WHY INFLATABLE KAYAK OR CANOE?

Inflatable kayaks are a category of boats on their own. But what’s so special about them? 

Inflatables HANDLE well on the water and they are FORGIVING. Many people who have difficulties staying upright in a kayak find inflatables more STABLE and safer to paddle than common hard shell kayaks. Most of our kayaks are supplied with a skeg (tracking fin) for directional control - so you will not be going in circles. Do you have kids or play with a kayak in the surf? Inflatables won’t bruise you when you tip over and the kayak hits your shin.

Inflatable boats are COMFORTABLE to sit in. We have a variety of seating arrangements to provide a good control of the boat, but also to make you comfortable while on the water.  

Inflatable boats are SAFE. Often inflatable boats are the safest way to negotiate rivers and white water in general. Think of inflatable white water rafts. They can tackle huge rapids like no other boat and if by chance, they capsize the raft still floats safely even upside down. Like rafts, inflatable white water kayaks (see K1 and K2) are extremely stable and when paddled by less confident kayakers they handle rapids safer than specialized plastic kayaks. Now, hopefully this isn’t going to happen, but… What if you fall out in the middle of the lake? Inflatables are EASY to get back into and guess what? When you turn them right way up there’s no water in them!  Inflatables don’t sink and they don’t fill up with water. Not very many boats are like that. 

They PACK DOWN small. Inflatable kayaks or canoes pack into a pack no bigger than a regular size backpack. Sometimes even as small as a standard size shopping bag! And thanks to their packed size they are very PORTABLE unlike standard plastic hard shell kayaks. No need for a roof rack. No need to stop and check the tie-downs holding the boat on the roof top. Inflatables are SPACE SAVERS and a logical option for people with motorhomes, yacht owners, active people with many “toys” to store and folks living in apartments or people on the road. 

Still in doubts? Call us for a chat.

 

Types of inflatable boats

Inflatable Kayaks – boats for one or two (sometimes allowing a third person – a child), where paddlers sit on the kayak floor or on a seat with their legs in front, resting their feet on a foot rest. The kayaks can be of a sit-on design (such as Twist or Solar) with self-bailing (Safari, K1) or non-bailing inflatable floor or a sit-in (Helios or Swing) with an option of a spray skirt to seal the cockpit dry (Framura). Kayak paddles have two blades with 30 to 80 degrees angle offset. The length of kayak paddles used with inflatables vary between 210 to 225 cm.

Inflatable Canoes – traditional “Indian” style inflatable canoes are quite rare as they have a very complex design and are not easy to manufacture. Our one is called Scout and it is one brilliant boat. The  “Canadian” style inflatable canoes are more common. They have a round profile tube and low bow and stern. Some inflatable canoes have a self-bailing floor (see Baraka) so you can use them on more challenging white water. The proper way to paddle a canoe is to kneel on the floor of the boat with a support (seat) under your bottom. People often find it more comfortable to sit on their seats with their legs in front of them. Paddles for canoes have a single-blade with a grip for the top hand. Paddle length is between 150 and 175cm, depending one’s height and paddling style.

 

Rafts - are essentially canoes made bigger and wider for stability and maximum load. White water rafts usually have a self-bailing floor and vary in size from 2.5m up to 5.5m. The cross tubes – thwarts stiffen the hull and provide the crew with footing. Raft paddles are same as canoe-paddles. They are single-blade paddles with a “T” or a “palm” grip. Raft paddles are usually 150 to 165 cm long. 


KAYAKER Limited focuses on inflatable boats for apparent reasons. We import the best brands we have found for quality of manufacturing, materials and performance of the boats. Our main brand - GUMOTEX - offers a broad portfolio of affordable recreational kayaks, inflatable canoes for use on rivers and lakes, sea kayaks and white inflatable water kayaks. Check out our current offers here.