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inflatable kayak opinions?


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#1 green-eyed

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:18 AM

has anyone here used the inflatable kayaks like they sell at academy?  supposedly rugged and *cough* inflates in 8 minutes?  while i'd like to get a regular hard shell kayak, it would be a long while before i could get one, let alone lift if from the roof of my car once i have a rack installed.  thought that the inflatable at 30-something lbs might be the way to go for me and powerdog02 to get started on doing kayak caches. 

 

come to think of it, inflating is probably a lot easier to do than deflating and folding back into the origami style needed for whatever container they give you to store it in... my tent folding isn't too bad, but parts will be stuffed instead of proper folding.


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#2 cachestacker

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 11:40 AM

We had a guy do the CLAPS in an inflatable once.  Once.....  We'll miss him.

 

 

lol.  Kidding aside -- a guy from Laredo came and did them at a paddle event.  Definitely not as fast as a hard shell but he had not problem going anywhere and it was far more durable than I would have ever suspected. 

 

I just have no experience with them myself.


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#3 green-eyed

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 11:45 AM

the redhead has paddled (sort of) a small hard-shell solo kayak that his dad has, but only the one time.  it was windy, two years ago (you've met him...he's skinny with no muscle now) and in the winter at martin dies jr SP and had to be towed back.  last time we were at academy, we were over in the kayak section and he was drooling over a youth one, then looked down and saw the inflatables.  would be nice to pack one up in your trunk along with your camping gear and just go. 

 

one can always upgrade later...

 

although, REI's inflatables look amazing.  and the cost reflects that.


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#4 Dhaulaghiri

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 12:19 PM

My dad has an inflatable, and to be honest..... I never trust the things. As Cachestacker said, they're probably more durable then I think, but inflating/deflating takes a while and what if you encounter a hidden underwater tree/branch (e very likely occurrence on the CLAPS series)?

 

If I were you, I'd stick with the hard-shell, even though your options are a bit limited right now. Pinky's is always very accommodating and if you want we can always set something up to go with the 4 of us (you, powerdog, me & my wife), that way you can be my passenger (and don't have to do a lot of work, just reaching for those darn sodatubes ;)), and Powerdog can pair up with my wife.


Edited by Dhaulaghiri, 07 August 2013 - 12:19 PM.

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#5 ~windknot~

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 01:14 PM

the redhead has paddled (sort of) a small hard-shell solo kayak that his dad has, but only the one time.  it was windy, two years ago (you've met him...he's skinny with no muscle now) and in the winter at martin dies jr SP and had to be towed back.  last time we were at academy, we were over in the kayak section and he was drooling over a youth one, then looked down and saw the inflatables.  would be nice to pack one up in your trunk along with your camping gear and just go. 

 

one can always upgrade later...

 

although, REI's inflatables look amazing.  and the cost reflects that.

I don't have any experience with an inflatable kayak but I think I'd be too afraid that I'd hit a sharp rock or oyster shell and spring a leak too far from anyone who could help.  It might be okay to use in areas where it's a short swim to safety but I'd have a hard time trusting it anywhere else.

 

If you're looking for something that a small child can paddle easily you ought to look at the Malibu Mini-X.  It is short (9 feet) and light so it is easy to paddle.  We bought one for my son to use a few years ago because he was too small for our 14' or 16' kayaks.  It's the perfect kayak for the surf and rivers but because it doesn't have much keel it's not so great for long paddles across a lake or bay.  The price was right too compared to other rotomolded kayaks.

 

Another option is to get a used kayak.  I know that there are people selling kayaks all the time on the TKF website in the classified section of the forum.  Usually for a lot less than they bought them for.

http://www.texaskaya...ewforum.php?f=3


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#6 HoustonControl

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 02:13 PM

I know someone that recently had a 12' kayak for sale.  Not sure of the length though....


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#7 cachestacker

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 02:16 PM

What color?


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#8 green-eyed

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 02:36 PM

 

I don't have any experience with an inflatable kayak but I think I'd be too afraid that I'd hit a sharp rock or oyster shell and spring a leak too far from anyone who could help.  It might be okay to use in areas where it's a short swim to safety but I'd have a hard time trusting it anywhere else.

 

 

If you're looking for something that a small child can paddle easily you ought to look at the Malibu Mini-X.  It is short (9 feet) and light so it is easy to paddle.  We bought one for my son to use a few years ago because he was too small for our 14' or 16' kayaks.  It's the perfect kayak for the surf and rivers but because it doesn't have much keel it's not so great for long paddles across a lake or bay.  The price was right too compared to other rotomolded kayaks.

