Legend Description

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Nigel Foster Kayaks
Legend Reviews

Read reviews for the Legend by Nigel Foster Kayaks as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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I've owned my Seaward built…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/24/2021
I've owned my Seaward built Legend for about 5 months. I've owned 20+ sea kayaks over the years and do mostly coastal day paddling, year round in widely varying conditions which often includes challenging surf and beach landings. While I'm still learning how to get the best from this subtly designed kayak, I'm very happy with it. It's enjoyable to paddle in calm, rough, & surf conditions as well as just noodling around. For a long boat it turns very efficiently, almost on the spot and the secret seems to be in the release of the stern / keel as you set the kayak on edge. I was surprised at how easily I was able to manage challenging surf conditions without broaching as a combination of stern rudder, edging & leaning fwd / back were sufficient to control position on the wave. If you do broach it handles the bumpy whitewater well, and is no less stable in that situation than other kayaks I've owned, including the NDK Explorer. As others have noted, the stern may get pushed around a in wind, but the skeg will counteract that fairly well although the kayak also responds to paddler input well enough to counteract this tendency. I suspect that with a load of camping gear, it would not occur. I traded my Explorer for the Legend and I'm pleased about that. This is a kayak you can grow with and I doubt I'll be replacing it in the future. The hull is an uncommon and appealing, rounded shape that transitions into hard chines and flattish sides (gunwhales?), and is I'm told where it gets it surprising speed and surf-ability in a following sea. The Legend feels fast and responsive when paddling in straight lines. I bought this kayak to suit my environs and the type of paddling I do. It is not quite as resistant to pearling in steeper, heavier surf as the Explorer, but is not far off and still performs really well in that respect. If the bow does start to bury, a little edge, lean back and it will break the surface again (having said that, I was burying the nose in my Gemini SP a bit in similar conditions anyway). The Explorer was outstanding in that respect and I think its lower rear deck may have helped, with the option for the paddler to lay right back and shift more weight to the stern. It's not as neutral in wind as the Impex or Explorer (2 of the best in that department, IMO) but good enough and the upside is that it feels "livelier" than both. It doesn't look all that manoeuvrable, but it is once you learn how to drive it and I enjoy paddling the Legend more than either Impex or Explorer. I have read comparisons of the NF Legend to the NDK Greenlander Pro but I can't see any meaningful similarity. Both are long, narrow, hard-chined and that's probably where the comparison ends. The GP is nice to paddle and fast but IMO not as responsive with less volume in the bow, more likely to bury the nose in surf.. not that I spent a enough time in it. The cockpit & seat layout felt great though and I was disappointed to find that the Explorer was not quite in the same league although appearing very similar. Things I would change in the Legend if I could... I'd prefer a lower deck behind the cockpit, to allow greater movement and layback onto the deck. I find the seat pan a liitle too deep so I'll sort that out with some foam, a solid tow point would be nice and longer deck lines on the foredeck (so I can attach things bag properly) -or I'd settle for a deck pod :).. other than that, a slightly larger skeg surface area would be beneficial. There's basically not much to complain about. It's lighter than the Impex and Explorer and neither were all that heavy for their size. The Seaward build and workmanship is excellent, with kevlar reinforcement along the bow section keel, a standard feature of the layup, and additional woven cloth reinforcing the area where the paddler sits. Vinylester resin was used which explains the lighter weight. A very good IR backband was fitted but I've removed it as an additional weight saver and have added a simple lightweight alternative. What else can I say? It's a beauty and ticks enough boxes for me that I feel I've found my ideal kayak. I still keep a shorter plastic, rockered, skeg-boat for certain conditions and between them, both kayaks seem to cover enough bases for me, but if I sold one, it would not be the Legend.

