Submitted: 02-19-2008 by damiano
I initially purchased an Assateague in a glass lay-up version based purely by the reviews and write ups from p.net. I know that some of you would frown upon such decision but there was no chance of testing the kayak before I could buy it.
After talking to the extremely knowledgeable sales person over the phone I was assured the kayak would fit me. I am 240lbs and 6'1". Very few performance kayaks are large enough to accommodate my legs. The Assateague fitted me perfectly!
My first paddle was a launch into large dumping surf. A bit of apprehension but the kayak performed way better then my other ones. Within weeks I advenced my skills out of sight! The kayak is an excellent surfing craft. Rough waters is where it excells. Probably the Assateague is not the best suited kayak for calm waters (lakes) since it's shape is not the fastest in the water. I have other kayaks for that. Being rudderless is ideal for dumping surf since there is nothing to be broken off by waves.
Unfortunately the particular Assateague I had was faulty. The resin when manufatcured did not cure correctly and it remained soft. Most likely the kayak would be structurally sound but the interior of the hull (inside the hatches) was sticky. The hull will also deform when car topped in the heat at 30C. The hull would have definitive dimples that would disappear later on.
I made my supplier aware of the problem and he very promptly took the kayak back and within days, yes days, shipped me a new one via Air Courier from Sydney Australia. Impex has been extremely approachable and courteous in handling the warranty issue. It my opinion this is one of the reasons that I wanted to have an Impex: you will never be left barking up the wrong tree when something happens.
My Assateague was replaced/upgraded for free with a K-lite version one. The new one is stiffer and substantially lighter. An extremely well made craft with no blemishes. Probably one of the best finished kayaks I have seen. I have installed a sail onto the kayak that helps me on long trips (if the wind is blowing in the right direction).
Some novices might be slightly intimidated by a less then solid initial stability but the kayak has a tremendous secondary stability. Excellent for skulling and lay turns. The kayak responds very well to leans and can be edged with ease. I believe the Assateague has transformed me from a paddler into a kayaker.
I have since bought a Currituck for my girlfriend. I can't fit in the Currituck but fits her great. The cockpit is exceptionally good in braces and allows for easy rolling. The Immersion Research back band is too tall and I modified it and made it slimmer.