I have not yet seen a Current Designs Extreme, but the dimensions of both boats look to be very similar.
I’m hoping that anyone who has paddled both boats might be able to compare and contrast the differences in construction, handling, and speed?
I have not yet seen a Current Designs Extreme, but the dimensions of both boats look to be very similar.
The Extreme is a superior boat by far (I happen to own one.) I have never paddled a Q700, but let me tell you all about it anyway.
OK, I’m just trying to stir the Q owners up, sorry.
The differences I see:
Q has a slightly longer waterline in flat water (18’ boat, plumb bow.)
CD has a slightly longer waterline in rough water (18’10" boat, upswept bow.)
Q hatches leak profusely (so I’ve heard). My CD hatches are pretty tight, but the ABS bulkheads concern me (durability) and they leak profusely.
CD has a lower rear deck (good for rolls, deck bags).
Q seems to have it’s volume more evenly distributed from bow to stern.
CD concentrates volume toward the cockpit, with very sharp bow and stern. I have found that the sharper bow and stern give better handling in rough water than a fuller bow and stern. High volume ends tend to ride on top of the water and get pushed around by wind and wave action (I base this on comparison between my Extreme and Perception Shadow). Narrow ends tend to “dig” into the water and provide a smoother, more stable ride.
It is my OPINION that the CD Extreme is slightly better suited to rough water conditions, the Q700 to flat water, but I think the differences are minimal and very SUBJECTIVE.
"I have never paddled a Q700"
Yet again you comment.
As I have not paddle and Extreme (but with a couple several times) - I also cannot give comments in proper head to head context. As such - I can only comment on 700 performance - and design differences between them.
Krousmon’s list hits some key point and makes it easy to review compare from another perspective (and I know he;s expecting my 2¢), so I’ll go point by point:
- “Q has a slightly longer waterline in flat water (18’ boat, plumb bow.)” and 2. "
CD has a slightly longer waterline in rough water (18’10" boat, upswept bow.)"
Faster is faster, period. Difference is Extreme will suffer more drag in rougher water as those long ends begin to interact more. 700 will feel different, but puts you at no disadvantage in textured water (ask the paddler - better than me IMO - who dropped out of a rough race who was paddling an Extreme - while I finished without even needing to throw a decent brace in my 700. BTW - That paddler now has an EPIC). If anything - the 700’s design differences would make it easier to keep forward speed. As mentioned above “Narrow ends tend to “dig” into the water” and while some like this dampening effect - it WILL cost you speed, and possibly more broaching, wind effects, etc.
Extreme is also slightly wider - and fishform. That means it’s wider up front and you can’t get as nice a catch as close to the hull as you can with the Q (EPIC even more optimized for this). The 700’s swedeform design and fuller ends will also deliver superior ability to catch wave energy and give you free rides (and HUGE grins -EPIC also excellent here, and maybe an even better surfer, but with a potential slight handling penalty otherwise vs. 700 due to EPIC having less rocker. Very slight).
- “Q hatches leak profusely (so I’ve heard). My CD hatches are pretty tight, but the ABS bulkheads concern me (durability) and they leak profusely.”
Varies. I have the older hatch design and after a lot of rolling practice - or time in waves burying the bow - I’ll have maybe a cup up front and a couple ounces rear (after changing the skeg control). I suspect I could reduce this further by venting the bulkheads, as what gets in seems to be sucked in more anything. Others with the newer hatch design can comment on them, and the improvements since introduction.
QCC bulkheads are insanely solid - and guaranteed for life, along with hull to deck seam.
- “CD has a lower rear deck (good for rolls, deck bags).”
Lower rear deck is nice - but the Extreme doesn’t look all that low to me - though it’s seat placement is forward compared to QCC and that helps too (the Extreme paddlers I know race, but don’t roll, so I haven’t heard any +/- from them).
What Krousmon neglects to mention is the 700’s foredeck is 1 3/8" LOWER. Again, better paddle clearance, and less profile to the wind (though both are pretty big boats in profile). Foredeck height also affects rolling for clearance/freedom of movement - and also boat fit.
- “Q seems to have it’s volume more evenly distributed from bow to stern.
CD concentrates volume toward the cockpit, with very sharp bow and stern. I have found that the sharper bow and stern give better handling in rough water than a fuller bow and stern. High volume ends tend to ride on top of the water and get pushed around by wind and wave action (I base this on comparison between my Extreme and Perception Shadow). Narrow ends tend to “dig” into the water and provide a smoother, more stable ride.”
Yes - all 100% true, and all stuff I have come to see as negative traits in all but a play boat. Re-read my comments to points 1&2.
Additional point: 700 cannot be beat for primary stability by any other boat with 21" beam I’ve ever tried (EPIC is very good too) and it’s better than several wider kayaks. Secondary is also quite impressive - IF you aren’t hesitant to take advantage of it (being able to roll really helps - and it’s an easy boat to roll). Transition is smooth and predictable, building as you heel the hull.
“It is my OPINION that the CD Extreme is slightly better suited to rough water conditions, the Q700 to flat water, but I think the differences are minimal and very SUBJECTIVE.”
Subjective indeed. Also depends quite a bit on what you want to DO in rough water. My comments are also -but I hope I have given you REASONS as much as FEELINGS for my opinions.
Both are very good kayaks. I think I understand the differences well enough - and both do what they were designed to do very well. I just happen to favor the more modern design approach - enough so I am even adopting some of the lessons learned to a rather traditional Greenland skin boat I’m working on - as there are some benefits of the QCC design approach, for both speed AND handling, I’m not willing to give up.
