NDK HV Explorer ? Something else ?

I am looking for a kayak that will fit my long legs and more importantly, size 13 feet. One more thing: looking for a low rear deck for lay back rolls. The foot size and need to fit comfortably is critical. I have had the intense heel pain in some boats and that eliminates that boat completely. Any suggestions ? I am considering an HV Explorer but have yet to try it out.

My 2 choices were the
Explorer HV and the Foster Shadow. Paddled them both in some very rough water. Went with the Shadow and have no regrets.

Valley Aquanaut HV…

US dealer list:


also consider
Valley’s Nordkapp and Q. I fit both well with my 13’s in light weight paddle shoes.

The Q has a one inch lower rear coaming as measured from hull to upper lip. I can lie back just fine in it even with factory back band.

Necky Chatham 18

Don’t know that he’d comfortably fit size 13 feet in the CH 18? Mine are size 10, so not sure. Was also thinking about the Q-boat as a candidate.

Force 5 or possibly the Force 4.

Just got off the water with the Force 4. Lovely morning for paddling it on the Hudson River.

See you on the water,



Hyde Park, NY

Don’t know your height/weight/inseam but here’s a few you can try

You should fit fine in a Chatham 18, maybe even a Chatham 17.

Impex - Assateague or Force 5

Valley - Aquanaunt HV/Argonaut or Aquila (not a great choice)

Necky - Chatham 18 or maybe even the 17

NF - Shadow or maybe Legend

CD - Gulfstream

NDK - Explorer or Explorer HV

Eddyline - they’ve got some larger boats

P&H - Quest, Capella 173, maybe the 169, Cetus?

Point 65 North - ? They should have a few boats that fit you

Have fun demoing :slight_smile:

Try the HV…
I don’t necessarily need the HV and I’m similarly sized to you, but you may work just fine in a standard Explorer. Try the Chatham, Force 4, Nordkapp and Legend or Shadow as others are suggesting. I have and prefer the Explorer over all them. A friend of mine’s Chatham does not like abuse. Its gel coat layer is thin and currently he’s paddling a roll of duct tape. We sit in the same eddies and paddle the same rock gardens, launch off the same beaches. His boat may be a one off thing but he is definately learning the gel coat repair trade. That boat is a great design, but his layup is more for the parlor and not the beach.


many good boats, but…
i bet when you try all the mentioned ones, you will lean towards the Explorer HV. i actually hate to say it, that dam boat is too popular and there are so many other great kayaks.


the HV has a cockpit length to allow even very long legs to enter and exit from seated. check out my profile for my dimensions. it has excellent knee room and foot room and a very positive thigh grip contact and LOW back deck. the combo of comfort, contact and ease of entry/exit make it so dam appealing. the Nord, and others just don’t have the cockpit fit, or ease of use, footroom, etc. that this boat has. it deserves it’s popularity due to being better than the sum of it’s parts. try it, you’ll see.