Tag Archives: inflatable kayak

AirKayaks Guide to Choosing Your 2021 Red Paddle Co Inflatable SUP

Throughout the past 13 years, Red Paddle Co has been the industry leader in the inflatable paddle board arena, racking up numerous awards throughout the product line. Innovative features include the game-changing Titan dual action pump, Monocoque Structural Laminate (MSL) fusion material technology, Rocker Side Stiffening (RSS) system, the Forward Flex Control (FFC) nose rod on the racing boards and the Compact low-profile boards.

Red Paddle’s philosophy? If you plan on taking to the water on an inflatable board then you need a super durable board that is up for the challenge. And if you haven’t seen them, the Red Paddle endurance videos – pitting Red Paddle boards against teens, dogs, tractors, big rigs, martial arts and more – are definitely a testament to durability.

The 2021 Red Paddle Co product line continues with 20 models for surfing, whitewater, recreation, touring and racing, ranging in size from 8’10″ to to 22’0.″ This includes revamped graphics unifying the product line appearance while keeping subtle differentiations between paddling categories, as well as added features on many models. Three models have been retired and one reinvented. Prices are remaining the same. Read our writeup on the 2021 Red Paddle Co Product Line – What’s New to find out all the nifty new features and technical upgrades.

Each year we update our previous posts to reflect the new Red Paddle Co models and product upgrades – use this guide to take away some of the guesswork when looking at the myriad of options with Red Paddle Co iSUPs.
How do you use the following tables? First, ascertain your size from the list:
Big & Tall – 210+ lbs and 6’1? plus inches in height
Average – 140-200 lbs, 5’7? to 6’0? inches in height
Small – Under 140 lbs, Under 5’7? inches in height
Child – Under 100 lbs, under 5’0 inches in height
Then decide the type(s) of paddling you want to do (paddling situations):
Touring – Ocean, waves, long paddles, camping
Recreational – Lakes, sloughs, slower rivers, coastal, calm
Whitewater – Fast-moving maneuvering with eddies, drops.
Downriver – Wide-open moving water.
Surfing
Fishing
Racing
Yoga
Determine what attributes are important (or not!) to you – do you want versatility or storage capacity? Stability or speed?

Rank your experience level, realizing that the more you get out on the water, the better you will get. More experienced paddlers can get away with smaller boards. Last of all, will this be used by various members of the family? Do you want the ability to bring along a child, dog or gear? Might two people be on this together?
Multi Paddlers/Family: Two Adults, Adult and child or dog.
Beginner
Intermediate/Medium
Advanced Paddler
Follow the color key to decide what board is good for varying sizes and activities:
Blue – The board is great!
Green – The board is good.
Yellow – This board

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

2021 Red Paddle Company Inflatable SUP Boards – What’s New

We recently received details on Red Paddle Co’s inflatable SUP lineup being introduced for 2021. Red Paddle Company inflatable boards are well-known throughout the world for their ruggedness, innovation and performance – each Red board is the result of rigorous quality assurance during the 72 hours of build time. Red Paddle Co’s private board facility is touted to be completely waste free with all materials being reused or recycled.

Throughout the past 13 years, Red Paddle Co has been the industry leader, racking up numerous awards throughout the product line, including Gear of the Year from Outside, Men’s Journal and Backpacker magazines. Innovative features include the game-changing Titan dual action pump, Monocoque Structural Laminate (MSL) fusion material technology, Rocker Side Stiffening (RSS) system, the Forward Flex Control (FFC) nose rod on the racing boards and the Compact low-profile boards.

In 2020, Red Paddle Company raised the bar by offering an unheard-of 5 year warranty on all Red Paddle boards (with product registration), the result of the Red Paddle TEC quality assurance program. They also introduced the Compact Sport 11. Like it’s smaller sibling the Compact 9’6″, the Sport Compact rolls up to half the size of a standard inflatable paddle board, perfect for larger paddlers.

Red Paddle’s philosophy? If you plan on taking to the water on an inflatable board then you need a super durable board that is up for the challenge. And if you haven’t seen them, the Red Paddle endurance videos – pitting Red Paddle boards against teens, dogs, tractors, big rigs, martial arts and more – are definitely a testament to durability.

