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Inflatable kayak exceeds expectations!

Inflatable kayak exceeds expectations!

For a n umber of years, Sue and I have enjoyed sea kayaking when ever we could. We did not own a kayak, but rented them occasionally and went one guided tours. When we moved up to Calypso II, our 40 foot Sea Ray, we thought now was the time to buy a regular kayak and carry it with us. After some measuring, we realized that a double kayak would still be very large to store aboard and be very awkward to secure.

We had been hearing about inflatable kayaks for a while and thought this might be a solution. Up until a few years ago, inflatable kayaks were quite a few notches below a standard plastic one as they were simply kayak shaped inflatable floaty. Lacking structure, they were difficult to paddle strait and not very secure.

That has all changed with the implementation of drop stitch technology. Drop stitching, connects the top and bottom layers of an inflatable shape with thousands of stitches allowing it to be inflated to 11-12 psi compared to 3-4 psi typically found on inflatable rafts. The result is a very firm stiff section. This technology is seen in high pressure floor inflatable dinghies, and paddle boards and now kayaks. The section is so rigid, you can stand on it and it will easily support the weight of an adult

We purchased an Advanced Elements Convertible Elite Kayak from Air Kayaks. This boat has a drop stitched floor that makes it very ridgid. The kayak came with seats,

For a number of years, Sue and I have enjoyed sea kayaking whenever we could. We did not own kayaks but rented them occasionally and went on guided tours. When we moved up to Calypso II, our 40-foot Sea Ray, we thought now was the time to buy a regular kayak and carry it with us. After some measuring, we realized that a double kayak would still be very large to store aboard and be very awkward to secure.

We had been hearing about inflatable kayaks for a while and thought this might be a solution. Up until a few years ago, inflatable kayaks were quite a few notches below a standard plastic one as they were simply kayak shaped inflatable floaty. Lacking structure, they were difficult to paddle straight and not very secure.

That has all changed with the implementation of drop stitch technology. Drop stitching, connects the top and bottom layers of an inflatable shape with thousands of stitches allowing it to be inflated to 11-12 psi compared to 3-4 psi typically found on inflatable rafts. The result is a very firm stiff section. This technology is seen in high pressure floor inflatable dinghies, and paddle boards and now kayaks. The section is so rigid, you can stand on it and it will easily support the weight of an adult.

We purchased an Advanced Elements Convertible Elite Kayak from Air Kayaks. This boat has a drop stitched floor that makes it very rigid. The kayak came with seats, two paddles, a two-way pump and a carrying bag. all for under $1,200 including shipping. This price is very competitive with plastic two person kayaks.

We tried the kayak out for the first time this weekend on our trip to Cuttyhunk and it was great! Assembly is not too bad with three main air chambers and a few smaller ones to inflate. We set off and the kayak paddled easily and quickly. The boat has a small keg to help keep it straight and we had no issues with sea-sawing or control. The forward deck has bungee straps to hold a dry bag with towels and cell phones. We were even able to carry two folding chairs to the beach. While it’s a little awkward to carry in its bag, it does have backpack straps and weighs 52 pounds not including the paddles and pump.

We are able to store it in the cockpit of Calypso without issue as it is only 35″ x 21″ x 12″ folded up. The paddles break down into three pieces as well. We give a big thumbs up to this craft and highly recommend checking it out if you are in the market for a kayak but are concerned about storage or transportation. They also make a smaller single model as well.

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