I've owned my Legend for 12…

Submitted by: paddler466824 on 9/11/2018

I've owned my Legend for 12 years and have never, ever thought of another kayak to replace this gem. It fits like your favorite jeans, just right in all the best places and looks great on and off the water. It performs exceeding well on expedition trips fully loaded, dry hatches and superior handling in all weather. It rolls with ease and tracks well with a balanced rocker. The chine adds the secondary stability right where you need it in edging into turns or bracing into waves. I was fortunate to have taken a class with Nigel Foster in refining advanced paddling techniques in a identical kayaks. Coupling the craft with a Greenland paddle makes a sweet combination that I plan on keeping for a very long time.


I have paddled, and still…

Submitted by: paddler233465 on 1/7/2010
I have paddled, and still own, the Legend, a P&H Cappela, and a Prijon Kodiak. I would rate all of these as a 10/10. Each, however, exceeds in certain areas. The Legend, however, probably has the highest overlap when it comes to features and quality. The quickness of this large boat is impressive. The Kodiak and the Legend are similar in speed, but the Legend requires only a slight lean to turn. This boat is fun in the rough! Although I might prefer the Kodiak for an expedition, due to its overall speed and stability, the Legend is more fun to paddle in waves, strong currents, or simply while playing around. The Capella has been awesome, and fun to play with, but does not have the speed of the Legend. From a handling point of view, both the Capella and the Legend are responsive and turn on a lean, but somehow the Legend, although longer, seems to be quicker and more responsive, as well as faster. All in all, you will not fail with the Legend.

I have a Legend in the kevlar…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 1/12/2009
I have a Legend in the kevlar lay up, for about the last 3 years. It took the place of a Nordkapp hmc. Some of what I like about the Legend: it fits me like a glove with no modifications (6'3" 180), is very nimble with a cruising load (in that it carves turns), holds a ton of stuff.

I bought it for use on multiday/week camping trips, and I rarely paddle it otherwise. I tend to day paddle among the reefs, breaks, caves and arches of northern California, and the Legend is a long boat to have sideways in a surge channel. I will take it out for blue water/point to point/bay paddles, but tend to reach for shorter plastic boats for play. That said, I love it for the longer trips where its' speed, comfort and carrying capacity make it an awesome boat.

I initially found the transition from primary to secondary stability a bit abrupt, but it stiffens and the coming dips into the water. There is a fair bit of space between the back band and and the coaming on the rather high rear deck, but I still my butt comes out of the seat a few inches for a full layback.


Following three months of…

Submitted by: paddler232775 on 7/24/2008
Following three months of increasingly learning to play and control the Legend, it has been a very great experience after 5 years of using other types of kayaks.

Directional control can be a bit difficult in the beginning coming from a rudder fitted kayak. The only problem was the skeg clotting with small stones in locations. This lead to the need for complete removal of the skeg. When doing so it turned out that the screw holding a small tube, that allows a knot to take the skeg up and down is unfortunately made of iron - which rusts within a few months here in Denmark - had to replace with a non-standard stainless steel part. The seawater is a bit salty (1-2%).

Seaward has been noted and will hopefully replace with stainless steel part in future production.


I have had my Legend for…

Submitted by: honusail on 10/20/2007
I have had my Legend for about 2 months. Every time I go out paddling I feel a bit more comfortable and am learning the proper way to edge and use directional control strokes. The Legend is a very responsive kayak and I have learned to relax within the cockpit and allow it to do what it does so well.

The build quality from Seaward is far superior to the other boats I looked at. I feel this is a perfect vessel for a beginner with proper instruction.


I have had my Legend for…

Submitted by: Dan-the-Man on 3/6/2007
I have had my Legend for about six months. The quality of build by Seaward is simply excellent and the design of the boat is a true classic. I realize that something as personal as the handling of a kayak is subjective but if you are thinking of purchasing a kayak of this type you owe it to yourself to test paddle the Legend!

I got my (FG) Legend this…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/21/2006
I got my (FG) Legend this spring as my first sea kayak. At 6' and about 190lbs I found it immediately quite comfortable. I've not taken too much note of boats that I've previously paddled due to their 'freighter-esque' lines and behaviour, so this review is not all that comparative. I've been out around 50 times in the boat now - all day/morning/evening jaunts.