The 2021 Red Paddle Co product line continues with 20 models for surfing, whitewater, recreation, touring and racing, ranging in size from 8’10″ to to 22’0.″ This includes revamped graphics unifying the product line appearance while keeping subtle differentiations between paddling categories, as well as added features on many models. Three models have been retired and one reinvented. Prices are remaining the same.
Across the line, several new features have popped up.

The standard bungee deck lacing has been replaced with a cleaner-looking, self-closing, flat bungee system with 6-point attachment. The straps are now larger, creating more tension which helps your gear stay in place.

The deck pads have been extended and now wrap slightly around the board edge. This increases the grip and gives a cleaner look.

While the Red Paddle tech-valve system remains the same, the valves are now color-coordinated to blend in with the board deck pads.

Carrying handles are now tubular, making them more ergonomic, easier to grip and more comfortable.
On boards featuring the RSS Rocker Stiffening System – Ride 9-8, Sports, single Voyagers, Elites, Dragon and Whip – the fiberglass battens have been remodeled. Now in a day-glo

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Product Review: StraitEdge2 Pro High Pressure Inflatable Kayak from Advanced Elements

Advanced Elements of Benicia, California recently introduced one of two new kayaks for the 2020 product year. The AE3027 StraitEdge2 Pro is a redesign and upgrade to the long-standing, AE1014 Advanced Elements Straitedge2 inflatable kayak for one or two paddlers.

The new AE3027 Straitedge2 Pro features the identical kayak materials and construction as the earlier AE1014, but with upgraded accessories and features. The Straitedge2 Pro now comes with a 4-6 PSI drop stitch floor, rather than the standard 1 PSI PVC floor. The increased floor rigidity enhances the paddling experience with better tracking and glide.
The Straitedge2 Pro arrived this past month so we took the opportunity – during a brief break in the heat spell – to put it through its paces. Here are details on the Advanced Elements Straitedge2 Pro AE3027, a 13 foot inflatable kayak for one or two paddlers weighing in at roughly 42 lbs.
Getting Started with the Straitedge2 Pro
The box as received weighs 59 lbs, measuring 39 x 21 x 13 inches.

A rugged, oversized, backpack-style carrying case (4.5 lbs) houses the kayak body with integrated floor (34 lbs), high-backed lumbar seats (2.5 lbs each), 2 sets of foot pegs, 2 rod holders, repair kit, fin and instructions. The kayak in the backpack with seats and parts weighs in at 45 lbs total.
Straitedge2 Pro Setup/Inflatation
We began by reading the manual, which gives excellent explanations on inflation, seating, peg installation. And here we come to AirKayak’s Tip #1: No matter how excited you are, take a good look at how the kayak is folded before you set the kayak up, so that you can get it back into the carrying case.

First step, unpack and unfold the kayak. (Please note: We will repeat some of the details previously mentioned in other writeups.)

Inside the bag are four identical plastic pegs, each with a foot pad, a lever and a number of holes – these are the foot pegs. By pressing on the lever, the foot pad can be moved forward and backward, locking into one of the openings.

Open the kayak body fully and you will see a series of 6 cloth pockets and tubes on each inner side – these are for the three seating positions. The first and third set are for tandem paddling while the second (middle) set is for solo paddling.

Point the peg with foot pad facing the paddler, and lever facing the bow. Insert the paddler-side end into the first loop, pushing back enough to then push the bow-end of the peg into the pocket. As these are tight, it is easiest to position it in the opening and then push on the foot pad to get it to slide all the way in.
Continue with the opposite

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Product Review: New 10-12 PSI Hi-Pressure AirVolution2 Inflatable Kayak from Advanced Elements

Advanced Elements of Benicia, California recently introduced two exciting new kayaks as precursors to the 2021 season – the AirVolutions. What makes them so special? The AirVolution solo and AirVolution2 tandem are constructed entirely from dropstitch material. With just two inflation chambers, and inflation pressures of 10 to 12 PSI, the kayaks are extremely rigid.

