Submitted: 05-12-2008 by paddlepr
I have used the Advanced Element AF for a month now. My last trip was the first one with hardshells. I pumped more air than before making a big difference in performance. I guess my 4 or 5 previous trips and home trials finally helped me decide how much air I could feed into this kayak. The more I use the AF, the better it feels.
I was kayaking with two friends for at least 4hours at the Jobos Bay National Reserve trail (an estuary), at southern Puerto Rico. Sit on top hardshells are popular in this area because of the all year round warm weather. We are not pro’s, but more like weekend kayakers.
We knew that the hardshells are faster than the IK and planned the trip ahead. Other than that I had nothing to be worried about. We were several miles away when the weather changed suddenly against us, increasing winds and choppy waters. Water was splashing in my face and the trip became a little rocky. I was nicely surprised to see that the AF tracked very well against the wind and was much more stable than the hardshells. We even decided to return in order to prevent any rescuing situation. Again, I was not worried because I felt very secure in this kayak.
The AF had plenty of cargo area for water, snacks, first aid and more. They (my friends) were impressed with the quality and sturdiness of the materials and also commented about how rigid was this IK. So, if you plan to go out solo or with friends in hard kayaks and are not in a hurry, you will definitely love this kayak.
Pros: Very stable, good quality, room for an overnight, nice, easy to handle (lightweight), packs in a bag, tracks very well, ready to use in 10 – 15 min. Great in bays, estuaries and flatwater.
Cons: as I mentioned before, too slow when accompanied by hard-shells, you need to choose a PFD that fits with the seat, hard to tell when it is properly inflated (for beginners). Cleaning and drying.
So, if you plan to go out solo or with friends in hard kayaks and are not in a hurry, you will definitely love this kayak.