Posted by: RavenWing on May-12-13 11:21 AM (EST)
I've paddled kayaks from both, but not the models you're eyeing.
So I'll confine my remarks to build quality.
Tahe/Zegul is a huge boatbuilder in Estonia. The early Tahe Greenland series (going back a few seasons) was built too light and problems w. durability surfaced. Problems like seam separation,rapid cracking, etc. Tahe has since switched to a different 'honeycomb' layup which so far is proving more durable. I know ppl who have the old and new variations and they all agree that the newer is better. There are a few Tahe dealers in the U.S.
Seabird Designs - not a single dealer in the U.S. that I know of. I do know of one in the SE U.S. that carried them a couple of years, dropping them due to QC problems among them leaking bulkheads. There is one dealer in Canada who started carrying them last season but I don't know how he's doing with them.
I paddled one of their Black Pearls (which they build w. permission of designer Bjorn Thomassen).
At this point if it were my purchase I'd wait til Seabird Designs ups their QC. The fact that they have one dealer in North America is not encouraging. As for Tahe the limited number of dealers here in the U.S. gives me pause (the quality does not).
Since you are in Japan I'd go for the Waterfield qajaqs. I know several highly skilled paddlers in Japan who have them, and speak very highly of them. I'd rather a used Waterfield than a new Seabird Designs boat. I'd go w. the Tahe over Seabird Designs as well.
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