Initial stability has kept me alert since my first paddle. It gets up to speed very quickly and has a fast cruising speed. Edging this boat is really a treat. Seems to react much quicker than an NDK Explorer due to the hard chine. The Explorer seems to have a more pronounced edge resting spot, however. Not certain which I prefer.

It rolls like a dream, and makes me want to roll every time I go out. The low seat band is incredibly comfortable and supportive, although at times I wish the back deck were slightly lower for layback rolls.

The fixed rod in the skeg control is great - flawless, although it has a much shorter stroke than the NDK boats, which may make for less refined adjustability, but it certainly takes up less space.

The Seaward craftmanship is delicious. The Kajaksport hatch covers seem to keep the water out quite well. It's a thing of beauty when sitting alone at rest, or with a paddler inside on the water.

I've not been in severely rough seas with it (yet), but am finding that the skeg adds a nice bit of security when in quartering/following seas. I'm looking forward to surfing with it. Weathercocking is easily trimmed in with the skeg.

Generally, the more time I spend in this boat, the more I like it. As I become more accustomed to rougher water, and relax enough to not work against the boat, I see myself being highly entertained in this boat for years to come.


I have owned over 20 kayaks…

Submitted by: Gliderman on 11/2/2004
I have owned over 20 kayaks in the last 20 years ranging from white water boats, surf skis, Olympic K1's, to sea kayaks and doubles and the Legend is the sweetest and most versitile boat I have ever paddled. I currently own a Wilderness Systems Northstar Pro double and a CLC stitch and glue rocket. Both these boats have a place in my basement but still don't have the all round use of the Legend.

I have the kevlar lay-up, built by Seaward in Canada. The construction is first class and I think if I were buying a used one I would try to find the Seaward model. I bought used from a fellow who found it a little too tippy and a "Bit too much boat for him" If you are an experienced kayaker, or a keen begginner in the right weight range then this boat will last you a long time. It is very responsive to edging and I have found I have rarely needed the excellent skeg arrangement.My previous boat was a Current Designs Carribou S, and while this is a wonderful boat, the Legend is quicker and more responsive.Before buying a Legend make sure you have the right weight for it, too light will be just as bad as too heavy. If you fall outside the recommended range (Both empty and fully loaded) , then consider the other 2 models in the Nigel Foster range

Would I buy a legend again? Yes in a heart beat!


I only have a couple of…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 4/13/2004
I only have a couple of months in my Legend so far so good. This kayak is pretty fast and well made. Mine is from Walden but Walden is only the distributer they never built Nigel Foster kayaks. It was built in Canada by the Blue Canoe company. Fit and finish on this kayak is very good the backband is poor as it is on most kayaks. The Legend handles all conditions well and excels in following seas. It has large oval hatches that are easy to pack and water tight from valley. The skeg wire system looks like it may be a problem some day it not used gently. All in all a very nice kayak for touring or long trips.

The Nigel Foster Legend is my…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/27/2002
The Nigel Foster Legend is my second sea kayak; my first was a fiberglass P&H Capella. Much of my review of the Legend is based on my experience with the Capella. I sold the Legend and moved to the Capella because of two characteristics that I gradually came to dislike. First, the Capella had too much volume for me in the foredeck area. I am fairly big, 6'2", 225 lbs, and size 12 shoes. When I purchased the Capella, I liked the extra room, but as I got more into kayaking I wanted less volume. Secondly, the Capella carved nice turns but seemed slower to respond to edging than I wanted. I had to put the Capella on edge for a few seconds before it would start carving a turn then take it off edge before I made my intended heading, otherwise I would overshoot the turn. I didn’t like the sloppy response-I wanted a kayak that would turn more crisply. The Legend corrected both problems for me; it turns when I edge it and stops turning when I take it off edge. I found the Legend's initial stability to be lower (it feels tippy at first) but the stability as you roll it from chine to chine is very good. The initial stability is only really noticed (tippy) in flat water; in even small waves the kayak is much more initially stable. I primarily paddle on Michigan’s inland lakes with occasional trips to the Great Lakes. The hatches are completely watertight and the Legend will carry plenty of gear. Even though this is a fairly good-sized touring kayak, it only seems big on land. It is a pleasure to paddle, it runs straight and turns well once leaned. Edged and leaned turns are made easier by the good stability that is found by laying the boat over on its chine. The kayak rolls nicely, and is very accommodating for Greenland side sculls and chest sculls.

