New "Nordkapp" Review

The following are extracts from a review in the UK paddles magazine. Douglass, the reviewer, is very well respected in Scottish Sea kayak circles and has review many kayaks. His comparisons to the P&H Quest and Rockpool Alaw are very much informed because he has personally owned both. By all accounts he is now ordering a Nordkapp LV (lower Volume)!

Nordkapp LV

This boat feels so, so alive and responsive! It lacks the initial tippiness of an unladen Nordkapp Jubilee, but it is so responsive to the slightest lift of a knee and this (together with the boat’s response to the bow rudder stroke) ade manoeuvring round the labyrinth of tight rocky channels of St Abbs an absolute joy. A much more experienced paddler, following in the Aquanaut, could not match the tight lines this boat took. The Rockpool Alaws are designed for manoeuvrability but the Nordkapp LV could match every turn.

I was expecting it to be manoeuvrable, given all that keel rocker, but I was not expecting it to be fast. However, it accelerates to top speed with fewer strokes than any other boat I have paddled. And what a burst speed it has! The Nordkapp LV managed 11.6km/hr. In comparison; the Quest managed 10.5 km/hr, the Alaw 10.1km/hr, the Jubilee 9.8km/hr and the Aquanaut 8.6km/hr. This top speed is just the thing if you need to power round a headland against a tide

This boat handles rough water. It thrives in wind against tide or a combination of overfalls and clapotis under a headland. Like many Valley designs it tends to throw its bow high over approaching steep waves. In strong winds in an unladen Jubilee or Aquanaut this can result in the bow getting blown downwind. In the Nordkapp LV this does not happen. However, it is quite a wet boat and you will need to have a well fitting spray deck. Above force 4 it starts to weathercock and although you can control this with edging, the skeg makes for a much more relaxed paddle on an exposed crossing. The Alaw Bach has no skeg, but is a very well balanced boat even in strong winds. However, paddling it side by side with the LV in force 5 to 6 winds demonstrated the extra versatility given by the Nordkapp LV’s skeg.


The Valley Nordkapp LV is a superbly made expedition boat for smaller paddlers. It is as maneuverable as a day boat (albeit at the cost of some secondary stability) and it is also fast. Valley seem to have achieved the Holy Grail of sea kayak design: the LV has speed, maneuverability and sufficient volume! It is a boat that the Progressing paddler will delight in for its excitement and Responsiveness. It is also a superb day boat for heavier paddlers while still having enough expedition carrying capacity for all but the heaviest of packers.

12 out of 10

I really enjoyed paddling Tsunamichucks old Nordkap M out of SF Bay and thought it handled the mild swells and currents of the day pretty well, even unladened. Made me wonder a bit about the new LV version. Something to keep in mind should I ever decide on another long boat.


JB56 – thanks
A nice post for a neat boat that I am just learning about.

Do you have a link to photos/website for that particular LV model Nordkapp?

Anyone have any information, links, etc. about the new 2006 Nordkapp RM (rotomolded poly)… esp length, beam, etc.? Thanks

more discussion on the Nordkapp LV

– Last Updated: Feb-15-06 6:44 AM EST –

It includes pics

You may have to copy and past the entire link.

Anyone see similar discussion on the new Aquanaut LV?

Any idea of how small a paddler?

– Last Updated: Feb-15-06 8:03 AM EST –

That is a real intriguing review. He really makes the boat sound like a real joy to paddle.

I even swear I am seeing a keyhole shaped cockpit, including the thigh braces, in the photos in the above link. The good news (for me) is that the paddler in the text says he was having trouble getting his thighs in there. It sounds like they may have made the kind of modifications that really fit a smaller paddler even!

Can't tell from the photos if they've made it to the size of an average sized woman, but this is the first time I've seen Valley produce a boat with a cockpit that had more aggressive contact for a smaller paddler. Congrats if that's what they have done - whether or not the boat would exactly fit me. It is really, really nice to see that direction.

Also find it intriguing that the boat outcarves and outruns the Aquanaut. The Aquanaut hull carves a hell of a nice turn already, and is up there in speed.

Very exciting!
Sounds great. I was already hoping to demo a Nordkapp LV this Spring, but this makes me very anxious to do so.


