Submitted: 05-06-2008 by irishmanng
I've paddled a number of kayaks over the years but I will say that the Force 5 (20.5" beam and 18 ft long) is a strong contender for the top 5 kayaks in a person's fleet. Interestingly enough, I was able to paddle the NDK Explorer as well during my little demo and found it all the kayak that we had read about... it's just not a kayak for me.
As for the Force series - yes it has very little rocker but it's highly maneuverable, and solid on a lean. If you want a quick boat, go for this kayak. The wind was noticeable and gave me enough confidence that it would handle any challenges with weather-cocking. Couldn't assess it on a following sea, but I expect it should handle as well as my glass Valley Skerray as the hull felt very similar. The cockpit has a nice fit, and the rachet backband is secure with stainless steel locking mechanism. The foot pegs were adjustable using my opposite foot quite easily. The skeg worked fine and was not needed with the wind I experienced so tracking is not an issue. I went with the Force 5 only to give me a little more foot room as I am 5'11 and approx. 185 lbs.
I'm a believer that we have to try many boats to find the one that suits us and I definitely found mine.