Nordr – background
Seabird Designs – no thanks! After some years with poor quality, unwillingness to take responsibility for problems and arrogance towards customers, as well as dealers and partners, I no longer have anything to do with Seabird Designs.
The NORDR kayaks from Seabird Designs
Nordr? Why the extra ”r”? Well, Nordr is the old Norse name for North. Nordr, ostr, vestr and sudr were the cardinal points on the Viking vegvisir (compass). Northeast was called landnordr, meaning land-north, indicating that the geographical origin of this naming practice was the western coasts of Scandinavia. Northwest was called utnordr meaning out-north. Southeast and southwest were landsudr and utsudr.
With a Norwegian company and a Swedish designer, both from old Viking territory, a kayak name with some Norse flavor was of course inevitable.
But there is more to it than just the name. The Vikings were excellent craftsmen and boatbuilders, creating light seagoing ships, unsurpassed in speed and agility. A historian noted that the longships are the only ocean-going passage-making, fast and highly maneuverable landing crafts in history that could be hauled overland by the crew!
Those same words – light, seagoing, speed, agility – were high on the wish list for the new Nordr line of kayaks. With a moderate initial stability, but lots of secondary, and a slender hull, fine-tuned to soft, easy movements, the Nordr will provide a dry ride in waves, an impressive touring speed, and excel at maneuvering and kayak control. Of course, speed alone is not that interesting. Efficiency is. A kayak that lets you go farther in less time and with less energy spent is the ultimate passage-maker – and that is where the Nordr kayaks shine...
The hull is rounded with just a hint of chines midships to combine speed and maneuverability. With inspiration from surfskis (the volume distribution) and their superior handling in waves, the Nordr is highly controllable, whether surfing waves in high speed or negotiating rock gardens in low.
The load capacity is just adequate for long distance touring. I know that some kayakers prefer more volume for gear. But trust me: touring is more fulfilling when all those often-unused nice-to-have-gadgets stays at home. Then the kayak is lighter, faster and moves easier on the waves. It maneuvers precisely and reliably, with no unnecessary weight and volume for wind and waves to act upon. It becomes an extension of your body. And when you are dry, warm and satisfied in front of a campfire at night – you need no more.