Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
Nick P
Posts: 237
Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 8:40 am
Location: Looe, Cornwall

Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by Nick P » Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:42 pm

The time is getting closer when I shall be able to replace my 20 year old Sealion.

My primary requisite is for a composite dayboat and of the many demo boats I've paddled, the Nordkapp LV has come out tops.
But, I like the look and reports about the Tiderace boats, but have not managed to paddle one yet (must contact Waterborne in Porthleven for a demo).

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

I realise its personal and ultimately it'll depend on my demo'ing, but I'm interested in the opinions of others - handling, build quality etc.
For info I'm 5' 11" and 12.5 stone.

cheers
Nick

AlanTelemark
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:30 pm
Location: Aberdeen
Contact:

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by AlanTelemark » Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:12 pm

If you want something fun for a day boat then Pintail, A. Acuta, Rockpool. I certainly find these much more suitable for rockhopping, manoeuvreing, surfing and everything else i do on daytrips (except sprinting) than my LV.

Richard Uren
Posts: 508
Joined: Thu May 09, 2002 7:59 pm
Location: Penzance
Contact:

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by Richard Uren » Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:44 pm

I believe there is a tiderace demo day at Bude coming up. No real experience of the Nordcapp lv but I really rate the xcite, real fun to paddle. Come west and play sometime.
PaddlecrestCoaching
It`s the journey that matters, not the destination

smallbear
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 7:41 pm
Location: Fife

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by smallbear » Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:32 pm

After about a year paddling an HV Valley Aquanaut, I tried a few composite boats out before plumping for my Nordkapp LV. Amongst others, I did try the Tiderace Xcite and the Xplore. Although only in the Xcite for about 20 minutes, it, for some reason, didn't interest me as much as the Nordkapp did. Don't know why - gut feeling, feminine intuition call it what you will. I also didn't think I could justify spending the extra the Xcite would have cost me. A fellow paddler has an Xcite which got a huge scratch along the hull. Against the gray hull colour, it looked very obvious so that also put me off a bit. Of the two Tideraces I tried ( at a Knoydart demo near Arisaig), I preferred the Xplore. I am 5'6" and about 12 stone and I felt the Xplore was better suited to my build than the Xcite. I am certain that it personal preference though.
I can't fault Valley's construction nor Stirling Canoes guidance and sales service. I ordered my Nordkapp with a custom bulkead and it fits me like a glove. Valley used a thick foam pad which gives me the flexibility to allow others to paddle it or if I sold it, to allow it to appeal to all sizes. I don't have footrests fitted as the foam covered bulkhead is one big footrest. In terms of handling, I find it pretty manoeuverable and if rockhopping, can manage to stay out of trouble (whilst allowing any plastic boats to scratch their way over the rocks!). If practising rescues, I find it is quite responsive to positioning to assist someone in the water and it tows another boat without complaint. I have surfed once with the Nordkapp (.... so far) and it is fairly whizzy when it catches a wave.
In terms of beam seas, I find the Nordkapp paddles better in rougher water if the bow is a little heavier packed than the stern. It seems to pitch less in the swell and feel more stable. That said, I think the boat almost paddles better in waves than on flat calm and the Nordkapp definitely doesn't like to stand still. I find if I stop to take a photo or wait for others, it is distinctly tippier than the Aquanaut ever was so found out pretty quickly to keep it moving where possible or get damned good at bracing!!
Demo the Tideraces and make up your own mind - you'll soon know once you paddle of in the right one. Enjoy your purchase!!

Nick P
Posts: 237
Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 8:40 am
Location: Looe, Cornwall

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by Nick P » Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:32 pm

Thanks for the responses so far folks.

Alan - I've paddled the boats you mention, except the rockpool - which I assume is very similar to the tiderace boats and good for surfing.
Smallbear - thanks for taking the time to post such a long response. So far the Nordkapp LV is the one for me - I paddled it at the canoe show at Exeter in 2007, and it just felt so right for me. I need to try the Tiderace to see how it compares.
I should have said, this boat will also have to see me through the next 20 years, so its gotta be well made, which the valley boats certainly are. I also want to go for full carbon - weight is not such an issue now, but it might be when I'm 66 !!
I also intend to go for custom set up and a bulkhead footrest - as you can gather I don't buy boats very often, so the next ones gonna be a goodie. I can't afford a dream house or a dream car, but I can stretch to a dream kayak once in a while.