PS - Search recent threads on 700 vs. Epic 18, as well as older thread on all three, plus Seda Gilder, etc. Most of the useful comparison points have been posted several times.
I was expecting your input, Greyak
I know you like to discuss hull performance.
“As mentioned above “Narrow ends tend to “dig” into the water” and while some like this dampening effect - it WILL cost you speed, and possibly more broaching, wind effects, etc.”
When I say the ends tend to “dig”, I mean that in a sense of slicing into the water rather than riding over. Imagine the bow and stern as “skegs”. This would have the effect of assisting tracking (hence REDUCING broaching), it would help dampen beam-wind effects, and increase the water line (thereby increasing speed.) I’m just speculating.
You’re the engineer, you tell me.
While I have not paddled the Extreme, the quality you describe is common among older Brit designs like the Explorer - which I have paddled. The Pintail - though more of a slower play boat - does the same thing.
I am not unfamiliar with this feel. I rented an Explorer last time I was on the West Coast (and as much as I like Explorers - it was BORING - I sorely missed my Q). I agree it is a steading feel in waves - but a dull feeling. It slows the hull and costs you some free rides.
As far as boraching goes - it can work either for mor against you depending on what hits you - and at what angle.
In stuff that’s a real mess - meaning more than you want to deal with - it may be better to have this dampening effect if you are stuck in it. If your intent is to get through it faster - it’s not. If the conditions are too much to the point you need you hull to dampen things for you, maybe you shouldn’t be out there.
With a waterline as long as boats like the Extreme and 700 - the last thing you need are built in bow and stern skegs that begin to kick in as things pick up. This is why I mentioned the fine ends being OK for shorter play boats - where central volume and finer ends make more sense.
From the spoiled perspective of 3 years in a 700 - I see absolutely no need to add another foot of pointy above water parts that cut in and bog down. Fishform also loses it’s charm when used in longer boats IMO.
Both design approaches work quite well though. I just get more smiles in swedeform with some volume in the ends, fairer lines and less pinch. It gives a liveliness that I miss when I paddle something else - and it comes with no penalty in stability and a bonus for speed.
Of course, in the context of this thread - it’s worth pointing out that these are MINOR differences and the performance is probably far more alike than different overall.
Another thing to keep in mind: My 700 is pretty far from a new stock one. My cockpit is 3" back from current models - and I moved my seat 3" forward. Tjhis took care of that layback issue - and improves fit and thigh brace contact. I also have a skeg (with modified control), and foam bulkhead foot surface. It’s QCC set up like a Brit boat. Best of both worlds in some ways.
Boats like the Extreme are sort of hybrids, with some Brit characteristics - some not. Seward’s come to mind as also having some like this - long sweeping bow and more cutoff stern, fishform - though the Quest is even deeper/more volume than the Extreme - and much less stable (tried an X3 when first trying SINKS - and could have sworn it wanted me dead, while boats like the EPIC and Caribou seemed like good friends). Sort of an odd duck. Probably good for distance with a lot of gear on the Inside passage/PNW - which I believe is what it was designed for. The Extreme may have similar lines, but is more versatile.
Enough rambling for now. Getting away form the original post.
while comparing these please
compare these kayaks to the CD Stratos 18. I can find very little about this CD kayak in review.
What little info/opinion there is can be found there.
I have seen one - but not paddled. Obviously well made, but sliding rudder pedals knocks it down a bit IMO. There is also a funny bulge in the hull. Most noticeable if you view the hull at an angle, but it does show up a little in the angled picture on CDs site. There on purpose I’m sure, not as smooth as the hull lines on the EPIC and QCC. I’m sure the designer has specific handling traits in mind.
I look at the Stratus as the update/successor to the Extreme as CDs fast tourer (though not a replacement as the Extreme is good in it’s own right - with a different approach and feel). The Stratus takes advantage of more recent design thinking (fuller ends/no pinch - steeper bow - swedeform - lower foredeck. Basically everything discussed above).
Sea/tour kayak racers (and people just into efficiency and fun) are buying EPIC/QCC, not Extremes anymore. The Stratus is an obvious response to these changes in the market. It should be just different enough to be preferred by some portion of those shopping for kayaks like this. Another choice is good as they all have a little different personality and fit. Not sure what they mean by “Quietwater” though. From this and other discussions it’s pretty obious its closest cometitors are pretty good in textured stuff, and are not marketed as flat or “Quietwater” kayaks (though Brit afficionados insist on trying to class them as such).
I’m not a racer, I’ve only paddled the Extreme and the QCC600 a little. My gut feeling is that the 700 is faster if you have the horsepower, if you don’t then you’re buying the boats for emotional reasons so go with what looks good to you. The extreme is farther from the Solstice series regarding extreme concave ends.
I suspect that for unloaded paddling and a light paddler the extreme is more user friendly in strong wind.
If you have the hp/skill to discern differences between these two boats you could leave them both behind with a lighter/faster WestSide BoatShop EFT. It helps to be honest with your expectations,if it really is racing then a light racing boat will be lighter and faster.
Please take look at the boat list for www.blackburnchallenge.com the west side boat shop eft is totally superior to all boats I have paddled as an all round boat. I paid $2400 for the 19ft6in eft that weighs 30#. Has both rudders and it is much faster, lighter and more stable. Stability is like my seda glider but is one mph faster and understern makes you turn like ferrari