We initially posted a Sneak Preview on a pre-production sample of the solo AirVolution.
The Airvolution production models arrived this past week so we took the opportunity to check them out. Here are details on the Advanced Elements AirVolution2 AE3030 (Patent Pending), a 14.5 foot high-pressure inflatable kayak weighing in at roughly 52 lbs.
Getting Started with the AirVolution2
The box as received weighs 68 lbs, measuring 45 x 23 x 15 inches.

Inside, is a super-sized, backpack-style carrying case with wheels (7 lbs) , kayak body (47 lbs), 2 EVA seats (2.2 lbs each), pump with gauge (3.25 lbs), tracking fin (0.45 lbs), cinch belts, repair kit (0.8 lbs) and instructions. The kayak with backpack and parts weighs in at 62 lbs, while the kayak body with seats is 52 lbs. The folded kayak size is roughly 44 x 18 x 10 inches.
We began by reading the manual. This includes pump set-up, inflation, deflation, folding, repairs and troubleshooting. And here we come to AirKayak’s Tip #1: No matter how excited you are, take a good look at how the kayak is folded before you set the kayak up, so that you can get it back into the carrying case.

First step, unfold the kayak.

The Advanced Elements AirVolution2 utilizes two main military valves for inflation, similar to the ones found on many standup paddle boards. These are very simple to use and feature an inflate mode (spring plunger is UP) and a deflate mode (spring plunger is DOWN). By using your finger to gently push on the plunger, it can be moved to the inflate mode (air goes in and doesn’t come back out) and deflate mode (air goes in and comes back out). Before you go to all the effort of inflating the kayak, PLEASE make sure the plunger is in the inflate position.

Next, set up the pump. The AirVolution2 comes with a very nifty, collapsible, dual-action pump with built-in pressure gauge. First step, attach the feet.

The bottom of the pump barrel features tabs that match up to slots on the feet; if you look carefully, you will see that two of the slots are longer than the third – meaning the foot will only go on one way. Line up the tabs, push the barrel into the foot and then twist to lock into position. Attach the hose to the side that says Inflate (there is also a Deflate

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Product Review: Kokopelli Moki Inflatable High Pressure Kayak with Deck

We recently posted our Sneak Preview on the new series of Moki inflatable kayaks from Kokopelli Packraft – two exciting new models we’ve seen for 2020. What’s so special? The new Moki Series expands the Kokopelli product line, providing a traditional paddling experience.

Last month, the 2020 models started rolling in. We began the series with the new 13.6 lbs XPD, so we now turn to the high-pressure Moki inflatable kayak, a 12 ft 2-inch model with zip-off deck and spray skirt.
Getting Started with the Kokopelli Moki Inflatable Kayak

We unpacked the box and laid out the pieces – inflatable kayak body with high pressure floor, EVA seat, removable deck, spray skirt, foot brace, coaming tube, pump with gauge, repair kit, roller backpack, fin, deck rod, repair kit and instructions. The fin and the repair kit are found in a pocket inside the backpack.
Boxed up, the dimensions are 36 x 25 x 15 inches with a shipping weight of 58 lbs. The kayak weighs 33 lbs with the seat, floor, brace and fin – add another 1.75 lbs for the deck and 1 lb for the coaming and spray skirt. All packed up in the bag, everything weighs 46 lbs. The folded kayak size is 29 x 21 x 9 inches.
The generic instructions for Kokopelli’s inflatable kayak series include inflation and deflation techniques, deck, seat and skirt installation, but lack details on actual set up; we will outline the steps we took, below. In general, set up is straight-forward – unpack, unfold, inflate.

The first step is to unfold the kayak.

The Kokopelli Moki utilizes three main GRI push-push valves for inflation. These are very simple to use and feature an inflate mode (spring plunger is UP) and a deflate mode (spring plunger is DOWN). By using your finger to gently push on the plunger, it can be moved to the inflate mode (air goes in and doesn’t come back out) and deflate mode (air goes in and comes back out). Before you go to all the effort of inflating the board, PLEASE make sure the plunger is in the inflate position.

