Submitted: 06-17-2009 by gliderman
I have owned maybe 20 boats in the past 40 years. At 5'8" and 175 pounds, I can fit into most boats. I currently own a Foster Legend and just bought a Force 5. It is a great boat and I am very happy with it. It is a glass lay up and yes, it is a little heavy. It paddles well in all conditions and is less of a hand full than my Legend. It does not weather cock as much and the finish is excellent.
That being said, there a couple of things that could be improved. The bulk heads are a little flimsy and the one behind the seat could have been a backward sloping one like my Legend, This makes for much easier emptying in a water rescue and a bit more usable space in the day hatch.
The skeg has a habit of rattling in the down position and in marginal conditions this bugs me a little. However when you really need it, then the wind and sea noise makes the rattling inaudible. Impex has some excellent design features like the hand grips at the ends of the boat and a great seat.
No matter what kayak you read about-do yourself a favor and paddle the boat before buying. The Impex Force 5 was not on my short list. I tried a Point 65N, an Epic 18 and an Explorer and did not like the way any of them paddled. I jumped into the Impex because it was sitting on the beach and was very impressed. Just find the boat which suits you and if it is the Impex, then try to find Force 3,4 and a 5 to paddle.
I like the boat so much that I am going to buy my wife a Force 3 and maybe even buy the Impex Tandem.