Richard - I saw there was a demo in Bude at end of May - i'll definitely try to get there and give 'em a go - its the only way.
I am considering joining PZ canoe club, if they'll have me (no stars, but lots of experience and bad habits!). Does the club still do monthly sea trips?

Don't think I'll be buying the boat this summer, I'm still saving.

Thanks

Nick

User avatar
Mr Hoppy
Posts: 813
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 2:39 pm
Location: Shrewsbury

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by Mr Hoppy » Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:00 pm

I found the Xcite the most comfortable of all the boats I sat in and of the designs was just the one I would have gone for. I went for an Alaw as a very close second and they do come up 2nd hand occassionally which makes a difference.

Chris

User avatar
MikeD
Posts: 147
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:06 pm
Location: Denmark
Contact:

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by MikeD » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:01 am

I paddled the Nordkapp LV during my 4 star training & assessment last year with Gordon Brown. The LV felt to me like a scaled down version of my Quest LV, a little more manoverable & lively but with distinctly less pack room. It felt more like a scaled down expedition boat than an all-out day / play boat. The tiderace boats are very much like the rockpools, both designed by Aled Williams. The Alaw & Alaw Bach and the Xcite are very much more rough-water play boats.The tiderace boats have the advantage of a built-in skeg. If you decide on a tiderace, make sure it was built in Finland, and NOT in Poland, the build quality from Finland is extremely good, those from Poland are far from perfect. As mentioned earlier in the post, the Anas Acuta is a great day boat that excels in rough water. The P&H Cetus LV should be arriving soon, and will be worth testing, it is longer & quicker than the other boats, though it is still very nimble.

MikeD

Dan@Tiderace
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:23 pm

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by Dan@Tiderace » Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:02 am

Nick,

Waterborne are doing a Tiderace demo day in Bude on the 31st of May. I'm sure Drew would be delighted to give you a test paddle in the boats (contact details can be found on http://www.waterborneporthleven.com/ ).

User avatar
TechnoEngineer
Posts: 3292
Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 7:47 pm
Location: Berks, Hants, Essex

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by TechnoEngineer » Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:22 am

Do they (Waterborne) have the Xplore-X? I couldn't quite fit into the Xplore.
XL-Burn-3 / Monstar / Kodiak / My Videos

Dan@Tiderace
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:23 pm

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by Dan@Tiderace » Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:26 am

TechnoEngineer wrote:Do they (Waterbourne) have the Xplore-X? I couldn't quite fit into the Xplore.
Not yet. The first Xplore-X is arriving here tomorrow and dealers should have demo boats to paddle within the next couple of months.

User avatar
TechnoEngineer
Posts: 3292
Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 7:47 pm
Location: Berks, Hants, Essex

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by TechnoEngineer » Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:29 am

OK. Who is the nearest dealer to the M3 corridor? (Woodmill to Whitewater-the-Canoe-Centre)
XL-Burn-3 / Monstar / Kodiak / My Videos

Richard Uren
Posts: 508
Joined: Thu May 09, 2002 7:59 pm
Location: Penzance
Contact:

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by Richard Uren » Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:38 am

Probably Waterborne.
PaddlecrestCoaching
It`s the journey that matters, not the destination

Richard Uren
Posts: 508
Joined: Thu May 09, 2002 7:59 pm
Location: Penzance
Contact:

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by Richard Uren » Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:41 am

Nick, You will be most welcome. There`s a trip most months - have a look at the website for dates and contact details.
PaddlecrestCoaching
It`s the journey that matters, not the destination

User avatar
Gareth Plas
Posts: 188
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2006 5:24 pm
Location: "Wot No Alaw? Llangollen North Wales

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by Gareth Plas » Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:04 am

You could also Mike Webb's new Rockpool GT, awesome handling with expedition friendly capacity.

I took it out in the Rhoscolyn tiderace and through some big seas back to Porth Dafarch, and it behaved superbly.

It is also very comfortable, and the usual Rockpool high quality.

I believe that Mike will be at the anglesey sea symposium with it in a fortnight..............well worth a trip up for you to try out all sorts of stuff.


