Suggest a Playful Sea Kayak


– Last Updated: Aug-25-10 11:15 AM EST –

Wilmington is the straightest shot to the coast for me... straight down I-40.

If we can't have a "Walmart" for paddling at least we should have a paddling town. In Greensboro most all the car dealers are located down one main drag. If you want nice pottery you go to Seagrove. Sure would be nice if all the mom & pop paddle places were close together... in Wilmington of course.

you were in the pre-production version - so seat and outfiting were not finished…

we are now just getting in the first delphins in the US - and will be getting to dealers in the next week.

I sure get a kick out of my Illusion. Not for novices.

Other fine boats for this sort of thing are the Avocet, Romany, the smaller Capellas. Try to demo in conditions before you buy. If you like the one you try, buy it. You will not be going wrong with any of these for what you have in mind.

The Viper looks very neat! How much of a market does it take to make it worth producing a niche boat - especially in composite?

I recall paying a deposit and waiting 8 months for my first Valley boat. The boat was built for me. It seems there are small manufacturers who still operate in such a manner.

this looks kind of playful

Perfect for novices.

Tiderace Xcite
This boat is an Aled Williams design especially for play, particularly in rough water and enough volume to be used as a tourer. Should be some retailers in the States with some to demo.

I hear there’s something new coming along soon, too.

Tiderace Xcite
My brief experience paddling a friend’s in some clapitos is that it is a very reassuring boat. Made me think of a boxier though more responsive Explorer.


– Last Updated: Aug-31-10 6:31 PM EST –

Someone used that word to describe the Zephyr and I think it was a perfect word. When I paddled the Avocet LV it felt very turny but the opposite of boxy. "Pipey" maybe? "Tubular"?

Round v Hard
At the cockpit the Tide Race Xcite has a somewhat softened edge hard chine and a flat bottom. The Avocet is wholly soft chined with a rounded moderate v bottom.

My sense is that it takes really dimensional water for the Xcite to come alive whereas the Avocet feels pretty lively even in moderate seas.

of playful boats
had the great joy of demoing this boat thrice at the Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium last month. Alas no textured water.

It was very turny and easy to edge (thus easy to turn) I am not anywhere near the caliber of paddler as wilsoj but I could hold a 3rd degree edge right away and found it very very responsive to all kinds of strokes.

The Tiderace ExciteS, according to the dealer from NYC kayaks who brought a fleet of Tideraces, takes a custom skirt size so I was unable to do any skirted stuff.

Perhaps because both my boats are medium to hard chine I found it very easy to adjust to responsive. My Fuego has a soft flat bottom, the Suka a definite V hull and a narrower waterline beam (18")

The Avocet (which is large on me) and the AvocetLV (which fit very well) just seemed to lumber for me. Both models have a lotta boat up front (fishform) which interferes which my stroke and seem to push a lotta water. People w. a low angle stroke and/or a greenland paddle may not notice this.

The LV is playful by any definition. The Avocet, being too much volume for me, I would not judge as it’s not sized for me. But both boats are average speed at best at least with my motor. And I find the Romany slow for the effort expended.

with the Pintail (the cool older version w. the ocean cockpit and lower deck)you need never fear it will be too tracky LOL. The Pintail’s nose wanders all over and makes you feel like either you or the boat are drunk, but it comes alive when asked to play. you are a great size for it, Kudzu, and a used classic Pintail would make a fine companion for your present boat.

Do try the Anas Acuta as well, just to experience how a hard chined boat with that much rocker will really turn on a moderate to aggressive edge.

I loved my experience w. both boats, they were just too large even with padding… but that’ll not be an issue for you.

The Avocet LV is the very definition of playful & it isn’t surprising you enjoyed the boat Kudzu. If I didn’t have my North Shore Shoreline Fuego I’d go for the Avocet LV as 16 feet, 20 inches and a low volume is a nice starting formula in a frisky day boat for me.

But if I had to pick just one boat it would be a tough call and the Tiderace ExciteS and the CD Suka would be in that mix! along w. my Fuego, that boat continues to amaze me and lead me to higher skills.

And so it goes…

Playful with speed
At 165, if you want a very responsive boat which is also very quick, you might want to try a Nordkapp LV…

The 'kapp LV seems to respond as well to control/directional strokes as a Romany without sacrificing speed.

The Nordlow is among the quickest sea kayaks in the range of speed most paddle. It is also amazing in lumpy seas and running downwind.

It is not a reassuring boat - but it sure is fun :wink:

Xcite vs. Romany
Ive had both. Kept the Romany sold the Xcite. Im not an expert paddler, solid intermediate. The Xcite is not as playful as the Romany in my opinion. It has more in common with the Explorer which has been already stated in this thread. Faster? Probably but thats a topic for different post. Again, I dont think you can go wrong with the Romany.

Nordkapp LV
50+ posts and no one suggests a Nordkapp LV? Turny, IMO, but I’m biased.

great thread…both the T165 and Z155 are boxy around the cockpit…i would love to paddle a illusion at some point…superbox.

see above :wink:

the Romany
is a proven and well-regarded design, in some cases very near worshipful admiration.

Not here to knock it. Nor the Explorer. They are not my cups of tea, (for several reasons, but won’t hijack the thread here to list them) but I recognize and respect the design genius behind them.

rockered boats - all of them - are slower than boats with less rocker. It’s the tradeoff for turning, as more rocker is a big factor in presenting less waterline.

anyways as to speed most of the time it’s about going 4.5-5 mph instead of 3.5…

I use “slow” as shorthand for not very efficient for the effort I’m putting out. Therefore a Romany (and a Romany LV for that matter) is slow…for me. An Explorer is longer, wider and even more slow… for me.

On a side note, I’m kinda amazed that it was noted above that a Tiderace Excite calls to mind an Explorer. The Tiderace Explore series… that I could understand. Perhaps the Tiderace Explore “S” is markedly different than the standard size.

The Tiderace ExciteS is nothing like an Explorer and for me a far more enjoyable paddle than a Romany. Or Romany LV.

YMMV. that is the beauty of individual experience.

P&H Delphin
Got to paddle it on flat water this past week and found it to have a very secure whitewater fit, extremely confident on edge and surprisingly fast for a 15.5’ highly rockered kayak (I’m going to presume that’s in part to the rear weightedness of the kayak).

I’ll have more measureable data next week when mine comes in to the Showroom. Now jsut to figure out how to go play hookey and take it to the beach to get some surfing in.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

"all of them - are slower than boats…"
As with nearly all things, ‘it depends’. While it is generally true on flat water that less rockered boats produce less drag above 4.5 knots, there are some conditions wherein a more rockered boat is faster.

On flat water I have great difficulty keeping up with a friend in her Chatham 18 when she is cranking. In more dimensional water she has trouble keeping up with me in my Nordlow.

I’m w/you on the Avocet
Maybe just us but I think the avocet is grossly overrated as a playful sea kayak, especially compared to some of the others mentioned here.