Monday 20 November 2017

Tiderace Sea Kayaks & Nelo Portugal

Tiderace Sea Kayaks made quite an impact when we first imported them to these shores back in 2012. Designed by Aled Williams, a chap we have the utmost respect for as a kayak oracle, shaping hulls that just do exactly what you want them to do, and built up to now at Cobra International in Thailand, one of the world's largest composite manufacturers.
They oozed simplicity, were built to a standard like nothing we'd seen before, and just looked damn cool. In the Pace 17 Tour Aled managed to bring the fast tourer to the average paddler, without compromising on performance, a genuine breakthrough in a market where plumb bow kayaks were being whispered about by some traditionalists as 'not real sea kayaks'.

Over the past 18 months it became harder & harder for us to get stock from Tiderace, as they became captive to a manufacturer for whom they were a very small fish in a very big pond, and we were wondering if they were ever going to grace our waterways again.
Last month we received news that manufacturing was being moved to the kayaking giants of Europe, Nelo.

With a state-of-the-art production facility in Portugal, we had grown used to seeing Nelo's unbelievably well made surf skis creeping into the ocean ski market here, so we were very excited at the idea of these guys pumping out the Tiderace kayaks we'd come to love for their performance.

The great news is that they're only a few weeks from finishing the moulding for familiar models such as the Pace 17 Tour, 17S and Pace 18, and well as the Evoke (now known more fittingly as the Action) and the Action S.

Because Nelo pride themselves on being able to customise every single kayak they build, we're no longer restricted to a very small set of standard colourways, instead being able to offer a huge range of colours & variables in deck & hull design (a few examples of which are illustrated in the graphic above).

Aled has also designed a new model to be the flagship of their skeg boat range, the Xceed, which looks to be a touring evolution of the Xcite, a kayak we consider to be the best skeg boat ever designed (we still have the last ever XciteS stock in this part of world, two remaining and then sadly gone forever).

With production based in Europe, we can now also import the rotomoulded Tiderace Vortex, a flat planing hull design that has redefined play in a sea kayak.

Pricing is still to be confirmed, but our best guess is that despite the manufacturing moving from Asia to Europe, it will be basically the same as it was when the boats were being made in Thailand.

If you'd like to test out a Tiderace kayak, or order one in your own colours, please get in touch, we're finalising numbers over the next 2-3 weeks, and will have plenty of stock here in April 2018.

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