Submitted: 06-30-2003 by Petewp
I had the oppurtunity to try out Nick Shades Night Heron of Stitch and Glue construction. This is my fourth kayak "tested" and it most closely aproximates what I seek in a Sea Kayak...
Only 20" wide, it asks that the paddler have sufficient skills in steeper waters, however on the 6" chop I paddled, it behaved unusually well. A few mild boat wakes were no problem either. I found its initial stablility a little better than my West River 180, tho my own construction methods with that particular kayak could have caused more initial instability than the designer intended. Speed was all that, and tho I cant tell if it was any faster than my WR180, there was no doubt this hull likes to move quick and effortlessly. Turning was easy for a hull that tracked so well. Storage space is ample, especially the roomy bow where I'd have to imagine all feet would fit with room to spare.
What didnt I like? Not much. I prefer a cambered deck as opposed to the handsome panels Shade offers but thats just me. And frankly, if camber is your cup of joe too, then adding one to a kayak you are building anyway is hardly a tall order.
I would recommend this fast mover for anyone wanting to rack up miles while enjoying a hull that enjoys a paddler interested in applying skills in the more challenging waters.