Eddyline Samba vs Impex Mystic

Looking to buy a scaled down sea kayak…Has anyone paddled both the Eddyline Samba and Impex Mystic? How do they compare?

I know I should test paddle both, but Palm Beach Co is the land of the SOT- no luck finding a demo. No Impex dealers in all of FL and the closest place to demo a Samba is 4hrs away.


While I haven’t…
…paddled either boat, I strongly suggest that you do not buy a boat that you haven’t given a test drive.

And that includes getting it out on some “bumpy” water.

Boats can appear superficially very similar but handle quite differently.

Happy hunting!

Test Paddle
I agree, paddling both boats before dropping major cash is really a necessity. I’m just getting frustrated by the total lack of dealers…

Anyone in South FL have either the Samba or the Mystic and willing to let me have a go?

Osprey in Clearwater…
These folks have a Samba to demo.



Any Mystic owners in FL?
Yeah I found some Sambas on the west coast of FL, about 4hrs away but worth it to get a test paddle in. I’m leaning more toward Impex though…

Anybody have a Mystic???

I’ve examined…
…a Mystic that someone else was paddling during a trip last summer. Very nice boat but it leads me to ask what are your measurements? The Mystic is pretty darn small. I’m 5’6" and it was too small for me.

Also if you plan on tripping, there just isn’t much room for stuff. If you plan on any camping, you might have to consider something a tad bigger, such as the Montauk or Force 3.

And naturally those are more expensive. Funny how that works.

I have a plastic Impex Mystic you are
welcome to try. It’s from 2006, just bought it from the former Impex distributor in Tampa. I don’t know how it compares to a glass one. I’m in Venice, Florida.

Haven’t tried the Mystic …
… but I just bought a Samba. There wasn’t one in my area to try, but the manufacturer’s rep went out of his way on a delivery run to make a detour to my neck of the woods so I could test paddle his demo model. I ended up buying a new one off his truck that was otherwise destined for a dealer. (Technically I purchased it from the dealer, the rep was the facilitator.) You might try contacting the factory directly to ask about this.

Will write a review of the Samba after I’ve had it a little longer, but meanwhile I’m very happy with it. On paper, it looked perfect for what I wanted, i.e., something a little longer, narrower and faster than my 12’ Skylark, without adding much weight. My only concern was the stability as I was used to a much wider boat. It turned out not to be a problem, I was comfortable in it right away. At 5’ 10" it fits me very well, but if I were much taller it would be tight. The boat is light, very high quality, much faster for its length than I imagined it would be, and edge turns very easily. It’s not quite as tracky as the Skylark, so the skeg is handy when the wind kicks up. All flatwater paddling so far, so I can’t comment on how it handles rougher water, but it’s a very responsive hull.

my measurements
I’m also 5’6", 140lbs

On paper I should fit, but thats why I want to actually get in one. Most of the Mystic reviews on here are from women in the 5’2"-5’4" range, but there are a few from taller women and even some taller and heavier men…

For sure…

– Last Updated: Jun-09-11 11:47 AM EST –

...you will need to try one. I'm guessing that you really might need to move one size up in the Impex line but you won't know until you try 'em out. Also there's a tendency that when shopping for one's first boat, of going a little too short and too wide.

While this does slide the price north a little, you will hopefully have the boat for a long time. Likewise if you decide to sell, you would probably do a little better with the Montauk, so it should be a wash financially.

It's hard to stress how important fit is. I moved from an Eddyline Fathom LV to my current RockPool (also built by Eddyline), which is a little over a foot longer. But it just fits me so much better...

...and that has resulted in me being able to handle bigger waters. And for me it also rolls much easier. Got the RP late last August and I haven't missed a roll in it yet.

Anyhow the Impex line is great and I've read accounts here of very good customer service. Now are you ready for that road trip? :)

Mystic spot on
Your in the range for the Mystic.

I’m sure there’s a review or two on a Mystic here on PNet.

Don’t know any Floridian Mystic owners, sorry.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY


Mystic and Samba Comparison

– Last Updated: Jun-13-11 10:24 AM EST –

Hello, I own a Mystic and paddled a demo Eddyline Samba today. The Mystic is a great kayak. Very stable, very fast for it's length. The Samba is also very quick and stable. I would rate initial stability about the same. Both kayaks track very well and are similar in length. The Samba is a few pounds lighter and has a different feel with the sliding seat and backrest. The Mystic has a back band and fixed seat. The biggest difference is in the hull of the Samba. The Samba has a hard chine, has a more positive "stopping point" for secondary stability, and has better turning ability when put on edge. Both kayaks have a skeg and track equally well in wind and waves. Tough decision. I will never sell my Mystic. However I am in the process of selling another kayak to buy a Samba. That way I have the best of both worlds!! I hope this helps.

