Avocet vs. Nordkapp LV

I’ve been reading a ton of glowing reviews about the Nordkapp LV and was hoping that someone could compare the Avocet and the Nordkapp LV. Or to the Romany or Pintail.

I’m 200 pounds and have been paddling the Avocet about four days a week since May, so because I know it so well it would work as a great baseline of comparison for me. I’m looking for a new kayak for my personal boat. I’d like it to be playful and fun as a day boat, but also able to carry a lightweight touring load of up to 40 pounds. But I’m more concerned about the playful part, because I have a very nice touring kayak.

Any thoughts? Thanks.


Look to subjective reviews from people you don’t know, and don’t know what kind of boater they are? C’mon dude, think for yourself and evaluate each of these good choices for yourself. Listen to “your” gut, and forget internet expert reviews, as they are essentially meaningless. People like what they own, and evangelize accordingly. Not to be offensive to anyone here, but the reviews are highly subjective…including my own favorites. They just work for me and my style. You have pre-chosen great kayaks…now paddle all of them in a variety of conditions and make up your own mind!!

Why not! This is the information age
and why not tap into it and solicit opinions from people. I expect you are a smart enough person to know that people are often biased based upon there own purchase decisions. I for one solicit information and filter it accordingly. Through that process I find things I should put on my list when I do my evaluation prior to making my decision. What’s the harm.

'kapp LV is playful and worth a try
The Nordkapp LV is playful and worth testing for your desires.

Though I weigh a bit less than you (165-170) and demoed the boat unloaded, I found it great fun.

For my taste I found the Nordkapp LV more fun than the Avocet.

That is the whole point of an internet forum…to get the opinion of several different people, and pick and choose from the opinions of others to assist you in formulating your own informed conclusion. Of course you still formulate your own opinion, but perhaps others can point out things you had not considered.

Of course things are highly subjective, but there is still good information to be had.

I have not paddled the Nord. but here are some generalizations I would think may be things to consider…your weight might be a bit high for the Avocet. Valley’s website states that the optimum paddler weight for the Avocet is centered around 130, and the Nord about 180.

The Nord should be faster, have more storage space, a more ginger stability profile, track better, and be a bit more cumbersome to carry and load. I base this primarily off of its length and reviews of others.

The Avocet probably will be a bit faster handling and quicker to turn around in a tight space based on its shorter length. Also a bit easier to handle and store.

The Avocet is primarily a day / play boat. I would say that the Nord. LV is an expedition boat that has more playful characteristics than most.

I think your choice depends on your intended use, and your experience. The Nord. is less suited to beginners than the Avocet.


v. Romany
Romany is slower than the Avocet - sets up a good sized bow wake. They are similar boats in the niche they fill, though for learning new skills the Romany makes it just shamelessly easy. If your goal is another kind of touring boat and you already have an Avocet, not sure why the Romany is on the list.

Though if you want to wow your friends with stuff like balance braces or a hand rolls, the Romany will probably get you there faster than the Avocet.

Pintail, Romany
There are a lot of Pintails out there. Many love them. If you want a play boat it is one that some swear by - and others swear at :wink: Mike Scarborough uses his Pintail (old style w/o skeg) as his tripping, camping and day boat. You might be a bit heavy for it.

At 165-170 I have about two inches of free board unladen in my Romany. If I’m loaded for winter paddling (not even camping)I’m nearly at the shear line. Though it is a fabulous skills boat in which I have put an amamzing array of paddlers and had them feel at ease, it is not a gear hauler and it is not fast.

Matt, I get that, but
Here you are making some assumptions about a boat you have not paddled based on what others have said and specs. I think that’s fine, but it’s really just random subjective stuff. I can tell you from many years in the business that people will react very differently to boats. Take ten pro paddlers and have em paddle three different boats, and you’ll get reactions all over the scale. No right, no wrong, and clearly all excellent boaters. Talk to one and get an entirely different view of a product than another.

So, I’m simply encouraging people to take reviews lightly and paddle a lot in different options. I believe when people narrow down choices in a given category, then paddle each choice extensively in a range of conditions, a clear choice will speak to them, and that is their boat.

So many variables…objective, and subjective.

You for example are clearly a good boater from what I gather, but you like a particular boat which I find very dull. Wilsoj loves my least favorite Valley… Conversely you may hate what I like. Who is the person seeking advice going to listen to? Hopefully themselves.

Take care.

Avi vs. NordLow
I’m 195 and have been paddling an Avi frequently since last fall. I test paddled the NordLow for about 10 minutes in June in calm water and was impressed by the fit and feel. YMMV.

Wilsoj2 shot me - http://community.webshots.com/photo/551321136/2115419860048488250usxbJW


Of course
but I live in the middle of nowhere. Haven’t paddled the Nordkapp and am wondering if it’s worth my time to drive the two hours to a town that carries the kayak so I can try it out in whatever conditions Superior is in that day. If I can get a baseline of comparison, I can try and figure out is the four hour round trip is worth my time or not.

