Looking for a new british style kayak

I have an Impex Assateugue and looking to move up. I paddled the ndk explorer hv and it felt a little sluggish. I looking for more speed and better handling. I am thinking about a Valley Nordkapp H2O or an Impex Force 5. Any suggestions or comments would greatly be appreciated.

Depends on the speed you travel
Efficiency of the boat depends on the speed of travel. The Explorer is as efficient as any other expedition type boat of its length up to about 4.5 knots. Above that several boats do have a % better efficiency. The Aquanaut, Force, maybe don’t know yet, and several boats like the Epic 18, QCC, etc. that are not touted as expeditin boats but some love for it.

What I am saying, is due notice that below that speed longer boats, have more wetted surface area, more potential windage, and may in reality, that is in rough water, waves, wind, folliwing seas, actually may be more work to paddle.

Yes, I have an explorer and an OI. The OI is more efficient at high speed calm conditions, but the Explorer is less work for me in rough stuff.

Foster’s Legend
Is a craft that I think would meet your needs for speed along with handling and overall high efficiency.

a few Gross Generalizations
Brit boats tend to be a bit slower than NA designs (since they are optimized for a different experience)

Valley’s tend to be faster (or easier paddling if you prefer) than NDK’s

Sometimes the slower (in flatwater) boat handles much better in conditions (than boats designed for flatter water) and so may be faster overall in the roughs

The differences in paddlers and paddling skill far outweight the differences between boats among most designs

Impex seems to be getting good reviews on it’s new boats

Sometimes SPM (smiles per mile) is more important than MPH

Few long time paddlers ever find total happiness in a single design and so are forced to own several varied designs.



Greenlander Pro vs Epic 18
My training partner just picked up an Epic 18. While it is certainly faster overall it feels less efficient at slower (below 4.25 knots) speeds than my Greenlander Pro. So to save his shoulders we have to paddle closer to 5 knots during our training.

Fast boats are great for the few that have the motor to run them at their optimal speed. Most paddler’s that are looking for speed would be better served by getting some training and instruction on their forward stroke than by trying to buy their way to fast. Of course paddlers looking for speed never want to hear that their stroke work is the place to start. So people keep buying fast boats and then sell them later for boats that are more fun. It makes for a healthy used boat market.

Boy, is that ever true!
Jed: “Few long time paddlers ever find total happiness in a single design and so are forced to own several varied designs.”

Augustus “boat slut” Dogmaticus


Where are you?
Give me a ring when you’re ready to sell that Assateague!

Jed, that may be the best
post I’ve read on this board.

Thanks for all of your comments. You are right, I have never had an kind of instructions on strokes, I just paddle. I think I might need to demo some more boats, and choose the one that feels right.I am located in Savannah. The Assateague that I have is white. Email me at carter.mobley@savb.com and I will send you some photos.

sound familiar ?
You were the guy that I heard the “more smiles per mile” line from !

I trust your staying busy, this years is looking to be an interesting one for me.



More kayak suggestions
I forgot to mention I am 225lb and 6’ tall with size 12 shoes.

SPM (smiles per mile) is more important

– Last Updated: May-11-06 8:08 AM EST –

Different boats do different things well. My two main boats are very different (Romany & Aquanaut) and each makes me smile when I'm in it - providing I've chosen the right one for that particular paddle. One of the best paddlers I know, Jed, switches between a Romany (most of his paddling) and a Greenlander Pro.

Try an Aquanaut. It is a sweetboat. It has a livlier hull section than an Explorer and has excellent glide. It is the best mannered boat I've paddled in lumpy and following seas. As a matter of fact, just about anyone I've spoken to who has had an Aquanaut in conditions comments on how well mannered it is. With your weight and height, the boat should perform well.

Nigel Foster Shadow
might be a better fit than the Legend.

Hang onto your Assateague
I had an Impex OI but sold it to pursue the “perfect boat” dream…and later regretted the choice and wished i had it back, because as you will discover through postings and paddling that there is no perfect boat for everything. Its just time to give the Assateague a new little brother or sister.

Just like Jed above, the best option is to look at other designs to pick one to give you a boat for a different venue. You don’t have to buy a new one as there are tons of almost new boats on this site as well as RICKA, CONNYAK, NSPN, etc where you can find another boat to fulfill your “need for speed”.

Remember, once its sold, its too late!


more speed, better handling
1. paddle more efficiently

2. what kind of “better” handling?

As you eak out the extra 5% in efficiency or top end speed you start losing larger amounts of other worthwhile attributes. “speed” is a straight line thing, “speed” in flat water might lose you a lot of comfort in bumpy water. If you get a design with good efficiency and top end “speed” you’ll be looking at a rudder eventually. If you want an unruddered design that is both fast and maneuverable it’ll REQUIRE more skill from you. No free lunch.

Force 4 & 5
These would be my bet for what you are looking to get out of your experience on the water. Same hull just the 5 has a 1 inch higher deck (like your Assateague) and accomodates those size 12 shoes very well. Just got off the water this AM with my Force 5. Have both of them here in Hyde Park, NY to go out and play with, depending on where you’re located. Drop me a line if you’d like me to zap you a side by side picture of the Forces.

See you on the water,



Depends on the speed - some stats

– Last Updated: May-11-06 4:38 PM EST –

Valley Avocet produces 1.92 pounds of drag at 3 knots according to Sea Kayaker, while an Epic Endurance 18 produces 2.03 at that speed.

At 4.5 knots the Avocet produces 5.4 pounds of drag and the Endurance 4.73.

The Avocet produces 15.5 pounds of drag at 6 knots, while the Endurance produces 11.27.

It has been said that 3 knots (rougly 3.5 mph) is the average paddling speed in a sea kayak.

Miles of Smiles
Too true, too true! After months of paddling only my Glider, my Phantom, and my Barcelona (slalom boat), I paddled my Explorer HV out to the islands and right from the put-in I had a smile too big for my face. My smile was outta control, I couldn’t stop it. I have paddled Romanys since Stan Chladek brought the first five of them over from Wales, yet once again I was blown away by the secondary stability, the predictability, and the paddling comfort of that craft. What an amazing difference from the more racing oriented boats. ( I kept hearing this voice in the back of my head; “Daddy’s home, boys, Daddy’s home”).

If Posiedon Himself showed up at my boathouse in the backyard here and told my I could only keep one boat from my quiver and the rest had to hit the road, I’d keep the Explorer HV cuz its a sheer pleasure to paddle, and the most versitile for me.

That smile didn’t leave my face all the way out to the islands and back. I paddled by a commercial fishing boat and could hear the one fiherman say to the other,“whats up with the fruitcake kayaker with the big smile?” The other fisherman replied matter-of-factly “why, he’s paddling an Explorer HV, what do you expect?”

Okay, I made that last part up.