Posted by: otterslide on Aug-13-12 3:21 PM (EST)
When my wife was in the market for a new boat, one issue was efficiency.
We compared the Tiderace Xcite S, the Avocet LV, and the Pilgrim Expedition.
I say "we", because in addition to personal response to fit, comfort, and handling (subjective), there was also extensive playing around with heart rate monitor and a GPS. I will add that, as a reformed kayak racer, I have many years experience using the test protocol.
No surprise, the difference up to 3.5kn was...no difference. But at 4kn, the Xcite S consistently had superior efficiency (less effort).
Back to the subjective, my opinion is different than others regarding the tracking. I find all Tiderace kayaks noticeably "looser" than comparable model from NDK. They do exhibit more weatherhelm behavior as well.
Compared to an Avocet, I can say that the Xcite (not the S) feels far more efficient at higher speeds, but interestingly enough will accelerate better. The response to stern rudder strokes seems similar.