If you can’t decide, how can I???

Do you plan on paddling the Mystic in one set of conditions and the Samba in another?

Did you think the eddyline felt wide at all? The Samba’s beam is 22.5 vs the Mystic’s 21.5, and sometimes an inch can make a big difference. I’m also a little leery due to a review on Eddyline’s site from a 6ft 220lb guy who said he fit in the Samba…doesn’t make me think I’ll get a good fit.

Sorry for all the questions, I appreciate the comparison!

Samba Size
You should have no problems getting a good fit in the Samba, you’re right in the middle of the ideal range. I’m surprised by the 6’ 200+ lbs guy saying he fits okay. At 5’ 10", I have the foot rests extended nearly all the way, and my size 10 Keens just barely fit down there. It does not strike me as a boat for a large paddler.

Do try the Eddyline Fathom LV if
you drive 4 hours across the state to try out a Samba.

I’m 5’6" and 160 lb male and tried the Fathom LV today and the fit was good and I greatly enjoyed the handling - quick enough to turn when edged, but easy to keep straight when level. I never used the skeg, so I can’t comment on that.

I found it to be quick and easier to keep moving at a good pace and keep a good paddling cadence than the composite Wilderness Systems Tempest 165 and Zephyr 155 that I had tried out just a few minutes earlier.

They also had a Samba, but I didn’t have time to test paddle it also.

I really like that the Fathom LV has a lot of foot room so that I can wear my size 9 Chota quicklace mukluks in it with no problem.

If I’d had the money, I would have bought the demo Fathom LV today.

Edge Goes to the Samba!

– Last Updated: Jun-13-11 10:29 AM EST –

Sorry for any confusion. I am 5' 4", 140lbs. The Samba fit very, very well. Adjustable sliding seat and foot braces lock you right into the thigh braces. Very solid connection to the kayak. I commented "It's like trying on a comfortable sneaker!" I'm buying a Samba so my son and I can paddle together. If I were buying a new boat, I would seriously consider the Samba over the Mystic. Both are great kayaks, but Samba has better handling in this size. The deck is higher and provides more leg room and room for your feet. Don't worry about width, it isn't even noticeable. I also tried a demo of the Equinox at 25" wide and no problem paddling. The Samba had very good and predictable stability, turned very well and tracked nicely, even without using the skeg. Eddyline produces a good product, I am a former owner of a Nighthawk. You really can't go wrong with either, but side by side I would choose the Samba. You must be able to test in the water to decide. I understand your limitation, but there is no substitute for how you fit and feel in each. Reply direct to me if you have more questions. Good luck!
P.S. You can find many reviews for Mystic on this site and here's a few links for the Samba reviews:

Fathom LV
I tried a Fathom LV before I tried the Samba. The fit was great, but I was in 25 knot winds and I was spending a lot of paddling energy to keep upright (the LV is 21" wide, an inch and a half less than the Samba). I suspect that in calmer conditions I might have preferred the LV over the Samba, but the decision was really sealed by the fact that I do mostly solo carrying, and at the end of the day my back really appreciates the lower weight of the Samba.

Samba vs Mystic
Impex and Eddyline make excellent boats. My wife has an Impex Montauk, and she loves it. My son and I have Eddylines. At 6’0" and 205 lbs, I am too big for a Samba (or its soft chine sister, the Merlin). I paddle an Eddyline Fathom. While I can fit in the Samba, it will not paddle well with that much weight. My son is 5’10", and about 170 pounds, and he loves the Samba and the Merlin. They are both very playful boats, and a lot of fun to paddle. I own a kayak tour business, and one of my lead guides has fallen in love with our Merlin. She uses it on all of her tours now. She is ordering one for herself shortly. If you like hard chines, go with the Samba. If you want soft chines, and don’t want to pay the price of the Mystic, consider the Eddyline Merlin.

I’ll have a fiberglass Mystic as of
Sunday (2000 model). You’re welcome to try the plastic or glass version here in Venice, Fl. at

Easy Kayaking: Lessons and Tours.