Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

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islanders66
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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by islanders66 »

the Nord LV wouldn't be a good first kayak unless the paddler is willing to improve and adjust their skills. I think the LV is still underrated in it's ease and efficiency to paddle. Also with kayaks that offer slightly different characteristics it's very difficult to assess the individual's skills and abilities who is reviewing the kayak or looking to buy a kayak. For me efficiency is huge for owning only one kayak, for others not so.

I wouldn't buy another kayak without first taking it out in rough conditions with good wind to see how it responds to broaching and weathercocking. The only advice I would consider reliable is from an experienced L4 or L5 instructor who has seen me paddle and test paddle the kayak. That's how I bought my LV.

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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by kamala »

Thanks for the thoughts, islanders66, but let's assume I'm very willing to improve my skills. [Edited in afterthought:] The really useful question here is: in what way would I have to improve to paddle the Nordkapp?
My first boat isn't a sea boat but has given me a taste for going along efficiently with minimal effort, which is why the Nordkapp and Xplore are on my list.

Interesting point about assessing the skills of the reviewer. Sadly I don't know any L4 instructors so I'll have to take information where I can find it. A review like the one above, where one person describes both boats, seems to be a reasonable way of taking a little bit of the personal factor out of the equation.
I'd definitely like to test out any boat before I buy it, it's just a matter of waiting for all the boats of interest to be together at the same time, in suitably testing conditions. Otherwise, with my appalling memory, I forget what each one is like before I get to try the next...

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lg18
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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by lg18 »

kamala wrote:can anyone comment on the difference between the Tiderace Xplore and these two boats? Particularly an Xplore S?.
Last year I demo-ed an Xplore S, Xcite and Nord LV at the same place and same time. However, I spent only 20mins in each, on flat calm water, and I am "a smaller paddler" (9 stone/57Kg; 5 ft 5") - so what I say may be largely irrelevant! I can't add anything to what Lance already said in his brilliant comparison of the Xcite and Nord LV, except to just completely agree about the comparison of stability, acceleration, edging, fit/comfort, elegance etc etc.

The Xplore S was in no way in between the two, I think. Nor completely different (the NordLV was the one I thought completely different). The fit and comfort for me was great, as I'm small, whereas the NordLV and Xcite were much too big for me in cockpit and buoyancy etc. So this could be a big part of which you would prefer - your size. Apart from that, it felt relatively similar to the Xcite (at least in comparison to the NordLV, which was much different feeling to both the Tiderace boats), in that it had impressive primary stability without being a barge. The Xplore S tracked better than the Xcite and was less manoeverable and felt less playful than both the Xcite and NordLV. All 3 were v easy to roll and edge (Nordy easiest to edge; Xplore S easiest to roll for me personally due to the excellent fit).

As I like to play/rock-hop/go caving, rather than long distances in a straight line, I came away from the demo desperate to try the Xcite-S (as the Xcite was too big for me), and also wishing there was a smaller version of the NordLV, as I absolutely loved its smoothness and responsiveness of handling. For my preferred type of paddling, and the length of my garage (!), I least preferred the Xplore S, despite the excellent fit - not the boat's fault at all, just my own preferences.

Lucy

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janet brown
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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by janet brown »

My understanding is that the Xplore/ XploreS are more expedition type boats, and the Xcite more of a play sea kayak.

Janet

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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by kamala »

Brilliant, thanks, Lucy - as it happens I'm nearly the same size as you (but I'm shorter and fatter :-( ) so that's all very relevant for me. The main difference is probably my lower skill level but I can always hope to improve. The points about about the cockpit fit and ease of edging seem particularly useful, I shall look out for those characteristics if I ever get the chance to demo the boats.

Hi Janet - yes, that's what I thought too - so Lucy's comment that there was more difference between the Nordkapp and Xplore S than between the two Tiderace boats was unexpected but intriguing.

Great stuff so far, thanks all. But it's definitely tantalising, I really need to find a demo day...