Next, set up the pump – this is not mentioned in the instructions. The Moki comes with a very nifty, collapsible, dual-action Nano pump and built-in pressure gauge. Fold down the feet and attach the hose to the side that says Inflate (there is also a Deflate side). There are two pieces of plastic tubes in the plastic packaging – these are screw on handles. Unfortunately, there is no place to attach/store the handles when removed so you may want to buy a mesh laundry bag to keep everything together. Or, don’t even bother attaching the handles as the pump is pretty easy

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Sneak Preview – New 12 PSI AirVolution Dropstitch Inflatable Kayak from Advanced Elements

During one of our many trips to Advanced Elements earlier this year, we were invited to take a look at an upcoming new product.

Wow! Our first view of the AirVolution prototypes, Advanced Elements’ new 12-14 PSI high-pressure, dropstitch inflatable kayaks. The series consist of the 13′ AirVolution solo and the 14’6″ AirVolution2 tandem.

Advanced Elements subsequently send us a preproduction sample of the AirVolution single to test out.

Our first take on the AirVolution? This is a wonderful addition to the recreational flatwater paddling niche. It’s a rugged, stable, simple-to-setup kayak that paddles well – and it looks great!

The entire kayak is innovatively constructed using PVC Tarpaulin laminated to high-pressure drop-stitch material – this gives a smoother finish, increased rigidity and a sculpted outline for greater paddling performance. The v-shaped hull design in the bow and removable deep-water fin increase tracking performance, allowing the AirVolution to slice through the water.
Drop-stitch (DS) material is the same used in the inflatable paddle board market, where thousands of threads string the top and bottom panels together, allowing it to be pumped up to higher pressures, thus making it more rigid.

With only two chambers to inflate, the new AirVolution high-pressure inflatable kayak features a streamlined set up procedure, allowing one to get out on the water quickly. Two pressure relief valves ensure the kayak is not overinflated, releasing at roughly 18 PSI.

The open-deck design provides ease-of-entry, while a drain well with plug ensures that you stay drier.

The sculpted EVA foam seat can be ratcheted four-ways, providing maximum support, adjustability and comfort.

Front and rear bungee deck lacing provide plenty of options to attach gear, yet there are still options for storing small items under the decks
We took the AirVolution out for a maiden voyage. Both of us felt the kayak paddled and tracked well, was rugged and incredibly stable. The sculpted hull allows water to drain off, and the smooth skin is very easy to dry. Everything in the package looks great, from the graphics and sculpted silhouette to the EVA-foam molded seat and included accessories.

At 5’4″, I found that moving the seat up 12 inches from the rear well allowed me to be balanced and use the front deck as a foot brace. I also was able to easily stand up.

At 6’2″, my husband had the seat all the way to the back. While his knees were slightly bent, he actually prefers that position when paddling. Since I know we will get asked this, for reference we measured the seat back to the front deck as 45 to 46″. With “water socks” on, he was able to lay his legs down flat. So, I would feel comfortable saying the AirVolution can be paddled by customers up

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Save 15-40% off Inflatable Kayaks, SUPs & Gear – AirKayaks Summer Kickoff Sale

AirKayaks’ Summer Kickoff Sale is already in swing, with great deals on select, in-stock inflatable kayaks, packrafts and paddle boards from 15% to 40% off.

Limited Time Sales:

NRS/Star Inflatables  kayaks, SUPs and gear are 20% off through May 25th
Aire Inflatable Kayaks are 15% off through May 26th.
Select Advanced Elements Inflatable Kayaks and SUPs are 15% off through May 26th
All Kokopelli packraft and kayaks are 15% to 25% off through May 31st.
All Aquaglide Inflatable Kayaks and SUPs are 15% to 20% off through May 26th
All Red Paddle Co boards are now 15% to 30% off.

Closeouts and Past Season:

All past season Innova inflatable kayaks are 20% off – Twist 2LN and Halibut.
All Hala Gear 2019 inflatable paddle boards are 15% off – Carbon and Rival Series.
All past season MTI Adventurewear, Astral and Stohlquist life vests are 15 to 40% off.

