Submitted: 09-06-2012 by Old_but_Slow
I have paddled the Force4 for three years now, the last season mostly Greenland. On both salt and fresh water the boat has behaved beautifully and consistently. At 6' and 150 lb, with size 11 feet, I am a little light for the volume of the Force 4. I am too long for the 3, so it works.
Fit and finish are excellent. With very little rocker, the Force needs some work to turn, but it turns well on edge, and holds an edge with moderate effort. The boat is fast. I consistently paddle at 5 mph measured by gps. Tracking is straight, but needs a little skeg when the wind or waves are following. It is a reasonably dry ride, with excellent primary and acceptable secondary stability. The hatches are waterproof, and need minimal maintenance. The backband is kind of a rusty mess that occasionally slips under stress, which can be disconcerting. I hope either IR or Impex will use real stainless or redesign this feature to be functional in salt water.
The only handling drawback is in following or quartering seas with wind- it tends to weathercock or broach, depending on the heading. Surfing requires concentration, but is huge fun. I learned to roll in the Force4. I am improving my butterfly roll this season; the boat was more than I was ready for when I bought it, but it teaches me something new every day.