Gareth

User avatar
Ceegee
Posts: 942
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:32 pm
Location: Mizen Head, Ireland (see above)

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by Ceegee » Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:50 am

Nick P wrote:Alan - I've paddled the boats you mention, except the rockpool - which I assume is very similar to the tiderace boats
That is what I would have thought too, but surprisingly, no! I tried an Excite Hardcore a few weeks back, admittedly at a pool rolling session, but just didn't feel comfortable, compared to my Alaw Bach, or even my mate's Alaw, with the high deck. I put it down mostly to the seat position (which can be adjusted for) but the hull shape felt "quirkier" than the Rockpol too. JMHO.


Steve
Cheers,
Steve C. G.

BillMaisey
Posts: 84
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 2:46 pm
Location: Kidderminster - UK

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by BillMaisey » Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:27 pm

If you decide on a tiderace, make sure it was built in Finland, and NOT in Poland, the build quality from Finland is extremely good, those from Poland are far from perfect.
In a possibly futile attempt to restore balance to the Internet, my Polish built, 2008 Xplore has been put together perfectly in my view. I have yet to see another sea kayak from any other manufacturer that equals it in terms of moulding accuracy and finish. The internal details and features also display the hallmarks of a professional constructor. It's a really sound boat that performs superbly on the water ... etc, etc.

I should say at this point that I have no connection with Tiderace, I just bought one of their boats. Did I mention that it was built in Poland ..?

Rant over.

Bill

User avatar
Mr Hoppy
Posts: 813
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 2:39 pm
Location: Shrewsbury

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by Mr Hoppy » Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:32 pm

BillMaisey wrote:
If you decide on a tiderace, make sure it was built in Finland, and NOT in Poland, the build quality from Finland is extremely good, those from Poland are far from perfect.
In a possibly futile attempt to restore balance to the Internet, my Polish built, 2008 Xplore has been put together perfectly in my view. I have yet to see another sea kayak from any other manufacturer that equals it in terms of moulding accuracy and finish. The internal details and features also display the hallmarks of a professional constructor. It's a really sound boat that performs superbly on the water ... etc, etc.

I should say at this point that I have no connection with Tiderace, I just bought one of their boats. Did I mention that it was built in Poland ..?

Rant over.

Bill
Didn't stop your handle falling off though ;-)

BillMaisey
Posts: 84
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 2:46 pm
Location: Kidderminster - UK

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by BillMaisey » Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:55 pm

Didn't stop your handle falling off though
Doh ..!! That's harsh.

Err actually Chris, I have to confess to replacing the toggle cord that failed. I used to be a boy scout so I have no concept of knot tying whatsoever ...

Bill

User avatar
janet brown
Posts: 786
Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 9:15 am
Location: Pulborough, West Sussex

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by janet brown » Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:47 pm

MikeD wrote: If you decide on a tiderace, make sure it was built in Finland, and NOT in Poland, the build quality from Finland is extremely good, those from Poland are far from perfect.
MikeD
I have to argue with that comment. My Tiderace XPloreS was from the later Polish manufacturer, and the build quality is fantastic. It gets lots of admiring glances, and I am loving paddling this beautiful kayak. Admittedly it hasn't been challenged much yet as I am new to sea kayaking, but it feels ready for anything.

Janet

rockhopper
Posts: 676
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 7:55 pm
Location: Essex

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by rockhopper » Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:06 am

were there not two different Polish manufacturers, the first was was not very good so production was changed to the second Polish company where the quality was much better (although apparently not as good as the current manufacturers).

Rog.

islanders66
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:29 pm
Location: Charleston SC

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by islanders66 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:36 pm

I just picked up a Norddapp LV last Saturday so I haven't had it out in a lot of conditions.

I also have a hard chine Valley Q boat.

Having both, the hard chine is very responsive to edging, but can demand attention in some beam conditions.

In my experience a hard chine and soft chine have different characteristics. I'm not a fan of too much rocker or high stability at the cost of speed.

I would suggest trying it out in all conditions, especially nasty beam waves and beam wind.

The Nord LV was responsive to edging, good speed, and the softer chines should be handle more dynamic condtions. (Although I haven't had it out in much yet)

While the hard chine is great for edging. So good that you don't need any rocker in the front.

It's all a give and take, and you won't know how it handles in all conditions until you get it out there.

