Rudder Updates to CD Extreme?

I’m thinking about buying a CD extreme and am curious if anyone knows how the rudder is on this boat? I hear they recently updated it, was there a time it was awful? Are they replaceable?

I’ve been kayaking for a few years and just getting serious. I think this one will make a great upgrade from my Tsunami 140. Will it be too much to handle? Anyone have a better boat for me to try? (I’m 6’4" and have size 15 feet) I’ll be using it for day trips around the east coast and the occasional < 1 week camping trip.

Thanks for the help!

You’re my match
I’m 6’4 and size 15 feet at 190 lb and … just sold my Extreme.

For the rudder, make sure you at least have the SmartTrack foot rails and if you can the matching rudder blade. I would think they are upgradeable if yours does not come with it. I upgraded my sliding factory pedals with the SmartTrack pedals and wire but kept the factory rudder for $$$ reasons (about 1/2 price less the rudder compared to full system). The stock rudder seems to rob you of some speed…

As for fit, the pedals are a little lower than our 15 sized flappers would like them to be but there is enough deck room of them otherwise. The brackets that come with SmartTrack rails for repositioning the rails do not work in this boat - they can only lower the pedals but not raise them.

The boat is great but if you like to paddle with your knees together it won’t let you do this unless you move the seat back an inch or so. With knees under the braces it is a snug fit that works well for rough water. However, if you are much over 200lb dry weight, you may find the cockpit restrictive - a 6’4" 215 fellow paddler did and I think even for me it could be a little better designed for movement on flat water (fine for contact in rougher conditions though).

Fast boat that is most efficient at about 4.5 knots (very few are more efficient there, drag-wise) but at lower or higher speeds you may find more efficient craft.

Very nicely made and the kevlar I had seemed sturdy.

can’t say
I have a friend who uses his a LOT,I’ve used it a few times,never thought the rudder was awful. I replaced the push/pull setup he had with my own homemade toe pivot kinds. The only thing I’d check on is whether the wire is rusty, seems they had a production of boats with very cheap ss. wire that corroded easily.

Other boats better?
Kocho, I’m not into fitness-style knee-together paddling yet. I’m about 175lbs and prefer the boat to be snug.

Are there other boats you’d recommend that fit nicely?What do you paddle for day trips in the sea?

Do ya’ll prefer the toe-controlled pedals? I’ve only used the push-pull ones. I never thought that I’d have much control over just my toes with shoes on and no space down there.

great boat
but of all the hours and miles I’ve paddled in it, if I remember correctly, I believe I may have put the rudder down on it once for about 2 minutes just to see what it would feel like to use it. Now I realize that most people with skegs and rudders regularly depend upon their skegs and rudders, but if you want a hull to master directional control without extra help, this is a good one. That said, it’s difficult for me to imagine anyone beyond novice level having directional control issues with the rudder in use.

I’m not a fair weather paddler, I also regularly paddle the open Atlantic coast, and it has had a share of time playing in and traveling through surf. Their is no boat that I prefer more overall for my paddling.

Kayakers have all kinds of preferences when it comes to their boats, so I’ll give you what I believe could be some of the gripes:

*It has a rudder instead of a skeg - there are many passionate about skegs and anti-rudder (as well as vice versa), especially if they’re skeg/rudder dependant. I haven’t made use of either other than trying them out, and find I really don’t care either way. Some hulls need them more than others. This one does not for a somewhat skilled paddler.

*It is fish form with a peak in the bow, leaving the widest part of the boat right in front of you. Last Saturday I paddled a Sirius, narrower with the widest part right behind me. Paddle one after the other, and it’s quite a difference. You’ll find you make a slight adjustment in your catch going from one to the other, but once I get paddling, it’s completely out of mind.

*The coaming behind you isn’t low. Some people seek out kayaks with low back decks. I can lay back on the back deck of a couple of my kayaks, but have never done it in a performance situation in any of them. *Every boat is designed to perform a certain way. A balance between tracking and speed vs. maneouverability. A balance between stability and ease of edging/response to slighter shifts in your weight. This boat edges fairly easily, has good secondary stability, and is pretty easy to become comfortable in. It falls on the speed/tracking side of things, but maneouvers very well for this style of boat. If you want nice forward speed with lesser effort as a tradeoff for greater effort in quick maneouvering, that’s where you’re landing in this boat. An opposite might be an Islander Expedition, fun playful boat for a big guy. I guess this isn’t really a gripe, more of a preference issue.