 

Another option is to get a used kayak.  I know that there are people selling kayaks all the time on the TKF website in the classified section of the forum.  Usually for a lot less than they bought them for.

http://www.texaskaya...ewforum.php?f=3

 

 

right now, most of the concern is weight and a regular kayak being cumbersome.  i had extensive shoulder surgery 6 weeks ago and won't be able to lift a 50-70 lb kayak period, let alone lift one onto a rack, for at least a year.  won't have the strength after i have the range of motion return.  cost is a concern as well, but i know people often sell theirs as they upgrade or move or whatever. 

 

i'd rather my 10 yr old be in a kayak with me for a while before setting off in his own.  he can swim, but he freaks out more often than not.  and i'd need his little bit of paddling ability for a bit after i'd be cleared from my surgeon.  i can't be more than a passenger for a while still... still working on moving my arm and shoulder just to drive, cook and get dressed each day. 


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#9 Baytown Bert

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 02:40 PM

Look at it this way - the cost of paying Pinky versus buying one, installing a rack etc.  How many rentals before you should have bought your yak, paddles, PFD, etc.?


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#10 green-eyed

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 03:16 PM

that's why i was looking into the inflatable vs. rentals.  i'd rather buy something than keep renting, because if it goes the way i expect it to, i'll be out on the water as often as i can.  or at least once a month in good weather once the shoulder is happy.  i have a yakima basket leftover from ex-hub's old car, and if i get a rack on my car, i can probably strap the kayak to the basket until i spend more money on the kayak rack itself.

 

BUT i can't lift anything overhead yet.  ok, i can barely lift a glass of water using the right arm just to get a drink.  this is why i thought about the inflatable as a good solution after i can move until a year or so from now.  plus, it's cheaper for the inflatable to see if powerdog02 and i really want to make the investment.


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#11 Baytown Bert

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 04:10 PM

Okay (cough, cough).  Makes sense to me.  :angel:   I guess Pinky's is real expensive.  I only have about $1500 tied up in my one rig, etc.


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#12 cachestacker

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 05:25 PM

I got my tandem and 2 paddles for $250 off Craigslist.  They had 3 other stolen used yaks available, too.

 

Jennifer - also check Sports Authority.  I'm not a huge fan, but they have good sales on their yaks.  They had one about a month ago -- 30% off lowest price --- except clearance.  There was a nice 9' single ocean kayak -- better than the pelican white/blue one (which was $299 there) on sale for like $118.  I nearly got one for Syd, but couldn't justify that, my tandem, and my new one I have yet to get. Where would I put it?  But difficult to pass up.  Worth just checking out, though, for Powerdog02.


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#13 TravelingGeek

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 05:28 PM

 Where would I put it?  

 

 

Yep.  Storage space is my issue.


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#14 green-eyed

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 06:29 PM

storage space.  crap  I hadn't thought of that for a regular one as well.  i have a so-so shed in the yard i could store it in, but i'd rather in the garage, if i had more space in it. 

 

still have problem lifting a regular yak.  powerdog02 can't lift it yet either.  i can't get him to mow the yard yet.  :)


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#15 cachestacker

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 06:31 PM

J-hooks low on the garage wall.  Keeps it sideways, out of the way, with no real lifting involved.


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#16 green-eyed

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 06:41 PM

camping gear on shelves already line the walls and the rest with bike racks... plus, i emptied a storage unit into one side of the garage this spring. 

 

i'm just drooling over things i can't do yet.  but maybe by the time my shoulder is good, i'll have it all figured out.


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#17 TexasWriter

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 06:51 PM

I know someone that recently had a 12' kayak for sale.  Not sure of the length though....

 

Getting old...


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#18 cachestacker

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 07:01 PM

 

I know someone that recently had a 12' kayak for sale.  Not sure of the length though....

 

Getting old...

 

 

No it's not.  :2funny:


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#19 TexasWriter

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 07:08 PM

 

 

I know someone that recently had a 12' kayak for sale.  Not sure of the length though....

 

Getting old...

 

 

No it's not.  :2funny:

 

 

You guys really need to get a life


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#20 log dawgs

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 07:17 PM

Storage ideas for you.  I did it and my wifes Expedition EL still fits in the garage along with my Mustang. 


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