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Esquif Vertige X vs. Bell Nexus Tandem OC2

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    Hi Everyone,

    Just throwing this out there to see if anyone has any opinions on the Vertige X vs. the Nexus as a tandem playboat? Has anyone had a chance to paddle both of these boats?

    I found a good little article from Scott in the Rapid Mag Fall 2005 on the Nexus, but no real comparisons otherwise.




    this spring on the advice of Brian Sheilds (the othe half of Scott at Jonquier). Can’t compare to a Vertige but compared to a Dimension it is faster, nimbler, and a bit wetter. The boat has a huge amount of final stability. In learning to paddle it, a couple of times we have had it rolled to the gunwale and sucked in water over the upstream side and havn’t flipped. I’ve only rolled it a few times solo just to see what it does, and it’s one of those boats that almost seem to roll itself. We’re very pleased with the boat and would recommend it with no hesitation, BUT you should also paddle a Vertige too, and make up your own mind.


    Thanks for the advice Jon!

    I was wondering if that was Brian in the Bow from the photo in that article.

    I think you’re right, in the end when making an investment such as this one it is best to paddle both boats before making the final decision. A test is in the works for this weekend we hope – I’ll let you know how it goes.




    Update on our tandem test …

    Well, a heck of a weekend and let me tell ya, it sure is rough when the difficult choices to make in life are what boat you like best!

    So, we had a chance to paddle almost the whole line up this Saturday and Sunday at the Gull. We picked up a Vertige X at Trailhead (Thanks John-O!) and both a Bell Nexus and a Dagger Caption from Algonquin Outfitters (Thanks Gord!). The intent was just to paddle the Vertige X and the Nexus, but when we saw the Caption at AO we figured it might be good to compare the newer boats with what is considered the old standard.

    I must admit, when we had all three boats lined up side-by-side and then end for end, we couldn’t believe how much they all looked alike. In fact it really wasn’t until the last few runs that we were really able to distinguish what each boat excelled in.

    Perhaps what made our little science project the most difficult was the difference in the outfitting. The saddles in the Caption were mounted in the classic really-close-together fashion whereas the Nexus was the furthest apart and the Vertige X somewhere in the middle. It was a real challenge trying to decipher whether what we were feeling was a result of the outfitting or the actual hull design/weight/length etc.

    The good news is all three boats are super fun to paddle! Really, you can’t go wrong with any one of these boats. That being said, there definitely are some differences that depending on what you are looking for you may be better with one rather than another. This would explain why there are an equal number of opinions that favour each boat.

    The verdict? I guess you have to meet us on the river to find out <img loading=” title=”Very Happy” /> ! The truth is, you just won’t know what will work best for you until you’ve tried it. Thank goodness you can rent these things!

    See you on the river!


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