat is real responsive and doesn’t get caught up much. With the bit of extra volume (for me) roundhouses off the foam result in plenty of speed to start back down the line.
Now overall I like the boat. It does feel bigger than what I am used to, but in chop or large conditions I feel like it could be my go to boat. For someone who is a bit heavier than me or is often surfing in less than ideal conditions, this would be an absolutely sick boat. The speed is great, handling is great, and is real forgiving. A solid High Performance boat.