We also have special purchases of Accent/Cannon carbon and fiberglass breakdown paddles at savings of 20% to 40%, now $79 to $109, originally $119 to $189.
Shop early for the best selection, with life vests starting at $29.95 and kayaks as low as $239. Free US shipping via UPS ground on orders over $398.

Low on cash? Take advantage of PayPal Credit – no payments and no interest if paid in full in 6 months on purchases of $99+. Just checkout with PayPal and choose Paypal Credit. See details on the PayPal Credit program.
Visit the Specials and Promos page at www.AirKayaks.com for complete details and dates, or to purchase. See our other sale items on our Closeouts & Hot Deals page.

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

Product Review: Rugged New 13lb Kokopelli XPD Inflatable Packraft

We recently posted our Sneak Preview on the new XPD inflatable packraft from Kokopelli Packraft – one of the exciting new models we’ve seen for 2020. What’s so special? While the XPD packraft is based on the Kokopelli Rogue-Lite profile, the XPD features a more beefed-up PVC construction for rigorous use on flat water and lakes through Class II.

Last week, the 2020 models started rolling in, so we begin our 2020 Kokopelli reviews with the 13.6 lbs XPD, which can be inflated to higher pressures of 2.75 PSI.
Getting Started with the Kokopelli XPD
We unpacked the box and laid out the pieces – inflatable packraft body (13.7 lbs), inflatable seat base (8 ozs), repair kit (4.1 ozs), Nano dual action hand pump with gauge (2 lbs), instructions and two 2 cinch belts( 1.6 oz each).

Boxed up, the dimensions are 29 x 20 x 8 inches with a shipping weight of just under 20 lbs. The packraft folded is roughly 24 x 20 x 8 inches, rolled it is roughly 25 x 8.5 inches.
The generic instructions for Kokopellli’s PVC series include inflation and deflation techniques, seat and backband installation (not found on the XPD but used in the Recon) but lack details on actual set up; we will outline the steps we took, below. In general, set up is straight-forward – unpack, unfold, inflate.

The first step is to unfold the packraft – it is remarkably flat – and orient yourself; the rear/stern is wider and has the inflation valve.

The Kokopelli XPD utilizes one main GRI push-push valve for inflation. These are very simple to use and feature an inflate mode (spring plunger is UP) and a deflate mode (spring plunger is DOWN). By using your finger to gently push on the plunger, it can be moved to the inflate mode (air goes in and doesn’t come back out) and deflate mode (air goes in and comes back out). Before you go to all the effort of inflating the board, PLEASE make sure the plunger is in the inflate position.

Next, set up the pump – this is not mentioned in the instructions. Unlike most of the packrafts – which use inflator bags – the XPD comes with a very nifty, collapsible, dual-action Nano pump and built-in pressure gauge. Fold down the feet and attach the hose to the side that says Inflate. There are two pieces of plastic tubes in the plastic packaging – these are screw on handles. Unfortunately, there is no place to attach/store the handles when removed so you may want to purchase a mesh laundry bag to keep them together. Or, don’t even bother attaching the handles as the pump is pretty easy to use without them.

The Nano pump

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

2020 Comparison Table Guide to Selecting an Inflatable Kayak at AirKayaks

As the weather heats up in the Northern Hemisphere, thoughts turn to outdoor activities and “fun-in-the-sun.” If you’ve arrived at this blog article, you’re already intrigued with the idea of paddling across a lake, down a lazy river or along a coastline, and are looking into inflatable kayaks. Maybe you have limited space, want to pack into the back country, need lighter weight options or travel in an RV.  Regardless of the motivation, there are a myriad of choices which can be daunting.

