Some thoughts on the Tiderace Evoke, and a video of him surfing it on some fun waves last week.
"When tiderace themselves described the Evoke as offering: "world class rough water handing and light touring in a compact ruddered format to sit nicely at the professional end of the recreation market." there was none of the usual jostling at EK Central to be first in country to jump in this cute, short, wide boat.
After all words like "recreational" teamed up with the overall dimensions we would usually associate with a fishing kayak had us thinking of the Evoke as a reliable and seaworthy little ruddered boat best suited to entry level paddlers; a valuable niche but with nothing much to offer us personally. Eventually when all the other new toys had been passed down the line and my regular favourites were out on test paddles I decided it was time to give the Evoke a run.
Not surprisingly I found it was an easy boat to push along at sea kayak cruising speeds and very capable at catching runners. When you look at the plumb bow it probably has one of the longest waterlines for any boat in its class and although it seems heavily rockered for a cruiser this doesn't seem to slow it down much in open water and waves, and the hull just feels efficient. The big surprise however, happened for me when i finally pulled up the rudder to catch some small surf and suddenly found myself in one of the loosest tracking but responsive and lively sea kayaks I have ever paddled.
Since then I have surfed it, paddled rock gardens in it and covered some decent miles in the company of fast tourers up to a metre longer and not found the boat lacking. At 85kgs and almost 1.9 metres tall I was expecting the boat to be a squeeze and i am certainly on the longest setting for the foot pedals but I could still pack light for a few days without overloading it.
For a lighter paddler with a moderate load this could do some serious sea miles and do them in rough water and in great style. If you are in the market for a short light efficient tourer/day tripper that turns into a dynamic play boat with the simple haul on the rudder line then you should give it a try, but please let us know well in advance because these days it never seems to find its way from my place back to the EK warehouse!
Rob Mercer, April 2015.