Submitted: 05-18-2009 by Pearly
I live in a condo, so needed a kayak I could pack away, take anywhere and not have to leave on the roof of the car. I did a lot of research on inflatables before I bought this one. These were not available in Singapore at the time, so the best deal I could get was from www.airkayaks.com in Canada! About a month after it arrived, a new dealer sprang up in Singapore!!! Typical!
When I first took it out of the box, I was immediately impressed with the strength of the materials. This was the toughest inflatable I had seen, so I was immediately reassured that this was a good quality yak.
It comes with a dual action hand pump, which is great, but I also bought a battery operated Coleman pump which does about 75% of the inflation. You do have to be careful not to over-inflate the floor, so the hand pump is good to finish off. With the floor, just inflate until the tubes fill and push your finger onto the floor - it should be firm, but you should be able to depress your finger until you touch the bottom surface. Once you sit inside, your body weight adds to the firmness. The Coleman is great for deflation too - just plug it into the valve, turn it on and let it do all the work!
The first inflation was easy enough and took about 15 minutes, just using the hand-pump. The second inflation was faster - 6 minutes!! I can take this out, inflate it and be ready to go in the same time it takes my friend to unstrap his yak from his car, get all his things together and carry it down to the launch!
I use mine for fishing too! At first I was a little nervous about hooks and an inflatable, but as long as you are organized, it really is no problem. I made up some rod holders and a fish-finder mount out of uPVC tubing. If you have a look on the Advanced Elements website and go to their forum, you will see my adventures!
I don't have the backbone installed in my kayak. As long as you take a few seconds to ensure the floor is centralized, it tracks straight and slices through the waves without any problem.
Since I bought mine, there's a few more people interested in Singapore and have already placed their orders! It's gonna be fun to have a few of us out fishing at the same time.
Is there a down-side? The only down-side is that you do have to make sure the yak is dry before you store it for a while. I'm out every weekend, so I just wipe it down when I am ready to pack it away - it is 30 deg.C + here though, so it doesn't take long to dry!
I set myself a realistic budget. Value for money, bang for buck, this yak is superb. My only worry is that it might be heavy rain at the weekend and I can't get out on the yak!! I love it!