Tiderace Xplore X opinions.

The boat whore is going to demo the subject boat this Monday. I am concerned that I may be overloading my Nordkapp on multi-day trips and am giving thought to a larger hull. My Cetus did not meet my expectations and thus my only big hull went bye bye. I know the Tiderace is heavy, expensive, well made, and has a reputation for good sea manners. I am currently 6’3", size 13 feet and 245lbs. The only thing I see changing there is a slightly lower weight, although I think I lost a half inch with my last spinal surgery.I enjoy good contact with my boats and dread the thought of paddling a “barge”, but the Tiderace while large seems to put it in the right places. The hull form is just my cup of tea with a skeggy rear and long nose with supporting volume to resist the broach (ie good tracking and good off wind/wave manners). Are there any NON-AFFILIATED opinions of this boat that could be shared with me before my demo. I would like compare others experiences with what I am encountering when on the water. Thanks for any thoughts you share. Bill

Wouldn’t say skeggy
When I paddled the Tiderace line, the rep straight up told me that I’d need 1/4 skeg down all the time except when playing. The rear end is real loose on those boats. It was fun to paddle. It fit well, but I didn’t care for the finishing touches in construction. It would be nice to see a Finish boat compared to a Cobra boat. I was paddled the Finish boats which had the same cockpit combing as a Kajak Sport boat and a Tiderace branded Snap Dragon back band. I hope they change the cockpit layout as it wasn’t the best use of space in my opinion.

The boat I am demoing is meant to be
vacumn bagged. I asked why the interior of the lay up was so discolored brown. Apparently the vacumn process in this boat creates a naugahyde appearance to the exposed laminate. I don’t know where it was made, but the rear of the coaming has a sharper upward radius much like that of the Tahe, which seemed to dig into my spine on laybacks in the showroom. I will find out more when I paddle it. Bill

Thank you for your feedback on the Xplore-X.

Just a couple of things to point out regarding your comments…

The cockpit coaming on the boats would be similar in construction and insertion method to the Kajaksport boats, in that they are built in the same factory. In terms of shape they are not the same, though.

The backband is not a Snapdragon item, though is similar in form and function.

With regard to the shape and size of the cockpit- this is directly related to the brief of the boat- namely to be a high performance expedition boat for people who are normally too large in frame/size to use a typically sized one. In terms of volume the Xplore_X is nearly 20% bigger than an Xplore or Cetus, and ergonomics of the boat have to take into account the size of the paddlers the boat is designed for. Those close in stature to the crossover point between the Xplore and Xplore_X are likely to find the cockpit much more roomy than they are used to with other boats.

Vacuum bagging
The colouration of the material in the Classic construction of the Finland boats is down to the cloth used with the infusion process.

The boats produced at the new Thailand facility have changes to construction materials and methods that will make them look quite different to the ones produced in Finland.

All the boats will now be full epoxy based and repeat cured, making them very stiff with tougher, more scratch resistant gelcoat than before.

Amongst a number of other changes, the deck and hull will now be joined by an interlocking, ‘biscuit tin’ join, creating a stiffer shell and placing less reliance on inner and outer seam tapes for strength, too.

We will of course be putting more information onto the Tiderace website following the official ‘launch’ of the boats at Kanu Messe, Germany early next month. If anyone has any specific questions please feel free to email me at the ‘info at tideraceseakayaks.co.uk’ address.


Does this mean that the brownish
colored interior of this demo boat indicates that it was made in Finland from polyester or vinylester resin? When will the epoxy boats from Thailand be available? I assume that the sharp radius of the rear coaming lip is for a better seal on the rand, but it comes at the price of spinal distress. Is this the reason there is not more horizontal surface to displace the weight? I have removed the seats from nearly all of my boats and it appears that Tiderace offers a bolt in composite seat (very smart). If I remove the seat from the Standard Xplore, the fit would be similar to the Nordkapp, but how does the displacement compare? I would not trade my Nordkapp for any other boat of similar displacement ± 30 liters. I will report back on my experience with the Xplore X after my paddle on Monday. It is going to be 27 miles so I should have had plenty of opportunity to experiment with it. Bill

not a snap dragon?
wow, copyright infringement. The boats I paddled had identical backbands with Snap Dragon, right down to the bar tacks. The 5 boats I looked at all had backbands that were indistinguishable from a Snap Dragon backband except for the logo. I appreciate it when companies reach out to other suppliers for parts like backbands. The Snap Dragon band is a proven design, but if you are copying their design, shame on you. Come up with your own designs.

