Need boat advice


Problem at hand - I demo’d two boats. North Shore Atlantic LV and Tiderace Xcite S (I’m a guy, 5’7’’, 156 lbs). Now I can’t decide which. My skill level is not enough to give me a clear hint as to which one. North Shore is smaller volume wise (270 L vs 310 L) and a bit shorter. Feels bit more stable, but I don’t have problems with Xcite either.

In short, I want to hear some dirt on the boats. Everyone is saying how great stuff is. I want to hear about negative qualities.

Please? :slight_smile:

When I was starting out
I would have thought the Xcite was dangerously unstable because of its lack of initial stability. Now I would have no problem. In fact I think it is a great boat. So even though your question seems reasonable it is not. Your experience, skills, and talent will turn negatives into positives and vice versa.

as I said
don’t find Xcite unstable. Compared to Atlantic I do have to watch myself a bit, but that’s all. I’ve been kayaking on and off for 5 years. Now thinking of getting my own boat.

Atlantic LV
I paddled one for the past 2 years. Pretty stable boat, not very fast. Very planning hull - has a tendency to surf anything and everything. In following seas this unintentional planning can be quite worrisome in the beginning. OK to roll, but back deck can be bit high for someone your (and mine :D) height. Subjective opinion is the boat is slow. But it may be just me. Altogether I like it, but if I had the money I would probably go and buy Xcite S in Hardcore version :). Not that Atlantic has shoddy built - it’s a regular GF layout, but it is plenty stiff and was paddled away from a few hard impacts (twice by K1 kayaks :smiley: :smiley: :D)

Oh, and I’m almost your size.

Lower back deck height
If all things are equal, go for that. It’ll pay you back time and again as your skills advance and you spend more time on things like getting back into the boat after something like a brace or a roll fails, and makes much of that a lot easier.

Not dissing the Atlantic, but Aled Williams designed the Tiderace boats and it is hard to beat his record. He has the NDK Romany under his belt. Finding a more reliable and flexible hull design for both growing paddlers as well as experienced ones is a hard task. The Tiderace boats have all of that ethic plus what he has learned over the years.

NDK Romany
Gosh, that boat does not fit me at all… I’m just plain wrongly designed to fit in there and be comfortable for loing time. No idea why! :frowning:

What for?
How do you intend to use your kayak?

Mess around in surf, paddle with other people, camp for short/long trips, go for long and fast paddles, etc

Horrible seat for most
I am one of the oddballs that likes the old NDK short seat. Most find it awful though.

I ws expressing admiration for the hull design. The seats tend to requier a refit, though they boats work great with something like the foam seat from Redfish.

I’m a convert
I used to like it. But because of certain physiological changes, it doesn’t fit me any longer?

Which is another point for foam seats.

learning curve
consider what might feel tender now probably will ease with use. And you may gain in the bargain.

yes, indeed
should have said what I want from the start. Short coastal trips, max 2 days (1 night out), relaxed group paddling. No surf play, but occasionally some paddling in hard chop/moderate to strong winds. Speed is not of the essence and I don’t need to carry gear. I want to learn a bit more rolling, but that’s not a primary objective.

Hope this makes my intentions clearer.

Take this with a grain of salt, this is all very subjective

I have not paddled Atlantic LV, so really I can not comment how it would handle for you.

I am 5.9x150, so the rest of comparison might be relevant.

I find that I, personally, tend to overpower Avocet LV, Pilgrim, Xcite-S, all boats in the similar class - they pop out of the water without me giving them 100%. I also find that they sit a bit too low in the water for my liking, and that is without even a day kit. I don’t think you could pack camping supplies in it.

Speedwise, you shouldn’t have any difficulties keeping up with the longer boats, especially in xcite-s. Atlantic LV seems a bit more conventional design.

If you still decide to stick with these 2 boats, I would definitely go with xcite-s - construction is totally bomber, it is marginally slimmer, surfs anything.

If you haven’t made a decision yet, I would encourage you to try SKUK Pilgrim Expedition ( the longer version of Pilgrim), and Xcite.

thank you
for the opinion and advice. Pilgrim Expedition is not an option, I do not have any opportunities to test-paddle one. I’m interested in your opinion on boat sizes though. Being a skinny fellow I tend to “get lost” in boats that are over 310-320 L. Thigh pads and all that helps of course, but what’s the point of having 2 inches of padding around your arse in a large boat? I hardly ever carry more than 25-30 pounds of gear and that is a rarity - meaning I rather sacrifice day trip for a “perfectly fitting empty boat”. My personal feeling is having a full-sized boat as basically a day boat is a bit too much of a boat to have, so to speak. I have not tried full sized Xcite, but in other 350+ L boats (when empty) I tend to be blown around. I was actually looking for something smaller and close-to-the-water, yet a bit bigger than typical Greenland boat. Maybe I’m not making much sense to you…

Btw, what do you mean you overpower the boat? I find it almost impossible to imagine myself overpowering anything with a Greenland stick - I stick to those because my shoulders are not too good and I found stick being much easier to roll with as well.

got it
Overpower - the bow goes up with each stroke, lots of splashing from the bow, but that is extremely unlikely with GP.

We are, I think, having slightly different priorities :slight_smile:

OK, with additional information, xcite-s is probably better for you - it is narrower, fun boat to paddle. And, being lower volume it might be more suitable for the traditional rolling. BTW - I don’t recall if the back deck is low enough to allow for a good layback in this boat.

Lots of folks like very snug fitting boats, but I think that too snug a boat impedes good forward stroke, makes rotating in the seat very restrictive.

Darn, I wish you could try Pilgrim Expedition - it has cockpit very similar to xcite-s, total volume is 283l.

stupid question…
…but at 283 L would not Pilgrim Expedition be smaller than 311 L Xcite S?