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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by lg18 »

kamala wrote: Lucy's comment that there was more difference between the Nordkapp and Xplore S than between the two Tiderace boats was unexpected but intriguing.
I think it's because the 2 Tiderace kayaks have similar-ish hull profiles - relatively flat bottomed with a chine, so the primary stability is high in both (although obviously they differ in manoeverability/tracking/length); whereas the Nordy has a very smoothly rounded hull (and quite a bit of rocker?), so it just feels like a completely different beast - much more racey.

Lucy

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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by janet brown »

I'm 5'0" and 60kg approx, and tried many boats last summer:
P&H Nordkapp LV/ Aquanaut LV/ Vela/ Capella (plastic)
Valley Avocet
Island Qaarsut 505
Wilderness System plastic (can't remember the model)
Tiderace XploreS

The main reason I chose the XploreS was the fit: as a small person, most boats swamp me and make paddling SO difficult; I come from a river background, and found the thigh braces gave a great contact; I also felt the boat responded best to my style of paddling.

Bearing in mind my first choice on paper (Excel spreadsheet!) was the Qaarsut, which In hated as soon as I sat in it in Brookbank: you really need to try everything you are looking at. Our summer holiday last year read as a trip to Brookbank Stockport; Knoydart and Karitek, which we didn't actually get to. I have ended up with something I love, and seem to be able to paddle well enough, but it took a lot of demo-ing, and more dosh than I care to admit!

There was going to be a Tiderace demo at Hayling Island last Saturday, but it didn't happen. Try contacting Waterborne to see if they will be arranging aything else. I went to Knoydart to demo the Tiderace, and had an interesting drive ona windy, wet weekend to collect MY kayak in October. LOVE IT!

Janet

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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by kamala »

We seem to have a bit of a "smaller paddlers'" group here, excellent! :-)

Lucy, that sounds pretty logical. I must admit after some of the borrowed sea kayaks I've paddled, I very much like the sound of a "racy" boat.

Janet - so you're enjoying the Xplore S? Glad to know that, it does bring home the point about personal preferences since Lucy wasn't so keen. I've got an Excel spreadsheet too; I'm still collecting info for it! Hadn't heard of the Qaarsut, another one to look up, and the Vela...

Someone suggested contacting Knoydart for a demo, I'll have a look at Waterbourne too. My problem is I find it really hard to judge a boat especially on a 10 minute paddle on flat water. For example I knew the Alaw cockpit was a bit (OK, very) large for me, but I didn't realise just how much of a nuisance that was till I borrowed one for a longer paddle in a bit of wind. So yes, a lot more demo-ing has to be the way forward.

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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by Summit to Sea »

kamala wrote:My problem is I find it really hard to judge a boat especially on a 10 minute paddle on flat water. For example I knew the Alaw cockpit was a bit (OK, very) large for me, but I didn't realise just how much of a nuisance that was till I borrowed one for a longer paddle in a bit of wind. So yes, a lot more demo-ing has to be the way forward.
If you'd like to try the Cetus LV, we've got one over here for demo on Anglesey.

Cheers,
Pete

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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by Tourer »

http://www.seakayak.co.uk/data/survey.htm

here are some more options to look at.

The best compromise in terms of handling, speed, rough water capability in particular in following seas that I have come across and fit in is the NDK Explorer carbon, ideally with LV cockpit, surpringly I fit in here with my > 6 ft > 90 kg, very good thigh contact, less volume would be perfect for a day boat. The glass version is awfully heavy.

Th Xcite is a big bloke stable but slow rough water boat, behaves reasonably well in following seas, rolls well. The Bach is very similar but a little slimmer (53 versus 55 cm max). If you are in the market for something like it I suggest to go for the Bach or Explorer.

Fortunately there are more and more competitors in a once very small market, such as Point 65, Tahe, let alone Kayaksport and the other Scandinavians and Germans who as yet didn't really try to get into the UK market.

Once RTM or Robson (Armerlite) offer their ultralight plastic that overcomes the disadvantages of glass and carbon in a range of sea boats the days of hand laminates and quality hit and miss will be over.

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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by kamala »

Pete, thanks for the suggestions - you should have mail.

