Submitted: 10-02-2009 by greatmeadows
What can I say about the Impex Force 4 that hasn't already been said well by these other reviews?
Perhaps I can comment on one of the reasons I bought this boat and why I'm charmed by it: The Force 4 nestles in the waves like a fish; like it belongs there. Other boats perhaps more active tend to get busy in light chop or confused water, making for a nervous ride.
The Force 4 is the Lincoln Town car of seakayaks; smooth and steady, unperturbed by the ruts and potholes on the roads it travels. And yet the primary is light enough so that a gentle lean or shift in weight is all that's needed for course correction. The secondary is fairly strong allowing edge turns like bow rudders performing 180's. Somehow awesome for a rocker less over 18' boat. Beam or quartering seas are just taken in stride, no bracing and if a big one hits, you have time to brace. Maybe I'm getting older but this quiet smooth boat makes me want to stay on the rougher water longer and more often. Following seas are so much fun, yes it needs a little attention, stern rudders on occasion or leans, but slow and predictable when she moves off the perpendicular. Surfing in to the beach in three footers suggests that the Force 4 is just as sensible but may tend to broach left to right with the lightest correction from the low brace position, quite exciting. Launching back off the same beach however is a bit tougher than with rockered boats. Monkey walking into the surf, if the force isn't absolutely perpendicular to the incoming surf, the bow is easily pushed sideways. I also don't recommend grabbing the bow and dragging this boat up the beach when you land. The absence of rocker means that the skeg opening is vulnerable to gel coat breaks and chips.
Cockpits are a personal thing but I found this one to be close to perfect right out of the box. The seat hangers are only 15" wide so you must have reasonably narrow hips and thighs. Finally some thoughts on rolling: I do a sweep roll and occasionally the Pawlata as back up. The Force 4 is easy to roll if your technique is good, and difficult to roll if not. Don't raise your head and expect to come up like you can with the Nordkapp or even an Explorer. Not such a bad tradeoff, a boat that forces you to learn good technique! Lastly, I love those bow and stern handholds!