In case you’re wondering, there isn’t a kayak out there for which I couldn’t come up with a list of probable gripes. I attempt to analyze based upon what I consider difficult paddling situations, and with a realization that with every different hull, I need to put in some hours and miles in varying conditions, and typically find myself making slight modifications in my paddling habits between different boats. Only then do I feel I can say anything meaningful. I do paddle several different sea kayaks regularly, and the Extreme performs exceptionally well. I could point you to something “different” for each individual reason like the ones listed above, but I couldn’t point you to something “overall better”.

What I like about it?

Some boats are described as twitchy, even written as a criticism. I have no problem with twitchy, and have always considered it a more lively feeling. At one point, I sort of thought that twitchy and responsive would be directly correlated, but haven’t found that to be the case. So if you were to consider a Jeep Wrangler twitchy, think more in terms of a Lincoln Town Car for the Extreme. Waves from any direction, the boat feels very smooth in the water, almost giving a first impression it may be unresponsive. But put it on edge, lay down your turning stroke, and you realize that’s simply not the case.

I can maintain good forward progress against wind, current, and waves. It seems to really excel at this.

In following waves and swells, I can ride along in front of small swells where I wouldn’t guess there would be nearly enough of a hump. In larger following seas, it’s easy to time the waves and sprint up in speed to catch a long ride on a nice swell.

The nice smooth feeling ride gives confidence when performing directional or turning strokes in rough water. The best part is that the boat will respond nicely.

It’s easy to brace and roll in this kayak, and it even feels smooth and forgiving in side-surfing situations.

The thing about the gripes I’ve found is that they’re easy to notice and analyze in discussion, but when I begin to feel challenged in bigger water, and everything melts away except for the now, what’s left leaves the Extreme as a seriously sweet ride.

Nice old school PNW design
Prefer my QCC 700 though.

Bulge in front of me with fishform kayaks like the Extreme drives me nuts. I prefer the stability be at my hips, not my knees, and don’t like reaching around bulge during paddle catch. Minor stuff for many, but I’m spoiled and such things are instantly noticeable. I feel same way in many Brit boats, Force 4, a bit in Outer Island, etc (all great kayaks too BTW).

For you though, fishform could translate to more foot room in some models, though deck height will ultimately determine splay and comfort (if you fit at all). Being taller you might not be battling the bulges as much as I do at 5’9" either.

FWIW - QCC I believe is still having a sale with great pricing, thigh braces, and SmartTrack rudder system thrown in free. Should come out less than extreme for a better kayak! Can’t beat their return policy.

Have to ask others about foot room though (in any of these), as my 9.5s fit pretty much anything, and I wear pretty low profile/minimal bulk water shoes too, so can’t relate on that part.

Great feedack
Thanks for all your feedback CapeFear! You seem to really have spent some time lovin’ this boat! The rudder issues don’t really worry me if the boat tracks well on it’s own. The current owner is selling to get a new one with some updated rudder gear and I wanted to be sure I wasn’t jumping into a lemon. I’ve never paddled a fishform boat before. I’ll take your advice and try not to pass judgment immediately.

Greyak, I’m going to sit in a QCC700 as soon as I can and see if my feet fit, though I’m not optimistic about the foot room.

For 175 lb

– Last Updated: Apr-10-09 9:14 AM EST –

You will have a good fit in the Extreme. It paddles well when not loaded IMO. Conicidentally, my first "real" kayak was a Tsunami 145 at the beginning of last season, after a couple of seasons in a sit on top. The first few outings in the Tsunami I thought it was unstable -;) But after only a few months I was looking for something different and went with a 22" x 17' P&H Outlander. The outlander felt very unstable at first with its rounder chines and narrower hull. Took a few outings to get comfortable with it and after a few months I thought it is as stable as I'd ever want it to be. Great fit for touring as well and that boat was what taught me to edging and stability. But I wanted something that I could use without worrying too much about hitting rocks, so I changed to a plastic Tempest 170. It is a very nice boat and would be a good fit for you. It also has very reassuring stability. As long as you are not looking to go terribly fast (it is not very slow but not one of the faster boats either; still a bit faster than the Tsunamy 140) I think it is great. You can use it to teach yourself a lot, which is what I did in mine. If the rear deck was at least an inch lower I probably would have kept it - it is lower than the Extreme but did not allow me to fully lay back (had to arch fully to touch the rear deck with my head) and I wanted to be able to do that.

I bought the Extreme thinking that I wanted a faster boat. Faster it was - almost 1/2 a mile to a mile per hour faster on the average than the others above. And only a bit less stable than my previous boats but without the defined "edge" of the Tempest - much like the P&H Outlander, only a little less stable initially (it is rounder) as well as at the secondary stability - again due to the roundness I think. What this means in practical terms is that it is very little affected by side waves and the like - they just slide under and around it (or over it) and it is not tossed about like a harder-edged or wider boat is. Great boat for touring the Chesapeake IMO.