To help you narrow down the field, AirKayaks has put together a table comparing our 2020 inflatable kayak options – the table is located at the bottom of this article. The kayaks have been divided into four sections sorted by price – Under $500; $500 to $749; $750 to $999; and $1000 and up.  Within each of those four sections, we have sorted by manufacturer, model name and stock number, price range, number of paddlers, kayak lengths, widths, weights, payloads, # of chambers, inflation pressures, design style and kayak type.
AirKayaks originally posted this article in 2019. We have updated it to reflect the kayak choices and changes for 2020. To help you get going, we describe the attributes of each style first. For further information on inflatable kayak choices, benefits and definitions, please also see our popular guide to Choosing an Inflatable Kayak – What You Should Consider.
Enclosed Design Inflatable Kayaks

The enclosed hull design is similar to many hard shell kayaks; this is shown above in the Advanced Elements AE1044 AdvancedFrame DS-XL kayak.  The snugger cockpit design keeps excess water and wind from entering the kayak, and also less direct sun. Many of them have coamings (the gray tube in the photo above, encircling the cockpit) that allow you to attach a spray skirt.
 

What is a spray skirt? This is an accessory that attaches to the kayak around the coaming, and then again to your body (shown above on an Innova Swing). The function is to keep out even more wind and water.

Many of the enclosed decks can be zipped open for easy entry or to cool off, but the benefits of the enclosed design include the ability to kayak in windier and colder climates/situations (shown above, the Aquaglide Navarro series).

A closed-design tandem can also be paddled solo, but it is not as balanced as the paddler must sit in the rear fixed cockpit, rather than the optimal position “just rear of center.” Typically, adding weight to the front will help balance out the kayak (as shown with Eddie sitting in the front cockpit of an Innova Swing 2 kayak).
Open Design Inflatable Kayaks:

This includes the largest number of kayaks. The open design consists of a kayak with higher

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

2020 Guide to Choosing Your Kokopelli Inflatable Packraft

Founded in 2014, Kokopelli Outdoors, Inc is one of several of companies exclusively focused on inflatable packrafts, and increasingly known for performance, quality and durability.

For those unfamiliar with the term, “packrafts” are loosely defined as an inflatable raft weighing under 10 lbs, that can easily be packed/rolled up, making them a great choice for accessing remote locations. While the sport originated in Alaska, the popularity is rapidly expanding globally. For 2020, Kokopelli’s lineup consists of seven packraft models for whitewater, lakes and rivers, ranging in size from 7’1″ to 10’2″ with a weight range of 4.6 lbs to 18 lbs. This includes the introduction of one new model – the beefy XPD whitewater packraft – as well as product upgrades and some new accessories. Kokopelli is also expanding into the inflatable kayak market, with the introduction of two new touring models – the Moki and Moki-lite – for lakes, slow rivers and ocean.

With all the styles, activity types, sizes and features, how does one choose the packraft best suited for them?
In the following sections, we outline the different Kokopelli packraft styles. We’ve also put together a comparison chart on each of the packrafts and kayaks, detailing the features and specifications for each model, followed by weights and types of included accessories as well as compatibility with optional Kokopelli accessories. This is located at the bottom of this article, but you can also see a downloadable PDF copy of the complete table. If you still have questions, you can view details on the various Kokopelli Packrafts at http://www.AirKayaks.com. Or feel free to contact us at info@AirKayaks.com, or call 707-998-0135.
Guide to Choosing Your 2020 Kokopelli Packraft and Inflatable Kayak
Kokopelli packrafts are designed with two cockpit styles – open or decked.

The two packrafts with spray decks – Nirvana SD and Rogue – feature a more enclosed seating option which reduces exposure to water, cold, sun or wind. Each includes a spray skirt which fastens to a coaming lip around the seating well, and then to your body for even less exposure.

All other Kokopelli packrafts feature open seating, with either self-bailing ports or no ports. The self-bailing ports are useful if you will be running whitewater, allowing any water spilling into the raft to pass through open holes in the floor. Conversely, if you are in calmer situations, water may accumulate inside. The two self-bailing models – Nirvana SB and Recon – have integrated floors and seat bases so that the paddler sits a bit higher, out of any pooled water. The other Kokopelli packrafts (including the decked versions) are designed without any ports.

The 2020 packrafts and kayaks have been regrouped into three categories – Whitewater, Lake and Adventure.

The Whitewater Series consists of three models –

Original Source: AirKayaks >>