Thanks for the opinion.

Whopps, I meant the Nord compared to the Romany. I don’t own an Avocet, I paddle one for work. And because I’m in it so much, I thought it would be a good boat to use as a comparison. Currently, I own a kayak of my own design similar to an Explorer and a skin-on-frame that is highly rockered, but I’d like that have something that was a playful dayboat that I could use for touring. Both my stripper and the sof are used to show off for friends with the balance braces, etc… The Avocet isn’t shabby in those reguards either.

I agree
Any thoughts comparing the Romany or Pintail to the Nordkapp LV?

Hey salty,

I appreciate your passion for evangelizing that reviews are subjective, and you make good points. Still, all this writing about how reviews are simply opinions does nothing to answer my question.

What is you opinion about the Nord vs. Avi or the Nord vs. Romany or a Nord vs. a Pintail. These are all boats that I have an opinion about and would like to hear from others how they compare, in their opinion, to the Nordkapp LV.

One of the reasons I posted on this forum is because of the vastly different experiences that other paddlers have vs. mine. I’m mainly a Lake Superior fresh water paddler who lives and works on Superior and paddles there five to six days a week. I’d like to get a feel for the Nordkapp viewed through other peoples eyes before I decide to drive the distance I need to to try it out.



One More Question… A vs. LV
I have paddled the Avocet and waiting to paddle the Nord LV. My one gripe with the Avocet was the thigh brace placement. I am 180 5’11" and they were very snug and felt like they were back too far to be comfortable on a long paddle.

I quess my question is for those that have paddled both boats. Is there a bit more thigh brace room in the LV?

Here ya go
Avi= I like it, playful, fast enough, nice fit for me.

Romany = couple thousand miles in one, not as slow as bad paddlers say…plenty efficient at 4 knots over 40+ knot days. Tight fit for me, but comfy. Loses playfullness when laden, which is natural. Heavy and of backward composite technology…rebuilt it every couple of years. One of my favorite boats.

Pintail = A blast to paddle and again, fast enough. I like loose boats, dislike stiff boats.

Valley QC better than NDK, but still some backward stuff (will get better with new owners.

Nordkapp = Only owned and paddled older version with ocean cockpit and rope skeg. 2 0f em. Very efficient distance touring kayak, but not a fun play boat. Re-built em regularly…spider cracks, gel-coat chunking etc. Still, great overall kayak.

New Nordkapp LV…have yet to paddle it

Of the above boats I’d prefer a Pintail or Avocet in composite, Romany next. Speed discussion in any of these boats is somewhat silly, as they are all fine at touring speeds. The Nordkapp gets the efficiency edge on 50 knot days.

All are fine, and it depends on how you fit and feel in the boat.

Good luck.

Sounds like we have very similar tastes in kayaks. From what I’ve been reading it sounds like the Nordkapp LV is an entirely different beast than the old Nordkapp. From what I’ve seen it’s suppose to be a fun playful kayak.

I would absolutely agree with you about the speed issue. The Avocet is plenty fast for me, but to me it lacks a magical something that makes a great boat and outstanding boat.

Thanks for indulging me here!

I was hoping that, at least, one person would say something like that. The drive is starting to sound attractive. Wish I could make it tomorrow because we have a decent wave forecast for the day, but I have to work.

Year of Avocet may make difference …
I have a 2004 poly and friend has a 2006. I’m 5’8" and 195. The 2004 fits me great, but I am not as comfortable in the 2006 (which has adjustable braces). The seats are different as well. I like the older seat better. Sorry I can’t comment on the NordLow’s thigh braces. I don’t remember it being much different than the 2004 Avocet, but I do not have any thoughts about the LV’s thigh braces recorded in my notebook. I did note a comfortable seat, backband and cockpit fit.


brief Avocet experience.
sorry this might not shed much light on your specific question. however, i also find the Avocet thigh braces incredibly low and far back. for that matter, i have a modern Nordkapp and i have similar feelings about it, but not nearly to the same extent as an Avocet. (note- 6’5", so partly my issue)

though a fan of Valley products, i feel that they could look to their competition and to the many ergonomically advanced white water kayaks to design far better coaming/cockpits.

and as far as coamings go, i still can’t believe that a dry design is so rare in sea kayaks, when it is a huge deal in white water kayaks. go figure… ok, i’m just ranting now, pardon me…

“design far better coaming/cockpits”

– Last Updated: Aug-07-06 4:28 PM EST –

Thank you. That is my main gripe with Valley.

My Romany fits much better than my Aquanaut or any other glass Valley keyhole cockpit boat I've paddled. My original Elaho (DS) is a fabulous fit.

I wish Valley would get that the coaming flanges are supposed to be thigh braces!

This year's Valley boats seem to have higher seats and in the newest poly Avocet I've seen the seat is placed closer to the rear coaming!