Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Tiderace Pace 17 Tour review

Four out of Five Stars

I bought my Pace 17 off Dan 7 months ago, I use it mostly for day trips but have done a 5 day tour with a longest distance of 43km in a day sitting in it for 6 hours, I am 187cm tall weigh 78kg and wear size 12 shoes, the pedals are on the second to last setting and there is lots of foot room. I have paddled it in up to 20knts loaded and unloaded.

The build quality is hard to fault with water tight hatches, foot pedals set at a good height, strong back band and deck fittings glassed over with no other rough edges inside to catch gear. There is an oval front hatch to make gear storage easy and plenty of volume forward and aft. Deck bungees hold a split paddle well with some room for a pump. The seat is acceptable for comfort, I had to install some hip padding to help with rolling as the seat was a bit wide for me but otherwise no modifications, the cockpit size allows a backside in first entry.

On my boat the rudder blade would stick between the sides of the rudder housing needing me to sand the side of the blade to let it deploy by its self.

In my perfect world I would do away with the day hatch, they add cost and weight, move the bulkhead behind the seat forward to the cockpit rim to help with draining the cockpit and cross the rudder cables to help with turning.

As for paddling I find the stability fine, slightly light on the primary on flat water but once in waves don't notice it, feels like a boat that will look after you when you are tired. Forward paddling is easy, the boat moves well and has a narrow catch due to its swede form, the foot pedals allow pressure to be applied without steering and the volume forward gives a dry ride.
 For turning, think touring turning, on the move use the rudder, I have not had a lot of luck with hip steering in spite of also owning a skeg boat, to pivot raise the rudder, sweep and edge. This is not a criticism rather a feature of this class of kayak.
The Pace lee cocks when stationary but paddling with the wind abeam it doesn't require much correction from the rudder and so far haven't had any problems turning up wind but will cross the rudder cables at some stage.
It surfs well with rudder down running straight to the beach or downwind without broaching and is as easy as a 25kg boat is to catch waves.
As mentioned previously I fitted hip padding to help with rolling, don't think Greenland rolling weapon here but acceptable for this class of boat with good thigh braces to help lock you in and transfer the action to the boat.

I would say the kayak does what it is advertised as doing, if you want something else there are other boats in their range with different features. This is a kayak for someone who wants an easy to use quality tourer with a large volume, all day comfort, that will look after you when it gets rough and you are tired.

Reviewed by Martin Fraser

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Tiderace XPLORE Kayak Review

Hi Dan

Thought you might like a few words for your FB page, as below. I like this boat! 5/5 stars

Cheers, David

Review of Tiderace Xplore-M.
David Welch, 20+ years sea kayaking including 8 years guiding, NZOIA Sea Kayak Instructor, currently owns 5 sea kayaks.
Conditions I have paddled the Xplore in to date: Flat river in variety of gusty winds, night time on flat harbour, 15kt E on choppy harbour, coastal day trip in/out through surf, 3 day trip fully loaded in strong S – SE winds on Queen Charlotte Sound. Greenland paddle and euroblade used.
It is a very smart, tidy sea kayak. The red and black deck over white hull makes for a great look. I can find no problems with the finish though wonder how long the stickers will stay attached.
I have already fitted out the cockpit to suit my 175cm/75kg frame with simple adjustment to the back-band and some extra padding to the seat. The seat can be unscrewed and moved forward or back if required. Foot braces are easily adjusted from the cockpit with the Kajaksport system. The skeg slider is well placed not to catch with my hand on the left side and operates very easily on the water. My Rasdex brand neoprene keyhole deck fitted snugly as expected. All four hatches stayed dry in all situations, including rolling.
Loading the main compartments was easy through the large oval hatches, and there is ample room around the skeg box to put gear right to the end of the compartment, and to easily retrieve it. Right-hand side day hatch and small front deck hatch are again easily accessible on the water. Grabbing the kayak through both small open hatches is a convenience when carrying the kayak to the water.
My split-paddle fitted comfortably on the front deck under the bungy chords, though still want to customise these to better suit my own habits. The elasticated hook on the front and rear grab handles is a good finishing point, keeping them tidy but accessible when needed. I hate to have carry/grab handles untidy and out of reach when on the water.
From the first time I sat in the kayak on the water, I was impressed with the kayak's feel. The thigh braces are well placed to assist with edging. And on an edge it turns quickly on flat water and is easy to control. Loaded it took a little more pressure to turn but was still easily controlled. In the stronger winds and loaded, it became more independent of my control, requiring more paddle work to keep a course. Loaded, I had plenty of opportunity to gauge the skeg operation and found that with small adjustments I could counter cross winds and maintain a straight line with ease. Compared to paddling my Southern Skua with a rudder I find the skeg more efficient as I am not tempted to "steer" and therefore weave a course. Small incremental movements are possible and make a difference in performance.
Loaded, and heading into the wind, the bow tended to plough through waves though, slowing the speed a bit. It is still a dry ride with water washing quickly off the foredeck before reaching the cockpit. Generally, the pace I was able to maintain was more than adequate even with my Greenland paddle.
The low back deck looks like it will be quite easy to perform back-deck rolls and self rescues from the water, but more on this when the water temperature warms up a little. It's July now.
Value for money? We don't make these boats in NZ so must expect to pay a premium for overseas brands. But we are somewhat limited in local selection and if you want something different, yes it is.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Great gear reviews from our website....

Great gear reviews from our website....

John Kirk-Anderson on 28/04/2014
1 reviews
Fantastic bit of kit! I wore mine during a wet, windy week paddling in the Marlborough Sounds and it proved a winner on and off the water. While paddling it kept me warm and once ashore I wrung it out and used it as my around-camp beanie. That's one less piece of gear I need to carry so very pleased.


John Kirk-Anderson on 28/04/2014
1 reviews
Great jacket. During a wet, windy week of paddling it served very well. Clean lines, solid construction, well designed, I'm impressed.


John Kirk-Anderson on 28/04/2014
1 reviews
Great kit. Very comfortable, lots of storage, easily adjustable, this is a really solid PFD.