But to me it was not the ideal boat - I paddle 90% of my time on the flat Potomac, and when not flat it is with very closely spaced short steep chop. The Extreme would just cut thru these waves without fuss but was not fun. For these conditions I much preferred to paddle the shorter Tempest or the even more the shorter Perception Sonoma 13.5 (which I still have after selling all others). The advantage of the shorter boats in these conditions is that they can play and surf in the small waves where the longer boat just cant - it rests on two crests and pretty much stays flat. Take them to big waves in open water or large barge wakes and the picture reverses - the much faster Extreme can surf the swells where the slower boats miss them and fall behind the smooth waves.

So it all depends on what you enjoy.

I much prefer narrow front (swede form) designs for the close catch. The Extreme is narrower than your Tsunami so you will find it slim initially, but if you have paddled something with 15-16" width at the catch, you would not want to go back to a 18-20" there.

Lastly, to be honest, I thought the Extreme was too much boat for me overall. I paddle quite a bit but do not have the strength to propel it faster than an average of 5 mph over 10 miles. In the 13 foot waterline Sonoma I do 4.5 mph average over the same 10 mile distance with similar effort... So unless you have good technique and feel strong, I think a longer boat is not always the solution to going faster. It will let you keep up and pass others in slower boats for sure, just to me it did not go fast enough for the effort I put into it and it gave away the "fun factor" for the places I paddle... The length makes it a great tourer, good in conditions, good packing capacity, but not a very playful boat (at close to 19'). So if you like that kind of boat, then you will be happy with it.

As for QCC700x - I think you will have hard time fitting your size 15 feet in a QCC 700x - otherwise I think it would be perfect for you. But check it out, may be the newer ones have a different configuration than the one I tested used. I preferred the QCC over the Extreme in terms of handling on the water but I did not fit comfortably in it mostly due to my feet being too large and also the cockpit is a little shorter/lower than I need. The Extreme is a better fit cockpit-wise with higher front and snug sides where for me the QCC was even snugger on the sides (probably great for you) but also too low in the front (again, may be good for you).

Lastly on the rudder - the Extreme is paddlable without it but it weathercocks. It is controllable but I much preferred to paddle it with the rudder. There is a big difference with it - without it, I can see how the boat turns lef-right at each paddle stroke, because it has good rocker and is not a very strong tracker without a rudder if you paddle hard. Turns well when edged. Put the rudder down, and the yaw diminishes greatly. The rudder is easy to deploy but is not fully foil-shaped. It is more flat than foiled IMO with a rather blunt front edge and not much of a shape to it. If anything, it is reliable and does what it is supposed to do well, just not the most efficient of designs IMO.

I'd say paddle for some hours if you can several boats before you buy. The Extreme may jsut be right for you - I thought it was last year as I liked it a lot after test paddling someone elses. Not the boat's fault, but my paddling preferences changed and it no longer fits them well. Some are lucky to settle on something and use it, I've yet to reach that point -;)

Thanks Kocho!
Thanks for all your feedback Kocho, it’s invaluable. Why did the extreme take the fun out? It seems like I’ll have to do some demos. There’s a used extreme for 1400 that I’m tempted to pick up, but want to demo some other boats first (hopefully it won’t sell for a while…)

You prefer the tempest and the Sonoma? Any other boats you’ve tried / liked / hated?

Big foot boats
My feet are only dainty 14s, but I’m 6’6" so they extend a little farther into the bow.

I have found my favorite boats are (in no particular order):

WS Tempest 180 (only available in composite)

Impex Assateague

NDK Explorer HV

CD Solstice HV

Big differences in handling, so paddle a bunch before you pull the trigger.

Thanks dressmeister! Which boat do you paddle most?

Don’t get me wrong
The Extreme is as fun as aany almost 19 foot kayak gets -:wink: It is responsive to edging and fairly maneuverable with or without the rudder but tracks well enough without it so that you would not be in trouble if it malfunctions (with some other boats - if the rudder goes, they are a pain to paddle, this one is not bad without it at all).

Mainly I did not like the fish form design. Some swear by it, so it is personal. The Sonoma is totally different kayak - it is very short so it surfs well but is slow. It is however just over 40 lb and easy to handle. Low rear deck too - I can lay back pretty much flat. While the overall width at/behind the seat is about the same as the Extreme, the catch area in the Perception is at least 3 inches narrower than the Extreme and it makes a difference for forward paddling technique.

$1,400 is a good price for the Extreme if it is in good condition. You either like it or not. I know some people who swear by it (why I got it in the first place, proving one more time that what one loves another hates :wink: ).

Good luck testing them - it’s a lot of fun!