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Reviews for Aspect RM Kayak by North Shore


Rated: 9/10 Based On: 3 Reviews

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08-28-2014
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I am a novice paddler with less than 4 years of paddling experience, some moving water experience, a solid sweep roll on both sides, and a preference for solo paddling. I have a stocky build at 5'10", 200lb, with a 36" in-seam and size 11 feet. I often paddle flat water lakes and slow moving rivers near Denver, CO. I also take opportunities to paddle lakes, slow rivers, and protected harbors in Northern California when I am out there.

I upgraded to the 2014 edition of this boat from a 2007 Prijon Touryak as I wanted something more lively and maneuverable.

The Boat - The 2014 Atlantic RM
-Three layer PE construction
-Standard outfitting
-Weight: 57lb
-Length: 16.11'
-Beam: 22"

I paddled an earlier model of this boat with the stiffener bar in it back in 2011 at Half Moon Bay, CA. I decided then that this is the boat I wanted.

Earlier models of the Atlantic RM had single layer PE and a stiffener bar. The later models use three layer rotomolded PE for a stiffer boat and do not have the bar.

There is not much I can say about this boat that has not already been mentioned in previous reviews concerning the specs, the design, construction, and handling. The stability, ease of turning, speed, and responsiveness are all very good for a poly boat at this price.

The aspects of the boat that stand out to me are

  • Fit:
    I really wear this boat. I was able to quickly adjust the foot pegs and back band for a proper fit. For a person my size, it feels like an extension of me.
  • Cockpit:
    The seat/backband setup is very comfortable. It is just soft enough, but not squishy. I find it supports my back well and also flexes enough to not hinder re-entry when I cowboy-scramble back in after a capsize. I have sat in this boat for over 5 hours straight with no discomfort, numbness, or cramping. The seat pan does not cut into the back of my legs, as happens to me in other similar boats I paddled like the P&H Scorpio and Delphin, or Valley Aquanaut. I also wear size 13 NRS Sasquatch boots when I paddle cooler water and my feet fit under the deck with a smidgeon of room to spare.
  • Lines:
    To me the boat is just nice to look at. I say it is elegant. I am partial to the British style sea kayaks.
  • Handling:
    As described in previous reviews, this boat turns well on edge. I can easily spin 180 deg on edge with a few sweep strokes on each side; Bow and stern ruddering bring quick results and only get better with higher edging. I can roll this boat easily with a sweep roll on both sides and I come up faster than in my Touryak. I rolled up on both side on my first attempt after not paddling for almost 18 months.
As a novice I recommend this boat for novices looking for a boat they can grow into if light touring and dynamic water are in your paddling goals. I am only just tapping into what this boat can do and as my skills improve I look forward to many wonderful hours & days on the water in my Atlantic RM.

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05-06-2011
Submitted by: Simon JacksonSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     This kayak fills the gap between the touring kayaks and sea kayaks.
This kayak does handle very much like a sea kayak, it is fast, straight running and gives a dry ride in chop, there doesn't seem to be any problem with weathercocking but it did seem to blow sideways in strong winds, I expected the kayak to be more maneuverable than it is but a bit of tilting helps no end, just like a sea kayak! Initial stability is moderate to high with good secondary stability.

I found the cockpit to be slightly on the large size with a high foredeck, I'm 6ft skinny, a lower volume version will be available and I look forward to seeing that.

The hatches are valley rubber, front is a round and the rear is slightly oval and large, I could get my Eckla trolley in the stern without taking it apart, I'm a fan of the simpler two hatch design. a little extra thought could have gone into the placement of RDFs on the rear deck as there is nowhere to park a split paddle.

There is a carbon stiffening rod that runs the centre section through both bulkheads, this makes it very hard to seal the bulkheads and my front bulkhead leaks water from the cockpit into the front compartment, NS/Valley say the kayaks are air tested, but as this is the third kayak I've had from them with leaks on the bulkheads/hatch rims/cockpit coaming, I don't believe them. If you're buying a valley/NS boat have it double checked before laying out cash. Apart from this the quality seems pretty good.
Overall very impressed...

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01-07-2011
Submitted by: MarshallSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Length = 14' 9"; Width = 23.5"; Weight = 50 lbs.

Introduction: Throughout 2010 I have been having fun playing with the North Shore composite range of kayaks and just recently took the opportunity to try a North Shore Aspect on for size and for feel on the water. Unlike other reviews I have written with GPS measured speeds and stats this was just an opportunity to play hooky for the day away from The River Connection Showroom and get acquainted with this new model.
Later in March 2011, I will write a followup to this Introduction with more specifics on speeds, turn radii, stability point tilt angles, etc.

Construction: single layer polyethylene roto molded plastic, twin wall poly bulkheads (x2), hull stiffening composite keelson (runs bulkhead to bulkhead)

Features: Full perimeter deck lines, fore/aft deck bungees, fore/aft rescue toggles, VCP 10" Round Front Hatch, VCP Club Oval Hatch Aft, cable push VCP Skeg, cockpit rim mounted thigh braces, Werner Footbraces, independent floating full back band, fore/aft twin wall poly bulkheads, composite keelson.

Fit: Sitting into the kayak on the floor entry in was ample enough for my 33" inseam legs to not make contact with the front coaming. Side to side fit with the OE seat pads was comfortable enough for my 33" waist where I did not feel that I would need additional padding to ensure good contact with the sides of the seat. Unbuckling the seat shims would give me an additional .75" of room side to side. I'm not sure what that would equate to in waist size. The Werner foot pegs are simple enough and a well known rail system which felt right in this kayak. The thigh braces are a molded plastic form on either side of the cockpit rim. A small slot allows for some adjustment (perhaps 1" fore/aft) of the position of the brace. There appears to be enough plastic to allow for elongation of the slot for greater range of adjustability. For my size I would have brought the thigh braces back closer for comfort where as my 5'2" wife hopped in and contact was perfect. Everyone is built different. The North Shore Standard Seat is installed on this with a taller back band on a velcro adjustment strap that is easiest to modify from out of the cockpit. This is simple and effective. One noticeable construction difference is the use of a carbon/fiberglass keelson running form the front bulkhead to the aft bulkhead. I'm familiar with this from a Necky Kevlar Thasis from years ago which was a glassed in wood dowel. Definitely reduces flex in the length of the kayak.

On Water Feel: Wonderful! Ok more detail; For a compact sea kayak this did not feel like a balloon around me like some popular 14' day tourers which is why I'm applying the term Compact Sea Kayak. The stability range felt much more like the longer fiberglass North Shore Atlantic. Predictably forgiving high up on edge. From the amount of rocker in the bow/stern profile heeling the kayak over resulted in effortless skidding turns to the point of where a bow rudder seemed unnecessary to get a sharper turn. My wife commented that on a skidding turn the kayak would turn 180 degrees within its length. On an even heel tracking was straight ahead and at quite good speed and glide for a relatively short kayak.

Terms to describe the on-water character of this kayak would be well mannered, playful, comfortable, rugged and above all Fun!
Pricing: $1350 skeg version standard. Stern fittings for rudder installed but no rudder option is available at this time.

If you are looking into the typical Day Touring length kayak you need to put the North Shore Aspect on your Must Paddle list before buying and consider stepping up what to expect in performance from a 14'9" kayak.

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