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Name: Stephen1

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I've been using euro paddles for 25 plus years with last two being high end Werner high and low angle. They're Excellent paddles but short story long i had shoulder surgery and after rehab found myself fatigued much sooner and feeling strained especially with the high angle blade . Research led me to the Kalleq Greenland and found it to be much more forgiving to the body and just a more natural feel. Paddle is lightweight and find the two piece joinery solid so far . Very happy and excited to see where it takes me.

I purchased Sitka Lt and have been paddling it at least 3x's a week for two months now . I've paddled large and small lakes, little creeks, the Hudson river, ocean bays in varying conditions. I've been paddling for over 30years and consider myself a strong intermediate paddler. I'm a 5'11" 210lb male with size 11 shoe . I've owned quite a few boats throughout the years last one being a Tiderace xcite. Tiderace is an excellent boat for last 7 years but I've always felt a bit cramped in the low deck and foot peg area . Was on my way to buying another British boat called the Gemini st but after demo decided it wasn't for me. Tried the Sitka and felt very comfortable straight away. Plenty of room, good primary stability and the secondary stability seems quite good as well. Boat is very light and easy to get on and off Subaru forester. Sitka is under 15' and very easy to maneuver but also keeps pace and tracks well with longer kayaks. Very happy with the boat so far.

Firstly I'd like to express that I have purchased many NRS products through the years and I have always thought that whatever I bought was of the highest quality. With that said I'm writing to tell of my experience and concerns with the NRS Sea Kayak Paddle Float which I purchased through ACK.

I took the paddle float out last week to practice with it in calm waters and upon performing the evolution I noticed that a substantial amount of water had gotten into one of the air chambers , So much water as to weigh the float down considerably when trying to lift it from the water. This obviously defeats the purpose of a paddle float. Trying to get this water out was no easy or quick task in fact standing in my kitchen afterwards trying to get the last remaining ounces out was quite frustrating, there is a few ounces still in there that I cannot get out.

Fast forward - I contacted ACK about this and they arranged for a new one to be sent and for me to return the original. New one arrived and first thing i did was to bring it over to the sink to see if the new one would take on water, which unfortunately it did. Apparently this is the present design and to be quite honest not a very good one, in the instructions there is no mention of that, if one or both of the valves are in the open position that it is possible if not imminent that the float will take on water through the valves and that while stored and deployed valves should be in the closed position until ready to inflate. I think that at the very least this important piece of information should be added to the packaging/instructions. As for myself I will be returning the float to ACK as I find it a bit dangerous to use like this especially if I found myself capsized in a rough water scenario. In this day of our litigious society I would hope they look further into this issue and perhaps find a type of valve that works in a different manner.

Took some time to settle on getting the Xcite but that's pretty much the way I am with getting any type of Kit, I review and investigate everything ad nauseam. The Tiderace Xplore was a close second but when I test paddled them both at the NY Kayak company (a top notch outfit) along with the very knowledgeable owner Randall Henriksen (a Gentleman) there was no doubt that the Xcite was the boat I would enjoy most.

The whole Tiderace line of boats are impeccable in their layups (I have the Hardcore) and the graphics on the boats are real eye catchers. As far as handling I find the Xcite a very stable kayak in both primary and secondary terms, to me the boat thrives in the rough stuff which is exactly what i would like to graduate toward.

As far as speed I can't complain, at almost 6' and between 210-220lbs depending on how much pizza I've had that month, the Xcite gets me to where I wanna be in a timely fashion easily keeping up with and sometimes passing paddling friends. The boat tracks very well with a bit of edging and if the wind kicks up too much I find that by dropping the skeg even just a little does the trick.

If I had to nitpick anything it would be the smaller cockpit (getting in and out) that I'm not used to but that's for now and I'm sure with practice I'll adapt to it, that said once I'm in I feel very connected to the boat which is what you want in a sea kayak.

The other thing which I have already gotten used to is the low volume by the foot-peg area, I'm a size 11 and cannot where just any type of water shoe or booty. I purchased the NRS Freestyle wetshoe and now my feet fit just fine. I took the Xcite on a week long kayak camping trip up to the Adirondacks last fall and was impressed that I was able to fit all My gear with relative ease. I'm very happy with the Xcite and find it to be a very competent all rounder.