Submitted: 08-31-2005 by EEL
I have only been paddling seriously for this season so I cannot give an expert's opinion, but I and the NH have had many hours on the Maine coast together in a variety of trips/conditions. I am 5' 10' and 180#. The NH fits me very well. When it comes to high performance vehicles, the critical attributes are always the same if it is to be used at its limits. It must be predictable, forgiving, and have no evil traits that bite you suddenly when it is pushed hard. I have found the NH has these and as a result it is a real pleasure to paddle. It just takes many things in stride without any drama at all.
I have through bad luck and bad judgment put myself is some dicey situations, but the NH has always done the right thing with ease and grace saving me from myself. If you want a well made kayak, if you want a kayak that handles a great variety of conditions well, if you want a kayak that just gets better the more you push it, then you should try a NH and try it in lumpy water. That is where differences show up. If you want a high sweeping bow and stern, if you want something built like a tank to take abuse during an expedition to a remote area, if you want a heavy boat, then look elsewhere. Is it perfect? Of course not. I needed to replace the backrest which was trivial to do. I think the bow slaps on small boat chop too much.
I don't know the facts, but based upon my interactions with Eddyline, I find it very unlikely they would sell boats they knew had bad skegs. Speaking of which, with no skeg it will weathercock a little, with a slight skeg it tracks straight, on a full skeg it will leecock. Just the way it should work to trim the boat. Typical of how the boat works overall. It just works right in so many ways it would take a long review to detail them. I keep asking more of it as my skills improve and it just keeps getting better.