Tourer - oh no! That's a fascinating link, thanks, but it's just made the question about ten times harder! :-) Now all I have to do is find reviews and possible demos for half of that lot...I'll put the Explorer on my list to try, though heavy isn't good - I've already killed one wing mirror trying to put a Romany on my car on my own. When you say the Bach, I assume that's the Alaw Bach? Also on my list.

Thanks again, people. (And apologies for the slight thread drift.)

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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by Tourer »

Dear Kamala,

Indeed Rockpool Bach, now seeing your original post and so size I think a little too large for you, as is Explorer anyway and Xcite, so the smaller version I think Xplore S or the equivalent new smaller NDK and the smallest Rockpool might be the ticket, all fairly similar, it's give and take I think.

If you buy a boat made abroad chances are that in case of a warranty claim yo will have some problems, unless your local shop runs a repair service as part of a warranty - which is why I'd say Rockpool or if you live nearer the south coast the little known MEGA - good value for money in particular the carbons but no distributor really, more or less ex factory only.

I once "sold" a French lady friend into a Romany S on the occasion the Penvenan camp, with loads of people and hence boats around, and we ran a swap around try out day. She was in a way too big and terribly heavy Polyform Arctica bought cheaply second hand.

Some glass boats seem to gain weight over time, which is why I wanted a vacuum carbon/kevlar with well covered matting by all means, sometimes my boat doesn't get dry for weeks on end.. I have seen P&H with open glass matting inside, then you step in there with sandy shoes..

But the gel coat is shiny and thick (and heavy) and posh and then those finance-symposion-offers ;-)))

Spending a lot of money doesn't prevent from dodgy craftmanship - take a careful look around, best with a second pair of eyes and cool down before you get the cheque out, and take a pair of scales to see if the stated weight is actually true.

I know of one major club in France with 250 boats where the coaches take delivery of the club boats and mercilessly send back anything with > 10 % above the stated weight.

Those are then probably sold off as "seconds/ex demo/small faults"..

www.ckmer.com 15.-23.8 - I'll be there ;-)))) unless Britain is closed for business yet again, this time for flue as the papers threaten today.

Regards

Rainer

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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by Tourer »

>Has anyone got experience of a direct comparison between these two boats?

Precisely why you have set your mind on these two fairly different ones I don't know.

If you consider a Nordkap then an Anas Acuta might perhaps also be a candidate, or a Skim Dex perhaps, if available (next dealer in Holland as far as I know) which is a blast in acceleration but no good to take photos from.

Perhaps it would be better if you forget for a while all that has been said here about various boats and book at least a half day session with one or several professional coaches, as far as I know daily rates are in the range of 150-200 £ for a full day that can be shared between several people.

Ideally the coach should not be tied to a particular manufacturer.

This way you can get a recommendation about possible boats suitable for you, seat position, trim, forward stroke technique, perhaps paddle choice, rolling assistance, ideally rough water, following seas and surf with the boat of your choice.

Sometimes they hear about customers who are not happy with their choice and want to change the boat. I know someone who came to a NDK Explorer carbon this way - so if you're lucky you cash in the coaching fees in savings elsewhere fairly soon.

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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by kamala »

Hi Rainer
plenty of food for thought, thanks. Good point about the warranty, and interesting thoughts on build quality and especially on the cooling off before placing the order. Didn't realise there were finance offers (discounts?) at symposiums - perhaps I should wait till the next one :-) (Not a chance of going to Brittany, but I'm sure it'll be an entertaining week.)
Anyway thanks again for your thoughts.

[Summit to Sea - tried to send (and resend) a message to you in response to your demo day but I'm not sure whether it got through. Let me know if you haven't had any mail from me this Sunday.]

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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by Tourer »

... or come round for a PDCC trip and ask for a swap. Yesterday 5-6 to begin with , later 7 guts perhaps 8, certainly > 30 knots for extended periods, and that's when the Tiderace works well as a downwind sail but you would't like it upwind.. Too big for you anyway.

We cancel from Bft 7-8 onwards ;-)) but adjust to visitors as yesterday.

P&H Orca PE, I hate to say it looks good to me, two of the "old Hands" use them of now for rough landings/resue..

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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by Summit to Sea »

kamala wrote:[Summit to Sea - tried to send (and resend) a message to you in response to your demo day but I'm not sure whether it got through. Let me know if you haven't had any mail from me this Sunday.]
I got the second one. I've replied direct.

