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Submitted: 09-04-2007 by midtoad

I tested a 2000(?) Impex Mystic today on flat water. Though the dealer said the boat was a demo, after reading the other two reviews and noting that my "demo" has the square hatches that were apparently discontinued in 2001, I suspect that my test boat was not nearly-new but in fact quite old. Maybe that's why the skeg didn't work!

First impression: wow, what a light boat. I'm a strong enough guy, 5'11" and 150 lbs (so a little out of the typical size for this boat), but I still enjoyed carrying it 100m down to the lake to put in.

2nd impression: it seemed to have low primary stability, and I was a bit tentative about getting in it. The cockpit is small, so that added to the challenge. Once I was in, skirted up, and off paddling, it was fine. I tried holding on to the dock and rolling the kayak on its side, and I noted the excellent secondary stability. The hull has a very shallow V shape, with rounded chines (newer models may be different).

There was little to no wind, but I found no difficulty in tracking in a desired direction, especially with a little roll to each side while paddling. Much easier than the Necky Looksha Sport I tried last week, though less manouverable as an offset: it took several strokes to spin around into the opposite direction.

This kayak sits quite low to the water with my weight in it, and even moderate edging will lower the coaming to the water's edge. It's best paddled with a waterproof skirt or you'll get wet. Even when my wife (140 lbs) paddled it, it sat quite low in the water.

Another thing I noticed is that fore-deck does not have a high volume, so waves would likely splash across it. Again, use of a waterproof skirt would be recommended.

The molded seat was not padded, but I didn't find it uncomfortable in a half-hour paddle. My wife put a thin ensolite pad in for her turn, and I kept it in for my 2nd turn. That didn't hurt, either.

The seat-back was adjustable through a buckle on a wide strap, but I couldn't adjust the tension while in the boat as the buckle was behind me.

The cockpit is quite small, but by adjusting the footbraces (via a button on the backside of the peg), I was able to get a solid brace against the unpadded, non-adjustable thigh braces. I was then able to really feel one with the boat, which probably helped with the roll (see below).

I paddled to the end of the lake and back in a half hour, a distance of 4.0 km, so 8 km/h (5 mph) seems quite feasible in this kayak without pushing too hard.

I tried rolling it, and succeeded on the first try. I did 3 more for good measure. Now, the last time I rolled was 7 years ago, in a swimming pool where I took a roll course. I've never rolled since, and I've never rolled in a lake. So the Mystic must roll quite easily! (though I have been watching quite a few kayak roll videos lately on YouTube).

I quite liked this kayak and would consider buying one even though I'm not a "smaller and lighter" paddler.

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