Valley Nordkapp HMC


– Last Updated: Jul-08-16 11:26 PM EST –

not go to the Kayak Symposium in Grand Marais Mi
Great Lakes Kayak Symposium or to the Ladies of the Lake symposium and do a few classes first...learn to edge and brace etc...then go shopping

Money and time well spent getting a little instruction virtually in your back yard {same state}

and fun too

Best Wishes

Are these more difficult to maintain?
Yes… and depending on the builder there is a great range of design and quality.

Just finished a symposium
Good experience. Happily, i have no problems edging or bracing in a boat where my knees have contact. But am definitely interested in working with other coaches and instructors. Each one brings something different to the table and that’s always fun.

another one close and a little different

there are still a few spots left so this one would absolutely be different.

BTW if you are having problems demoing kayaks because of contact issues…buy a couple of pieces of closed cell foam 1 inch thick and 8 or so wide and about 2 to 2 1/2 feet long. Carry them when you go to test drive. Pad the kayak to fit for desired contact. might need as many as 3 of these.

Best Wishes


Re: The Anas Acuta…
People either love this boat or they don’t… For those of us who do, it’s a great boat, fun to paddle and once you learn to paddle it, it’s a boat that just keeps getting better and better as your skills improve…

It can also be a good fit for smaller to medium sized paddlers…


Hey rookie

– Last Updated: Jul-09-16 11:30 AM EST –

As long as you're looking, you might as well take a look at what NC Kayaks has. Their 15'-8" models should fit you perfectly. These boats are only for those who are looking for fast, stable, comfortable lightweight boats that love rough water and are really easy on the eyes.

They're having a great sale on in-stock boats right now.

Visited their site,
But I hesitate spending 3K for a boat I’ve never seen, sat in, or paddled.

Makes me wonder what would happen if I didn’t like it. Do they have a return policy with full credit of purchase price, less shipping?

Call them.
Yes, I understand that it is a daunting process to consider a boat that you aren’t able to try out. If you liked the pictures and have some interest, I think a call might answer all of your questions. Talk to Doug Searls.

As for the boats, I guarantee you they are just what I said they are–beautiful, light, comfortable, fast, stable and they love rough water. These are big water boats–not for small streams and bouncing off rocks.

I just thought that as long as you are thinking about stepping up, you should know about NC. They really are even better than they say and as good as they look as pictured–the real thing is just gorgeous.

the AA is gone

– Last Updated: Jul-10-16 12:33 PM EST –

but a few Pintails for comparable sums.

An expedition boat is a bit open to interpretation. I met a guy on the north shore of Superior who expeditions out of his Pintail. Other people would say that's too slow a boat.

The Nordkapp can be tender when empty but IME behaves nicely when more loaded and in conditions. Others might find it too tender regardless.

The Skerray is an older and discontinued Valley design. If a Avocet LV felt like a tank to you, the Skerray will feel even moreso. It's not a small or narrow sea kayak.

Leecocking? Absolutely!
I owned a Nordkapp HM for a few years and it has two major issues. It leecocks and it tracks like a freight train. When you combine those two attributes, it can be very difficult to handle certain conditions. Add in the very high stock seat position and I found it to be a royal pain at times.

Dropping the seat so it rested on the hull made a huge improvement in stability, which make the boat comfortable to paddle. I found that the boat was so sensitive to weight distribution that leaning forward in the cockpit would help to loosen the stern significantly. However, that’s not practical in some situations and the ultimate remedy was to sell the boat and buy something with better handling characteristics.

To me, the Skerray…
…felt like a slightly larger, somewhat better tracking Pintail. It was maneuverable, but didn’t hunt around like a puppy the way a Pintail does. A bit of padding made the fit better and overall I found it really enjoyable. After paddling one in Shetland in '04, I looked for a plastic, ocean cockpit Skerray to use for instructing and rock garden play, but never found one.

These days, I’m happy with a Pintail and an Anas Acuta.

question about Pintail vs. AA
Is there any significant difference in handling between the two? I know neither has a straight keel and that the Pintail came from the AA, but wondering if the AA has a bit more precision and/or better tracking.

Yup, Jim had a Nordlow

– Last Updated: Jul-10-16 2:28 PM EST –

And I still have it, going to hang onto it long enough to get my skills recovered so I can have a solid season of paddling it. Goal is to being it to Maine with me next year along with the Romany for my solo safety boat. Many nice things about the boat, including that it rolls so darned easy that its volume being a bit oversized is not fatal for me. And is is slick and sweet thru the water.

But I would never have it as an only boat, especially as I get older. It is very democratic about being upright or capsized compared to boats like the Romany or even the Vela. That is, it'll just keep going where the other boats will hang up for a moment and give you a shot to recover. As someone summarized, it is very round.

There are many great boats out there, the Nordlow is one, where being a great boat is not synonymous with it being your only boat.

I found the AA too big for me
Cockpit fit (it felt tall) and overall. And I am a smidge shorter but 20 pounds heavier than Rookie

Pintail can track with a skeg
Without that, it is not a bad white water boat.

I know of one person who paddled it happily without a skeg. He is a very good paddler, had Bill Lozano’s old Pintail. Most seem to find a skeg mandatory.