VSK website for specs
i had emailed Valley a while back asking them why their dealer network, including main distributors persist in marketing the Jubilee which is years outdated and since replaced by the current NN (non nomenclature…)

if you look at GRO, Knoydart, etc, they all show Jubilees and use the std copy from that boat.

i also asked if they would have a better more detailed website for VSK coming up and he said a much improved version would be up anytime now. (a month ago)

as of a couple days ago, that was not the case, but perhaps we can assume that it will be soon, and you can look at details and specs about all the models from the source.

Neat Review
I would love to demo the Nordkapp LV and the Rockpool Alaw. Wilsoj2, do you think I would fit in a Nordkapp LV (6’2" 175lbs)? I especially like the low decks and how much lower it sits in the water than the Nordkapp H20.


You will fit!
You will fit very well. My own weight is approx 185-190lbs (about the same weight as the person who did the review) and my height is about 6ft but with quite a long inseam. The LV is perfect for me as a day boat and fine for extended trips, as long as i leave the kitchen sink at home!

The new Website will be live very soon. I think like many good web guys our’s just takes on too many jobs. Sorry its taken longer than we thought

Anas Acuta fit question

– Last Updated: Feb-15-06 1:58 PM EST –

If I may jump in with an off topic question, how do you fit in an Anas Acuta and is there enough reserve displacement to handle a camping kit for a few days?


Good question… and also orton1966
Please, when is the poly Nordkapp available and what are its dimensions, weight, etc. Thanks Peter.

Very soon
The new poly Nordkapp will be available very soon (4-5 weeks). It was meant to be in production a couple of weeks ago but problems with the first set of mould castings has meant new ones being commissioned. Fortunately we were able to run a few out of the original mould to allow other pre-production work to be done meaning when the new casings arrive we should be good to go.

Over the winter we did change our plans a little. Originally the poly version was going to be sized as per the full size composite version. However the LV version has been such a hit we have decided to size the poly half way between the standard and LV versions. So length is 17’9” deck height ½” lower than the full size version width the same as both versions of the composite

Definitely my kinda boat!
Hope it’ll be one of the infused lay-ups! Looks really terrific and I look forward to trying it! I’m 205 Peter with short legs…not fat? I can sqeeze in a Romany fine, though have to push my thighs under the braces… I bet I’ll get into this boat…amazing how we tend to fit where we want to. Who’s got one on the West Coast?

Shearwater should be first but there first 2006 order hasn’t shipped yet

Any chance the new website will publish volume specs for the various boats and/or suggested weight limits?

The new website feature far more information including those two features

Fit my lard butt
I played with one last fall, and fit into into it quite comfortably. I am 6ft, 210lb, with, ah, ample thighs and glutes. Snug, but I like snug.

I frequently borrow a friends older Nordy, and like it well enough and would rarely turn down using it. But the LV is quick and playful in comparison, and still reasonable for tripping.

Might have to get one for my wife to for her to use on multi day journeys, and for me to use…when she would let me.

And if I did get her one, then I could jusfify to her my plan to get a Rapier 20.


I’ll check with Shearwater
Thanks! I prefer small boats, as to me they are just more fun to paddle. Starting adult life as an alpine guide has instilled in me the ability to go light. Valley seems to be steppin out with some very cool stuff.

2006 Valley catalogue

– Last Updated: Feb-15-06 5:13 PM EST –

GRO has had a 2006 Valley catalogue for quite some time. It has information on all the Valley boats. They will email you a pdf if you request it.

Peter's note of the change in the poly Nordkapp's dimensions is the reminder that the 2006 catalogue a few of us have seen and GRO has is a draft version and some specs will be different than stated therin.

My copy of the catalogue (which dates back to August) gives the dimensions of the Nordkapp LV as 17'6" long, 21" wide, 13" deep and 49 pounds in standard layup.

49 lbs?
True true…my NordKapp Jubilee said 56lbs too…but when weighed came in at 63lbs dry. So that should place this 49lb boat at about 55lbs or so.

As to fitting into small boats, I am 6’2" and 200lbs and fit nicely into a NDK Explorer LV which has less volume than an Anas Acuta and MUCH LESS than the new Nordkapp LV it seems with its 13" deck. Based on that measurement, the LV Nordy should fit anyone my size or even bigger. (course, I am used to squeezing into SOFs)