We recently took the Impex Currituck (formerly the Formula Pursuit in Canada) on a two-week trip to the Southeast Coast of Newfoundland, where it was paddled by our photographer, who had limited sea kayaking experience.
Impex Currituck Specs
Cockpit: 16” × 30”
Volume: 80 U.S. gal
Weight: 55 lbs (fiberglass)
MSRP: $2,995 USD or $3,095 CAD
The Currituck performs with ease
The Currituck is the third largest of Impex’s four “performance touring” kayaks which emphasize a balance of turning and speed for all-around use. Impex bills it as a “performance Greenland-style boat that is easy to paddle.”
We chose the Impex Currituck because with bow, day and stern hatches of 57, 34 and 72 litres respectively, the Currituck has excellent capacity—slightly more than the popular expedition kayak the NDK Explorer—yet is built for average-sized paddlers. It’s rated for paddler weights of 150 to 220 pounds, and the metal foot pegs are set for shorter than six feet tall. The “ideal” Impex Currituck paddler would be about 5’9” and 160 pounds.
At 17 feet the Currituck falls neatly between the lengths of popular, comparable boats like the Romany (16’) and Explorer (17’8”).
Among the swells
On day one, we paddled in five-metre swells in the wake of a tropical depression, thus confirming the boat’s user friendly performance in high seas. The Valley hatches proved to be completely watertight, keeping the camera gear dry.
Shortly after, we permanently kinked the skeg table and thus learned the Currituck performs reasonably well in crosswinds and following seas, weathercocking only slightly.
The medium-hard chine and shallow-V hull provided a combination of primary stability for taking photos, and secondary stability for easy edging and predictability in rough water. Some find it slightly tippy unloaded (which facilitates edging), but stable when loaded. A few testers observed that the Impex Currituck’s secondary stability has some “falling points” through a roll, as opposed to smooth transitions, but most were impressed with its edging, rolling and sculling performance.
The two other boats on our trip were Valley Nordkapps, which are unfairly eight inches longer and renowned for speed. The Currituck was of average speed by comparison, but easier to manoeuvre with its shorter length and harder chines.
Impex works wonders in glass
Impex kayaks, made in Ontario, Canada, were among the first in North America to have fiberglass bulkheads and seams and are one of the few that still have fiberglass seats. The seat is comfortably padded with an Immersion Research neoprene pad and a very cushy, adjustable, gel-core back band.
Among the Currituck’s many features are two sets of carrying handles, one for rescues and the other for boat carrying. Rounded, duckbill-shaped ends also make it easy to grab the hull to carry a fully loaded boat.
Get all-around performance with the Impex Currituck
Overall, the Impex Currituck delivers a textbook compromise between touring capacity and playfulness, between tracking and turning. Justifiably popular, this is an excellent, full-featured, all-around touring boat at a reasonable price, suited for midsized paddlers of all abilities.