Cheers,
Pete

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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by islanders66 »

kamala wrote:Thanks for the thoughts, islanders66, but let's assume I'm very willing to improve my skills. [Edited in afterthought:] The really useful question here is: in what way would I have to improve to paddle the Nordkapp?
My first boat isn't a sea boat but has given me a taste for going along efficiently with minimal effort, which is why the Nordkapp and Xplore are on my list.

Interesting point about assessing the skills of the reviewer. Sadly I don't know any L4 instructors so I'll have to take information where I can find it. A review like the one above, where one person describes both boats, seems to be a reasonable way of taking a little bit of the personal factor out of the equation.
I'd definitely like to test out any boat before I buy it, it's just a matter of waiting for all the boats of interest to be together at the same time, in suitably testing conditions. Otherwise, with my appalling memory, I forget what each one is like before I get to try the next...
Hi kamala, good questions. Even if you are willing to improve your skills, you might still be getting wet doing so with the NordLV. There isn't much heeling resistance on the secondary. This means when you lean your hip into the bottom corner for stability or edging there isn't a point that says stop here. So you learn to cantilever your body into a j lean. The NordLV was more challenging to J lean, although you may be someone who wants that kind of work out. I do. I also like the transparency in rougher conditions.

As far as the skills necessary. If you look at the BCU or ACA, level 3 training or the strokes and maneuvers, have low and high bracing, edging, etc.. I found much better rates in group lessons. One was with Ben Lawrey at the East Coast Kayak festival, who I later ran into and he spent an afternoon helping me demo kayaks and recommended the Nord LV. We both knew it was a little tippier but I wanted good speed as well. (edit: Ben is a Valley rep, however I already had a Valley and was testing them when I ran into him. I also tested a lot of other kayaks. He doesn't discuss any kayaks or gear during his class, as the class is just improving skills.)

I wasn't trying to assess anyone's skills on line. I didn't articulate myself very well. It has just been my experience with all of the kayaks I have owned that the reviews didn't address some of the most essential characteristics of the kayaks. For example, the NordLV handles high winds and rough water incredibly well. I could get into a long explination of how wind affects the kayak. It also doesn't broach on following seas, which is another aspect that reviews seem to overlook, or other kayaks allow in order to gain more stability. Anyway, for various reasons the personal reviews are somewhat limited to the individuals size, skill, and they often overlook the shortcomings of the kayak, as, like the owners, they are all a comprimise one way or the other.

For a "beginner" who is going to improve very quickly a used good fiberglass kayak is usually less than half price, use it for a year and sell it for perhaps $200 less than what you paid, then try something a little different if you want.

The NordLV is for an advanced intermediate who wants to improve their bracing and skills. A great all around sea kayak, excellent in rough water in wind, efficient, but will require a brace here and there even with advanced kayakers.

There are more knowledgable and experienced kayakers here than myself, and some very good post on this subject. Hope this helped!

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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by Tourer »

There are two aspects of boat choice that are usually forgotten or are surprisingly little known; consequently people end up in boats completely out of their range and way too big paddles because they don't want to listen.

Colour and shape and "write up's" in "respected journals" are more important.

1.: volume to weight - you need a minimum of 30 % of the total volume for stability, obviously in a Nordkap that is more critical than in a NDK or Tiderace/Bach

2.: cockpit fit and ergonomics -the last PE LV that I have seen had an awful completely dysfunctional one without thigh braces, I looked at it after that jubilant Ocean Paddler review that in my view was little more than camouflaged advertiseing, mind you the industry pays most of any magazines revenues anyway.

With that in mind it is nonsensical to look at hull and handling performance if the cockpit doesn't fit , or is simply completely out of the centre of gravity as I have seen on a number of occasions, but what all these advertisers put to the fore is "hull performance".

Often information that manufacturers provide is either misleading, incorrect/incomplete or irrelevant.

E.g. wether any "celebrity" paddles this or that has only to do with sponsoring deals, length at waterline at a given load and the precise centre of gravity is what I find more interesting but normally that is something manufacturers don't know about, or so they say.

