Nigel Foster Legend for a long river trip

I’m planning a long river trip in 2025. A kayaker who has done this trip before advised me to get a long boat with plenty of volume. I’m seriously considering the Nigel Foster Legend. I’ve gleaned a LOT of good information about the boat from the discussions here on I’ll be buying it without ever having been in one, and I’ll need to order it in the next few months. I’m not used to a kayak with the Legend’s lower primary stability (I paddle a P&H Cetus MV and an Impex Currituck), but I figure I’ll manage to get used to it with practice. The kayak will likely be loaded pretty heavy on my trip. I’m 66, 5’ 8", 195 lbs, been kayaking for 35+ years, my roll is very rusty, and I barely know what a brace is. Any recommendations on things I can do to become one with this boat?

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The worst kayak mistake I’ve made was not paddling it first. Mine is a fine boat but not for my body.

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The Cetus MV and Currituck have significantly larger volumes than the Legend … are the Cetus MV and Currituck not available for this trip?

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Been there.

Anyone out there in VA, MD, NC got a Legend I could try out?

rsevenic, P&H refuses to list the storage volumes of their kayaks, so my “5-gallon bucket” fill experiment revealed that the Legend has about 30 liters more volume than the Cetus MV.

The Currituck might have a little more volume than the Cetus, but my feet barely fit in it, and it would not be a comfortable ride.

Great kayak. I agree, try it first.
Its a skeg kayak (my preference, maybe not others), as I recall, had chines (fun to edge).
Not sure, if on your river trip that you’ll need to carry it much - it is a heavy kayak (on water won’t matter much, portaging - matters a lot).

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raisins, I prefer skegs, don’t know what I’d do without them.

Good point on the weight, there are a lot of portages. The Legend is a heavy boat at 57 pounds, but there are a number of people, some of them tiny, paddling Kruger Sea Winds at 63 pounds, so I think I’ll be OK. I’ll be huffing it at my age no matter how light.

There are obstacles in the river that I’m going to hit - logs, rocks, etc. - so I need some durability. I hear kevlar doesn’t take kindly to impacts, so I’m going with fiberglass.

Kayak carts - looking at a Railblaza.

Kevlar is stronger than all fiberglass hull.

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Always best to do your own measurements when feasible

You say lots of logs and rocks. I would be thinking a plastic hull moreso than fiberglass or c/k. Like your idea of bring some collapsable wheels/cart for portages.


Kevlar is great at taking impacts. That’s why it’s used it bulletproof vests!

That said if bouncing off immovable underwater objects is going to be common, I know I’d want a rotomolded boat for sure.

I have not paddled a Legend myself, but from those I know who have, the word “twitchy” comes up frequently.


Guy i used to do weekly rescue/rolling practice with said the same thing about his legend. He was far more advanced of me then. He loved his Legend tho’. The kayak was too big for me to be interested in, or try. (Shrug)


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I agree with @string, I would never buy a kayak unless I could sit in it first.

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The Legend is a bit different. The reason it feels twitchy is that when at rest it likes to sit slightly on a tilt and not flat on the water. If you get use to that it wont feel tipsy.


How long a river trip and how light do you normally pack?

The Cetus family is listed by P&H as an expedition boat (and is larger based on overall volume specs than the Impex). Wondering if you could make that work?

If you are doing super long or want to go as fast as possible, you may want to consider a ruddered boat. Rudders allow you to focus on forward strokes (speed) more, and the assemblies generally don’t take up back hatch storage space like a skeg boat does.

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I don’t have rudders on any of my kayaks for two reasons:

  1. I am an expert at breaking things with moving parts.
  2. I can never fix those things once I’ve broken them, I just end up making them more broken.

I’m planning on paddling the Missouri River, abut 2,300 miles, minus the portages. It typically takes about three months.

The kayakers I’ve seen paddling kayaks like my Cetus end up having to use their decks for storage, some from stem to stern. I’d like to have a little more internal storage.

PaddleDog52, I’m going to go back to my mentor and get some clarification on what material he’s recommending. Thanks.

kayakhank, The fiberglass/kevlar should be a bit lighter than the plastic for a boat the size i’m looking at.

Couldn’t be any worse than a Nordkapp, right?

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You are right about the weight issue. Taking a line from the old Timex ads, plastic kayaks “take licking and keep on ticking” when around rocks and stumps compared to fiberglass & c/k. No matter the hull you choose, it sounds like a wonderful trip…have a safe & enjoyable paddle!