Wednesday 16 April 2014

Tiderace Xtra vs Valley Gemini SP RM - Surf Session

Rob & I headed to our favourite sea kayak surf spot, the Bundeena Bar, on the strength of yesterday's forecast 2-4m SE swell & 10-12 second wave period.

An intense east coast low had obliterated Sydney's beaches for all but the biggest wave adrenaline junkies, but a fast run-out tide mid-morning delivered us as good a set of fat waves as you could hope to find.
Mark goes the aerial route in the Xtra.
We spent about 90 minutes putting the Tiderace Xtra & Valley Gemini SP RM through their respective paces. I was getting my head around the Xtra, having only previously paddled it briefly & only on some very gentle surf at Bateman's Bay, whilst Rob went for it in the Gemini, pushing the hull as far as he could.
Rob about to 'go dark' in the Gemini RM
The results are on the short video above, some acrobatics, some fast & controlled rides in these neat little play sea kayaks, some biffo, and thankfully some un-airable language censored from a family website. Suffice to say there is a reckless Rescue Board paddler somwhere in Sydney who will be having nightmares about mild mannered snow haired men who go bad.

My impressions of the Xtra in some surf that presented a few more challenges? The super flat hull planes like you can't believe as long as you can get it into the sweet spot. The best course of action is to keep it simple, don't over edge, just make small adjustments. Like the Xcite it adjusts direction one way or the other with tiniest amount of edge & a well time stern rudder or draw, and for a beginner surfer it would provide the most sympathetic route possible into the fraught world of sea kayak surfing.

Enjoy the fruits of our hard work, making absolutely sure these boats we're selling you good folks are as good as the manufacturers say, and don't feel too sorry for us having to put in such toil.

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