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Submitted: 05-03-2013 by se7enhdy
This is my second inflatable that I own. To be honest I didn't place much do diligence of my research as I stopped the moment I read that the Canadian Coast Guard uses this kayak and their review; so that was good enough for me.
Although it is advertised the boat holds 3 psi the marking on the kayak state max 2 psi. When I filled with 2 psi it seemed not enough air but I figured that may be because the heat from the sun will cause the boat to expand. I live in Houston, Texas and it's normal where the temperature will reach 110 degrees all day and cool down to 95 degrees in the evening.
Set up is (as claimed) fast. It took me less than 15 minutes and that includes attaching the additional rudder I purchased. The rudder to me is necessary especially since I've owned inflatables before and when it gets windy, without the rudder there is less control of steering the boat straight. I will say with the rudder attached the boat steered straight on track and the nose did not move from left to right as I was paddling.
This boat is fast. I was able to paddle faster than several plastic kayaks that were 12' in length but I have to add that I use a Werner Kalliste paddles. From my experience, if anyone is using an inflatable kayak then using a good quality paddle is essential.
When I entered water that was a bit rough the kayak seem to change character in that the boat responded very well to rough water and that brought on a big smile on my face as the journey became more of an adventure than just a moderate kayak outing.
I did not give a higher rating because when I was in rough water I could feel the kayak bend in the center as I was moving over large waves. I had hoped that the 2 psi would be stiff enough to avoid that bend but not the case hence, my rating of 8.
This kayak is steady (I'm 5'8, 190lbs) I'm 63, work out everyday lifting weights and bicycle 40 miles every other day. Also another reason why I rated an 8 is because I have a size 10 foot and my toes were constantly touching the top of the kayak and after several hours this becomes quite uncomfortable. So, if you have a size 10 or larger keep this in mind before your purchase.
And after several hours of paddling I found my butt getting sore. You are actually sitting low inside the kayak on the air bed. I'm going to purchase a thin cell pad and hope that will rid the soreness.
I did receive many compliments from other folks kayaking and also allowed others to paddle my boat and everyone said hands down that the Helios I is a great boat to paddle and everyone also noted how secure they felt inside the boat. I believe, in my opinion, that this is a great boat and a great buy. I did purchase from the United Kingdom because it was $300 USD less than sold here in the USA. Innova is the USA distributor for Gumotex which is manufactured in Europe. And the Seller: Blue Water Sports had Fex-X the boat to me and I received it in two days, and the shipping was free!
All in all I believe anyone paddling this boat is in for great enjoyment and satisfaction.
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