Have you booked in with a coach by now ?

Had I paddled my current boat for entire days and not just a short spin I would have looked elsewhere, but budget and availability at a given time also played a role.

Realistically you can get full day or extended testing only via centres or hire from companies such as Karitek, or small builder/factories such as Pietsch &Hansen, certainly not with our local shops.

Do not buy any boat from a shop that doesn't allow a trial in waves if you can help it, unless you tried it elsewhere before.

Are you with the industry yourself and just need to talk up certain brands/models ?

Why don't you want to book a touring/coaching week that can be had from 300 £ including boat and sort it from there ?

Why ?

Regards

Rainer

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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by kamala »

Somewhat belated replies, sorry.

islander66,
thanks for coming back with clarification and comments especially details of the NordLV, sounds very favourable.
Skills - BCU syllabuses are undoubtedly worth a read, well reminded. And classes are probably worth it if one finds the right one but, like boats, it could be a tough choice even with personal recommendations.
I didn't write anything about my background because I was expecting reviews to be about what the person who paddled the boats felt - after all on a thread that's going to be read by numbers of people no-one could possibly tailor their replies to all the audience. But if anyone's going to try: I'm 5'4", 60kg, and have spent some years knocking around in a marathon K1 - so I'm still a cr*p paddler, but a cr*p paddler with the beginnings of a low brace...

Rainer,
interesting post as ever, thanks. Cockpit fit has to be considered, and test paddling is definitely going to happen before I buy anything!
Not certain whether those questions are for me, but if so:
I have *no* connections with the industry and have no idea which brand I'm supposed to be 'talking up'.
Why don't I book a coaching week? Maybe I will, but that won't sort out the question of interest here, which is how the NordkappLV and Tiderace Xcite(S) and Xplore(S) compare.

There's been some great stuff on here, thanks all - but I for one am still interested if anyone else has opinions on any of those boats!

PS Have recently had a good long paddle in a Nordkapp Jubilee, but I'm guessing that's a quite different beast from the LV.

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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by Tourer »

kamala wrote:Somewhat belated replies, sorry.
...But if anyone's going to try: I'm 5'4", 60kg, and have spent some years knocking around in a marathon K1 - so I'm still a cr*p paddler, but a cr*p paddler with the beginnings of a low brace...

So you actually know about boats, and certainly better than me as far as flat water goes.

60 kg in my view makes you the wrong person for an Xcite, perhaps the "S" model might do, but as a K1 paddler you love speed most of all, and for that the Xcite is the wrong ticket.

It is all about rough water handling, surfeing and fun in following seas, but even for me (>90kg) it has too much volume in the bow which makes for early coming up in wave troughs but also weather cocking and wasted effort to keep it on track in > Bft 6.

At the time I bought it I found paddling in Bft 6-7 beyond my abilities, now I want something smaller, lighter, faster.

So the Xcite is a boat for those who want to gain confidence in rough seas, as such a good coaching platform and worth condidering for centres, but the same is true for e.g. NDK's and Rockpools.

Competence gained one might perhaps consider a pure Greenland low volume style boat, or a sea racer e.g. from Polyform, Willy Neumann, Epic or such like - or have something made for your specific dimensions and needs rather than hopping from one to the other and spend all that money and time and fuel on things that don't fit as I did.

For more inspiration but also general guidance look at www.thomassondesign.com

and similar sites e.g. Vaclav Stejskal's oneoceandesign.com

Regards

Rainer

Regards

Rainer

Rainer,
interesting post as ever, thanks. Cockpit fit has to be considered, and test paddling is definitely going to happen before I buy anything!
Not certain whether those questions are for me, but if so:
I have *no* connections with the industry and have no idea which brand I'm supposed to be 'talking up'.
Why don't I book a coaching week? Maybe I will, but that won't sort out the question of interest here, which is how the NordkappLV and Tiderace Xcite(S) and Xplore(S) compare.

There's been some great stuff on here, thanks all - but I for one am still interested if anyone else has opinions on any of those boats!

PS Have recently had a good long paddle in a Nordkapp Jubilee, but I'm guessing that's a quite different beast from the LV.

