Product Review: New Innova Swing EX 13.5 ft Inflatable Touring Kayak

This past summer, Innova Recreational Products of Burlington, WA announced the latest addition to their inflatable kayak lineup – the Swing EX.
As mentioned in previous write-ups, the Innova line is unique in that the kayaks are handmade in Czechoslovakia rather than China or Korea. Additionally, the Swing series (now consisting of the Swing 1, the Swing 2 Double and the new Swing EX) – as well as the Twist series – utilize materials that are PVC-free, making them a greener option than most kayaks on the market.

This week we had the first opportunity to take out the Innova Swing EX, a 13′ 6″ solo inflatable touring kayak weighing a mere 28 lbs with a selling price of $999. Please note, some of this will be repeated from the previous Swing reviews, as there are obviously many similarities.
Getting Started with the Innova Swing EX Inflatable Kayak
The box as received weighs 31.2 lbs with dimensions of 28 x 18 x13 inches.

Inside is the Swing EX body – neatly folded with a cinch strap inside a lightweight drawsack – multiple instruction sheets, 3 metal insertion bars, tracking fin, seat, foot rest, coaming collar, repair kit, and valve adaptor. At 28 lbs for the combined package and a folded size of 23 x 17 x 11 inches, the Swing EX is small enough to fit in plane overhead cargo bins.
Swing EX Kayak Setup/Inflatation
As with all the Innova manuals to date, the Swing EX instructions are quite detailed – there is one instruction sheet for fin installation, one for utilizing the valves, another on the kayak in general and added instructions detailing the “insertion bars.” As the kayaks are made in Europe, many of the details are based around European specs and regulations.

First step, unpack and unfold the kayak body. What is immediately noticeable is how FLAT the kayak is when deflated.

Install the tracking fin before inflating the kayak. The Swing EX utilizes a single fin with double slots. Slip the end with the larger slot in first, making sure that the fin is pointing towards the “back” of the kayak. This enables it to slide in enough to fit in the second slot. While the first time can be a struggle to get the back side into position, after a couple of rounds it becomes quite easy. Do make sure it is solidly in position.

Attach the foot brace (this comes attached from the factory) by weaving the webbing through the floor connector and back. The foot brace uses a twistlok valve for inflation. There are no adaptors that couple with the valve, so you must either hold the adaptor onto the valve while pumping with one hand, have someone else hold the adaptor in

Original Source: AirKayaks >>

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