Impex Assategue vs Foster Shadow

Any of you big guys out there want to comment on a preference? I haven’t paddled either yet, but come Spring, I want to move up from my CD Storm.

Virtues of the hard chine on the Shadow as opposed to the “medium chine” on the Impex?

Great Lakes paddling, wind, waves and continual work on skills progression. Any comments from those who’ve tried both will be GREATLY appreciated.

I love both manufacturers

– Last Updated: Dec-29-05 8:20 PM EST –

and have owned the shadow and paddled the assateague. I have paddled the shadow everywhere but only paddled the assateague on flat water. For my money the shadow is faster on flat water and would out carve the assateqague(due to the chine. i imagine the assateague is more calming than the shadow is if you are just hanging around, and has no hard chine to catch on a wave. I seem to remember having more weathercocking in the assateague but neither one was horrible. In big wind you will drop the skeg on either. Assateague will have more thigh room.

Waiting to hear more.

Comments on my Assateague
I am a big guy, weigh 270 Lb +. I must admit I mostly paddle calmer water, so I can’t comment on large swells, ot wind over 15mph. I bought my Assateague in April of 2005.

I do like the medium chines. I found it is more stable when hit with boat wakes, or waves from the side. Secondary stability is VERY good, initial is fine for me.

I test paddled a Necky, Elaho HV in Composite a while before I bought the Assateague, and the hard chines made it have extremely low initial stability, and the wakes from the side caught the hard chines all of the time wanting to rock the boat a lot.

I did find the Assateague will want to head into the wind when not using any skeg, but I have not ever had any problem where the skeg didn’t keep me headed in the direction I wanted to go. I just vary the skeg deployment based on the direction the wind is hitting me from, and how much wind.

I have had it on the Chesapeake Bay, in swells of 24" or more, and it handled as well as if I was on flat water. The kayak wasn’t affected at all by the swells. I liked the way the BOW didn’t pitch up and down violently in the swells, as the kayak wanted to stay more horizontal than my last kayak.

With the skeg up, and a good lean, I am surprised at how tight of a turn I can make.

Over the last 4 years, I have owned 4 kayaks, and test paddled many, in my search for the “perfect kayak for me”. Without a doubt, “for me”, this is the kayak I was looking for.

I wish I could help you on how the stronger winds and waves effected it, I just have not had the opportunity to paddle in those conditions, but I have enough confidence in the boat to tackle that if I ever get the chance.

Best wishes in your Quest!

One more Impex option
If you’re a “Big Guy” but an aggressive paddler that likes to carve with a kayak and get lots of glide out of each paddlestroke then also add the Force 5 to your go our and test paddle list.

See you on the water,



– Last Updated: Dec-29-05 1:03 PM EST –

I haven't paddle the other the boat, but have had my Assateague for a full season now. It is a big boy boat. I like the size of the cockpit for my 6' 6" frame. My 36" inseam leg just fit on the foot pegs with my thighs firmly planted under the thigh braces. If you do get the Impex and have really long legs, you may want to ask them to move the bulkhead forward an inch or so and pad it out OR move the rails of the foot pegs forward an inch.

The seat is comfortable for me, but everyone's hiney is different. The backband is nice, but the height of it, it's location, and the height of the rear deck combing, may make laybacks a little difficult, especially if you are not super flexible.

The Impex is moderately fast for a big boat. It isn't a rocket, but it isn't a snail either. If you want to go fast, this isn't the big boy boat for you. Think of the boat as a hauling barge that handles well and goes at a decent clip. I've gotten her up to 6.5 mph in an all out sprint effort on flat water with virtually no current. With easy strokes at tempo, she hangs around 3.5 to 3.8 mph.

Wethercocking is acceptable. Going into the wind requires very little or no skeg. Perpendicular to the wind, depending on the wind speed, may require a slight amount of skeg. I find in strong following seas, the skeg is pretty much a must, else you do a lot of steering with paddle strokes.

The boat turns fairly well for being 18'. A slight edge brings her a around. Stability is pretty good. I am not great with my bracing strokes, but I have never had to brace hard to maintain stability.

Impex lies when they say it weighs 57 lbs. I think it is more closer to 70 lbs. Maybe the weight is before the accesories. The boat comes well rigged.

After a year's worth of paddling, I like the boat a lot. I wish it was a little lighter. I haven't "rolled" it yet, but I have paddled it in the ocean, rivers, lakes, etc. and the boat is handles well in all conditions so far.

I would recommend it.


Expedition layup?
Saw the 70lb number and envisioned putting that on top of my car. Oooof! followed by Ouch! Did you get the expedition layup? I have 2 fiberglass Assateagues and while they’re all of 57-59lbs they definitely don’t hit the 70 mark. If yours is that heavy the new Hull-a-vators from Thule will be available in Jan.

See you on the water,


Don’t Think Expedition Weight
I bought a 2004 model on sale at the beginning of last year. It was not advertised as a Epedition Lay-up boat, but I’ve carried my friend’s Dagger PE Atlantis (17’6 ish) and my boat is on par with that one as far as weight and it is listed as 70 lb.

I’ll weigh mine tonight again, but my gut feel is 70 ish. And yes, it isn’t easy loading onto a high rack by one’s self.