that’s a pretty bold accusation
Good thing this is just an internet forum or a burden of proof would be on you also. Let’s be careful about how we toss around accusations, hmm?

What is a backband but a strap with
some padding on it to keep the paddler in position and often there is little or no contact with it at all. I don’t see how there is a great deal of room for inovation in such a basic component. They are either rigid and self supporting, or loose and requiring straps to hold it up. I would rather there were no back band at all but simply a larger rise in the seat pan at the rear to provide constant positioning. Now lets get back to my questions, because in the end it is always about me. Ahhh yes, me.

Skeggy Stern?
The TideRace boats I have seen/demoed, Explore S and Excite, seemed to have very narrow sterns that seemed skeggy to me if the hull was sunk enough (design load/displacement?). While the rocker meant minimal impact when edged enough, I did wonder, no chance to experience, what it would be like surfing or in following seas. My guess is with loose bow maybe it all balances out or is manageable, but only a SWAG.

Having not yet paddled the boat, I
looked at the form and thought the bow would resist augering into the back of the next wave as it has a long slope and is not sharp in its edges as opposed to the Cetus which has a shorter slope and is sharper in its edges. The waterline and keel aft is carried almost to the full length of the boat which gives the appearance of it having solid tracking if it is submerged (rocker). I will find all of this out on Monday I believe. Based on what I am hearing, I expect to find the boat looser than my initial impressions of the design. Contact and hand clearance on the foredeck will be two questions. Rolling and layback comfort will also be important for me as well. The compartments are cavernous and this why I am looking at it in the first place. There were several Tiderace boats at the Greenland camp I attended last weekend and all were given glowing reviews (one was a dealer). Bill

yep. exactly
But it’s fun to play lawyer! Sometimes I’m guilty of it also.

I just wish I was compensated accordingly!

Bill, while you are there
at RKC, boatwhore, loyal customer etc. that you are…

ask them why they’re not carrying the Excite series.

knowing you have such exceptional pull '-)

seems odd to have the one series and not the other.

D, the Excite is on the showroom floor
Not sure which one it is, but I think they have two of them on hand. It would fit my left thigh and right ankle very nicely. Bill

thanks B
when RKC announced that they would carry the Tiderace line they only mentioned the Explore. Don’t always have time to drive down to Wyandotte so your update is most welcome.

If you get your big tripper your left thigh and ankle will be well accomodated… now can you carry my Platy wine bags and a growler? '-)

RKC - Xcite
I just picked up my red on white Xcite from there last Sunday. This boat is top notch in quality department. (Made in Finland) Will post a review after a few more paddles.

Chinese knock offs
Hey, these things were identical. If Tiderace want’s to call them their own, then they copied Snap Dragon’s design right down to the stitching detail. We all get upset when various Chinese companies do the same, shouldn’t we hold European companies to the same standard. Imitating one’s design is flattery, but copying it is forgery.

Just for information, seeming comments have been made…

Tiderace do not manufacture the backbands used in our boats and no intellecual property issue exists. We buy the backbands from another, very large kayak manufacturer who have been producing and using such a backband themselves for a long time.

It’s typical in most manufacturing industries that products are made containing components produced by other companies- for example different kayak manufacturers using Valley hatch covers, Yakima footrests or Smartrack rudder systems.

We chose to use the backband we do, based upon it being the best available item for the job. That it is similar in concept to a number of others available on the market suggests we’re not the only ones.