The Nordkapp

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From $4,290.00 NZD

A description of the Nordkapp is a recap of the evolution of modern day sea kayaks.  The Nordkapp was developed by Frank Goodman in Britain in 1974 based on attributes of the kayaks used by the Inuit tribes of West Greenland.  The Inuit had evolved their kayaks since ancient times to cope with the challenges of their environment.  Frank wanted a vessel capable of excelling in a range of sea conditions and he succeeded in adapting the Inuit kayak dimensions to allow for larger European paddlers and more stowage, thus creating the first expedition Sea Kayak of the modern world.  The first known expedition of its type was to the northernmost tip of Scandinavia - the area of Nordkapp - and since then, Nordkapps have proven themselves over many challenging expeditions.

The Nordkapp hull has a central load carrying section that is slightly v-shaped at the keel with soft chines and flared sides terminating at a very high gunnel line. The whole of the deck is designed to minimise the effect of the wind pushing the kayak off course, whilst the profile also clears any ‘shipped’ water quickly. The forward section of the hull is triangular in section. The lower two sides cleave the water dynamically and effectively presents a rather higher wave cleaving surface than most other kayak bow designs. The top of the triangle is a convex flat area that presents a very low side wind profile. The aft hull section is similar to the bow but runs longer and softer. The two lower sides of the rear triangle flow gracefully into a straight running skeg that adds much to the Nordkapps’ directional stability in all water conditions.

In 1976 Grahame Sisson bought a Nordkapp mould and manufacturing rights off Frank's company, Valley Canoe Products (VCP) and began manufacturing Nordkapps in NZ.  Fortunately, Grahame practiced the art of creating moulds that would not shrink or change over time so the NZ-made kayaks did not suffer the same plight of the VCP Nordkapp over the ensuing decades.  While the VCP Nordkapp slowly became what has been described as a caricature of its former self and suffered progressively inferior performance, the NZ-made Nordkapp stayed true to the original, very good design.

Following a disastrous 1996 factory fire, Grahame decided to update the Nordkapp design slightly. The original Nordkapp had a very accentuated stern skeg which was designed before the days of rudders. The latest Nordkapp is designed to incorporate a rudder.

The general fit-out follows the same pattern adopted 42 years ago when Sisson Kayaks constructed their first Nordkapp. Apart from making the cockpit foredeck higher (increased leg room) in 1986, and fitting pod seats plus rudders as standard in 1987, the boats are largely similar to the very first production. The focus is on simplicity.

Nordkapps manufactured by Sisson Kayaks have been paddled around the coastlines of New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Alaska. During all of these trips, which were sometimes conducted in heavy weather, the kayaks suffered no structural failure. Simplicity works at sea.

The Nordkapp is still the expedition Sea Kayak of choice for many discerning paddlers.  Modern buyers of the Nordkapp can choose the type of footrest, type of construction lay-up and all-up weight. We can advise you on what lay-up would best suit your overall needs. 

The Nordkapp remains a well-constructed, no-frills, expedition kayak.  We avoid unnecessary, glossy features that look good in showrooms in favour of robust, proven fittings that excel in the rigours of exposed water.  "When the sea turns nasty, the Nordkapp just gets better".


The Arctic Raider

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From $4,390.00 NZD

The Arctic Raider successfully marries the key attributes of the Nordkapp with some extra stability to make an expedition kayak that is user-friendly to a wide range of paddlers.

Like the Nordkapp, the Arctic Raider features a central load carrying section that is slightly v-shaped at the keel with soft chines and flared sides terminating at a very high gunnel line. The whole of the deck is designed to minimise the effect of the wind pushing the kayak off course, whilst the profile also clears any ‘shipped’ water quickly. The forward section of the hull is triangular in section. The lower two sides cleave the water dynamically and effectively presents a rather higher wave cleaving surface than most other kayak bow designs. The top of the triangle is a convex flat area that presents a very low side wind profile. The aft hull section is similar to the bow but runs longer and softer. The two lower sides of the rear triangle flow gracefully into a straight running skeg that adds much to its directional stability in all water conditions.