Foster Legend Kevlar. This…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 11/23/2001
Foster Legend Kevlar. This new layup saves 20+ lbs over the glass and makes loading on my high-top, full sized van a whole lot safer and easier. As for handling, it is faster getting up to speed and turns quicker and with less set up than the glass Legend. I can't find any structural weakness in the kevlar version as it has plenty of stiffness. The seat band needs to have higher attatchments to keep it at the right angle but that was easy enough to retro fit. I'm 6 ft 180 lbs and it is a perfect fit even though I have long legs. From edge to edge, this is a pretty quick kayak with the chines and not everyone will find it stable at first. But once underway and with any wind/waves, you'll be delighted with it's tracking and gracious manners.

Having paddled for 20 years…

Submitted by: paddler229482 on 9/26/2001
Having paddled for 20 years and making my living at it for most of them I have enjoyed my Legend immensely. At 5'10" and 170lbs its a pretty good fit for me and has ample room for expedition loads. Tracks straight yet carves beautifully when leaned. Now that the Legend in distributed by Walden Paddlers and built in Canada it has undergone some beginner friendly improvements also. The seat has been lowered increasing initial stability dramatically...it also now fits more people. Good, non-kinking skeg control, large hatches and greatly improved finish work in addition to new lighter weight make this more of a 12 out of 10. A great boat has become, well, a Legend.

I purchased this boat about a…

Submitted by: paddler229473 on 9/24/2001
I purchased this boat about a year ago and am continually amazed by it. Fast, responsive, and just plain fun. It is not a boat for a beginner-all those you try my boat that are short on experience have a tough time, but the first time I took it out it was like it was made just for me. I was able to load it for a 2 week trip with little problem-everyone else was having to leave things behind and I ended up with some of those things in my boat-and believe me-I had enough extra of my own that I didn't even need. Takes rough weather beautifully-better than me, I think. When everyone else was feeling very out of their experience level, my boat and me were feeling great-and I know it's the boat-not me. I love this boat and when it has seen it's day-long way off-I plan on buying another-but in kevlar-it is a heavy boat.

I've been paddling one of the…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/7/2001
I've been paddling one of the origional Legend's (from Southern Exposure) for many year's. The Legend is a built like a battleship and manuvers like a dream. There is a lot of leg room compared to the tight foot space of a nordkapp. As an outfitter/instructor for over a decade I couldn't ask for more in a boat...it surfs and handles wind with ease. The full size hatches in front and back make for easy loading. It is a very responsive boat and although excellent for someone with solid paddling skills, I would not recommend it for a beginner. Nigel's attention to the little details make a difference. eg. The recessed day hatch and slightly longer cockpit makes sliding in and out of the boat easy for a 6' 180lb lb guy like myself. My only quirk with the boat is the compass is far up front and is sometimes hard to see (but it's in a protected position). With all of the new slick boat designs on the market the Legend still stands up to any of them in performance, comfort, and function.

Very well built boat...solid.…

Submitted by: paddler228869 on 8/28/2000
Very well built boat...solid. It took some work getting used to the initial tippyness, but oh, what a sweet boat. I really enjoy it. Handles all conditions ver well. Can hold a moderate amount of gear. Very nice fit for me. 5'10" - 200#.

Sleek and fast, responsive…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 4/25/2000
Sleek and fast, responsive and well mannered, worth noting that the Legends made by Southern Exposure are less stable than those made by Watermark/Nedyaks, mine is one of the latter and I think the balance of stability against performance is spot on!

Fast, sporty easy turning…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/9/1999
Fast, sporty easy turning medium volume kayak with a hard chine. A little low on inital stability,but excellent secondary stability. Very clean lines with a bulit in compass forward of front hatch.