Our latest shipment from Tahe Marine & Zegul has arrived, with a couple of new eye-catching models we're predicting will become very popular in the local market.
First of the newcomers is the Reval, a boat we'd been previously reluctant to import without first trying, as we felt it might have blurred the lines between our Brit boats. The heritage of the boat is obvious on first glance, with lines reflecting designs like the Nordkapp, the Quest & even the old Iceflow. Phil Doddridge, South Australian veteran instructor & expeditioner, was the first in the country with a Reval & has given us some glowing reports on the way the boat handles everything from surf to a torrid instruction day. It's become his boat of choice, & while not a beginner's boat, is one of the select bunch that will definitely reward paddlers who are willing to put in the work to develop their skills.
Both Rob & I had a chance to paddle a Reval at the Currumbin Symposium, and were taken with a few stark differences between it & other designs like the Nordkapp or GT. First up, speed. It has a kilometre an hour over the fastest of the British sea kayaks, with a sleek long waterline length & close catch zone. Like most Scandinavian-designed boats, it also tracks pretty hard, so those who find the looser tracking characteristics of traditional British boats a bit of a handful will appreciate the hard line the Reval holds, especially downsea. You'd expect these traits to come at the expense of manoeuvrability, but applying my usually test of paddling the boat backwards in calm water, lifting the outside edge & dropping a stern rudder over the raised edge I was able to pirouette the kayak through 270 degrees, on a reassuringly solid secondary point. The only boats that turn faster are the Rockpool GT, the Atlantic & the Nordkapp LV. Where we think it might lack the performance of the British designs is in sheer playfulness in really rough water, but that is a shortcoming only an advanced paddler would readily identify. The Reval will be selling for $2990, a great price for a full composite sea kayak with a well credentialed performance design.
The second boat not previously seen on these shores is the Reval Midi PE, a playful rough water & surf boat with plenty of appeal. Ignoring for a moment the price of just $1490 for a triple layer polyethylene kayak, the boat has all the characteristics you associate with a fun play boat. They include reasonable water line length at 5.15m, a low back deck for those who want something for Greenland rolling, and impeccable Tahe fit out.
We paddled the composite Reval Midi last year & considered it to be a sporty design in much the same vein as the North Shore Atlantic, but with more stability & buoyancy. We didn't bring it in due to the high back deck & the fact that we thought the Atlantic was a better design, but this little plastic version is too good to resist.
It rounds off a kayak range for us that begins in the paddling stratosphere with exotic composite British boats, through surf skis & fitness boats & Greenland rolling kayaks & now all the way down to a budget kayak that has an Alfa Romeo hull.
The common thread in our range is the bit that's in the water. We firmly believe that it is all about the hull & that all the bells & whistles, technology & gloss mean little if the boat behaves like a pig where it was designed to be paddled, in the sea.
Demo boats of the Reval & Reval Midi PE are now available to test.
The Zegul 520LV has also come back into stock & there are three in the warehouse for those of you that have been waiting for the return of this very sporty little boat. Improved exchange rates & shipping mean we can now offer this boat at $3490, a drop of $300.