Thursday, 8 January 2009

North Shore Atlantic

I got to have a brief paddle over the weekend in our newest arrival, the North Shore Atlantic. Touted as a more user-friendly rudderless kayak, suitable for a broader skill level than some of the more advanced boats, I found the reality to be little more impressive. On first appearance the Atlantic has the sporty look of the famous NDK Romany, although a full foot longer, for a higher top touring speed. Out in some 1-2m wind waves off Bare Island on Botany Bay, the boat performs every bit as I have always expected something like the Romany to perform, having seen Romany's & Avocet's (which I can't bloody well fit into...) on the tide race videos carving it up. Once planing on a wave, the Atlantic takes off, bouncing along the face beautifully, but with the very reassuring feeling of a buoyant soft secondary chine. I couldn’t imagine a better kayak for someone who maybe already has a long waterline expedition boat, but who is starting to get bored/jealous watching their mates play around in higher performance boats, and is starting to think about a better boat for the fun stuff. For a beginner, it has a similar bouncy secondary stability to the Impex boats, but in the hands of a paddler seeking out moving water it is a fun machine up there with the best of them. The extra waterline length gives the paddler a good burst of speed not always available with designated play kayaks, and the build & construction are top-notch, being Valley manufactured with the North Shore brand. They are also very light, laid up with the brand new Aeronautical Vacuum infusion technology, and the new moulds produce a clean, mirror-like impressive finish.
We have just two of these boats left, after the first 2 went within a week of them landing, so be quick if you want to organise a test paddle.
(all photo's Rob Mercer & Sharon Betteridge).

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for this informative review. Would a shoe size of 11 present a problem in this particular kayak?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, no problem, the Atlantic has a reasonable amount of volume forward of the cockpit. I'm a size 10 1/2 and there is heaps of spare foot room.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you Mark. I have heard of many having positive experiences with the Atlantic here in Norway, but have not had the opportunity to try it out myself. Hopefully soon... .

    ReplyDelete
  4. Two questions

    Are they available with a rudder and ...
    How much do they sell for?

    ReplyDelete
  5. G'day David,
    As a custom order we can have an Atlantic brought in with a rudder, which adds $275 to the cost. Our advice is to test paddle the boat first, several people have asked for them with rudders, and bought them rudderless after a demo. Theyre a beautiful rudderless design, and I'm not convinced that a rudder would do anything to the performance of the Atlantic except to essentially neutralize it's rough wat ability.
    Mark.

    ReplyDelete