User avatar
rija
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:58 pm
Location: Stockholm

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by rija » Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:26 pm

with regards to build quality of the Tiderace boats, I have a Plastex (Polish) built Tiderace xplore and the build quality and finish of that boat is better than both my old Nordkapp and the NDK Explorer my friend bought at the same time I bought my Tiderace. The reason moving from Plastex to Finland was primarily based on Plastex not being able to deliver the volumes Aled expected as far as I know. Plastex have been building kayaks that have won gold medals in several olympic games, world championships etc. so there is no doubt they can build high quality boats.

And that said, a very well designed and well built boat has become even better this year as now have seen the new Finland built boats.

/Rickard

User avatar
Ceegee
Posts: 942
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:32 pm
Location: Mizen Head, Ireland (see above)

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by Ceegee » Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:22 am

Point being of course, that (presumably) if you now buy a Polish-built boat, it is not an official Tiderace - old stock (if any) marketed by Tiderace distributors excepted. This was always the case of the GBA boats, which are pirate copies of the prototype. Assuming you are buying new, Tiderace are now only (to my best knowledge) produced in Finland.

Steve
Cheers,
Steve C. G.

Dan@Tiderace
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:23 pm

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by Dan@Tiderace » Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:32 am

Just to set the record straight...

All Tiderace boats are manufactured in Finland. Tiderace designs are not produced under licence anywhere else.

Nick P
Posts: 237
Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 8:40 am
Location: Looe, Cornwall

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by Nick P » Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:05 pm

Hi Folks,
Been away for a few days, so only just got to revisit this post.
Thanks everyone for your comments - no doubt I shall re-read them again. I will definitely be test driving a tiderace boat soon, but I am reassured by comments regarding build quality.
As I said, I'm in no immediate rush, I don't have the spare cash yet.
Thanks again

Nick

islanders66
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:29 pm
Location: Charleston SC

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by islanders66 » Sat Apr 25, 2009 6:01 pm

The Nord LV is the most efficient kayak I've paddled. Did well in 3.5 foot surf, but in beam waves wish it had a little more secondary. Still, after a long paddle and lots of surfing, there was no stress at all on my shoulders. It was only my second time in moderate conditions and I had the back band out.

The Tiderace looks like an interesting boat as well. Good luck!

lance_randy
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:43 am

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite

Post by lance_randy » Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:52 am

I own a Nordkapp LV, and a Tiderace Xcite. I have had the LV for a couple of years, and the Xcite for a few months. My other boats (just to give you an idea where I'm coming from) are an NDK Greenlander Pro, an Anas Acuta, and an old Nordkapp HM.

I'll try to give you the best, and most honest comparison that I can:

The Nordkapp LV is probably the sweetest handling, and most responsive boat that I have ever paddled. What can I say about it, other than It's a Nordkapp alright, and the best Nordkapp ever (if you aren't hauling a ton of gear). It has a fast cruising speed, VERY fast acceleration; it doesn't take much effort to paddle, very little drag.

The Xcite, on the other hand seems to have about the same cruising speed, but doesn't quite have the lightning fast accelearation of the Nordy LV. It is heavier, and it feels like you are pushing just a bit more boat thru the water, not quite as effortless as paddling the LV.

Unlike the old Nordkapps, this one turns on a dime. It's an elegant boat to paddle, having relatively low initial stability, it responds to the slightest shifting of weight to ones bumcheek, making it very easy to edge. It's loose on edge, but it stiffens up a fair bit at the limits of it's secondary stability, and then it goes over.

The Xcite takes a bit more oomph to edge, it has much more initial stability to overcome, but locks in on edge, better than any boat I have ever paddled, making really deep edging allot easier than in the Norkapp LV. On flat water is one thing, but in the rough stuff, I am much more careful edging the LV! I should mention that I am Five foot Nine, One Hundred Fifty pounds. I think if I were about 25lb heavier, the Xcite would be much easier to crank around. That said, when you edge it hard, it can match the turning radius of the LV. It just takes more effort, but you feel more secure, and there is the trade off;)

In the rough stuff, the Nordy comes alive. It is very neutral handling, is the best way I can put it. Waves from all directions have little effect on the hull, beam, and confused seas are very smooth. You just have to have good balance, it just responds to whatever input you give it. The Xcite also kicks butt in the rough stuff, but it handles waves differently. While the Nordkapp is very neutral, and just responds to whatever input it gets, the Xcite really wants to stay upright (For lack of a better way of putting it). It really looks after you, it's very secure feeling, but not barge like in any way. It isn't smooth like the nordkapp, it bounces happily along, beam seas are a bit jerkier, but all the while it maintains the excellent feeling of stability. I'm much more relaxed in the Xcite, I tend to look around allot more rather than concentrating on the waves immediately around me, like I have to in the Nordy.

