A while ago I supplied a Tiderace Xtra to Rhiannon, an experienced paddler and great photographer, who already owns a Tiderace Xplore S. She was kind enough to e mail me her thoughts about the Xtra which I thought were so interesting they deserved to be shared more widely. Rhiannon very kindly agreed to let me do this and also sent me a copy of this great, crazy, brilliant image of her new kayak.
Here is what she had to say:
“I had a wonderful weekend with the Xtra at the Anglesey sea kayak festival. It was a weekend of big weather, never getting below F4 and probably F5 gusting F7 most of the time. The Xtra offered just the right amount of reassurance in some biggish waves and made a huge difference to my levels of confidence confidence-just- just what I was looking for. I swapped into an Xcape S for a while as well, in the same biggish waves, and was pleased to be able to make a direct comparison between the two kayaks in the same conditions. I was still delighted with the Xtra.
I then had a day forward paddling with John Willacy, and was really keen to see whether the Xtra was any slower than other boats and also the Xplore S, my other kayak. I was surprised to find that the difference wasn’t very noticeable. To make sure, I swapped into a friend’s Xplore S during part of the forward paddling session. Having been at full pelt in both boats, I really couldn’t tell the difference in terms of effort, which surprised me. Maybe the speed gains made by the Xplore over the Xtra would have been more pronounced over the course of a whole day, but like for like, in terms of out and out kayaking speed, it was a far closer match than I thought it would be.
The only thing I noticed was that with a F7 gusty headwind, the bow had a tendency to rapidly shift direction by about 20 degrees with the gusts. It comes with the territory I guess, being such a low volume bow, combined with such a manoeuvrable kayak, and will happily trade this for its superior comfort, amazing handling and excellent primary stability.”