Submitted: 04-22-2011 by chamois
Me: 5'8", 130lb, fit woman
Skills: BCU New 3 star paddler - Prefered paddling: surfing, long distance day trips, some rock play, occasional racing
Other kayaks I formerly or currently paddle:
Current Designs Squall
Valley Anas Acuta
West Side Boat Shop Bullitt K2
Time in the kayak as of this review: Most weekends from May - Oct 2010
The Tahe Marine Greenland is most like the Anas Acuta. It is faster than the Anas Acuta, but otherwise generally behaves like a smaller version.
The Tahe is a low volume boat. I like it because I don't get blown around by the wind like I did with my Squall. Some people have expressed concerns that the Tahe is so low volume that it is only good as a cheater rolling kayak. This is not true. I love playing in surf and rocks with the Tahe. My fiance, who weights 185lbs, however, submarines the boat in rough water. I would guess that the Tahe can be used as a play boat only for folks up to 150lb, if that.
For me, the Tahe is a sweet ride in rough water. Up on edge, it turns faster than the Anas Acuta. Its hard chines make it fun to carve in surf. It does require some technique to handle in surf. Until I took some lessons, it did tend to pearl. What with the fast hull, I have to be careful not to slide down to the bottom of the wave.
As far as stability, I think the Tahe would classically be considered to have low stability, but I find I am much more comfortable in it in rough water than in some other boats I have tried. In a NDK Romany or Tide Race Excite, for example, to get the boat on edge, I have to pull hard with my knees against the braces and throw my weight to one side. In that position, if a wave comes by, I am liable to tip over. With the Tahe, to put it on edge, I just put a little more weight on one or the other sit bone. This leaves me overall more balanced for the next wave. If you do try to manhandle the boat with your knees, you'll manhandle yourself straight into the water. Compared to the Anas Acuta, the stability curve is similar, although the Tahe is more responsive to the smaller paddler.
The Tahe cruises nicely. It's peak speed is definitely higher than the Anas Acuta. By the specs, the long upswept bow and stern give the Tahe a modest waterline. However, as the boat speeds up, it appears to sink into the trough of its hull wave, and the waterline lengthens. I don't think it is quite as fast as a Nordkapp LV I once tried, but I have no issues keeping up with groups of Explorers and Cetuses and the like.
Rolling and rescues. Everyone has already said the Tahe is easy to roll, and it is. I have the larger cockpit, and I can do pretty much all the standard rescues. It does work best during a T-rescue to re-enter the Tahe while it is still on the rescuer's deck because the cockpit is quite low. Larger folk may not have so much luck with rescues. My fiance, for example, has to flip over before slipping his legs into the cockpit.
As for gear, the Tahe easily fits gear for a day trip. I tried once to fit camping gear in and failed. I have a friend who does go camping with her Greenland. I think the difference is that she uses smaller dry bags and only brings a summer weight sleeping bag.
The one place where the Tahe Greenland isn't great is durability. They sell several weights of layups. Tahe Marine isn't completely clear on which is which, but I think I have the mid-weight fiberglass layup. I have chipped the gel coat off my chines from playing in the rocks. Since then, I added keel and chine strips. I also cracked the side of my boat taking a glancing blow from a bow in surf. I don't think the collision would have broken a solid British boat. On the other hand, the Tahe is a bit lighter to carry around.
In summary, if you are a Greenland qajaq enthusiast, this is a fun kayak worth considering. If you are a smaller paddler looking for a high spirited kayak, I'd highly recommend you try the Tahe Marine Greenland even if you couldn't care less about Greenland traditions. It's just a great boat.