Our boats are all computer designed. This gives us exact information about where the centre of buoyancy is located, allowing the seats and cockpits to be precisely located. It also enables us to scale a model design up or down to suit different paddler sizes and weight. Each time we do this, we effectively create a new kayak which preserves all the performance criteria of the original and ensures that the hull feedback to the paddler is kept the same.
Early Tiderace designs were made in wood-strip to create the original master shape. Now, master shapes are cut directly from a computer file by a computer controlled milling machine – the accuracy of this system ensures that boats are totally symmetrical and an exact match to the design created on the computer.
We then evaluate each boat, comparing our library of computer drawn design characteristics with real-world boat performance and paddler feedback. This evaluation process, and the fact that the designers regularly paddle their own designs, inspires us to constantly refine our understanding and develop new concepts.
Boat sizing: what is different about our approach?
In order to best match the performance of a boat to the size of the paddler, a boat design must be scaled to fit. Tiderace kayaks are available in a range of different sizes and it is important that this change in size does not affect the performance of the given model.
This cannot be achieved by simply chopping height out of a large boat to make a new “small person’s boat” and then expect the same handling characteristics. The same is true when adapting a small boat to fit a larger paddler; You cannot just raise the cockpit and add knee space. Crucially, we believe, the hull shape itself must also be scaled.
In this section
Early kayak design