The weather was lining up for an ideal evening of paddling this Monday night in Exmouth, and I was keen to try out the new SIC race boards that we had available on demo – the Atlantis in 14×24 and the new XRS in 14×22. Both dugouts, but aimed at racing in completely opposite water states – a great opportunity to compare and contrast against.

Three of us launched at the Duck Pond in Exmouth just after High Tide at 5:45pm and made our way up river to a well known watering hole, Turf Locks. The tide was against us this direction which slowed progress, but there was a little wind swell blowing up the river which helped a little. It was very interesting to see the contrast between the flatwater dominant XRS and the open water Atlantis. The Atlantis riding the light wind swell up river fantastically well, but the XRS being quite obviously quicker on the flatter water that showed up as the wind dropped off.

Differences in widths makes it hard to compare exactly like for like, but the Atlantis feels like it handles the chop and swell far better – which should be fairly obvious as that’s what its been aimed towards. If I were to be training and paddling on rivers more than open water however, I’d be far more likely to want to take the XRS – which at only 22inch’s wide still felt very stable (for even a more recreationally aimed paddler like myself)

A brief stop in the beer Garden for a half pint of Yellow Hammer after 6km upriver and we were on our way back down again – much quicker this time with the tide really pushing out to sea now. With very little water in the channel at the duckpond we continued past the harbour and on to the seafront, exiting outside Sideshore and Edge Watersports. 14km of paddling in total, and a great evening spent on the water!

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