Fresh from the Rock&Roll in Umina (premier NSW Sea Kayak Club event) I have come back impressed with the test paddle of the North Shore Atlantic.
While there were many high end sea kayaks to test paddle the only one that I have not tried yet was the Atlantic (many others too but my legs' size would allow me only so many that fit).
The Atlantic could be described as an in-between my Impex Assateague and my Currituck.
The kayak is superbly finished (expected since it's manufactured by Valley) and I really like the two tone "spill" gel coat of the hull. It's not a sticker, it's actually gel coat.
The cockpit fits me a bit snug and if I had to own one (strongly considering) I would drop the seat a fraction to allow my chunky legs fit with a bit of a wiggle.
As is, the cockpit probably suits a medium sized person.
While not as snug fit as a standard Valley cockpit the one of the Atlantic was just a bit roomier but the thigh braces were still very solid and excellently shaped.
The conditions for my test paddle were initially very mild (rather flat sea) that progressively got more bumpy with small sized swell and chop.
Further along there was some rebound from the cliffs and the wind increased to possibly gusts of 20 knots.
The Atlantic tracked relatively well in most conditions without the need of the skeg.
I deployed it only once I encountered following sea.
The kayak was great to edge offering decent initial stability and outstanding secondary stability.
I felt more at ease in the Atlantic than in my Currituck (possibly I am a bit heavy for the Impex...).
I was very pleased with my test paddle of the Atlantic and after a 4 hours paddle in the variety of conditions I now can say that I would recommend that boat.
The hull and deck felt solid (no flex when pushed on with hand) and while the importer (http://www.expeditionkayaks.com/) would not classify it as true expedition boat it just lacks the absolute security that a standard lay up of a Valley or NDK would offer for rock landings.
It certainly feels much stronger than some so called expedition worthy kayaks that I have come across... and the kayak was reasonably easy on the shoulder when carried solo. Way easier than my Valley Nordkapp LV.
If rudderless paddling is your style I think the Atlantic might be worth considering.