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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by wilsoj2 »

lace_randy does a great job of comparing these two boats. Though I prefer the Nordkapp LV to the Xcite.

I own a Nordlow and have paddled a friend's Xcite.

IMHO, the Xcite handles like a tweaked NDK Explorer. It is supremely confidence inspiring while feeling faster and easier to turn and roll than an Explorer. It has a very boxy hull section midship and takes some oomph to get on edge. The Exite feels like a lot of hull moving through the water. The Nordlow accelerates quicker than any other sea kayak I've paddled. It loves chop and clapitos and runs downwind very well. It is extraordinarily neutral in beam winds etc... The Nordlow rolls very fast and at rest has little preference in its lateral orientation ;-)

I prefer the fit of the Nordkapp LV, though understand paddlers' preference for the Xcite's. I am 6' tall and 185 lbs (13.25 stone).

All that being said, I am not a confident enough paddler to have the Nordkapp LV as my only boat. I use my Romany for surfing and tide races. I used my Aquanaut for my 4* work and still prefer it as a rescue platform. The Nordlow is not a reassuring boat and requires intestinal fortitude and good bracing skills in challenging conditions.

P.S. The Nordkapp LV is different enough from a full size Nordkapp that some have suggested it should have a different name. Douglas Wilcox observed: "Compared with the Nordkapp Jubilee, this boat is a completely new shape. The only dimension it shares with its namesake is overall width. It has much finer bow and stern sections." To me, it still feels like a Nordkapp, but sexier, i.e. more fun!
Last edited by wilsoj2 on Sat Sep 05, 2009 8:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by Douglas Wilcox »

Hello Kamala, I have owned both a Nordkapp LV and an Alaw Bach (very similar to the Xcite) since they came out. I have posted reviews here and here but I don't suggest you bother reading them. They were my impressions of the kayaks and I am 95kg.

At 95kg I have found the Nordkapp LV to be the perfect volume for a day boat. At 60 kg, I think you might find lower volume sea kayaks such as the Isel, Pilgrim and Avocet LV a better fit and volume. You should definitely try for as long as you can before you buy. Dealers like Kari-tek not only have demo days, they hire kayaks to prospective buyers.

With regard to the Nordkapp LV's stability, I am quite happy to risk a camera and lens combination (which cost considerably more than the kayak) on the water, like here in the Corryvreckan. The Nordkapp LV can't be that unstable.

I wish you a successful purchase.

Douglas

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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by rebekka »

Hi Kamala,

Sorry, I only just found your post after the new replies today. I'm roughly the same size as you and have tried both of these too as part of my short list when I was looking. I'm still very much a learner, so these are just my personal experiences. LV Nordie's are simply fabulous if they work for you and lance_randy's/wilsoj2's comments are spot on so I can't really add to that. If speed and tracking are what you want, then this may be the one for you. Personally, although I liked it a lot, it wasn't quite right - I felt the cockpit didn't offer me a good position as there was too much space between the deck and my legs.

If you are thinking of trying the ExciteS - as I was advised on this forum, DO also try an Anas Acuta...:-))) As others have mentioned, the ExciteS cockpit is a fabulous fit for a smaller paddler, by far the best I have ever tried. There was little between them, the Anas Acuta just worked better for me. I found in most kayaks that I got no response from shifting my weight and had to really force my knee up to edge and that was still somewhat the case with the ExciteS. The AA will turn without any effort whatsoever and the slightest change of weight will see it obligingly go on its side (a bit like a friendly puppie when stroked). For me, the deciding factor was handling in the wind and in rough water - here the anas acuta simply outshone anything I had paddled previously. I used to get blown downwind in F6+ like I was paddling a bath duckie and I got chucked out of my seat a lot surfing/bracing/trying to learn to roll. No, neither of these boats are the fastest, but you'll be surprised what they can do when you really try to shift them. Both can feel a bit twitchy in a /quartering sea initially, but you can either play with the skeg or simply enjoy zigzagging with it. Both boats will broach very easily in surf. I haven't surfed the excite, but a simply amazing thing that happened to me recently when surfing a small breaker was that my AA simply turned back over the top of it rather than letting me get trashed - wow! It seems to want to look after me.

