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Submitted: 12-11-2006 by grayhawk
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This is a first impression review of the Nordkapp LV. I normally wouldn't review it for maybe a year but as it is a new model and there aren’t many to demo in the U.S. at this time, I’ll do a little one.

I am 5’11’ 185 lbs. 31” inseam, 60+ Y.O. and have been paddling 5 years. This is my eighth kayak and now I get to paddle about five days a week. Most of my paddling has be in a CD Caribou and the Pygmy Arctic Terns.

My search for a light, efficient, fun dayboat led me to demo a standard Nordkapp LV. I liked it and fit in it with a little room to spare. I do not have large thighs and paddle in warm water gear. My size 10 feet have plenty of room. I ordered one in the Ultra lay up which is Kevlar/carbon hull, deck and bulkheads, this saves around 10 lbs. a bit pricey but worth it for these old shoulders. No other options or special placement of bulkheads were ordered.

The boat that arrived is near perfection. Fit, finish and construction is the best I have ever seen in a kayak. The outside seam is very smooth and at first I thought it was the rubber molding type. I could find no excess resin anywhere and it weighed in at 43lbs. with hatches and compass. The seat is very comfortable with padded seat pad, matching hip pads and backband. I will leave these in for now. The Valley thigh braces are set more aft than I an used to but my knees and lower thighs have a grip under the cockpit recess. I will add a Minicel skin in this area just to improve my grip. The LV is not a tiny boat just a lower volume Nordkapp with the middle weight range being 180lbs. I can enter butt first and pull my legs in although it takes a little finesse if the boat is floating.

As other have said this boat is twitchy, I agree. Some if it may have to do with Nordkapp genetics but a lot of it is that I am coming from hardchine stable boats and some of it might be attributed to the fact that this boat is 10lbs. lighter than the boat I demo’d and 17lbs. lighter than the prototype that Sea Kayaker magazine reviewed.

I paddled it seven days consecutively and on the third day greatly relaxed in it. My confidence greatly increased when I hesitantly took it out in over 20kts. wind and wind driven white caps. The bow rode gently over the waves and to my surprise beam and rear quartering seas had almost no affect on the boat. They seamed to just pass under the boat. The skeg was very effective and the boat would instantly respond to slight changes. The boat felt more stable in conditions.

This boat turns very quickly and at first I found myself initiating my turns too soon and would crash into the mangroves before my intended turn. Even with the maneuverability it tracks fairly well and just a bit of skeg will make it a point A to point B boat, but that’s really no fun. The LV feels very quick. It accelerates instantly and has an efficient very respectable cruising speed that holds up well in conditions. It doesn’t have flatwater racer speed but neither do I.

As a dayboat it is a fun pure paddling boat. It will not inspire confidence in beginners but will reward those with established strokes and braces. This boat resounds instantly to any input and I quickly learned that finesse gets much better results than a heavy hand. It makes me look better than I am and after seven days the love affair has now begun.

Update in a year. Oh yeah, I’m not rating it, so you will just have to paddle it yourself...

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