Surfing wise, the Xcite is king. It just picks up the smallest following sea so easily... it's as if it wants to surf. The Nordy has the acceleration, so it picks up waves good too, but its hull doesn't want to plane like the Xcites does. I can get much more out of smaller waves with the Xcite

Comfort wise, the Norkapp LV sucks. For me anyways. And my brother, and Mother. My sister doesn't seem to mind it. The thigh hooks are not substantial enough, so the knees are splayed out to the sides at an angle that kills my knees and hips after a long paddle.

The Xcite, on the other hand, has hands down, the most comfortable, ergonomic cockpit I have ever sat it. The knees are up higher, so they line up better with the ankles. This not only makes for more comfort, but it's also a more powerful paddling position, and offers much better boat control.

Overall, the Xcite feels more 'burly' and the Norkapp LV a bit fancier, more elegant, if you will.

With all that said, you might think that I prefer the Nordkapp LV, but I don't. The Xcite is just so darned comfortable, that everything is better in it. I hardly paddle the LV anymore, and when I do, it just kills my body, and now that I am used to the Xcite, I miss that 'burlyness', the way it holds your hand a little. I am a much bolder paddler in the Xcite.

My favorite paddling is in tide races, rock gardens. Surfing, rock hopping, that sort of thing. The park and play kind of stuff. For this kind of fun, I think the Xcite is a better choice. It is heavier, and has a stronger stiffer hull than the LV for one thing, it surfs better,and having that extra security with the stability, and the stability on edge really allows you to 'go for it' just a bit more, imo.

I'm probably going to sell the LV, and my Greelander Pro, and keep the Anas and the Xcite. I will never part with the Xcite though. All things considered, I consider it the best boat I have ever paddled.

One more note: The Xcite is absolutely the BEST greenland rolling boat too, I actually prefer it to the Anas Acuta. The elevated knee position makes for much more powerful knee drive with the forward recovery rolls. The super low rear deck, and the way it locks in on edge makes it great for layback rolls, and balance brace.

geoffm
Posts: 386
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 5:05 am
Location: Tasmania
Contact:

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by geoffm » Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:56 pm

What an absolutely brilliant comparison!

Geoff

islanders66
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:29 pm
Location: Charleston SC

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by islanders66 » Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:24 pm

Thanks for the review. An update on my Nordlow. It handles wind beautifully. I had it out in 30 knots and it could point in any direction desired. With the skeg fully up it was able to point into the wind with a head or beam wind and waves and with following and quatering waves and wind and current it handled perfectly. Even in lighter wind and flat water it is easy to paddle. I'm 6'3'' and about 190 and find it comfortable. I like the secondary transparency. I like the way it high braces in the surf. I removed the foot pegs and put foam on the bulk head. I think it edges much better with my feet together. The edging requires a low twist or bending of the lower back, much lower than my other kayaks a Q boat and Capella. There isn't a lot of foot room with the low deck. I'm planning to pad out the knees. All in all I think its a great coastal kayak with very good efficiency in current and wind. I go out in the harbor with clapodis, high winds, current, and the ocean to surf and get knocked around, and also like to paddle some distance on the calm tidal rivers.

kamala
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 2:57 pm
Location: N Wales

Re: Nordkapp LV v Tiderace Xcite^

Post by kamala » Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:42 pm

Widening the discussion a little, can anyone comment on the difference between the Tiderace Xplore and these two boats? Particularly an Xplore S?

Going by the decriptions on the Tiderace website, and that fascinating review by lance_randy, I'd guess the Xplore has characteristics somewhere in between the Nordkapp LV and the Xcite. Is that right? Does it have the best of both worlds, or the worst, or is it completely different?

I'm looking to buy my first sea boat, and these three are firmly on my list of possibles. Well, it was just the Nordkapp LV and the Xplore S, but lance makes the Xcite sound pretty good, too.

Post Reply