A lot of these things are very personal. I made my decision when I realised the boat I was in made me grin uncontrollably and made me feel happy and secure. You'll know it when it happens.

If I hadn't tried the Anas Acuta, I would have probably gone for the ExciteS or a Pintail - but after a morning trying both, the ExciteS was no longer 'exciting' me.
Of course, if you come from a K1 background, how about the Inuk ? :-) Haven't tried it personally but know other small paddlers who love it. I found either of the Rapiers a bit roomy for me.

happy paddling
Cheers
Rebekka

islanders66
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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by islanders66 »

Thanks for the getting back with us kamala. Yes, my impressions on the NordLV were supposed to be favorible.

I fully agree that the timing has to be right to find just the right instructor at just the right time. For me, I managed a decent forward stroke, had good balance, and a decent roll, and edging, without any formal instructions. I was still a "beginner" then took some group classes with some of the best instructors. One was Karen Knight who is about your size and also is into yoga, and it was like starting all over. I'm good at learning proper technique, could paddle, so the timing was just right for me to break everything down and start all over.

I put the word beginner in quotes because it's almost irrelevant. I haven't been kayking that long but have managed to own both a hard chine and soft chine hull. Even for an advanced paddler going from a true hard chine with a flat bottom, to a soft chine with a slight keel line like the Nord LV is a daunting task.

They both have their advantages. The harder chine will turn very well with little edging, (j lean) It also locks in place on edge, (heeling), and is better for surfing, however the draw back is that beam waves from the side will grab the hard edge. Also the harder chine is like falling off a cliff once you lean too far, as opposed to the softer chine that is easier to right with a brace.

I loved the edging on the hard chine but it was too much of a handfull with beam waves.

If you are more inclined for surfing or want to more control with edging than the harder chine would be better.

As far as bracing goes, practice edging over in small beam waves.. I find a calm day at the beach where it's only about waist deep and I can just walk the kayak up on the beach if I tip over.. then edge over as far as possible while paddling with waves and use a quick little brace to right the kayak. then soon it becomes a quick little reflex and a soft correction with the face of the paddle.

I didn't mean to get off track, but didn't want it to sound like "bracing" is all that hard.

Finally, if I'm not mistaken, the NordLV is the same size as the smaller Nordkapp. I only tested both on a lake. The LV is more responsive to edging.. has a bit more chine.. for me a kayak has to respond to edging.. and the stability should be about the same.. I wouldn't even expect too much difference from the Avocet..

As Rainier said, the fit is very important.. there are a lot of good kayaks out there.. and as he said it is so easy to go round and round with a bunch of them, or get bad advice from someone like me, before you get the one you should of gotten in the first place.. although I'm confident you will assimilate all the different info, encounter people with more experience than myself, and timing will be right for you..

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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by Bod »

Mrs Bod recently bought an Xplore-S. She is about 50kg I guess. This was chosen after trying the Isel (Cockpit not comfortable -for her), Avocet (only Valley boat she fitted - too slow due to lack of length) and a few others. Originally the Xcite-S was on the cards for our typical day boating but when the Xplore-S was tried the realisation of the 'need for speed' led her to go that route. Build quality is excellent, comfort excellent, it goes nicely in a straightline and turns as easily as any sea kayak needs to.

Edited for clarity due to confusion caused. I paddle a 5.3m plastic barge. I am still quicker in my barge than my wife in her Xplore-S on a flat sea. As soon as it gets rougher or there is a following sea, I find that my progress is backwards relative to the progress of my wife in her Xplore-S, regardless of the effort that I put in. Thus the Xplore-S works very well and displays good speed which is particularly noticeable in rougher conditions. I am sure the Nordy LV is equally efficient under such conditions, though. I recommend you try as many boats as possible including the Tiderace boats and the Nordy LV and maybe the Avocet before you make your final decision, as you will then know which one is right.
Last edited by Bod on Fri Sep 04, 2009 3:14 pm, edited 8 times in total.
John B.

