Nigel Foster Legend vs. Valley Nordkapp?
Posted by: oldgeezer1 on Jan-02-13 11:59 AM (EST) Category: unassigned
This is somewhat of a follow up to some previous posts I have made about boats (comparing the Nordkapp, Greenlander Pro and Bahiya).
I was wondering if anyone can provide some feedback on the Nigel Foster Legend and perhaps compare it to the Valley Nordkapp. Granted these boats are different in that the Nordkapp is very soft chined and the Legend is hard chined...and one has a lot of rocker while the other does not; however, they are both similar in that they are relatively fast sea kayaks that are pretty maneuverable for their length, known for good rough water performance and have a fairly loose stability profile (low primary stability / easily edged).
I am specifically interested in how the boats compare in terms of speed, maneuverability, performance in rough water/wind, and surfing ability. I already know that the Nordkapp is good in all these areas, but I am somewhat fond of hard chined boats and curious how the Legend performs compared to the Nordkapp.
I currently have a Nordkapp H2O and am considering taking a look at adding a Legend to my fleet, but have not been able to test paddle one yet so am interested to hear the feedback of others.
2-3 Canoe/Kayak Trailer
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Paddled a Legend...|
Posted by: Bill_Stevenson on Jan-02-13 2:47 PM (EST)
and at the time compared it to a Kajaksport Millenium. I wound up buying the Millenium after spending a long weekend in the Florida Keys going back and forth. These are all fast, seaworthy, sophisticated boats for expert paddlers. I found the Legend to be more than somewhat tender and I felt like it required too much bracing. But, I weigh over 200 lbs. and in a boat with little or no load, stability is not great. A loaded boat would be easier to control. My friend whose Legend it was, really, really liked his and could make it sing. He liked the Millenium, too, but prefered the Legend. He is the more skilled paddler too. In my opinion this underscores the need to try the boats yourself and form your own conclusions about which one works best for you.
Posted by: oldgeezer1 on Jan-02-13 4:29 PM (EST)
I certainly agree that paddling the boat is essential, but still like to hear other's input. I would contend that just test paddling it is not enough though, as it does not expose you to the vast amount of potential conditions and circumstances that another paddler may have experienced with the boat, which is one of the reasons that I ask the question. For instance, with the Greenlander Pro (which I really do like for the most part) I find that the bow pearls when on steep waves, that it tends to weathercock a bit when paddled across a strong wind, that the boat tends to get pushed around a lot in beams seas and that it can be a bit squirrelly in a following sea. All those are things I never would have discovered on most normal test paddles and all are traits that I think that most paddlers could agree on.
Come along for the ride|
Posted by: CapeFear on Jan-02-13 8:10 PM (EST)
I've only demoed Nordkapps a couple times, so I can't offer much comparison-wise. I think they're probably different enough that switching between the two would give you an excitingly different ride each time, which for me is a big part of the fun of switching between kayaks. I find the secondary strong enough in the Legend to make it pretty easy to settle into in rough water. I find it a lot of fun, and directionally well-mannered once you get the knack of edging a bit in anticipation, vs. edging a bit on the wrong edge at the wrong time. If you like the feel of hard-chined boats and can get over the loose primary stability by feeling confident in the secondary, I think it's hard to go wrong. I'm not a racer. I enjoy the ocassional race, but I've never really gotten serious about racing technique, race specific training and equipment, and becoming truly competitive at it. I did manage a 6 mile race in a few minutes under an hour in the Legend. That said a lot to me about it's efficiency. It's not a Romany, Delphin, or Whiskey 16 in the surf zone, but I think those compromises would take away a lot of what makes the Legend great. It's got enough volume in the bow and enough maneuverability to make it quite respectable and fun in those activities, for me anyway. This video of me in the Legend this summer can at least give you a look at it in some type of wave action.
They are very different boats|
Posted by: bnystrom on Jan-03-13 7:00 AM (EST)
The Legend is much higher volume than the Nordkapp, which is more comparable to the N.F. Silhouette. N.F. boats all tend to have low initial stability and not a lot of secondary; that's the way Nigel likes his boats to be.
Posted by: oldgeezer1 on Jan-03-13 7:29 AM (EST)
Great points on the seat height. Mine currently has a foam seat. For one, I need the foam seat in order to get low enough in the boat for it to fit. I find the Nordkapp to be a snug fitting boat and it is too snug for me with a higher seat.
Legend vs Nordcapp|
Posted by: Jaybabina on Jan-04-13 9:15 AM (EST)
What makes the Legend a good boat is a good paddler like Nigel.
shape between chines unique for Foster's|
Posted by: CapeFear on Jan-04-13 3:22 PM (EST)
I think the fairly unique shape between the hard chines makes Nigel Foster's kayaks different. My Caribou is v'd between the chines. My Bahia is more deeply v'd between the chines. I think every other kayak I have, hard or soft chined, has a v along the waterline at least at the ends. My Legend is not V'd. It is rounded between the chines along the entire waterline. I think this gives it the distinctively loose primary stability, but also contributes to its speed and efficiency, and probably maneuverability. But I actually find the secondary stability quite good and reassuring in the Legend.
Posted by: oldgeezer1 on Jan-04-13 3:54 PM (EST)
Agreed in many ways... I too have owned a Bahiya and a Greenlander Pro. Both are hard chined, but with V bottoms. The Foster boats are unique in that they have hard chines and ROUND bottoms.
The Nordkapp hull shape...|
Posted by: BNystrom on Jan-05-13 8:44 AM (EST)
...strikes a better balance between stability and rough water performance, IMO. The slight V provides just enough initial stability that you can relax when you paddle it, which can be a challenge in a Nigel Foster boat. That was one of the reasons that I ultimately sold my Silhouette, the lack of initial stability would catch me off-guard at times and I found it annoying.
Posted by: johnysmoke on Jan-04-13 3:59 PM (EST)
Posted by: svenkalmar on Jan-08-13 12:42 AM (EST)
Posted by: oldgeezer1 on Jan-08-13 6:56 AM (EST)
I find the Nordkapp to be pretty good in the wind, but I agree with a poster above about it being pretty low volume. That may be a deciding factor for me, as I find it to be a bit of a tight fit, and maybe tighter than I prefer. I really like the fit of my Explorer, and I find the Nordkapp to be a good bit snugger, which surprises me actually.