Bod
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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by Bod »

islanders66 wrote: I put the word beginner in quotes because it's almost irrelevant. I haven't been kayking that long but have managed to own both a hard chine and soft chine hull. Even for an advanced paddler going from a true hard chine with a flat bottom, to a soft chine with a slight keel line like the Nord LV is a daunting task.
I think daunting is an overstatement, although I've never been into over analysing simple physical skills. Once you paddle enough boats you quickly learn to adapt to anything else. Let's face it, we are only talking about the skill of balancing on your backside.
John B.

islanders66
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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by islanders66 »

Bod wrote:
islanders66 wrote: I put the word beginner in quotes because it's almost irrelevant. I haven't been kayking that long but have managed to own both a hard chine and soft chine hull. Even for an advanced paddler going from a true hard chine with a flat bottom, to a soft chine with a slight keel line like the Nord LV is a daunting task.
I paddle a 5.3m plastic barge and am still quicker on a flat sea but as soon as it gets rougher or there is a following sea, I just go backwards, however hard I work. I am sure it would be the same comment with the Nordy LV, though.

I think daunting is an overstatement, although I've never been into over analysing simple physical skills. Once you paddle enough boats you quickly learn to adapt to anything else. Let's face it, we are only talking about the skill of balancing on your backside.
This makes no sense to me at all. Why would following seas make you go backwards? And do you think there is no difference between a Nord LV and a plastic barge?

I have owned a Capella 169, Valley Q boat and Valley Nord LV, so went from a soft chine, to hard chine and back to soft chine. I can assure you that the transition between these kayaks takes some time to adjust and I've had more than one qualified instructor tell me that they never could get used to a hard chined kayak.

My comments were intended for kamala to help make an informed decession. Please don't impose the limits you set for yourself on me.

Edit: I post here very infrequently about the Nord LV. I admire the paddling community here and the how you all express yourselves most of the time. I thought it was a very informative discussion that will help point someone in the right direction.

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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by nickcrowhurst »

islanders66 wrote:This makes no sense to me at all. Why would following seas make you go backwards? And do you think there is no difference between a Nord LV and a plastic barge?
The way I read this is:
1. "backwards" means, in this context, relative to the other barge-like kayak when conditions got more demanding. I have found the same when paddling my Nordkapp HM in company with fat barges. No problem in flat water, but the barges "go backwards" (relatively) when the going gets tough, either with following seas or head seas.
2. The "no difference" relates to "no difference if the non-barge had been a Nordkapp LV". The barge would have also gone "backwards", so confirming that the Nordkapp LV is indeed very different to the barge.

If read thus, it makes sense to me, even if one might not agree.
Nick.

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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by DominiqueS »

I guess the same idea for such behaviour was expressed by Rob Mercer of Expedition Kayaks Australia in his shop blog:

"The great thing about Valley boats is the way they get better, as things on the water get worse....".

("Storm paddling", 25 May 2009 - Granted he is a Valley dealer, but also for NDK and Rockpool, and a known instructor too. He also has a good entry on wave running here: http://www.balancedboater.com/ see the blog on October 2, 2008 ).

A boat that one feels is more and more stable / firm / solid as the weather deteriorates is a huge plus, be it a Valley or any other. Hence the importance of also comparing boats close to the limits of one's comfort zone, or at least in quite good chop.

islanders66
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Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by islanders66 »

nickcrowhurst wrote:
islanders66 wrote:This makes no sense to me at all. Why would following seas make you go backwards? And do you think there is no difference between a Nord LV and a plastic barge?
The way I read this is:
1. "backwards" means, in this context, relative to the other barge-like kayak when conditions got more demanding. I have found the same when paddling my Nordkapp HM in company with fat barges. No problem in flat water, but the barges "go backwards" (relatively) when the going gets tough, either with following seas or head seas.
2. The "no difference" relates to "no difference if the non-barge had been a Nordkapp LV". The barge would have also gone "backwards", so confirming that the Nordkapp LV is indeed very different to the barge.

If read thus, it makes sense to me, even if one might not agree.
Nick.
If he meant, "go backwards" as in not making much progress, I'll agree with you there. No need to latch onto my post to prove that, though.

At least there is one good paddler in his family. Probably more than the rest of us can say.

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